Aug 17, 2022

Aug 17, 2022

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
August 17, 2022

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, constant in prayer.”

Romans 12:9-12

The question that I want to ask and answer, at least from a superficial perspective because we don’t have a lot of time, the question why pray should be the easiest question to answer if we have a true understanding of God, a true understanding of the devil, a true understanding of Christ, and even of ourselves. But I want to answer that simple question by using a series of superlatives—four superlatives. I could have more but I have four. We don’t just have good reasons for praying, we don’t just have great reasons for praying, but we have the greatest reasons for praying.

Why pray? 1) We are going to talk to the greatest of persons. There should be no question in our minds who is the greatest, God and God alone. When the question is asked who is the greatest president, who is the greatest football player, or hockey player people can debate that. There is never a consensus in those terms. But when you think of this question, who is the greatest person it is Jehovah God! He’s called the King of kings, the Lord of lords! Over and over again you have that one word that tells the story. He’s called the Almighty 60 times I think in the scriptures beginning in Genesis right through to Revelation He’s call God Almighty! He’s Almighty over the devil, He’s Almighty over history. He’s Almighty over every principality, good, evil, angels, demons, archangels. Why pray? 2) We’re going to engage in the greatest of battles. This is why we can say this is one of the greatest of activities—why, because we are engaged in the greatest of battles—the forces of unbelief, a devil and a supernatural world of evil. Remember what Paul says in Ephesians 6. He describes the Christian in terms of a soldier image and he’s dressed in the amour of God and he mentions the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit but he ends with these words: “praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication.” He knows we’re going to engage with this devil in battle. To wage battle against these evil forces we have to make good use of prayer. Why pray? 3) We’re going to exercise the greatest of graces. What’s the greatest of graces—love. We are to come with faith. We can’t come to the throne of grace without faith. Remember what the writer of the Hebrews said—he who comes to God must believe that He is but we must also exercise love. Love is the greatest of graces—1 Corinthians 13. Going back to Romans 12 where Paul is giving a discourse on love he starts off with that love is without hypocrisy. Remember we considered that? That’s the leading feature I argued for love in this portion of the word of God. He follows up with a number of imperatives, injunctions, and exhortations. I think there are about 12 of them. If you go to verse 12 it says be constant in prayer. So, what he is saying is that this is another manifestation of love when we pray for one another. Why pray? 4) We’re going to deal with the greatest of problems—sin. Sin, not the devil put us in the awful state of condemnation. Sin, not the devil put us in the state of death. Sin, not the devil put us in a state of depravity, and the state of inability. Thankfully Christ rescued us from sin’s guilt, power, and condemnation but not from its presence, at least not in its totality. Sin follows us everywhere and plagues every relationship. There’s always the danger that we can downplay the seriousness of sin. We simply don’t confess it and don’t seek forgiveness. We can’t forget brethren that sin is our greatest problem. Also, we have a joyful realization that we can be forgiven. First John says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…”