Luke 6:12-13,

"And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;"

Jesus prayed all night before He chose the 12.

Do you think that we need to pray???

What is prayer? It is simply asking and receiving from God that which we need that He already knows about. Our children know how to get things from us as parents. It’s called asking over and over again. We call it nagging. Jesus said that this is the way to get your prayers answered.

James 4:2 says, "ye have not because ye ask not".

In Luke chapter 11 right after the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, He gives them a story to illustrate how to pray effectively.

Look at Luke 11:5-8 again,

v.5 "And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;

v.6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?

v.7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

v.8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth."

Importunity means his troublesome perseverance; his continuing to disturb the man, and refusing to take any denial. The word importunity denotes perseverance in an object, without any regard to time, place, or circumstances.

Jesus says Himself in verses 9 &10 that prayer is a matter of asking and receiving and that it must be done with importunity,

v.9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

v.10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.( the -eth as a suffix or ending after each word ask, seek and knock implies a continual tense, in other words that you ask and ask and ask and that you seek and seek and seek and that you knock and knock and keep on knocking until Jesus answers the door!!!!

Then Jesus compares us asking God to a child asking a father for food in verses 11-12,

v.11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

v.12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

Then in verse 13 Jesus says that if we sinful humans want to give good gifts to our children when they ask us, how much more will our heavenly father give the Holy Ghost to them that ask Him!

We have not because we ask not folks!!

I want quickly to look at several things that happen when we don't pray:

When we don’t pray:

  1. We sin. I Samuel 12:23,
  2. "Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:"

    Israel had sinned against God and Samuel was interceding in prayer for the nation of Israel. He felt it was a sin if he didn't pray for the people and so do I. I feel that prayerlessness leads to other sins. When we neglect prayer we drift away from our close fellowship and relationship to God and soon we are weakened and open to other sins.

    When we don't pray:

  3. We do not get what we need!

Story: I heard a preacher say that when we get to heaven there is going to be a large pile of unopened gifts waiting for us with our names on them. And when we ask the Lord, "What are these?" He will say, "Those are the things that I wanted to give you, but you never asked me for them".

Did you ever need something only to find out that somebody very close to you had exactly what you needed and when you found out that they had it you said to them ,"I needed that and you had it all the time, why didn’t you help me?’ And they say, "because you never asked me".

When we don’t pray:

  1. We sin
  2. We don't get what we need, and
  3. We go without wisdom.

James 1:5 says,

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

I need wisdom from God tonight and so do you!

Wisdom

-to be a Christian in a sin-sick world and to live a Christ-like life before them.

-as a father to guide and raise my children and be a Godly example.

-as a husband to lead in the home and set the example.

-as an associate Pastor to know what to say and how to help people and to preach and teach God’s Holy Word without compromise!

I don't know about you but we need to pray and I firmly believe that if we do not that it is a sin of prayerlessness. How about you tonight? Do you need to pray more? Some of us need to begin to pray. Just start doing it! Set aside a small amount of time at first and then add time as you go. We just need to do it and stop talking about it.

In II Chronicles chapter seven there are several verses of scripture that are quoted quite often when talking about revival. I want you to see that God was talking to Solomon here and telling him that He had heard his prayers and that He would continue to hear and answer the prayers of His people if certain conditions were met. It says,

2Chronicles 7:11-15,

"Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king's house: and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place."

*Attent: means Expressing the direction of thought and interest toward some one point. To "hang on and listen to every word carefully".

The God that created the universe hangs on to every prayer that comes up before the throne of heaven!! Can you imagine that? And we don't have the time to pray or we are too busy to pray!!! May God help us to take the time that we need to seek His face and have importunity in prayer in these perilous times in which we live. Let's pray.