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May 14, 2006
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Prayer Can Change Your Life Part 4

"The Power of a Praying Woman"

 

We have spent several weeks talking about prayer, the need for prayer, the power of prayer.

Today we are going to talk a little about what happens when we pray for others.

There are many examples of people in the Bible praying for others:

Some of the examples of people in the Bible praying for others:

Exodus.  Moses went into the tent in the wilderness and prayed for the people of Israel.

Entire chapter of John 17.  Jesus prayed for His disciples & all believers (including us).

Acts.  The entire book is filled with examples of the church being a place of prayer.  It is also filled with examples of Christians praying for other Christians.

 

Colossians 4:12-13. 

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.

-         It seems as if praying for others was Epaphras’ occupation.

-         To him prayer was everything.  It was his life, his ministry. 

-         If you asked him what his job in the church was, he’d probably say, “I pray”

 

Isn’t that our job?

 

Remember, in Matthew 21:13, Jesus Got upset with the street venders and He told them…


“…My house will be called a house of prayer…”

 

How many of us use prayer only as a last resort instead of the only resort?

 

-         Often you see sign-p sheets for ministry in the church, and at the bottom of the sheet is one of those, oh ad by the way, if you can’t do anything else, sign up for prayer.

o       I’d like to see ministry sign up sheets attach prayer to their job description.

o       If you don’t pray, you don’t do

 

We should be praying before we do anything at all. 

 

Until we get prayer right, we shouldn’t be doing anything.

 

 

 

How then do we pray?

It seems to me that there are more examples of people praying for others than there are examples of people praying for their own needs.

Most of the prayers seen in the Bible are…

-         Communicating with God for the sake of communicating

-         Worshipping the Lord (letting God know how awesome He is) through words

-         Asking God for direction in life, to be in His will

-         Asking God for forgiveness

-         Asking God to do something for someone else

Very rarely do you see prayers asking God, “take care of me, me, me.”  In fact, when it comes to our needs, we are taught to let God know what our needs are and then trust Him to provide.

Matthew 6:31-33.  So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

The Scriptures show us plenty of examples of how we are to pray for others:

 

The Scriptures teach us that we, as a church, are to pray for others.

1 Timothy 2:1-4.

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Colossians 4:2-4. Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.

 

 

 

 

Why do we pray for others?

 

Praying to God can alter, affect the world around us

 

2 Corinthians 1:8-11.  We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

 

When we can’t do something about a situation in our lives, we have to give it to God in prayer and let him do something.

 

-         That does not mean we do until we can do no more and then we turn it over to God. 

o       That means we are already in a state of prayer but when things are beyond us, which they usually are, we step back and let God be God. 

        Remember we are just along for the ride. 

        Jesus is at the wheel, not in the back seat.)

 

Prayer changes things, because you can’t

 

2 Corinthians 1:10b.  On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,

 

-         we are always putting our trust in Him

 

11. as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

 

-         He wants us to pray so He can work in the lives of others

-         God does things in answer to the prayers of many (Christians)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does that have to do with being a woman of prayer?

 

Some of the greatest prayer warriors in the Bible were women.

 

There are several examples of what happens when women pray:

 

Some examples of what happens when women pray:

 

In the O.T. book of 1 Samuel, we find that Hannah was a person of prayer.

 

-         She could not have children so she prayed and asked God for a child.

-         God gave her a child whom she in turn gave back to the Lord to serve in the temple all his life

-         In the temple was great wickedness

o       I can’t help but think that she kept praying for her son

o       I can’t help but think her prayers were primarily important reason why her son grew up a holy man, approved by God, who ended up leading the nation and being blessed by God compared to the priests sons who were evil and ended up being destroyed by God. 

 

Shortly after Jesus was born,

 

Luke 2:36-38.  There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.  Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

 

-         Wow! What a great thing to recognize the Savior and be the one to proclaim that He had arrived!

 

There is power when woman pray.

-         Men are show in the Bible as the spiritual leaders of the home and of the church. 

o       However, women are not in any way show as being less important or less effective in the life of the church. 

        This is especially true when it comes to prayer. 

-         Women can do great things when they pray. 

-         If only the men pray, we are only using half the power of the engine.  

o       We are not firing on all cylinders.

If you think prayer is not for women, let me show you why you are wrong:

Are women allowed to pray?

A description of the early church included…

 

Acts 1:14.  They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

 

When Peter was put in Jail, the early church…

 

Acts 12:12.  When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.

 

 

Today, I have tried to challenge you to be in prayer for others.

 

I have tried to encourage the women to be powerful women of prayer.

 

Today, I also want to celebrate the women in our lives who have spent hours on their knees praying for others. 

 

Many of us would not be where we are if it were not for the powerful prayers of our mothers, of the women in and men in our lives.

 

Closing.  Before we go home, let us do one more thing.


Billy Graham once said, “Prayer is not the least you can do
for someone, it is the most you can do for someone.”

 

Let’s take time to pray for each other.

James 5:13-16.  Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.  Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.  Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.

-         There is a place for leadership within the church praying for the people of the church but this passage, and others we have already looked at today, also clearly shows that there is a place for the people of the church praying for others within the church.