This is the last sermon in the series. This is the sermon for Sunday September 14th, 2008.

PRAYER IT DOES THE BODY GOOD
Part 7
James 5:16b.

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.

Allow me to share with you three areas of struggle. I have at times struggled with these in the past, and I’ve also seen friends and loved ones struggle with these. I believe these three struggles are common to all believers. One is just good old-fashioned discernment. Another struggle is in knowing the will of God for specific situations. The final one is sometimes people just don’t feel worthy of the love of Christ. They often wonder, just how can a perfect God, love an imperfect failure of a person like them?

Maybe you are here this morning, and you often struggle with these three things I described. Please take heart, do not get discouraged; these struggles are quite common amongst believers.

Well, I have a question for all of us. Should we just continue to struggle with these things, saying, “Well, we’re human?” Or should we take these type of struggles to the Lord in prayer? I believe all of us know the obvious answer to these questions.

Now as we give you our final prayer points in our series this morning to use in your own personal prayer life, please remember our series theme: Ordinary people praying to an extraordinary God produces powerful results.

Before we begin looking into this morning’s prayer points, let’s invite the Holy Spirit to bless His Word and bring understanding as well.

1. A prayer for discernment.

Philippians 1:9-10 TNIV – 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ…

A. Here Paul is telling the Philippians that he prays for them.

One of the things that he prays for them is for discernment, or that they may be able to discern or determine what really matters and can be pure and blameless at the coming of Christ.

B. Church, of all the things we need in our world today, I cannot think of anything more important than discernment.

There is so much false doctrine floating around, and differing opinions concerning the Word of God, we need God’s direction concerning these, not man’s interpretation. There are a few things out there that on the surface seem harmless and safe. We need discernment that will help us to look underneath the service to really what is the real issue on things.

C. This is a critical prayer point here.

You should pray for discernment for you yourself, your family, your church, your church leadership, this nation, friends, and a whole list of others.

2. A prayer for the revealed will of God and spiritual understanding.

Colossians 1:9 TNIV – For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives…

A. Here we see a prayer that Paul has for the Colossian believers.

Notice he is continuing to pray for them. At the heart of the prayer He is asking God for them to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.

B. What a wonderful prayer point to pray for yourself, family, church, and friends.

Pray for the Lord to fill those you pray for and yourself with the knowledge of His will. That we may know His will and walk in it. Pray that all wisdom and spiritual understanding may be revealed by the Holy Spirit. There is so much wisdom in the word, plus in the council of seasoned believers that we can tap into, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

3. A prayer for personal behavior.

Colossians 1:10 TNIV – so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…

A. Paul’s prayer for the Colossian believers was that they may live a life worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him.

This living a life worthy has to do with behavior. You see for Paul, it was important for Christians to act like Christians.

B. It is the same with us as well.

Church, we as believers must act like believers. What exactly does that mean? Well a number of things. Loving the Lord more than life itself and not using excuses to miss church. Not holding grudges against other believers. Honoring the Word as it is preached. Not sitting in judgment over other believers. This is just a partial list.

C. We should pray and ask the Lord that our own behavior, family’s behavior, Pastor and Churches and friends all are pleasing to the Lord.

4. A prayer to understand the hope God has called us too.

Ephesians 1:18 TNIV – I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his people…

A. Paul’s prayer to the Ephesian believers was for them to be enlightened in order that they may know the hope of God’s calling.

What is the hope of His calling? Most scholars believe it is a future event, that one day we will be with Christ. We will not have to endure forever the heartaches of this world. This hope should keep us from stumbling and help us to persevere to the end.

B. What a prayer to pray.

Pray for believers who are going through hard times. Pray that the Lord will give them a fresh revelation that one day these battles will be over and they will stand face to face before their Lord. What a hope this is.

This morning, we’ve heard prayer points concerning discernment, God revealing His will and giving spiritual understanding, a prayer for our personal behavior, and a prayer to understand the hope that God has called us too. Do each one of us dare to seek God’s face petitioning Him for these things?

What would happen if we would do this? Would we see the hand of God at work when we pray these prayer points? I believe we would.

Church, we are a light on a hill. Let’s remove every bushel that would hinder our light from burning brightly. Let our prayer be, it is not my brother Lord, but me who stands in the need of prayer.

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