Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer. This week’s reading in “Word Alive!” is about prayer, a sermon I delivered 35 years ago in Mascoutah, Illinois. After asking the congregation to bow their heads in prayer, I began the sermon.
“OK, you can raise your heads. It turned out just as I figured. When someone says ‘Let us bow our heads and pray,’ we do it automatically. When you bow your heads, you expect certain things to follow. The minister (or whoever is praying) will address God. He or she may thank God for this, that, or the other thing. Then they may ask God for this, that, or whatever. They’ll probably say something like, ‘In Jesus’ name,’ or ‘For Jesus’ sake,’ and then ‘Amen.’ When you bow your heads to pray, you expect certain things to happen.
“What do you expect to happen when you raise your head from prayer? Maybe you never thought about it. But just as surely as you expect something to happen when you bow your head and talk to God, so you should really expect something to happen when you raise your head from prayer. Why not expect things to happen? You’ve been talking to God! There’s no one who has more resources, more energy, more love, and desire to help you than God. I mean, He’s interested in you. That’s why He gave you the privilege of prayer. That’s why He says in today’s text, ‘Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify me’ (Psalm 50:15). There is no one who can help you in your life like God. Prayer is the place where we go and ask for that help. So when your bow your head to pray, call upon Him. And when you raise your head from prayer, expect great things to happen.”
What great things? The rest of the sermon is in “Word Alive!” available at www.tripillarpublishing.com