Presentation on theme: "Prayer: Developing a Lifestyle of Communion with God."— Presentation transcript:
Prayer: Developing a Lifestyle of Communion with God
Using Prayer as an Offensive Weapon when Under Attack 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Acts 16:16-36
Introduction As Christians, we are representatives of Christ to the world around us. As His ambassadors of light in a world dark with sin, we will come under spiritual attack. Jesus has clearly declared that we will have hardship and trials in this world. He also said that He has overcome them all. (John 16:33) Learning to stay in communion with God during hardship and crisis is essential for any one who wants to be effective for Christ.
1. It Begins with Relationship Jesus taught that when hardship and difficulty come, many will turn away from Him. If our connection with God is an idea or a religious tradition, then when put to the fire, we will walk away because it’s painful. But if we have a relationship with God based on love for Him and devotion to Him, the fire will only purify our faith and draw us closer. Do you have a genuine love relationship with God? Have you received genuine salvation?
1. It Begins with Relationship We have all been separated from God because of our choices to rebel and worship ourselves. We all deserve the wrath of God against our sin and have nothing to offer as compensation. Jesus died to save us from our sins. He was the perfect sacrifice to satisfy God’s wrath. If we believe these things in our heart, turn away from our own lives, and surrender to Jesus as our Lord and Master; then we will enter into a genuine relationship with God.
2. See Crisis as an Opportunity “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 The Bible clearly teaches that we will endure hardship if we are committed to follow Jesus. When crises of all kinds occur, we have a choice. Will we be whiners or warriors?
2. See Crisis as an Opportunity We need to change the way we think about hardship. Every Christian is a soldier for God. But warriors are made by the test of battle. Every hardship that we encounter is an opportunity to advance in our faith and in our intimacy with Christ – becoming a warrior. Spiritual sissies whine and ask “why?” when they encounter trials. Warriors ask “what do You want me to learn?” and “how can I honor You in this situation?” (Graham Cooke)
2. See Crisis as an Opportunity When satan comes against us with a lie or difficulty, we make him pay by using it to draw closer to God and advancing His kingdom. This confidence does not come from ourselves because we are nothing apart from Christ. This assurance comes from the power of God displayed in Jesus to triumph over satan. Let us become so consistent in communing with God in hardship, that satan is intimidated and afraid to push us further into God’s arms.
3. Start with the Small Stuff “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Let’s not wait for the huge battle that wins the war, lets start with the small skirmishes. The apostle Paul was able to praise God in the stocks after being beaten because he had developed a lifestyle of prayer and rejoicing in every situation in his daily life. Let’s begin praising God and talking to Him through the small hardships in our life.
3. Start with the Small Stuff Jesus taught that if we are faithful in the small things, we can be trusted with the larger. Instead of being aggravated and distracting by the many small trials of our day, lets commit to start using them to build our fellowship. What are some daily trials that you face that you can use to begin to practice this principle?
4. Pray and Praise Out Loud “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 When Paul and Silas were in the inner prison, they weren’t praying in their minds or whispering hymns to God quietly. The Bible is very clear about the power of our words. When satan tempted Jesus is the dessert, Jesus didn’t meditate silently; He spoke aloud the promises of God. What are some daily trials that you face that you can use to begin to practice this principle?
4. Pray and Praise Out Loud This concept of praising God out loud may seem trivial but it is absolutely essential in turning the tide of the battle. All throughout the Bible this principle is taught and modeled. Our verbal communication with God during difficulty honors God, declares our stance to the powers of darkness, builds our own faith, and serves as a testimony to bystanders. Will we commit today to begin using the great gift of prayer as weapon in the midst of trial? What are some daily trials that you face that you can use to begin to practice this principle?