Date written: January 10th, 2003
Scripture ref: James 5:16b
TITLE: Attitudes in Prayer
PROPOSITION: To have the right attitude in prayer we must ask in 1) Faith, 2) Thanksgiving, 3) Constancy.
OBJECTIVES: Each person should understand these prerequisites to prayer and why they are prerequisites.
AIM: To stir up remembrance, exhort, and encourage all to pray more fervently, more thankfully, and constantly.
1. Read: James 5:16b "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
2. About the Text:
1) In exhorting his fellow Christians to prayer, James makes this statement.
2) He supports this statement by citing Elijah as an example.
3) Elijah prayed to God and God withheld the rains.
4) Elijah prayed again for the rains and they came.
5) Elijah's prayer was effectual, fervent, and righteous.
6) When our prayers are like this, God will hear and answer.
7) What must we do so that our prayer is of the same character as Elijah's?
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: To have the right attitude in prayer we must ask in . . .
1. The doubtful cannot earn God's trust with His blessings.
2. This is the lesson of the fig tree.
1) Matthew 21:22 -- "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." See also Mark 11:22, 23.
2) Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
3. Peter teaches us this lesson as well in Matthew 14:25-32.
1) How many times are we like Peter?
2) We are almost to the goal and we give up at the end?
4. 1 Timothy 2:8 "without doubting."
5. James 1:5-7 "Let him ask in faith."
6. We must pray in faith.
1. The unthankful do not recognize the true source of their blessings.
2. Remember the thankful Samaritan? Luke 17:16-18.
3. Should characterize our being: Col.3:15 "be ye thankful" and 17 "giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
4. Should accompany our requests to God. Phil.4:6 "Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
5. Considered part of praising God. Hebrews 13:15 "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
6. We must pray in Thankfulness.
1. Those who are not constant in prayer fail to recognize their constant dependence upon God.
2. Remember the parable of the unjust judge. Luke 18:1-8.
3. 1 Thess.5:17 "Pray without ceasing."
4. An attribute of love: Rom 12:12 "Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;"
5. Part of taking up the Christian armor: Eph.6:18 "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"
6. We must pray in constancy.
1. How is your attitude in prayer? Is it in . . .
1) If you are a Christian but have fallen away
a. Have you stopped praying?
b. If you have, then you have stopped depending upon God for your salvation.
c. Turn things around today.
2) If you are not a Christian this morning . . .
a. God cannot hear your prayers because of your sin; Isaiah 59:2.
b. Heed the plan that it has for man's salvation today!