Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

Prerequisites for A Consistently Fruitful Prayer Life. - 1
Luke 11:1, Luke 18:1 ; John 15:16

Luke 11:1 And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples."

Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, (NAS)

John 15:16 "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. NASU

Introduction
Most of us would agree their are prerequisites before a person could have a consistently fruitful prayer life. Not many Christians would claim to have such a prayer life; so what are the prerequisites? I want to mention Three Tonight in the first of this series of sermons.

I do not claim to have a consistently fruitful prayer life but I do claim to have a growing desire to be able to give the testimony of having such a prayer life. Three of these prerequisites are:

Pardon . . and the Consistently Fruitful Prayer Life.

Position . . and the Consistently Fruitful Prayer Life.

Procedure . . and the Consistently Fruitful Prayer Life.
 
 

1. The Pardon . .
of One with A Consistently Fruitful Prayer Life.


Luke 18:9-15   9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11"The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: "God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12"I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'   13"But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' 14"I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted." NASU

A.    The Prayer of A Person with A Pardon Is Not . . A Self Righteous Prayer. v 11-12;14
        1.    Does God hear All the Prayers of the Unrighteous? Psa. 34:15
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry. NASU

Proverbs 1:28-29 28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 

Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

Isaiah 1:15 "So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. NASU

Micah 3:4 Then they will cry out to the LORD, But He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds. NASU

Zechariah 7:13 "And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen," says the LORD of hosts; NASU

B.    The Prayer of A Person with A Pardon Is . . A Submissive Prayer. v 13
13"But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'

Cornelius. Acts 10:1-4
Now there was a man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, "Cornelius!" 4 And fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed, he said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God. NASU

        1.    Cornelius was praying to know salvation.
        2.    How do I know that? God said his prayer was heard and he was sent a gospel messenger. Note
                Acts 11:14

Illustration
In my first pastorate I shared the gospel with a rather proud man named Emery Harris. He would not submit to the Lord. He went back to Texas to attend his personal injury trial. He had to hitch hike and as he did two men beat him up and robbed him. He got saved right out there on the highway.

Emery Harris came back to St. Louis and came forward requesting baptism. I asked him about his salvation and he said "preacher I got saved on the way to Texas. I was beat up and robbed and as I hobbled along the highway I looked up to the sky and said" "God I don't know if you will have me or not but I sure need you and right then and there I got saved."

Application

All of us would agree it takes a submissive prayer to be saved. Then we know we are pardoned

Knowing you are pardoned is the first prerequisite for a prayer life.
 
 

2. The Position . .
of One with A Consistently Fruitful Prayer Life.


Rom 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. NASU

A.    The Position Is One of . . Privilege. Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, NASU

B. The Position Is One of . . Praise. Ephesians 1:12
"to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. NASU

C.    The Position Is One of . . Promise. Ephesians 1:13
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, NASU

        1.    Our Position As Crucified with Christ.
Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. NASU

        2.    Our Position As Resurrected with Christ.
Eph 2:5-6 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, NASU

        3.    Our Position As Exalted with Christ.
Romans 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. NASU

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, NASU

        4.    Our Position As Seated with Christ.
Eph 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, NASU

Illustration

IN JESUS CHRIST:

Our sins are forgiven
Our guilt is removed
Our fear of death is destroyed
Our faith is founded on a personal God
Our search for truth is satisfied
Our security and identity are complete
Our lives are now based on a new hope.
--Source: Steve Kumar, in "Christianity for Skeptics: An
Understandable Examination of Christian Belief," Hendrickson Publishers, 2000.


 


Application

We need to recognize the position we have In Christ to have a Fruitful Prayer Life. We have authority as given through our position.
 
 

3. The Procedure . .
of One with A Consistently Fruitful Prayer Life.



Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. NASU

Introduction
1 Now faith is the assurance of {things} hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please {Him} for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and {that} He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.(NAS)
 

        1.    The Procedure of Faith is seeing the invisible, 11:1, 6, 27

        2. The Procedure of Faith is understanding the impossible v 3

        3.    The Procedure of Faith is embracing the future in the present. Heb 11:13
All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having
welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles
on the earth. (NAS)

        a. Intellectual faith involves the mind. I know that God is able to do anything I request.
            Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or
            think, according to the power that works within us, (NAS)

Mark 11:23-24 23 "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be {granted} him.   24 "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be {granted} you. (NAS)

        b.    Emotional faith involves the heart. This is what, with all my heart, I really want God to do!
                "He shall give you the desires of your heart," "Psalms 37:4
                . . .if you "delight yourself in the Lord".

Rom 10:9-10 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus {as} Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (NAS)

        c.     Volitional faith involves the will. His will our will. I Jn 5:14-15 14
                And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything
                according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us {in}
                whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from
                Him. (NAS)

Mark 9:23-24 23 And Jesus said to him, ""If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes." 24 Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, "I do believe; help my unbelief ." NASU

A.    The Procedure Is One of . . Communication In Faith.    Rom 5:2
        "through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand;
        and we exult in hope of the glory of God. NASU

Eph 2:18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. NASU

James 1:5-7 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, NASU

B. The Procedure Is One of . . Confidence In Faith.        Ephesians 3:12
    "in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. NASU

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. NASU

Heb 10:19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 
 

C. The Procedure Is One of . . Christ Likeness In Faith.        John 11:41-42
    41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42"I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me." NASU

D. The Procedure Is One of . . Commission In Faith.        James 5:15-16
    15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. NASU

Illustration
More than one writer I have read recently has said "it is easier to pray than to believe. We can go through the motions of prayer but to pray in faith is necessary for a consistently fruitful prayer life.
 


Conclusion

How about your prayer life to you pray as one Pardoned; Positioned In Christ and availing yourself to the Procedure of Faith?