Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
October 12, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Subject
How Is Your Prayer Life?
Description
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday October 12, 2014
How is your prayer life?
“...when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples”. ( Lk. 11:1 ).
There are several different religions in the world. They 
have commonalities and differences. Among the former 
features are: a founder, a sacred book, a place of worship, 
a belief in prayer, and a time for cooperate worship. Some 
differences, in contrast, are: name of the founder, name 
given to the sacred book, designation of worship center, 
and time for corporate worship. 
The Christian Religion, the umbrella under which, our 
church is based, along with Judaism and Islam, is known 
the Abrahamic Religions. In the Christian religion, Jesus is 
embraced as the Son of God, the Holy Bible is its Sacred 
Book, and the customary period of worship is Sunday at 
11:00 o’clock. Christianity, further, views prayer is the 
channel through the believer communes with the Almighty 
God. This personal privilege was a component of the 
Protestant Reformation during which time Martin Luther, of 
Germany, rejected the practice of clerical praying as the 
only way one’s request could be made known to God. 
He taught, instead, that prayer is the direct method by 
which one goes to The Almighty. Deviating from the logical 
flow of the sermon, I must say “Thank you God for Martin 
Luther’s teachings, because I don’t have to find a clergy 
to pray for me; instead, I can pray every time I feel the 
Spirit, or feel the need for Divine Intervention. 
Since I know that my prayer life is sincere, regular, 
and productive, I have decided to pose the following 
question to you for our sermon today; it is How is your 
prayer life? The sermon will include the following four 
considerations, namely: some types of prayer, three 
criticism of prayer, the disciples’ request for instruction on 
how to pray, and modes for gauging the effectiveness of 
your prayer life. 
As background for the sermon, it is deemed appropriate 
to provide a cursory remarks on the word, prayer. As would 
be expected, this word has several shades of definitions; 
however, most of them lead eventually to a belief that the 
petitioner is communing with God. A brief survey of the 
word, prayer, include: “Prayer is an invocation or act that 
seeks to activate a rapport with a deity”, “ to ask God for 
a blessings”, “the approach of the soul unto God, with a 
desire and request for help”, and “ the soul’s sincere 
desire unuttered or confessed, a motion of the hidden 
fire that trembles on the breath.” These and other 
definitions of prayer have a core, namely, a petitioner, 
a belief in God, and a desire for succor. 

Against these sundry remarks on prayer, attention 
will now be focused on the earlier identified concerns of 
the sermon, the first one being - some types of prayer. This 
dimension of the sermon might well solicit the layman 
response - prayer is just prayer to God! While such an 
hypothetical response embodies a factual element - i.e. 
Prayer hopefully is directed to God. The fact, yet, remains 
that there are different focuses or types of prayer. In 
preparing this sermon, your pastor - using the Internet - 
came across a list of six types of prayer. They are found 
in a message by Frederick K. C. Price, an highly visible 
internet preacher. Dr. Price’s list includes: “The Prayer 
of Agreement. This type is reflected in the statement where 
two persons shall agree on a request to the Father it shall 
be done unto them. ( Matt. 18:19 ); The Prayer of Faith is one 
in which the petitioner ask believing and it shall so be 
granted. ( Mk. 11:24 ); The Prayer of Consecration and 
Dedication is one in which the individual makes a request 
but acknowledges the willingness to continue without it. 
( Lk. 22:41 ); The Prayer of Praise is one in which thanks is 
given to the Lord for earlier blessings. (Jo. 11:41 ); The 
Prayer of Intercession is one in which utterances are made 
for others and upon leaving a worship gathering. 
( Eph. 1:15-18 ) and The Prayer of Binding and Loosening 
in which the petitioner seeks power to bind evil forces 
and/or loosen those beset by evil spirits. ( Matt. 18:18-19 ). 
Although this list may seem a bit long, let it be remembered 
that it is more important to have a habit of praying than to 
worry about the type of prayer that is be submitted. This 
fact leads to the next aspect of the sermon which is - 
Some recurring criticism of prayer. Attention will be 
confined to just three; the first is that of Atheism which is 
a posture of denying the existence of God and, therefore, 
prayer is a useless endeavor. Secondly, there is the 
philosophical logician who argues that if God is all 
knowing then why pray? Finally, there is the Naturalist 
who poses the question - how can God answer individual 
prayers that greatly vary and, at the same time, maintain 
an ordered universe? Beloved, let us not become alarmed 
by these three views; instead, our response should be 
likened unto Bacon who said, “ Some how, some way, God 
answers prayer - I know not how, but I know when God 
answers prayer. 
Now to the third dimension of the sermon which is 
the disciples’ interest in the prayer life of Jesus. They 
had heard Jesus’ giving the Beatitudes ( Matt. 5 ) and 
the prayer model ( Matt. 6 ); they had observed his habit 
of prayer. The disciples had witness the effective of 
Jesus’ praying and, it appears in the text today, that they 
had a feeling of inadequacy in demonstrating an effective 
and prayer life. Hence, like in the remedial setting of 
education, they requested instruction as reflected in the 
words, “ Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his 
disciples”. Jesus complied with a prayer model that 
had a shorter ending than the one in Matthew. As noted 
in Matthew’s account, Jesus gave specific instructions 
for entering the prayer mode and, afterward, the prayer 
utterance ( Matt. 6:5-13 ). 
In closing, the question becomes how effective in your 
prayer life? Did it start with the Childhood Nursery Rhyme - 
Now Lay Me Down to Sleep?. Has it moved to the often 
called, The Lord’s Prayer?. Has it matured to the point 
where you submit your appreciation, adoration, thanksgiving 
and love to God for just being God. From that posture, you 
should feel the Holy Spirit as anointing is upon you. At that 
level of spiritual encounter, tears may flow, body may 
tremble, and utterance may become audile - but don’t 
become alarmed, rather, thank God, and agree with John 
who said, I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day ( Rev. 1:10 ) 
Remember God has a threefold modality for responding to 
prayers: yes, no, and wait. Amen.
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