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Series: Prayer
Lesson #4
Prayer is the most powerful tool that God has given to His church, and yet the most
neglected in the entire arsenal.
Mat. 17:20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: (they have just failed to cast the
devil out), for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye
shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and
nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Mat. 17:21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Lk. 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not
to faint;
That word faint is better translated stop. Do not stop until you get an answer.
I. The Scripture Said, And As Many As Touched Him Were Made Whole (Mk.
1. All of this implies a struggle. Nothing shall be impossible unto you, says to me that
I am going to face things that are utterly impossible to me, but through faith, those
things become possible.
2. In todays theology, the struggle is played down. We have created a kind of easy
believism, a positive confession attitude that says a man doesnt have to lay hold
of God, and fight his way through the darkness, all he has to do is simply quote the
scripture and claim the promise.
3. This playing down of the struggle leaves the church impotent in the face of the
II. Many Were Clamoring To Be Healed.
1. In a particular incident, a great throng was pressing Jesus, pressing Him to be healed.
Only those who touched Him received.
2. Believing requires an effort.
3. Like Israel and the manna, they had to gather it up.
4. The Bible speaks about a woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years. Shew
had gone to the physician and spent all of her earthly wealth, and yet they had done
her no good.
5. She comes to Jesus. Her testimony was, If I can but touch the hem of His garment
(Mk. 5:28). She touched Him and was made whole.
6. You know she was weak. She was anemic from this loss of blood, yet she pressed
her way in and touched Him.
III. There Is An Enemy; He Will Not Go Away Unless You And I Make Him Go Away.
1. If you touch Jesus, you will have to run over the devil.
2. The violent take it by force.
3. Daniel became desperate for an answer to the problems of the nation.
4. For twenty-one days Daniel fasted and prayed without one word from God. Nothing.
5. Then the angel came. The angel came to Daniel and said, Oh, beloved of God, you
were heard the first day (Dan. 9:22-23).
6. What had happened? Demons had withstood the angel and kept him from getting
7. There was a war in the heavenlies and the message had been delayed.
IV. The Demons That Delayed The Answer To Daniel Are As Real Today As They Ever
1. If the devil can discourage you, you will be discouraged.
2. The church has been victimized by easy believism.
3. We have preached a gospel of name it and claim it, and say it is done and it is
done. But when we had said, It is done and it wasnt done, we did not know what
to do.
4. We have lost the inner commitment that kept us on our knees. We lost that ability to
obey what Jesus said, men ought always to pray and not faint (Lk. 18:1). Paul said,
pray without ceasing (1Thes. 5:17). That is, continue on in believing prayer until
the answer comes.
5. The peddlers of this easy believism told us that if we prayed twice for the same
thing, the second time was unbelief. Hell never sold a greater lie.
6. Look at Jesus and the blind man in Mark 8:22-26.
a. This blind man came to Jesus, Jesus laid His hands on him, and when He took
His hands off, the man said, I see men as trees walking. In other words, he
was not completely healed. Jesus prayed for him again.
7. At Gethsemane Jesus prayed the same prayer three times (Mat. 26:36-45). Do you
accuse Jesus of praying in unbelief?
8. Look at Elijah at Carmel, after he had called the fire down from Heaven. He slew the
false priests and prophets of Jezebel. Now he goes to the mountain to pray for it to
rain (1Ki. 18:17-19, 41-46). All the requirements have been met. He begins to pray
for rain. He prayed seven times. After six times the helper came back and said,
There is nothing out there. The seventh time he came back and said, I see the
cloud about the size of a mans hand. Elijah said, It is enough. It is going to rain.
He prayed seven times for that to happen. You say he is praying in unbelief? He is
obeying Jesus command to pray and not stop.
In the beginning of my preaching career, I had a great sermon on Elijahs
prayer for rain. I preached on the number 7, making it almost magic to
pray seven times. I almost got legalistic, leading people to believe that if
they would pray seven times for anything, it would happen. I evoked the
biggest shout with that message. The flesh loved that. The flesh loves a
As I was getting ready for church one evening, my message for the service
was to be, The Seventh Prayer of Elijah, God said to me, I have heard
enough of this foolishness. Here is my greatest sermon going down the
drain. Ive heard enough of that foolishness. What do you mean? God
said, The answer had nothing to do with seven. If it had not rained
Elijah would have continued praying. He knew that he has done what I
told him to do, so it was time to open the heavens. He was not going to let
me alone until the heavens were opened.
V. The Name It And Claim It Gospel Has Left The Church Helpless In Battle.
1. When she doesnt get an answer, she does not know what to do.
2. Our fathers of this Pentecostal movement used the terminology of praying through.
It simply meant, if you know the will of God, dont turn loose of God until there is an
3. Everything the fathers taught about prayer was, you can believe God. You are a
believer, hang on, and believe on, God will hear you.
4. Believing that the war is over, the believer is led to think that all that is necessary is to
quote the promise.
5. Merely quoting scripture as scripture has never produced divine results.
6. We must press in until Gods thoughts actually become our thoughts.
7. The mere confession theology has sentenced millions to a life of defeat because they
did not actively resist the devil in holding on in prayer.
VI. God Commands Us, Give No Place To The Devil (Eph. 4:27).
1. This tells you something about the devil.
2. We must know he was defeated at Calvary, but we must also know that that victory
has to be enforced every time you bring that need to God.
3. Satan goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1Pet. 5:8). If you
dont resist him, he will devour you.
4. Faith demands that I be as fervently against evil as I am for good.
5. If you want health, you must be against sickness. You must be against what is
keeping you from having health. If you want to be holy, then you must be against sin.
VII. Jesus Said Men Ought Always To Pray And Not Stop (Lk. 18:1).
1. Paul admonished us Pray without ceasing (1Thes. 5:17).
2. Prayer is the battleground.
3. Prayer is where we engage the enemy.
4. Faith demands that I be as fervently against evil as I am for good.
VIII. Faith In Its Truest Sense Is Prevailing Prayer.
Lk. 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he
bear long with them?
Lk. 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man
cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
1. Real faith then, according to Jesus, is the ability to hold on.
2. To hold on means the devil is not going to have that boy or that girl; it means that you
are going to be healed.
I was saved when I was twenty-seven, and four years later I began to
preach at the age of thirty-one. Three years later I was in the city of
Edna, Texas, preaching a revival meeting. The church had been in a
terrible trauma. The pastor had had an affair with the secretary. They
both had run off with the churchs treasury. Now my friend had come to
pastor the church. In the midst of that scandal, the police had been
brought in. The whole church was under a cloud. It was into that mess I
went to preach. At the time I was having trouble with my health. I told
the pastor I would preach from Sunday to Sunday. As I preached, God
broke through and revival came. By Saturday night, there was standing
room only in the church. The pastor prevailed on me to stay. I had said
to God, This is the end of November. If you give me enough money, I
will take off and rest the month of December. God gave me the money.
It did not take much to live on in those days. By the end of the week He
had given me three hundred dollars, which was a lot of money in the
50s. Instead of obeying God, I stood with the pastor and agreed I would
go on another week. At the end of that week, on Saturday night, I stood
preaching a message I called, Jesus The Conqueror. A pain hit me in
the middle of my chest, and ran down both arms. I became numb and fell
out on the platform with what a registered nurse said was a massive heart
attack. Men carried me to the parsonage, and laid me on the sofa. There
I had another heart attack. The nurse felt everywhere and couldnt find a
pulse. She told the people that I was dead. Everybody believed that but
my wife. She kept praying. She was praying in tongues, but I understood
her in English. God raised me up, but he did not heal me. My wife took
me home to the farm where her parents lived. We were there awhile
trying to get a hold of God. I knew that if I went to a doctor I would die.
On the third night I awoke with another heart attack. I couldnt awaken
her. I perspired so much that the mattress became wet. When my wife
woke up, she thought I was dead. She began to pray and God brought life
back into me. I knew I had to touch God. I said to my wife, I want you
to take me to the hotel in town, and leave me there. I must touch God.
She did not want to do that. I told her, If you wont take me, I will take
myself. She agreed, and took me to the hotel. She registered me in and
put me in room number nine. I told her to go back to the farm, and I
would come home when I was well. I told the porter not to bother me,
unless I called him. He left the room, and for nine days and nine nights I
stayed on my knees. My heart was so bad; I couldnt sleep lying down. I
knew that I could touch God. I knew also that my only hope was in
touching God. The word, nothing shall be impossible unto you(Mat.
17:20), was put to the test.
For nine days God said nothing. I began reading in Genesis and read all
the way to the Psalms. God said nothing. A thousand demons said, You
are going to die right here. On the ninth day, three oclock in the
morning, I came to Psalm 9:10, ...they that know thy name will put their
trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. It did
not say feel thee, see thee, touch thee, but seek thee. Nobody could seek
Him anymore than I had in those nine days. The assurance that He had
not left me was born. At that moment, that scripture jumped out at me. It
felt like a hand reached inside of my chest and squeezed my heart. I
jumped straight up, landed in that bed, broke the slats, and ran out in the
hall in my pajamas shouting and praising God. God had healed me. I
had touched God. I had believed God. You can touch God!
3. We are in a war; we must be prepared to stand. Give no place to the devil; dont be
4. We wrestle not against flesh and blood.
5. One of the devils greatest tricks is to make us believe that people are our enemy.
6. When we believe our enemy is another human being, we resort to carnal weapons.
IX. Our Enemy Is Spiritual; Therefore, Our Weapons Are Spiritual.
1. We wrestle not against flesh and blood... (Eph. 6:12).
2. Wrestling implies hand to hand combat, and our wrestling in this combat is prayer.
3. In Oriental wrestling, the man on his feet when it is over wins.
4. God did not say we ought to wrestle. He said, We wrestle.
5. Easy believism has led men to believe that the war is over. Paul said, I have
fought the fight I have kept the faith (2Tim. 4:7).
X. It Is A Fight Of Faith, And Faith Is The Ability To Stand.
1. Nevertheless will the Son of man find faith on the earth when He comes? (Lk.
2. Where are the intercessors? Where are those who will stand in the gap and make up
of the hedge for their family, for their church?
3. No wonder divorce is rampant and our kids are hooked on drugs and the altars have
been forsaken.
For three years I was in the Second World War. Four years in the
service, three years in the war. I was a sergeant over a machine gun
section. When we set that defense line up, then in different places we put
those machine guns. We set them out in front. They were to fire
crisscross, making a crossfire, through which it was almost impossible for
anybody or anything to get through. If one of those guns stopped, it left a
hole in the line. Those guns had to keep firing no matter what the cost.
4. That is the way it is with the intercessors. When they leave that altar, then they leave
room for that enemy to come in and steal our young and destroy our families.
XI. If We Will Return To The Altar There Is No Situation That We Cannot Win.
1. Our weapons are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2Cor.
2. No weapon formed against us shall prosper (Is. 54:17).
3. Paul fought the beast of Ephesus. The beast of Ephesus was a demon sent by Satan to
prevent Paul from establishing the church.
4. Ephesus was a city given over to idolatry - and the devil was determined that it would
not change.
5. Paul actually fought the devil for that city. He wrestled in prayer with the demons
who held the city captive.
XII. If The Bible Teaches Anything, It Teaches That The Lost Are Held Captive By The
1. The lost are controlled by Satan.
2. No man can come to God except the Father draw him (Jn. 6:44).
3. Unless the chains are broken through the prevailing prayer of saints, the lost cannot
come. But, When Zion travails sons and daughters shall be born (Is. 66:8).
4. Before revival could come to Ephesus, Paul had to bind the strong man.
5. The same is true of every city on earth.
XIII. The Lack Of Knowledge Has Defeated The Church.
1. Not knowing what was going on, she becomes frustrated.
2. Great plans are laid for revival. The evangelist is called and nothing happens.
3. The problem was Satan. The church must bind him.
4. The failure of Gods people to recognize Satans control over the lost has led to her
defeat in winning them to Christ.
5. Nothing shall be impossible.
XIV. Resist The Devil, And He Will Flee From You (Jas. 4:7).
1. Turn your faith against Satan, his sickness, his fear, and you will win.
2. Become violent in your prayers. There is nothing impossible to the saint who will

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