1.0 Prayer is God’s Idea (James 1:5-8)! [P. 854]

1.1 God welcomes your prayers!

  1. A) All are asked to pray!
  2. ”If any of you”-the people of God (cf. 1:1).
  3. Whoever is experiencing lack-a lack of wisdom-can pray.
  4. B) God is moved by prayer.
  5. He is the inventor of prayer.
  6. He is the author of prayer.
  7. God invites prayer. He said Ask!

Story: My desire to write for Ministries Today magazine.

John 16:24-”Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

Luke 11:9-”So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

1.2 Prayer is fueled by FAITH.

Heb. 11:6-”And without faith is it impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

  1. A) Faith gets God’s attention.

Definition: Faith is assurance in God. It is an ongoing belief in God, His abilities, His willingness. It is the currency of heaven like rupee is the currency of India.

  1. God restricts Himself to faith.

James 1:6a-”But when he asks, he must believe”

  1. B) God cannot respond to doubt!

Definition: Doubt means wavering back and forth; uncertain.”

  1. Doubt is like being in a boat without an anchor.
  2. Faith upholds us in uncertainty.

Note: Elijah was an ordinary person just like us. Yet, he knew how to ask in faith (James 5:17-18).

He prayed God’s promises.

He prayed God’s passions.

He prayed God’s priorities.

Elijah’s Emotional State:

(1) Elijah was angry that the king and queen-Ahab and Jezebel-had reduced the country to a land driven by the advice of false prophets (18:19).

(2) The majority of the nation turned to the worship of Baal (Phoenician storm God) and Asherah (Canaanite goddess of fertility). Jezebel introduced Baal and Asherah to Israel with her marriage to Ahab. This created religious confusion for the people and helped moved them into a backslidden state, which added to Elijah’s frustration.

(3) The man of God felt isolated. His thinking was that he was the last true prophet in existence (18:22).

(4) Elijah was tired, tired of fighting, tired of running from the king, tired of dealing with this unnecessary spiritual battle. He needed relief!

The People’s Emotional State:

(1) The people were disillusioned, pliable, and easily influenced by anyone, even the evil king and his idol-loving wife, Jezebel.

(2) Jezebel murdered the true prophets of God which also affected the emotional stability of the nation.

(3) The people had a basic knowledge of God and their need to serve Him. But for many reasons they did not press in and become devoted followers.

(4) The people were open and willing to repent and turn back to God, IF God responded to Elijah’s prayers (18:24).

2.0 How Do You Ask in Faith? [P. 254]

2.1 Pray God’s PROMISES (18:20-24)!

  1. Elijah’s prayer was focused.
  2. Pray for God to fulfill His promises.
  3. Promises are focused targets.
  4. B) Elijah’s prayer was prayed in faith.
  5. He believed in God’s ability.
  6. God is not just able; He’s willing to answer our prayers.

2.2 Pray God’s PASSIONS (1 Kings 18:37)!

  1. A) God is passionate for relationship w/
  2. A healthy relationship with God is the highway to answered prayers.
  3. Elijah considers himself ”belonging to God.”

1 Kings 18:36b-”and that I am your servant”

  1. Faith begins in the womb of relationship.
  2. Your prayers should always have a redemptive ANGLE (18:37).
  3. Your prayer seeks people’s hearts turning toward God.
  4. You want people anchored in the Lord.
  5. Faith is more about relationship than it is about a white-knuckled approach to grabbing hold of something.
  6. Seek to honor God and His word.

1 Kings 18:24-”…I will call on the name of the Lord.”

2.3 Pray God’s PRIORITIES (1 Kings 18:27-40).

  1. Elijah was simply being obedient to God’s instructions.
  2. When you ask in faith, you’re asking in harmony with the will of God.
  3. Strive to please God (1 Kings 18:36)!
  4. Seek God’s best.
  5. Seek to represent God.

iii. Seek God’s will.

Note: ”I’m hard pressed to pray at Prayerfest if I’ve not cried to the Lord in preparation for a unique outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that great day.”

Why are we hosting Prayerfest this Friday, July 25th @ 9:00 a.m.? To give you an opportunity to be a part of a FAITH-FILLED environment for the lifting up of your prayers to God!

Action: 1) Complete your prayer list for Prayerfest; 2) Fast on Friday through the end of Prayerfest; and, 3) Finalize your plans to attend Prayerfest.

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About The Author

David Ireland is the lead pastor of Christ Church, a multi-site multiracial congregation in New Jersey. Ireland serves as a diversity consultant to the NBA and also leads chapel services for the New York Giants, New York Jets, and the U.S. Pentagon. He has written over twenty books and appeared on The Dr. Phil Show, CBS Evening News, and The 700 Club. He began his career in civil engineering with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering (Farleigh Dickinson University) and a graduate degree in civil engineering (Stevens Institute of Technology). Later he attended seminary, earning a master’s degree in theology (Alliance Theological Seminary) and a doctorate in organizational leadership (Regent University). He and his wife Marlinda married in 1984 and have two daughters.

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