Prayer: The greater work. (2023)

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Alexander White once said, “If you want to humble a man, ask him about his prayer life!”

(Video) Prayer Is The Greater Work. You Will Be Rewarded!

Why?

1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV

17 pray without ceasing,

commands us to pray without ceasing, so why do we struggle to pray? I must admit that I am first preaching to myself this morning. As I prepared this sermon, preparation came with great conviction. So with that being said, “I want to look at four hinderances to our prayers.

Before we look at the hindrances, let’s define what true prayer is.

According to John Bunyan, “Prayer is sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to His Word, for the good of the church, with submission in faith to the will of God.

So what hinders you from pouring out your heart to God in prayer?

The first hindrance to our prayers, we seek the wrong thing. We seek the benefits of God and not God Himself which will lead to discouragement.

You treat God like a big cosmic vending machine.

I remember a story about a nurse. She met a family because the grandmother had been hospitalized on her floor. She walked in the room one day to discover the family getting ready to pray over grandma. She asked if she could join them and they said sure. She remarked how the family prayed with faith and zeal for God to heal grandma. She prayed several times with the family. Then one day as she started her shift, she discovered grandma had died. She went into the room to offer her condolences, she asked if she could pray with them one last time. She was shocked by their response. They said no, they said they were done with God because He did not heal Grandma… This is a difficult example of how we can lose sight of seeking God and begin seeking only His benefits.

Remember our John Bunyan quote? As you pour out your hearts in prayer, you proclaim the promises of scripture for the good of the church, with submission to God’s will. So was the family wrong in what they prayed? No absolutely, not. We pray every week for people and their physical needs. God calls us to bring those requests to him. So where did the family praying for grandma fall short? They did not submit in faith to the will of God. This is tough. But if we believe God is sovereign and all knowing and all loving we have to trust Him even when we don’t understand why He allowed the opposite to happen that we prayed for. This reminds me of Sherman Smith’s testimony. Sherm Smith was an NFL running back. He said he was around believers in college, but he said their faith didn’t accomplish anything in the christian’s life. He said the so called “Christians” talked the way he talked, they watched what he watched, they went to the same parties he went too. So if nothing was different, then what was was the point of being a christian? Then Sherman got drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL and he met Ken Hutcherson, who played for Seattle and was a Christian. And Sherman thought yeah ok we will see. We will see if you are any different than anyone else. And during a game Ken injured his knee and word made it back to the sidelines his career was over. And when Sherman made it back to the locker room he was shocked. There was Ken with ice on his knee, his NFL career over which would have divested the vast majority of players and there sat Ken with a huge smile on his face and said “Sherm I can’t wait to see what God has for me. Because nothing in this life happens that is not filtered through God’s hands. How powerful is that, to have that attitude? That no matter what trial we are facing, to realize that God is not caught off guard, He is in complete control and what ever is happing He allowed it, and that we can trust Him in it. And when we don’t understand why he allowed something, but to know that He is in control and He has a plan what a difference that can make in our lives.

****SKIP at UCC Churches*****

One of the hardest funerals I have ever attended was for my cousin. She was 33 years old and died of cancer. She loved the Lord and left behind her husband and her son. Why would God take one of His followers so young. Why will her son grow up without a mommy? I don’t know. Human wisdom will never give a satisfactory answer. But I can tell you one thing. At her funeral When her parents and husband stood on the stage and sang the song Only Jesus that we sang earlier. It was very powerful and her mom told me she knew there were people there that didn’t know the Lord. So while we were all left wondering why, we must remember that that event was filtered through the loving hands of our Father in heaven and we must trust His heart while we submit to His will.

****SKIP at UCC Churches*****

(Video) 09 | Answered Prayer and the Greater Works | John 14:12-14 | Mike Bickle

Another good example from Scripture of someone desiring the gifts of God and not desiring God Himself is found in Acts. Simon the Sorcerer saw Peter and John laying hands on people and they would receive the Holy Spirit. Simon the Sorcerer was very impressed with this power. He desired the power so much that he offered Peter and John money for them to give him the power. You see he wasn’t seeking God. He wanted what God could offer.

An example of the correct attitude is found in Job. Remember Job was wealthy and very blessed. He was a righteous man but what happened to Job? Listen to chapter 1,

Job 1:13–22 ESV

13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

Job was wealthy and lost it all but above that Job lost all seven of his children yet he would not curse God instead did you catch his reaction? Job tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground to what? He fell to the ground to worship?

Or compare the psalmist prayer in Psalm 42:

Psalm 42:1–4 ESV

1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.

Did you hear the psalmist heart? He describes prayer as pouring out his soul and what is his desire? His desire is God, not what God can do for him. No his soul pants for God like the deer pants for water.

The second hindrance to prayer is confidence in ourselves. I am very guilty of this one. I go about my day quote “handling” everything that I can on my own, and only turn to God when I encounter a problem that I determine I can’t fix on my own. I don’t know if you have ever experienced this or not, but I have found myself facing a situation or a decision and I am asking everyone their opinion. What they think I should do and at some point I realize that I haven’t prayed about it. I have asked a lot of friends and family and fellow Christians… Not to say that asking other is bad but I never asked Jesus what I should do. I never prayed for wisdom.

James 1 says,

James 1:5 ESV

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

The Biblical example that comes to mind is David when he faces Goliath. How many people thought that it was a good idea for David who was just a boy to face Goliath who was a seasoned warrior? No one but David. Why was David willing? Was he full of self confidence. Did he think that he was the best slingshotter in all of Israel?

(Video) Answered Prayer and the Greater Works (John 14:12) | Mike Bickle

Let’s read 1 Samuel 17:32-37

1 Samuel 17:32–37 ESV

32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

So where was David’s confidence? Was it in himself and his abilities? Did David say I have killed a lion and I have killed a bear and I will kill Goliath… No David said that God gave the lion and the bear over to him and that God would give Goliath over to him. David’s confidence was in the Lord not in his own abilities.

The third hindrance to our prayer is our love for our sin. We often think of our desires being to strong and that is why we sin and why we can’t break free from them but I tend to agree with C.S. Lewis. He says,

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinte joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

We are so distracted by our pursuit of sin, we lose our desire to pray.

John Buyan warns,

“Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.”

There is another side effect of our sin on our prayers. Your sin prevents your prayers from being heard according to psalm 66 which reads,

Psalm 66:18 ESV

18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

So you must purify your heart through the power of the Holy Spirit, or sin will distract us from prayer effect our focus in prayer or completely keep us from prayer. So you must battle sin with prayer or it will hinder and keep you from prayer.

The fourth hinderance to our Prayers is a lack of faith.

(Video) Prayer For a Good Day | Prayers For a Good Day

Example from Parenting Class. Children act the way they do because it works.

Hebrews 11:6 ESV

6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

You must believe that it you seek to draw near to God through prayer He will reward you.

Mark 11:22–24 ESV

22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

In closing I want to look at three quotes on Prayer.

Oswald Chambers – “Prayer doesn’t fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”

“You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed”

One more quote from Bunyan --

“Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.”

What a thought your prayers are shield to your soul, a sacrifice to God and a scourge for Satan.”

So I will leave you with the question this morning, “What is hindering your prayers?”

FAQs

What is a good prayer for work? ›

Heavenly Father, Thank you for the blessing of this job. I commit this workday to you. I invite you, Jesus, to be with me throughout this day. May I perform each task I encounter to the best of my ability; Help me be a person of integrity in all that I say and do.

How do I pray for a better job? ›

Dear God, I thank you that your word says that you know what I need before I ask. I am seeking employment and trusting you to place me in the best position. Not only to meet my financial needs but to contribute to my success in future endeavors.

What does Oswald Chambers say about prayer? ›

We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there's nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results.

How do you pray for productivity? ›

Prayers for Productivity

Pray this Prayer: Father God thank you for the assignment you have me on today! I ask that you would walk with me as I go about doing your work Lord. Let my hand move with diligence and my mind be clear and full of divine understanding for the tasks at hand. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Why prayer is important in work? ›

Praying with our employees allows us to demonstrate our desire to align our business decisions and practices with God's will and way. Praying openly may open opportunities to serve and minister to the needs of others, to comfort them in their crises, or to engage in conversations about faith.

How do you bless your work? ›

Light at My Workplace Prayer

Lord, help me to be a source of blessing to those people that are going through difficult times. Fill my workplace with peace and remove anything that may bring strife. Be our shield and guide in everything that we do. In Jesus' name, I believe and pray, Amen.

How do I pray to Jesus for work? ›

Prayer For Job Opportunity | Prayer For a Job Offer - YouTube

What Psalm should I read for a job? ›

Focus on that, trust in that, and it will help you step out of your comfort zone as needed.
  • Isaiah 41:10. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. ...
  • Psalm 37:23-25. “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. ...
  • Psalm 46:10a. ...
  • Proverbs 3:5-6.

How does the Bible pray your job? ›

So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."

Why is prayer so powerful? ›

Prayer also energizes the heart of a believer through the power of the Spirit. Consistent prayer also releases the power of God's blessing on your life and circumstances. Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.

Does prayer really change things? ›

Though our prayers do not change God's mind, He ordains prayer as a means to accomplish His will. We can be confident that prayer does change things—including our own hearts.

What are good prayer quotes? ›

Pray as if everything depends on God." "Give me faith, Lord, and let me help others find it." "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." "True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance.

How do I pray for motivation? ›

So Lord, I thank You Lord for motivation, determination, compassion and Your divine nature, Amen. Righteous God, Your Word says that hard work reaps profit and reward, whereas talk leads only to poverty. I ask Lord that You will help me in my conversations that my talk will be one of motivation and determination.

How do I pray in the morning before work? ›

Be fruitful in your endeavors (let us pray)

Lord, I commit my workplace before you this morning. Grant me wisdom and understanding to succeed in my job. Give me patience and endurance to tolerate every trial of the devil. Lord, I seek promotion in my workplace.

What is a good Bible verse for motivation? ›

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

What God says about prayer? ›

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Why should we pray without ceasing? ›

To “pray without ceasing” means to have our minds always on the things of God, to be in constant communication with him, so that every moment may be as fruitful as possible.

What did Jesus say about prayer? ›

Summary. Jesus taught, “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men … but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father who is unseen.”

What does the Bible say about work and prayer? ›

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."

How do I pray after work? ›

Gratitude Prayer

Gracious Father, thank you for making this day successful. As we depart, Lord, we ask you to be with us. May your angels go before us and clear the way so that we can reach home safely. Thank you for the lives that you have prepared beforehand for us to touch with your word.

How do I pray for protection at work? ›

I pray for Your protection as I begin this day. You are my hiding place, and under Your wings I can always find refuge. Protect me from trouble wherever I go, and keep evil far from me. No matter where I am, I will look to You as my Protector, the one who fights for me every day.

What Psalm should I read for a job? ›

Focus on that, trust in that, and it will help you step out of your comfort zone as needed.
  • Isaiah 41:10. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. ...
  • Psalm 37:23-25. “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. ...
  • Psalm 46:10a. ...
  • Proverbs 3:5-6.

How do I pray for protection at work? ›

I pray for Your protection as I begin this day. You are my hiding place, and under Your wings I can always find refuge. Protect me from trouble wherever I go, and keep evil far from me. No matter where I am, I will look to You as my Protector, the one who fights for me every day.

How do I pray in the morning before work? ›

Be fruitful in your endeavors (let us pray)

Lord, I commit my workplace before you this morning. Grant me wisdom and understanding to succeed in my job. Give me patience and endurance to tolerate every trial of the devil. Lord, I seek promotion in my workplace.

What is the prayer for the day? ›

I come before you, oh Lord, and drink in this moment of peace, that I may carry something of your hope, love, and joy today in my heart. Lord, grant me tenacious winsome courage as I go through this day. When I am tempted to give up, help me to keep going. Grant me a cheerful spirit when things don't go my way.

How do you know a job opportunity is from God? ›

The Bible gives us some principles to help us discern if an "open door" or opportunity is really from God:
  • The Door that God Opens Will Never Contradict His Word. ...
  • The Door that God Opens Will be Accompanied by Confirmation. ...
  • The Door God Opens Will Require You to Depend on Him.

When you pray for a job pray for a work environment? ›

When praying for a job, also pray for a working environment that won't lead to burnout, depression and regret.

Which saint do you pray to for a new job? ›

For those looking to get employment, reciting a novena prayer of Saint Joseph is just one way to petition a blessing for a job. A second saint may also be petitioned depending upon the associated occupation.

What are the three powerful prayers? ›

The prayer of protection. The prayer of transformation. The prayer of restoration.

What is the most powerful prayer for help? ›

Loving God, I pray that you will comfort me in my suffering, lend skill to the hands of my healers, and bless the means used for my cure. Give me such confidence in the power of your grace, that even when I am afraid, I may put my whole trust in you; through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

What are the 7 most powerful prayers? ›

The 15 Most Powerful Prayers
  • The Lord's Prayer. Our Father who art in heaven, ...
  • Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. ...
  • The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. ...
  • O gracious and holy Father, ...
  • Morning Prayer. ...
  • Christ with me, Christ before me, ...
  • The Serenity Prayer. ...
  • Bless all who worship thee,
30 Sept 2020

What is the first prayer of the day? ›

Fajr – the dawn prayer.

What is a good short prayer? ›

Dear Lord, Help me remember what a difference it makes when I make time with You a priority in my morning. Awaken me in body and spirit each day with a desire to meet with You and to hear You speak words of affirmation, assurance, and wisdom over my heart as I prepare to go into my day. In Jesus' name, Amen.

How do you thank God every morning? ›

THANK GOD EVERY MORNING | Wake Up With Gratitude - YouTube

What happens when you pray everyday? ›

Daily prayer can bless you, your family, and those you pray for. It can also invite more peace into your life, help you learn more about God's plan for you, and more.

What are the 5 basic prayer? ›

The Holy Spirit inspires expressions of prayers: blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise.

Why is morning prayer important? ›

1) Prayer in the morning is so important because you meet God before you meet the Devil. 2) You meet God before you meet the circumstances of life. 3) You talk to God before you talk to many people. 4) You fellowship with God before you fellowship with other people.

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2. SN3E06: "Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work."-Oswald Chambers
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3. THE DYNAMICS OF PRAYER ll GREATER WORKS PRAYER SUMMIT II DAY 1
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4. Give Him 15: Daily Prayer with Dutch | October 6, 2022
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5. Prayer For Success At Work | Job Success, Favor and Promotion
(DailyEffectivePrayer)
6. Prayer For Supernatural Success At Work | Powerful Job Success Prayers
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