Gene Cunningham - August 2, 2011
If prayer is like firing a gun, effective prayer is like hitting the target. Prayer is the most evident spiritual exercise of the Lord (Mar 1:35). Paul builds his epistles around his prayers (Eph 1:15-23, Eph 3:14-21). The thrust of 1st John is fellowship (1Jo 1:7). In Paul's prayer for Philemon, he is hoping for something greater for Philemon (Phm 1:4-6). What we need today is more effective prayer (Jam 5:16). The greatest promise is that if we'd take His commands and obey them, He'd reveal His presence to us (Joh 14:21-23).
There are certain elements of effective prayer all related to faith:
- We have to pray believing (Mat 21:22);
- We have to pray according to the Word of God (1Jo 5:14-15);
- We have to pray not for ourselves according to the model Jesus gave us (Mat 6:5-13);
- We have to pray with the proper chain of command (Joh 16:23-24);
- We have to pray with persistence;
- The fact we don't pray costs us much blessings (Jam 4:2-3);
- The chief component of effective prayer is praying for others (Mat 6:9-15, Jam 5:16).
The parable of the mustard seed also applies (Mat 13:31-32; Mar 4:30-32; Luk 13:18-19). However small at the the moment, what can faith and prayer do in your life? If God cares for a sparrow, do you think He doesn't care for you much more (Mat 6:30, Mat 7:11)? If they call the master of the house "Beelzebub" how much more the servants (Mat 10:24-25, Mat 5:10-12)? We need to live in the reality that the worst thing that can happen to you is always for the best reason; only God can give us much more (Rom 5:1-5, Rom 5:9-10; Rom 5:15-17; Rom 5:20-21). Paul is trying to effect Philemon's effectiveness.
Conference notes for this series can be found [HERE]
Scripture References: Matthew 6:30, Philippians 1:4-6, Romans 5:15-17, John 16:23-24, Luke 13:18-19, John 1:7, Romans 5:9-10, Matthew 6:5-13, Mark 4:30-32, Ephesians 3:14-21, Romans 5:1-5, John 5:14-15, Matthew 13:31-32, Ephesians 1:15-23, Matthew 5:10-12, Matthew 21:22, James 5:16, Mark 1:35, Matthew 10:24-25, John 14:21-23, Matthew 6:9-15, Matthew 7:11, James 5:16, Romans 5:20-21, James 4:2-3
From Series: "Philemon - A Living Parable of God's Redemption - California 2011"
In Philemon 10-11 Paul writes 'I appeal to you for my son Onesimus whom I have begotten while in my chains who once was unprofitable to you but now is profitable to you and to me.' These verses highlight the theme of the letter namely redemption and reconciliation. The annual Weekend Bible Conference was held 5-7 August 2011 in Orange County California.