Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sunday School Lesson On Principals OF Prayer From "Fresh Wind Fresh Fire" and other Christian Leaders

Fresh Wind Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala
- Prayer Study and Book study
Seekers Sunday School Class
Riverbend Baptist Church

Class notes for Sunday 2-12-12


(From the book "FRESH WIND FRESH FIRE" -chapters 2-5 By Jim Cymbala
and other great Christian leaders on prayer.)

After viewing the utter hopelessness of his ability and the direction the church was going in, Pastor Jim Cymbala came home from Florida for spiritual and physical exhaustion to the Brooklyn Tabernacle. He said this to his struggling church-
"From this day on the prayer meeting will be the barometer of our church. What happens on Tuesday night will be the gauge by which we will judge success or failure because that will be the measure by which God blesses us."

"If we call upon the Lord, He has promised in his Word to bring unsaved to Himself, pour out His Spirit among us---- If we don't------he has promised us nothing-nothing at all. It's as simple as that. Preaching---beliefs--th future will depend upon the time of prayer." p.27
"The engine that drives the church---" p.27

popular church-Sunday morning crowd
popular preacher- Sunday night crowd
popular Jesus-crowd at the prayer meeting

Why does the modern day church prayer meeting so diminished in participation?

Old Joke: A Church prayer meeting is a "organ recital". Pray for my gal bladder, my kidney my spleen etc."

Scripture and our Christian heritage say prayer is the key for power-yet it is consistently left out in so many churches.

Charles Spurgeon- "The condition of a church may be very accurately gauged by its
prayer meetings...."

Andrew Bonar "God likes to see his people shut up to this; that there is no hope but in prayer. Herein in lilies the Church's power against the world."

Luke 19:46
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”


Does the format matter in prayer matter? (Quiet, at the alter, all at once) (page 30)

IS prayer something that we (you/me) really participate together as the church body during worship?

Is prayer a central part of the corporate worship service?

Does the church pray or is some one designated for us to pray? Do the deacons and lay leaders share in this responsibility? Why or why not?

Are we participants or just an audience during prayer in corporate worship?

Does organized prayer really have anticipation and passion by the majority of worshipers?

Do we weep for the folks lost in sin like homosexuals, addicts, adulterers, and the lost? (Page 30)

Rescue the Perishing
Frances (Fanny) J. Crosby, 1869

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive;
Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
He will forgive if they only believe.

Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.

Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.

(Page 50) "Prayer is the source of the Christian life. Otherwise its like having a baby in your arms- and dressing her up so cute- but she's not breathing!"

Jeremiah 33:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Psalm 4:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The LORD hears when I call to Him."

Acts 2:21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Romans 10:12-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

Psalm 50:15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”

Psalm 14:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"4 Do all the workers of wickedness not know,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call upon the Lord?"

Revivals start in prayer
Example The Welsh revival 1906, Great Awakenings 1 and 2

Psalm 80:18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"18 Then we shall not turn back from You;
Revive us, and we will call upon Your name."

Do You trust God in Your Personal Catastrophes?
Example; A daughter lost in drugs and promiscuity?
Despite our confusion-God says call in YOUR TROUBLE!

Psalm 50:15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;"

THE DAY JESUS GOT MAD (chapter 5, page 670)

Mark 11:15-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Drives Money Changers from the Temple

"15 Then they *came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; 16 and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. 17 And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS’? But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” 18 The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”


What is prayer?

Does prayer change us?

Does prayer change God's mind or just how he goes about His purpose.

Paraphrasing Wayne Grudem -Our faith grows in prayer and God works with faith.

My friend Don Watson quoted a well known Gainesville pastor from the 1960's.
He described prayer as "Christian therapeutic exhilaration." (from Don) My interpretation is that it make the person praying feel better and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with God hearing it.

"In personal relationships, if we attempt to fake emotional intensity and put on an outward show of emotion that is not consistent with the feelings of our hearts, others involved will usually sense our hypocrisy at once and be put off by it. How much more is this true of God, who fully knows our hearts? Therefore, intensity and depth of emotional involvement in prayer should never be faked: we cannot fool God. Yet if we truly begin to see situations as God sees them, if we begin to see the needs of a hurting and dying world as they really are, then it will be natural to pray with some intense emotional involvement, and to expect God as a merciful Father, to respond to heartfelt prayer." ~Wayne Grudem

Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproulhttp: //www.ligonier.org/store/does-prayer-change-things-paperback/
"Does prayer make any difference? Does it really change anything? Yes, says Dr. R. C. Sproul in this Crucial Questions booklet. Though we cannot hope that our prayers will change God’s mind, prevailing upon Him to act against His will, we can be sure that prayer does change things—including our own hearts. Plus, it is one of the chief means by which God carries out His will in the world."


"... one of the most effective means of structuring one’s prayer life consists in using the book of Psalms as a model for prayers. Many pastors have made it a custom to use the Psalter as a framework for their pastoral prayer each Sunday morning. A Psalm is selected each week, and the minister prays for the people according to the petitions in the Psalm. For example, if the Psalm begins with gratitude for deliverance, the preacher might thank God for a display of His power in the church’s life. The entire Psalm is used in this way so that if the Psalm asks for forgiveness, there is a plea for the Father to forgive the congregation, and so on."

"Many people have trouble developing consistent, God-honoring prayers, and they therefore write out their prayers using the acrostic ACTS. This method of prayer begins with adoration (A) and then moves into confession (C). Thanksgiving (T) follows, and then finally we can lift up our needs in supplication (S). The primary advantage of this outline is that it helps keep us focused on the Lord and His kingdom."

Charles Spurgeon Quotes on Prayer
Charles Spurgeon "The Prince of Preachers"(19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892) was a British Baptist preacher.

Oh! men and brethren, what would this heart feel if I could but believe that there were some among you who would go home and pray for a revival men whose faith is large enough, and their love fiery enough to lead them from this moment to exercise unceasing intercessions that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations.

If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.

Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom. If you may have everything by asking in His Name, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is.

Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.

Shall I give you yet another reason why you should pray? I have preached my very heart out. I could not say any more than I have said. Will not your prayers accomplish that which my preaching fails to do? Is it not likely that the Church has been putting forth its preaching hand but not its praying hand? Oh dear friends! Let us agonize in prayer.

A prayerless church member is a hindrance. He is in the body like a rotting bone or a decayed tooth. Before long, since he does not contribute to the benefit of his brethren, he will become a danger and a sorrow to them. Neglect of private prayer is the locust which devours the strength of the church.

A true prayer is an inventory of needs, a catalog of necessities, an exposure of secret wounds, a revelation of hidden poverty.

I always give all the glory to God, but I do not forget that He gave me the privilege of ministering from the first to a praying people. We had prayer meetings that moved our very souls, each one appeared determined to storm the Celestial City by the might of intercession.

I know of no better thermometer to your spiritual temperature than this, the measure of the intensity of your prayer.

In all states of dilemma or of difficulty, prayer is an available source. The ship of prayer may sail through all temptations, doubts and fears, straight up to the throne of God; and though she may be outward bound with only griefs, and groans, and sighs, she shall return freighted with a wealth of blessings!

It is a good rule never to look into the face of a man in the morning till you have looked into the face of God.
Source: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, p. 735.

It is the burning lava of the soul that has a furnace within---a very volcano of grief and sorrow--it is that burning lava of prayer that finds its way to God. No prayer ever reaches God's heart which does not come from our hearts.

It is well said that neglected prayer is the birth-place of all evil.

Methinks every true Christian should be exceedingly earnest in prayer concerning the souls of the ungodly; and when they are so, how abundantly God blesses them and how the church prospers!
Source: Autobiography, 1:329.

Oh, without prayer what are the church's agencies, but the stretching out of a dead man's arm, or the lifting up of the lid of a blind man's eye? Only when the Holy Spirit comes is there any life and force and power.
Source: 8.465.

Oh! yes, (the prayer meeting) is the place to meet with the Holy Ghost, and this is the way to get His mighty power. If we would have Him, we must meet in greater numbers; we must pray with greater fervency, we must watch with greater earnestness, and believe with firmer steadfastness. The prayer meeting...is the appointed place for the reception of power.
Source: Prayer Meetings, August 30th, 1868.

Only the prayer which comes from our heart can get to God's heart.
Source: 20.65.

Prayer and praise are the oars by which a man may row his boat into the deep waters of the knowledge of Christ.
Source: Sermon #1935, delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, on Thursday evening, October 7th,

Prayer can never be in excess.

Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God. We know not what prayer can do.

Prayer is an art which only the Spirit can teach us. He is the giver of all prayer.

Prayer is not a hard requirement - it is the natural duty of a creature to its creator, the simplest homage that human need can pay to divine liberality.

Prayer meetings are the throbbing machinery of the church.

Remember, Christ's scholars must study upon their knees.

There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision. It is as if a regiment of soldiers
should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed.

True prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length.

We may expect answers to prayer, and should not be easy without them any more than we should be if we had written a letter to a friend upon important business, and had received no reply.
Source: Exposition of Psalm 27.

We shall never see much change for the better in our churches in general till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians.

We should pray when we are in a praying mood, for it would be sinful to neglect so fair an opportunity. We should pray when we are not in a proper mood, for it would be dangerous to remain in so unhealthy a condition.

Charles Spurgeon Quotes on Prayer

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