When Prayer Gets Abused!
2 Kings 20:1-7 NLT
1 About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the
prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave
the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: Set
your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will
not recover from this illness.”
2 When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the
wall and prayed to the Lord,
3 “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful
to you and have served you single-mindedly, always
doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and
4 But before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, this
message came to him from the Lord:
5 “Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell
him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor
David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your
tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will
get out of bed and go to the Temple of the Lord.
6 I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you
and this city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this
city for my own honor and for the sake of my servant
7 Then Isaiah said, “Make an ointment from figs.” So
Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil,
and Hezekiah recovered!
Matthew 6:1-8, 16 NLT
1 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to
be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from
your Father in heaven.
2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the
hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues
and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell
you the truth, they have received all the reward they
will ever get.
3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your
left hand know what your right hand is doing.
4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees
everything, will reward you.
5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who
love to pray publicly on street corners and in the
synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you
the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.
6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door
behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then
your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people
of other religions do. They think their prayers are
answered merely by repeating their words again and
8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what
you need even before you ask him!
16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the
hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and
disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting.
I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever
Exodus 14:13-15 NLT
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just
stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The
Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.
14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out
to me? Tell the people to get moving!
Prayer is the prelude to PEACE
Prayer is the pathway to PURPOSE
Prayer is the prologue to POWER
Prayer gets abused:
1. When prayer HURTS SOMEONE
Newspaper article for a runaway slave in 1825:
“Twenty dollar reward, -ran away from the
subscriber on the 14th instant, a negro girl
named Molly. She is 16 or 17 years of age, slim
made, lately branded on her left cheek, thus,
“R” and a piece is off her left ear on the same
side; the same letter is branded on the inside
of both legs.”
Fairfield District, South Carolina,
2. When prayer HURTS OURSELVES
3. When prayer is a substitute for
4. When prayer turns God into an
James 2:14-17 NLT
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you
have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that
kind of faith save anyone?
15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or
16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay
warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that
person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it
produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
Desperate people with little to know opportunity,
trying to survive, BREEDS CRIME!
5. When prayer is a substitute for
When Prayer Gets Abused!