Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
THE PRAYERS WE OFFER
Colossians 4:2

Introduction:
A.  Many complain of a weak prayer life.
B.  It is a universal need we have to pray more effectively.
Proposition:  Christians need a more vital prayer life.

  I.  DISCIPLINED PRAYERS

A.  Pray often.
B.  Pray regularly.
C.  Pray spontaneously.
 II.  WATCHFUL PRAYERS (literally wakeful)
A.  Aware of our purpose.
B.  Aware of His purpose.
III. THANKFUL PRAYERS
A.  Thankful for His past blessings
B.  Thankful for His present blessings.
C.  Thankful iur His future blessings.
Conclusion:  With these three characteristics, our prayer lives will come alive.

    Dial-A-Prayer has been around for years.  Recently, the Tampa Bay (Florida) chapter of American Atheists installed a 24-hour telephone called "Dial-An-Atheist."  We wonder if anyone burdened by guilt, anxiety, or fear will seek comfort from "Dial-An-Atheist."  Most churches in the area are not worried about the competition!
 

    He said that he was the guest speaker at a Kiwanis Club.  In front of the podium was a little bank of flags that included a tiny American flag.  When it came time to pledge allegiance to the flag, the lectern completely obscured the flag from those at the head table.  Everyone else could see it; but those at the head table had to pledge in faith, believing that a flag was really there.  We pray in faith.  We cannot see God.  We cannot feel the muscle of His mighty arm.  We pray in faith; but God rewards our faith and responds to our prayer.
 

    It does not always pay to pray.  In Caribou County, British Columbia, a man was accused of setting a forest fire.  Left alone in a room of the police department, he fell to his knees and prayed, "Oh God, please let me get away with it!"  The prayer was picked up by a closed circuit television camera and microphone.  The trial judge would not let the prosecutor introduce that as evidence.  But when the case was appealed, it was admitted into evidence and used against him.

    Sometimes people change the locks on their apartment doors or their office doors.  Then the old key won't work anymore.  Nobody has changed the locks in Heaven.  Prayer is still the key that opens Heaven's door.  It always has been and it always will be.  Whether you have a fond memory of that little chorus from childhood or not, you still need to know:

Prayer is the key
That opens Heaven's door.


    Of all the Jewish sects, the most interesting is the Hasidic.  Their adherents are found chiefly in Brooklyn and Jerusalem.  They are, in some ways, the most conservative of Jews, but there are surprises.  They have made dance an important part of their worship.  In fact, the founder of Hasidm said, "A dance is better than a prayer if it comes from the heart."  Probably few Jews would agree with that.  But we all agree that the prayer that does not come from the heart is worthless and the prayer that does come from the heart is of inestimable value.
 

    The Minister of Music had changed the order of service, and he wanted to be sure there would be no mistake.  So he whispered to the preacher, "After the prayer, there will be no response."  Doesn't it sometimes seem to you that after the prayer, there is no response?  It may seem that way; but it is not that way.  It is not if we pray in faith.  It is not if we pray in the name of Jesus.  There is always a response!  It may not be the response we wanted.  It may not be the response we hoped for. But after the prayer, there is always a response!


The New Life We Can Enjoy (3:2-17)
Table of Contents
The Partnership We Share (4:5-18)

Scanned and Proofread by Michael J. Riggs