This past Sunday, I preached from Proverbs 30:7-9. It is a prayer of a man named Agur (Prov. 30:1) – the only prayer recorded in the book of Proverbs. The prayer of Agur is the counterpart to the prayer of Jabez (1 Chron. 4:9-10). Here is the sermon skeleton:
TITLE: “The Wise Prayer of a Weak Man”
TEXT: Proverbs 30:7-9
THEME: A prayer for a Godward life
POINT: Wise people confront their spiritual weaknesses through prayer.
Introductory points: There are several lessons we can learn from the way in which Agur prayed:
1. The manner of our prayers should honor God.
2. The focus of our prayers should honor God.
3. The content of our prayers should honor God.
TRANSITIONAL SENTENCE: We need God to remove the things that contradict a godly life and keep us from the things that corrupt a godly life.
I. The 1st thing: Remove from me the things that contradict a godly life (30:8a).
A. Agur prays against two things that contradict a godly life.
1. Deceit: falsehood
2. Dishonesty: lies
B. There are two ways that falsehood and lies hinder godliness:
1. Godliness is hindered by our own falsehood and lies.
2. Godliness is hindered by the falsehood and lies of others.
C. There is only one way to overcome falsehood and lies: The Lord must remove it far away from you.
II. The 2nd Thing: Do not give me the things that corrupt a godly life (30:8b).
A. The request:
1. Do not give me poverty.
2. Do not give me riches.
B. The reason:
1. The peril of prosperity: An abundance of provision can lead to indifference toward God (v. 9a).
2. The peril of poverty: A lack of provision can lead to irreverence toward God (v. 9b.)