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God's Call to Prayer

Matthew 7:1 12

Jesus lived in an attitude and atmosphere of prayer. He was in continuous communion with the loving God. This is not to imply that he always had his head bowed or that he was always on his knees. But he was always in immediate contact with God. He was open to God, and responsive to God. On many different occasions Jesus went apart into a private place for prayer (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 9:18, 28).


I. WHY DO WE SO OFTEN NEGLECT TO PRAY?

 

  1. Is it because we feel self-sufficient in our own human ability? Is it that we feel no need for the wisdom, power, and grace of God?
  2. Is it because we do not have our heart in the work of God's Kingdom? Perhaps we don't have a burden of compassionate concern in our hearts for the needs of people about us?
  3. Do we neglect to pray because we are too busy with the common tasks of life in which we are seeking to feed our stomachs and clothe our backs?
  4. Maybe we neglect to pray because we do not like to face our sins? It's too painful and humiliating.
  5. Do we neglect to pray because of our blindness to our own spiritual poverty and to the needs of those about us?


II. PRAYER HAS GREAT REWARDS

 

Repeatedly Jesus encouraged his disciples to believe that the heavenly Father is a prayer-hearing and a prayer-answering God.

  1. Prayer brings salvation to all of those who call upon him in repentance and faith (Rom. 10:13).
  2. We can experience forgiveness of our sins when we respond to the call to prayer and confess those sins.
  3. We can be blessed with the guidance of God's Holy Spirit as we come to him in our times of uncertainty.
  4. We can receive the power of the Holy Spirit for victory over evil in our own lives or for a ministry to others (Luke 11:13).

 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said that the Christian who departs for the day’s work without first talking to God is like a soldier who departs for battle without his weapons. By prayer we check in with the heavenly headquarters. It is in the experience of prayer that the heavenly Father communicates his wishes to us. It is when we pray that he gives us commissions and responsibilities.

July 3, 2011

 

 

 

July 4, our annual Independence Day celebration serves to remind us of the sacrifices, character, ideas, ideals, and faith that have gone into the making of our national history. Too often today we just celebrate a holiday. How often we take for granted our freedoms. Let us use this as a time to reflect.

 

  A TIME TO REMEMBER.

 

The price of what we enjoy was high. Days of hardship and grave uncertainty accompanied the efforts of those colonial leaders who led us to attain our freedom as a sovereign nation. Can you imagine a rag tag group of farmers standing up to the most powerful army in the world at that time. Can you imagine the sacrifices these families had to make to ensure our freedom? The price of freedom was paid for by the blood of many.

 

The price of our Christian liberty was also very high. The Bible tells us that we too "were bought with a price," and "if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."  Christ was sacrifice for our sins.

 

 

   A TIME TO RETURN.

 

 

To first principles of work, sacrifice, discipline, patriotic devotion, love of justice and freedom, honesty, high purpose, and respect for the rights of others. These were first and basic principles in the foundations of our nation.

 

Take seriously individual initiative, private industry, the freedom to choose and work for a way of life — these are fundamentals of life in a free society. All are primary factors in a government of free people, and they are diminishing factors in the way of life we know in our age.

  A TIME TO RECOGNIZE.

 

 

The evils of our materialistic, power-crazed, technological age. Millions never know what it means to go to bed at night without feeling hunger, yet our nation spends money on things of little importance, so much so that we have the highest national debt in our history. Someone has said, "We spend money we do not have to buy status symbols we do not need, to keep up with people we do not know and probably would not like if we did know them."

 

There are some dangerous trends of our times. For years the trend has been to withdraw religion from our public schools and government institutions. In the past, American tradition has kept government closely allied with religion. Our presidents have used the Bible in taking the oath of office; Congress opens its sessions with prayer; our pledge to the flag includes the phrase “One nation, under God”; our coins are inscribed with “In God We Trust”; and the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence uses the word “God,” recognizing him as our Creator, and the last sentence uses the phrase “With a firm reliance on divine providence.”

 

The Bill of Rights (Articles I – X) of the Constitution begins with the First Amendment, in which we read, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting free exercise thereof.” Serious students of history know this had to do with one specific contextual matter, a “state church.” The framers of the Constitution never dreamed that this nation would ever forget God! Now, in effect, laws are made by judges to prohibit those Christians who desire to express their faith in the public sector. A high school graduating class is prohibited from having a prayer at their graduation because one person objected.

 

 

  A TIME TO RENEW.

 

 

Our allegiance to God and country. It is significant that in many churches the American and Christian flags are displayed together; they are not in opposition one to the other, but they complement each other.

 

Our faith in God, the cause of freedom and the meaning of our text for today, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land.”

 

 

 

Let all the bells of freedom ring! Let freedom ring so the words of Abraham Lincoln may come true, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

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