Here is the Sunday morning sermon for August 24th, 2008.
PRAYER IT DOES THE BODY GOOD
We are continuing our Sunday morning series, “Prayer – it does the body good.” When we say, “body,” we are not talking about individual’s bodies, but we are talking about a community of believers, the local body of Christ.
Here is our theme verse for this series.
James 5:16b HCSB – The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful.
This morning in our prayer series, we are going to tackle a subject that can be rather controversial, but it is found within the New Testament. The subject we are dealing with is the enemy and his minions, demons. Some believers don’t really believe that the enemy attacks believers today, some are afraid of the subject, and some find demons under every rock, every attack, and every situation. Some people struggle with fleshy issues like lust and anger and they think it is demonic so they try to get them cast out.
You may be asking, “What does this have to do with prayer? Well, it could mean a lot. See when it comes to prayer, we want to pray correctly. We want to be sure that if we or someone we know, is under demonic attack, we approach it biblically.
This sermon is not talking about looking around for demonic attacks or even demons for every struggle we go through. However, there may be times that as believers you, I, our church, or others may go through these times of demonic attacks.
This morning we want to give you prayer points to have at your disposal for these very times we are talking about.
Remember, our series theme, especially concerning the attacks of the enemy: Ordinary people praying to an extraordinary God produces powerful results.
Before we look into a few prayer points, let’s pray and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us and teach us from His Holy Word.
1. A prayer of casting out demons.
Mark 9:21-29 ESV – 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
A. Here Jesus was brought a boy that was possessed by a mute and deaf spirit.
Before we go any further, something important should be learned here. Sometimes demons can manifest themselves in the form of sicknesses, this one being the case. However, not all cases of sickenesses are demon possession. I don’t believe that a believer can ever be possessed by an evil spirit. So if the believer is sick, it is not demon possession.
Here, Jesus cast the demon out and then tells the disciples that these cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.
B. So when you pray, ask God to use you to cast out demons.
This should not be a fearful thing for the believer. Why? Because we have authority over the enemy. You don’t have to holler, argue, or spend long periods of time with the possessed. Just command it to go in the name of Jesus and believe that it will happen. You may say, “what if it doesn’t happen?” My answer: quit and leave. Why? The person does not want to be free and why waste your time with someone like that.
C. Let’s look at another prayer point. This one does not have to deal with demonic position, but it still has to deal with the work of the enemy.
2. A prayer for supernatural deliverance.
Acts 12:5-11 ESV – 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. 6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
A. Here we see the story of Peter being kept in prison.
Notice that the church was in earnest prayer for Him.
B. There is a lesson that can be learned from this passage.
We must pray for those going through difficult times and believe that God will supernaturally deliver them. When God delivers the believer supernaturally, it will be unmistakable. Notice that God sent an angel to deliver Peter. I don’t believe that the church prayed for an angel to be sent. God chose to deliver Peter this way. As we pray for those who need supernatural deliverance, let’s remember that God is Sovereign. He will choose how He will deliver the believer, not us. It might be angelic, it might not. But it will be supernatural because God was the one who intervened.
Recently many people in our nation and our world have become enchanted with the angelic, almost to the point of angel worship. This is very dangerous. We should not be enchanted by angels or the supernatural, we should be enchanted by the mercy and grace we receive from our Lord God.
C. Let’s look at the final prayer point concerning the enemy of our souls.
3. A prayer for protection from evil.
Matthew 6:13b ESV – Deliver us from evil.
A. This is part of what is commonly called, “The Lord’s Prayer.”
B. We should make it a habit every day to ask the Lord to deliver us from any harm and evil that might try to come our way.
C. Who should we pray this prayer over?
2. Your family.
3. Your Church.
4. Your employer and job.
5. Your enemies.
The enemy of the cross and our souls is very real. We must recognize this fact. And while we shouldn’t look for a demon in every circumstance, we must also understand that he wants to destroy us and our church and will use any means necessary to do it. So a question: Do you pray that God will protect you, your family, and this church from evil? If not, please make this a prayer point that is lifted up to the Father each and every day.
We can be proactive when it comes to the enemy’s strategies and attacks. Let’s not wait for him to attack, but let’s bombard heaven and seek the face of the Father and take the fight to the enemy. Let’s go into our communities and love the lost and share the gospel with them, let’s take captive those who are already captive to sin.