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Jan 24, 2016

Expectant Prayer

Expectant Prayer

Speaker: James Gallaher

Series: A Church That Prays

Category: Prayer, Sunday Morning

There is a joy that comes in those first days, weeks, even months after salvation. Our sins have been forgiven, and we have a new life with and in Christ. For many Christians, however, that joy becomes replaced by worry about tomorrow, and freedom is replaced by pressures of life. By contrast, we see Jesus’ prayers full of confident expectation that God will move and act according to His promises. It is that same confident expectation with which God desires His people to pray.

“Expectant Prayer” by Pastor James Gallaher- January 24, 2016

This past Sunday we continued our series on prayer by discussing what expectant prayer looks like.

Opening Scripture

Matthew 28:18-20  And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

When was the last time you led someone to the Lord? Reflect on the emotions experienced at that moment when they realized their sins were forgiven.

Do you remember your own salvation experience? How do those feeling compare to your present situation? Do you feel fulfilled, as relieved, as joyful, as you did in that moment?

For many believers it is not the same. Joy is replaced with concern, peace replaced with worry about tomorrow, and freedom is replaced by the pressures of life.

King David found himself in this same place, alone, a product of poor choices, a far different man than the boy who killed Goliath. Then he wrote this.

Psalm 51:10-12  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.11  Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.

David knew he could not continue on the path set before him given his current situation. His joy had been depleted along with his strength.

I worry the church today has entered that same hopeless place, lacking joy and losing strength. I see churches frantically trying to protect what is left but feeling as though the efforts are futile. So, we create programs, start new outreaches, develop new committees hoping that something can stem the tide.

What becomes noticeably absent amongst all of these efforts is the type of concerted prayer that always accompanies great moves of God.

Look at these examples from Christ’s life:
Luke 3:21-22
Luke 6:12-13
Luke 9:28-35
Luke 22:39-44

All of Christ’s prayers have one thing in common, they have an expectation that God will move on His behalf.

Jesus expected to find His Father when he would pray and expected that He would do what He said He would do.

We must stop treating our present and future circumstances with such a bleak and lethargic outlook, whose primary intent is to impede our inevitable slide.

Rather it’s time we rise up as one, declare and expect the promises of God to be fulfilled within His church and respond with fervent prayer as we await His arrival.

Prepare a path for our Redeemer, go forth with joy, look expectantly for His coming and do not be discouraged, His promises are for you.

People have lost hope in:
- governments
- relationships
- economies
- themselves

Soon they will have nothing else to turn to except Christ and His church. Will it be ready?

It’s time we come together in unity and give God no rest until we see His promises.

There is nothing that pleases God more than when we come together in unity and pray.

Matthew 18:19-20  “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Now is the time to come together with fervent prayer for the lost, for enduring prayer that will usher in a great move of God. Begin now by asking God everyday to give you a vision of the work He is going to do.