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It's not a request line.

He's not a genie in a bottle.

Prayer is powerful!  But I encourage you to think about it a little differently...not like our prayers have power to get whatever we want, but rather, like when your phone's battery is low, it doesn't function properly, it won't do all the things it was designed to must plug it in to power.  Like the prayers we pray have power.  



pastor shannon's notes



Matthew 26:36-46


God’s going to have His will, period.  and Bottom line—we can surrender our will to God’s in complete confidence that he knows what’s best.


He told em and told em to pray.  And they didn’t ever really do what He told them to.  And He finally was like, ok, well, never mind, lets move on with the story I’ve been telling you about, there’s my betrayer….


Prayer was for THEM!  To prepare THEIR hearts, to provide THEM with strength and peace, etc.!  


You want to be a more powerful person, more successful, more money, better relationships, better job………don’t ask for those things just to be given to you!  God wants you to plug into Him!


You must practice this!



Spin Basketball ….  drums, spin a basketball, juggle, magic tricks, play guitar


you get good at anything you do everyday.  practice getting good at prayer, prayer life, praying in tongues, 


you can even practice getting good at having a great personality, etc……


it takes 10,000 hours to become world class



Prayer is no different…it takes discipline and practice.


Let’s look at some different aspects of prayer



1 John 5:14 - “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 

The Apostle John wrote, “Now this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14–15). John also wrote, “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).


So we can have confidence about God answering our prayers when we are obediently following Him and praying according to His will. If you haven’t experienced answered prayer, then perhaps you aren’t living in obedience and/or praying according to His will (or maybe He did answer it and you didn’t recognize the response because He often answers in ways we don’t expect).


brad paisley, sometimes the answer is no.


God delights in answering prayers that align with his will. But how do we know what God’s will is? The most reliable way to know is by reading his Word. As we seek God through Bible reading and prayer, we get to know his heart and gain wisdom and spiritual insight. This gives us a greater understanding of how to pray according to his will, and a greater chance of having our prayers answered.


In Jesus’ Name.  What does that mean?  by my daddy’s name.  what He stands for



James 4:3: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

This verse from the book of James tells us why God says “No” to many of our prayers—they are selfish, self-centered, and sometimes downright bad for us. Because God is wise and loving, like any good parent, he will not give things that will harm us or others.

Bottom line—God will say no to our prayers if we ask for something for the wrong reason or for the wrong purpose.


So, do our prayers work?  YUP!  They ARE powerful and effective too!

just don’t think of them as a request line…as a genie in a bottle 



James 5:16: “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

What a beautiful affirmation James, the half-brother of Jesus, gives in this short verse. When we wonder if prayer accomplishes anything, he encourages us—not only is prayer powerful, but it’s effective. “You’re not wasting your time,” he seems to call to us. “Keep praying! God is using your prayers to accomplish his will.”

Bottom line: The prayers of godly Christians work. 

I don’t know why God uses the prayers of his people to accomplish his work in the world, but I’m glad he does. I’m humbled to think we can talk to him at any time of the day or night. I’m grateful that he’s never too busy to hear our prayers and act on our behalf. 

My prayer for us all is that we will never take for granted the privilege and the power of prayer.



Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.



Here’s another perspective…..pray even after we receive the blessing

(not on screen, just read)

Hannah’s Prayer of Praise (1 Samuel 2:1–10)

When Hannah received the child she begged God for, her first instinct is to praise the One who provided. She wants to thank Him for His greatness and His deliverance. Too often we pray before receiving, but then forget to pray after God answers. Let this prayer guide you in thanks:

“My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.

“There is none holy like the Lord:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.


Jonah’s Prayer for Salvation (Jonah 2:2–9)

We may never be swallowed by a great fish, but we can still experience the shame and regret that Jonah felt after he ran from God. The prophet’s plea to the Father provides a poignant scaffolding for our own prayers of repentance. And remember that God heard and answered this humble, honest prayer:

“In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.

You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.

I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’

The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.

To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.




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