by Daniel Rodgers

Approaching God in Prayer
Dan Rodgers
Hebrews 4:14-16

ILLUS: In an article written by the Dallas Morning News, they said that ''Jerusalem archaeologists believe they have uncovered the oldest Jewish prayer room ever found in East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said that it found a courtyard with two Jewish ritual baths and a prayer room in the more than 2,000-year-old religious complex on Shuafat ridge in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.

The room was lined with stone benches. A wall might have separated men and women worshippers as in Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

A niche facing Temple Mount in Jerusalem probably held scrolls of the Torah, the biblical Five Books of Moses. Jews traditionally pray toward the holy mount in Jerusalem's Old City. Two mezuzahs, which contain the religious texts that Jews place on their doorposts, hang at the prayer room's archway entrance. The room apparently was abandoned after an earthquake in 31 B.C., an antiquities authority spokeswoman said. Plans to build a large, modern Jewish neighborhood were altered to ensure that the site was preserved, she said.''1

INTRODUCTION: Let me just say, thank God, we do not need a ritual bath and prayer room in order to get in touch with God. I do not need a mezuzah on my doorpost in order to get my prayers answered. Jesus said, ''Come to the Mercy Seat!'' Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.''

SONG: In 1779, John Newton wrote the hymn, ''Approach My soul, the Mercy Seat.'' The first stanza reads...

Approach, my soul, the mercy seat,
Where Jesus answers prayer;
There humbly fall before His feet,
For none can perish there.

As we think about approaching God in prayer, let us consider three things:

I. The Way of Approaching God
II. The Manner of Approaching God
III. The Need for Approaching God


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