My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:7-8 (NIV)
Prayers That Prevail
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.
Hosea 10:12 (NIV)
Sow righteousness, reap love. It’s time to till the ready earth, it’s time to dig in with God, Until he arrives with righteousness ripe for harvest.
Hosea 10:12 (MSG)
“To gain ascendency through ________________ or superiority; to ________________.”
“Just as the contractions of a woman’s uterus herald the beginning of labor, there are times when God’s Spirit stirs our souls to seasons of intense travail. We must travail in prayer until God’s purposes are birthed.”
Five Qualities of Prayers That Prevail
Quality One: _______________ Prayer
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
James 5:16b-18 (NKJV)
Quality Two: _______________________ Prayer
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6 (NKJV)
“Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself.”
Quality Three: ______________ Prayer
Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin… Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me… The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.
Psalm 51:1-2, 10-11, 17 (NKJV)
“The first thing that makes a prayer acceptable to God is the brokenness and humility of the one who prays: ‘If my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray… I will hear from heaven’… in other words, what makes a heart upright and what makes prayers pleasing to God is a felt awareness of our tremendous need for mercy.”
Quality Four: __________________ Prayer
Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.” As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord.”
1 Samuel 1:9-15 (NLT)
“Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.”
—Charles H. Spurgeon
“Spiritual birth, like physical birth, is always accompanied by labor pains.”
Quality Five: ____________________ Prayer
Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence—As fire burns brushwood, As fire causes water to boil—To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, The mountains shook at Your presence. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him… And there is no one who calls on Your name, Who stirs himself up to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us, And have consumed us because of our iniquities.
Isaiah 64:1-4, 7 (NKJV)
Hebrew for “Stirs Up”: _________
“To arouse oneself from sleep or heavy slumber.”
“All vital praying makes a drain on man’s vitality. True intercession is a sacrifice, a bleeding sacrifice.”
—J. H. Jowett
Discuss (or ponder) why you think travailing in prayer is not as prevalent today in our 21st century culture as it seems to have been generations ago. Why do you think tears in prayer touch the heart of God so deeply?
Ask God to give you a greater passion and burden for lost souls in your praying. Pray that God will help you visualize what it will be like for those who don’t know Him to be eternally separated from Him. (Try to picture someone you know very well who is presently in this condition.)