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How To Pray Like A Righteous Man (2 of 5)
Series: Prayer That Works
OPEN: A man by the name of Harold Lamb told this story of a sales presentation he made at a church board meeting:
"My co-worker and I were making a sales call to a rural Baptist church. We gave our presentation to the church committee, and then the group's chairman walked to the altar and knelt down.
After a minute of silent prayer, he returned and announced in a solemn tone, "The Lord tells me we should wait."
My colleague responded by walking to the altar and kneeling down himself. Then he returned to the group, looked at the chairman and declared, 'He wants to talk with you again.'"
APPLY: I'm not really sure EITHER man was ACTUALLY praying, but I found it interesting that both men saw prayer as a way of getting what they wanted.
And there's nothing wrong with using prayer to get what you want. James tells us that this is a perfectly acceptable function of prayer.
He writes in 4:2 that one of the reasons we don't receive what we desire is we don't pray. In other parts of his letter he tell us:
o If we lack wisdom we should pray
o If we are troubled we should pray
o And if we are sick, we should call for the elders to anoint us with oil and pray for us.
In other words: If there's something you want from God - you should pray, or have others pray for you.
And most of us believe that God answers our prayers. In 1994, Life Magazine published a survey which indicated that 94% of those who prayed regularly believed God had answered their prayers.
I. But, if we believe that prayers has such power, do we pray as often as we should?
There is a nagging suspicion that we don't pray as much as we might. How many of you pray as often as you thing you should (only one man put up his hand). Well, don't feel bad. Most people don't feel like they pray enough either.
ILLUS: Larry Davies, in the online magazine "Heartlight" tells of the time he asked his ...
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