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Healing Prayer

Healing Prayer

“THE VALUE OF SECRET PRAYER”

 INTRODUCTION

  1. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus taught His disciples the value of   secret prayer…
  2. As opposed to prayer done to be seen of men – Mt 6:5
  3. To ensure that the Father in heaven hears and responds to our  prayers – Mt 6:6
  4. In this study, we shall examine more fully the value of secret  prayer
  5. To consider other advantages of this form of spiritual devotion
  6. To encourage its adoption in our daily walk with God

  [The value of secret prayer can be seen in that it…]

  1. CULTIVATES OUR SPIRITUAL NATURE
  2. THROUGH REGULAR EXERCISE…
  3. Our bodies are developed through regular physical exercise
  4. The spirit of man also benefits through regular spiritual or Godly exercise – 1Ti 4:7-8
  5. The practice of prayer is a form of spiritual exercise
  6. “Prayer is the spiritual gymnasium in which we exercise andpractice godliness.” – V. L. Crawford
  7. “…Prayer is educative. The man who prays grows; and the muscles of the soul swell from this whipcord to iron bands.”- Frederick B. Meyer
  8. The opposite is also true: “Seven days without prayer makesone weak.” – Allan E. Bartlette
  9. THROUGH FREEDOM FROM DISTRACTION…
  10. Where else but in the privacy of one’s closet or room…
  11. Can one fully concentrate his efforts in communion with God?
  12. Can one engage in prayer without outside distractions?
  13. Even in the assembly of the church it is easy to be distracted
  14. By noise or movements from others as we try to listen toothers pray
  15. By concern of how we sound as others listen to us pray
  16. THROUGH EMPHASIS ON PERSONAL CONCERNS…
  17.      Public prayer by its nature rarely addresses the specific needs of the individual
  18. Private prayer provides opportunity pour out one’s soul to God

 [The cultivation of our spiritual nature is greatly enhanced by secret prayer because it also…]

  1. FORMS A HABIT OF CLOSE COMMUNION WITH GOD
  2. CONSIDER THE LAW OF HABIT…
  3. Man is a creature of habit, we cannot help but form habits
  4. Habits can be bad or good
  5. One who allows himself to engage in a sinful practice overtime finds himself enslaved by force of habit to sin – cf.        Jn 8:34
  6. For one who engages in a regular godly practice, the formation of habits can be a good thing

    B. THE HABIT OF SECRET PRAYER IS NO EXCEPTION…

  1. Regular practice of secret prayer soon forms a habit that lends itself to the development of close communion and fellowshipwith God
  2. Once the habit of close fellowship with God has been formed,one cannot help but be influenced by the constant presence ofGod – cf. Pr 13:20

 [With the help of habitual close communion with God, secret prayer also…]

 III. PRESERVES US FROM MANY EVILS

  1. THE SOURCE OF OUR WORST EVILS…
  2. Is it not our own lusts and passions? – cf. Jm 1:14,15; 4:1-3
  3. The lusts of the flesh wage war against what the Spirit desires- cf. Ga 5:16-17
  4.    Controlling the self is a difficult challenge – cf. Pr 16:32
  5. PRIVATE PRAYER CAN HELP…
  6. The problem of pride can be treated with humbling oneself inprayer, confessing one’s own sins and inadequacies beforeAlmighty God
  7.    The problem of revenge can be addressed when imploringforgiveness from God who says, “Vengeance is mine; I willrepay, says the Lord”
  8. How can the problem of anger, wrath, malice…a. Harbor in the heart of one who often prays with the help ofthe Spirit? – cf. Ro 8:26

   That same Spirit whose fruit is “love, joy, peace,longsuffering…”? – cf. Ga 5:22,23

 [Yes, private prayer can be instrumental in controlling the flesh while at the same time cultivating the godly virtues of the soul!  Consider also that secret prayer…]

  1. SECURES FOR US MUCH GOOD
  2.    PRAYER IS MORE THAN PSYCHOLOGICAL…
  3. Yes, it does help one in a subjective or reflective way
  4. But it also reaches out to God, who hears prayer – cf. Ps 65:2
  5. He will reward one openly – Mt 6:6
  6. Especially when we ask according to His Will – 1Jn 5:14-15
  7. PRAYER HAS BEEN KNOWN TO CHANGE GOD’S PLANS…
  8. The prayer of Hezekiah gave him 15 more years – 2Ki 20:1-6
  9.   The prayer of the Ninevites spared them and their city – Jon 3: 1-10
  10. PRAYER IS TAUGHT AS EFFICACIOUS…
  11. For receiving our daily food – Mt 6:11
  12. For overcoming temptation – Mt 26:42
  13.     For escaping the wrath to come – Lk 21:36

  [Since the God who hears prayer is our Father in heaven who delights in those who pray in secret, dare we neglect that which secures so much good for ourselves?  Finally, we note that secret prayer…]

  1. ENABLES US TO PROMOTE GOOD AND HAPPINESS FOR OTHERS
  2. THROUGH SECURING GOD’S FAVOR IN THEIR BEHALF…
  3.    The prayers of Abraham did more to save Lot than any riches
  4. The intercession of Moses saved the nation of Israel
  5. We too can secure much good for others through intercession forthem
  6. We can bless our nation by praying for our leaders – 1Ti 2: 1-3
  7. We can bless our preachers’ efforts by praying for them- 2Th 3:1
  8. We can bless our sick brethren by praying for them – Jm 5:16
  9.    THROUGH THE EFFECT SUCH PRAYING HAS ON US…
  10. The iceberg never promotes the growth of vegetation
  11. The frosts of winter do not cause the bud and tender flowers tospring forth
  12. The heart filled with envy, jealousy, and revenge has no powerto win souls to Christ
  13. But the soul of a man who through secret prayer…
  14. Has subdued his evil passions, b. Has cultivated his spiritual virtues
  15. Can be a lasting influence for good, a living illustrationof the saving power of the gospel to transform souls!

 CONCLUSION

  1. Why do many not engage often in the practice of secret prayer…?
  2. Perhaps they do not believe in the power of prayer
  3. Perhaps they do not believe in the power of God who answers prayer
  4. But we have seen “The Value Of Secret Prayer” which…
  5. Cultivates our spiritual nature
  6.   Forms a habit of close communion with God
  7. Preserves us from many evils
  8. Secures for us much good
  9. Enables us to promote good and happiness for others

 If we desire to be good and do good, let us make secret prayer a habit in our lives.  Then our Father who sees in secret will surely reward us openly…!

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