THE PRECIOUSNESS OF PRAYER
Hello Friends, you are welcome to today’s broadcast. I am glad you are a regular listener. What may be lacking is the doing. I therefore encourage you to be both a hearer and a doer of the Word.
Our topic today is, “The Preciousness of Prayer.”
THE PRECIOUSNESS OF PRAYER
We will be taking our reading from Mark – The Gospel According to Mark 1:34-35
Mark 1:34-35 (NKJV)
34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
THE PRECIOUSNESS OF PRAYER
When we say that something is precious we mean that it is of great value; it is something that should not be wasted or treated carelessly. So the preciousness of prayer implies that prayer is of great value and therefore should not be wasted or treated carelessly.
But someone may wonder how prayer could be wasted. James, writing in James 4:3 says, “Asking amiss” is wasting prayer.
The Book of James talks about wasting prayer.
“3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3).
When we pray in such a way that God does not hear us or pay attention to our prayer, we are wasting prayer; we are treating prayer carelessly (Psa. 66:18): “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear”
We shall examine the preciousness of prayer from two angles, two dimensions or perspectives:
i. The Vertical or Divine Perspective
ii. The Horizontal or Human Perspective.
I. The Preciousness of Prayer from Divine Perspective
A. A Demonstration of Dependence on God
We think that God made provision for prayer so we would meet our needs. Is it possible that GOD allows us to have needs so we would pray? God designed us to have a relations of dependence with Him which is the only sensible and viable relationship between a creature and the Creator .
Every creature must of necessity depend on its creator in order to fulfill the function for which it is created.
Example: a car and its maker or owner; a house or its builder. Nothing expresses our dependence on God better than prayer.
Show me a Christian who does not take prayer seriously, and I will show you a Christian who is not depending on God. When Jesus came into the world, though not created, but because He assumed the form of a human being, His relationship with the Father was that of dependence.
He expressed this fact in (John 5:19, 30)
John 5:19, 30
Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”
30 “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent ME.”
It should not surprise us, then, that Jesus prayed like no man ever prayed for. He depended on the Father like no man ever did.
When Jehoshaphat prayed in (2 Chronicles 20: 12): “O our God, will You
not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is
coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You,”
He was expressing the dependence of the nation of Judah on God.
B. Prayer is A Delight to God
Prayer delights GOD.
Prayer is precious because it delights the heart of God.
In (Proverbs 15:8) we read: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.”
The delight of God in prayer is also seen in what Jesus told Ananias in (Acts 9:11) when He sent him to Saul of Tarsus whom He had just transformed on the road to Damascus. We read:
In that passage, Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house
Of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.”
That in which God is delighted is precious in His sight.
Here JESUS noted that Saul of Tarsus was praying. You cannot fault that. Does our LORD JESUS CHRIST take note of your prayer?
II. The Preciousness of Prayer from the Human Perspective.
A. It is the believer’s life-line to God.
Prayer is the believer’s life-line to GOD
From the human stand point, prayer is precious because it is the believer’s life line, the believer’s umbilical cord, as it were.
“Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
The Christian’s native air,
His watchword at the gates of death–
He enters heaven with prayer”
If we do not pray, we die gradually of spiritual suffocation.
B. Prayer is a way the believer tells God that his/her relationship with Him is important to him/her. As Rabbi Irwin Katsof puts it:
“My relationship to this Master (GOD) is monitored by my prayers, because that’s how I interact with Him directly and immediately.
It is how I speak to HIM, it is how I near HIM, it is how I develop an emotional relationship with HIM.”
C. The third thing we need to know about prayer is It is the believer’s spiritual weapon against the devil and his agents (Eph. 6:12, 18): “12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the
18 “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
As was the case with all the battles JESUS fought with the devil and won, the last battle he fought with him was won on His knees in the Garden of Gethsemane. HE shared this secret with HIS disciples, Peter, James, and John but they ignored it. No wonder they failed woefully.
One writer says, “No one is a firmer believer in the power of Prayer than the devil. Not that he practices it, but he suffers from it or from its effect.”
Let’s now see:
How Should We Then Pray?
First and foremost, Know what prayer is:
“First and foremost, prayer is an expression of our relationship with GOD… prayer can never be a “formality.” It is not dashing off a bunch of words in a prescribed sequence. It is speaking to GOD – to our Creator, to our FATHER, to the Almighty – from the innermost recesses of our being” Rabbi Irwin Katsof.
Moses prayed that kind of prayer when GOD struck his elder sister, Miriam with leprosy. Moses cried from the depths of his heart: “Please heal her, O GOD, I pray!” (Num. 12:13).
The hymn writer’s definition of prayer:
“Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire”
- Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, Unuttered or expressed,
The motion of a hidden fire; That trembles in the breast.
- Prayer is the burden of a sigh, The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye, When none but God is near.
- Prayer is the simplest form of speech; That infant lips can try,
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach; The Majesty on high.
- Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice; Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice; And cry, “Behold, he prays!”
- Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, The Christian’s native air,
His watchword at the gates of death– He enters heaven with prayer.
Secondly, Pray like the Master prayed:
a.The Master Prayed In solitude: space and time (Mark 1:35). HE prayed in solitude.
b. The Master prayed publicly and corporately – – He prayed longer in secret than in public. Example, before He took important decisions HE prayed (Luke 6:12-13).
c. He prayed for others more than He prayed for Himself
(Ex. John 17) – – John 17 contains His final intercessory prayer.
- (Rom. 8:34;
d. Our Master also prayed When faced with temptation and death – – He died praying
We cannot do more than HIM. We will rather follow HIS examples. I do pray that you will catch the importance of prayer: the preciousness of prayer – and pray aright so that the GOD whom you pray to will hear and answer your prayers.
May the LORD bless you abundantly.
Let us pray.
HEAVENLY FATHER, the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, thank YOU that we retain our relationship through prayer. We will, O GOD our FATHER, we advance in our relationship with YOU…it’s through the Word and through prayer. Therefore teach us to pray aright, and not to treat prayer as if it is a common thing…in JESUS Mighty Name I pray. AMEN!