1. What is Prayer?
A habit of talking to God – not asking for anything in particular but whatever might be on our hearts. It will develop a stronger faith and deeper sense of God’s presence in our lives.
Col 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;”
Could you say 1Thes 5:17 “pray without ceasing” describes your prayer life?
Or do you just check in before dinner, at bedtime, on the drive to work,
or corporately at church and that’s it.
Dr. Frank Laubach pursued this habitually. In an effort to pray without ceasing he was committed to praying at least one sec of each minute. He made a game of it by praying for others he passed on the street while at work or play.
2. Prayer is Conversation with God
Prayer is a privilege granted us by the Father.
Have you made it a priority?
How did you develop a friendship with your closest friend?
Conversation and time spent together. Cultivating a relationship with God is the same. Prayer is our communication with Him. Unless we make it a priority we won’t know Him as we should.
3. Prayer is two way.
Include the Bible in your prayer time. Allow the Spirit to guide you as you get to know God’s character, ways, and promises. You can’t develop a close relationship with God without spending time with Him.
4. What are the hindrances to prayer?
How much time did you spend with the Lord this past week?
Just the two of you alone, not in the car on your way somewhere?
Not while engaged in any other activity.
What keeps us from spending time with God?
Busyness, demanding schedules.
Disinterest. We generally make time for what we want to do. Truth be told, prayer isn’t a priority. We just aren’t interested. Jn 8:47, Jesus says, "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God." That’s pretty blunt.
Disappointment, we give up on prayer. Our lists of unanswered requests seems fruitless so we stop. We’re focusing on ourselves not developing a relationship. We conclude because we didn’t get what we wanted, it was a waste of time. God, as a caring parent, gives us what is best for us. Matt 7:9-11 "What man … when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? …."If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! God knows what is best!
Neglect. When life is good, we tend to forget about God. We look for God only when we need something. But did God create man? To experience fellowship with Him. He may use trials to draw us closer to Him, but, we should not neglect Him during good times. Jms 1:17 tells us “Every good thing given … comes down from the Father ...” Don’t wait till you’re desperate to call on God.
This brings us to our text for today. Let’s turn to Matt 6:9-13
How should we pray?
I. Our Father who is in heaven – we come before God as His beloved children. Rom 8:14-17 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God… you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ...”
II. Hallowed be Your name – we should come with an attitude ofworship. Recognizing the personality, power and beauty of God. Turn to Psm 103.
III. Your kingdom come – we should desire that God’s kingdom, NOT ours should flourish in this world. John 4:34 “Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work”.
IV. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven – we should surrender our own desires and allow the Holy Spirit to work freely in our lives. Pro 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil”.
V. Give us this day our daily bread – we should acknowledge God as the source of all our provision and turn the future over to His hands. Matt 6:25-34
VI. And forgive us our debts – we should confess daily our need for forgiveness. Isa 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow”.
VII. As we also have forgiven our debtors – we should let go of the past and extend forgiveness to those who may have hurt us. Col 3:13 “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you”. Ask for healing and help to experience the freedom of forgiving.
VIII. And do not lead us into temptation – we should ask the Holy Spirit for discernment as we face the never ending options in life. Psm 143:10 “Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground”.
IX. But deliver us from evil – we should claim victory over the evil around us. Col 1:13-14 “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”.
X. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Recognizing His divine nature.
omnipotence Matt 19:26 “with God all things are possible.",
omniscience Psm 147:4-5 “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.
omnipresence Psm 139:8-9 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.”
sovereignty of God. Ex 15:18 “"The LORD shall reign forever and ever." Because He is God and Creator of the universe, God has sovereignty and dominion over all things.
Prayer. Prayer is power. Prayer is strength. Prayer is access to the creator of the universe.
All it takes is one prayer to gain eternal life. He has offered all of us eternal life through the life, death, and resurrection of His only Son. The person of Jesus, the Christ. God becoming man to sacrifice His life as atonement for our sins. Yours and mine.
If you need prayer or would like to pray right now….come.