Prayers Night and Day, Lk 2:36-37

AUDIO RECORDING OF THIS SERMON

This week, I have had two conversations with people who have expressed a sincere interest in what they could “do” for God.  We have been instructed in James to be doers of the word, and not hearers only.  The nature of many Christians is that they want to do something for God.  They are, as Paul said to Titus, zealous of good works.  And these folks, with whom I spoke, want something to do for God.  

So, tonight we are going to discuss one of the greatest things you can “do” for God.  Anna, the prophetess in Lk 2, did this great work of God.  Lk 2:37 says that she “served God with fasting and prayers night and day.”  She was a widow and yet she dedicated herself to this great work.  Paul wrote Timothy in 1 Tim 5:5, “she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.”  

Twice the Bible says that widows served God with prayers night and day.  But let me show you what Paul wrote in 2 Tim 1:3.  He said, “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.”  We might think that the widows had time to pray because they weren’t busy with anything else.  But we also know Paul’s testimony that he was very busy for God.  And yet he prayed night and day.

In the days of Jesus’ ministry, he “offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears,” Heb 5:7.  Jesus prayed before dawn, Mk 1:35.  Jesus prayed at night, Lk 6:12.  The disciples continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, Acts 1:14.  There was a late night prayer meeting going on at Mary’s house when Peter was in prison, Acts 12:12, see verse 5.  When Paul and Silas came to Philippi, they “went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made,” Acts 16:13.

Do you understand?  We want to do something with our hands, our minds, our bodies, and our voices to help others.  We want to be buy for God because we like being busy.  And we should do those things God wants us to do when we are placed in that kind of service.  And yet, when we do those things, we should not neglect the greatest work we can do for each other, just because we are busy with other things.  We must pray.  

The greatest thing you can do for the Lord is to serve him with prayers night and day.