Prayer

The sermon on prayer tonight was very helpful. Below are some quotes on prayer, something we should all do more of!


John Wesley

Proceed with much prayer, and your way will be made plain.

Prayer is where the action is.

Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer; support the tottering knees. Have you any days of fasting and prayer? Storm the throne of grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down.


Jonathan Edwards

He that lives a prayerless life, lives without God in the world.

Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life.


Charles Spurgeon

As well could you expect a plant to grow without air and water as to expect your heart to grow without prayer and faith.

I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.

I know of no better thermometer to your spiritual temperature than this,the measure of the intensity of your prayer.


George Muller

The greater the difficulty to be overcome, the more will it be seen to the glory of God how much can be done by prayer and faith.

No one ought to expect to see much good resulting from his labors in word, and doctrine, if he is not much given to prayer.


1 Thessalonians 5:17 
Pray without ceasing.

About that fit you just pitched

A quick note to the Christian who just had a meltdown. To the street preacher who lost his cool because someone disagreed with him. To the Christian father who was furious at his wife and kids for no good reason.

We ALL heard you.

We, meaning...the people people you were TRYING to impress and prove your point.
We meaning...the innocent bystanders.

Actually, all you've done is shown us who YOU are. You've not helped US in the least bit.

  • You've shown us your lack of self-control.
  • You've shown us your willing to waste emotional energy on pitching a fit.
  • You're shown us your entitlement mindset.

This is how toddlers act.

  • What you've really shown us is that you're afraid.
  • You're afraid that someone won't hear you.
  • You're afraid that things won't be exactly the way YOU want them.

As a Christian it's imperative to communicate with mutual respect towards others.

Being a Christian is not a job

There is no application to fill out. No one calls you back for a 2nd interview. You don't get paid a salary.

Boasting about how much bible knowledge you have or boasting about how many people you've won to the Lord is a form of 'job thinking'.

But being a Christian is not a job. You're not being hired by someone.

Being a Christian is a chance to provide a solution to someone who has a sin-problem that needs solving.

Simply allow the Lord to use you to help people find this solution. Once they trust Christ as the only cure, the Lord will likely open a door for you to help them solve other problems in their life so they can live a victorious life in Christ.

It's tempting to make Christianity a job, to make it about rules, regulations, bosses and a list of things you do and/or don't do on a daily basis. But that's not the heart of it.

The work of a Christian is to help people solve problems by pointing them to the solution: Christ and His word!

A personal witnessing checklist

If you're a public witness for Jesus Christ here is a checklist of some items that will help you be a more effective witness:

  • add value to every personal one-on-one conversation
  • ask why (this INVOLVES them in the conversation)
  • do you best to stay away from arguments
  • treat who you are talking to better than they expect you treat them
  • invent a moment of humor, tell a joke or use some type of comic-relief to relieve tension
  • recognize trusting Christ is a difficult decision, but encourage them not to take it lightly
  • encourage them to read the Bible on their own
  • smile more
  • afterwards figure out what didn't work, where it went wrong or what you would do better/different next time.

Purpose of the church

  1. To spread the gospel message to the whole world.
    Mark 16:15
    And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
  2. To teach doctrine.
    2 Tim 2:2
    And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
  3. For worshipping the Lord.
    John 4:24
    God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
  4. For group prayer.
    Acts 12:5
    Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Blessed or cursed

Jeremiah 17:5-8 

Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 

For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

NIV: Not Interested In Verses

Here is the list of the 16 verses the NIV leaves out.

  1. Matthew 17:21
    Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
  2. Matthew 18:11
    For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
  3. Matthew 23:14
    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
  4. Mark 7:16
    If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
  5. Mark 9:44
    Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
  6. Mark 9:46
    Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
  7. Mark 11:26
    But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
  8. Mark 15:28
    And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
  9. Luke 17:36
    Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
  10. John 5:4
    For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
  11. Acts 8:37
    And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  12. Acts 15:34
    Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.
  13. Acts 24:7
    But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
  14. Acts 28:29
    And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
  15. Romans 16:24
    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
  16. I John 5:7
    For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

If you win the argument?

When you are witnessing to someone and it turns into a heated debate or argument and you end up wining that argument, what does that make you?

It makes YOU the winner. The person you beat is the loser.

The bible uses the word "win" only 1 time in the New Testament.

Philippians 3:8 says:
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Isn't the goal when witnessing to a lost person to WIN them to Christ.

Isn't THEM winning Christ, more important than YOU showing off all you know and beating them in an argument? Big deal...you beat a lost man in an argument...give yourself a sticker!

Look...Don't back down from an atheist. Don't run away from a Jehovah's Witness. Don't be a push over when some college kid starts making fun of the bible.

BUT...be ready to put your pride aside and suffer through the name calling and attitudes that lost people take with you.

Stay in control as you contend for the faith and focus on helping them WIN Christ. After all, this is the WIN they NEED before they die!

Use the words they use

Do you lack compassion when witnessing to the lost?

If you do, you'll find yourself arguing with people more than you're actually witnessing to people.

We are called to 'preach the gospel', not 'argue the gospel'. There IS a difference.

People that can win arguments usually use words and examples that work for THEM. The words and examples they use rarely help the lost person that they SAY, they are trying to help.

So, if you REALLY want to help a lost person, try listening to how THEY try to convince YOU of their belief.

For example: you might hear someone using words like 'tradition' or 'good works' as a way to heaven. Someone else might use words like 'science' or 'logic' as a way to disprove the Bible. Someone else might use words like 'emotion' or 'feelings' as to how they got saved.

Once you realize they're using words in a way THEY like to hear them, try UNDERSTANDING the points they are making with the words they use. You will gain their respect, which will likely give you an open door to USE they words THEY like to hear to explain the gospel of Jesus Christ more clearly to them.

This is much better than a full-out argument.

How to preach a 5-minute sermon

Preach a 4 minute sermon and take your time.

Of course you can always opt to give an 8 minute sermon within a five minute time frame. Of course that will mean you'll have to rush, talk faster than you're used, possible lose the attention of your audience and go over your allotted time.

Nah...I'll stick with the four-minute approach.

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