“All the Christian virtues are locked up in that word, prayer.”
—Charles H. Spurgeon
Embracing the Challenge
- The Path of Prayer
- The Price of Prayer
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
Matthew 16:24-25 (NIV)
The Path of Prayer
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11 (NIV)
I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:104-105 (NIV)
Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.
Proverbs 2:9 (NIV)
Five Prayer-Paths Along Our Journey of Power
Prayer is a path of __________________.
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
Acts 10:1-2 (NIV)
Prayer is a path of ______________.
Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.
Matthew 16:25 (MSG)
Prayer is a path of _____________________.
But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.
Daniel 6:10 (NLT)
Prayer is a path of ___________________.
Listen, God! Please, pay attention! Can you make sense of these ramblings, my groans and cries? King-God, I need your help. Every morning you’ll hear me at it again. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar and watch for fire to descend.
Psalm 5:1-3 (MSG)
“Just as the business of the tailor is to make clothes, and that of the shoemaker to mend shoes, so the business of the Christian is to pray.”
Prayer is a path of _______________.
“…I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree. “I’ll turn things around for you…”
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (MSG)
“Prayer does not just fit us for the greater work. Prayer is the greater work.”
—J. Oswald Chambers
The Price of Prayer
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
John 12:24 (NIV)
Five Case Studies in Prayer
Along the Journey of Power
Case Study One:
The _____________ Example
So Moses and his assistant Joshua set out, and Moses climbed up the mountain of God… Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Exodus 24:13, 18 (NLT)
Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”
Exodus 32:30-32 (NLT)
Case Study Two:
The __________________ Example
I have cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken. My spirit is poured out in agony as I see the desperate plight of my people. Little children and tiny babies are fainting and dying in the streets… Cry aloud before the Lord, O walls of beautiful Jerusalem! Let your tears flow like a river day and night. Give yourselves no rest; give your eyes no relief.
Lamentations 2:11, 18 (NLT)
“I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!”
Lamentations 3:19-24 (MSG)
Case Study Three:
The _______________ Example
Ahab reported to Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, including the massacre of the prophets. Jezebel immediately sent a messenger to Elijah with her threat…When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day’s journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die…
1 Kings 19:1-5 (MSG)
Case Study Four:
The _____________ Example
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
Isaiah 6:1-5 (NIV)
Case Study Five:
The _____________ Example
Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him… And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luke 22:39, 44a (NKJV)
Discuss (or ponder) what you think are the great obstacles along the path of prayer. Why does prayer play such a vital role in the believer’s destiny in Christ?
In prayer, describe to the Lord what you long for as your destiny in Christ. Verbalize your dreams and ask God to help you be faithful in prayer daily to fulfill your purposes for His glory.