_PRAYER_ Notes: Prayer: -is not drudgery -is not a release of our wants and needs -IS a re

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_PRAYER_ Notes: Prayer: -is not drudgery -is not a release of our wants and needs -IS a relationship In believing that God meets us on a one-to-one individual and personal basis, we find the mainspring of our relationship with God is prayer. Prayer is our direct line of communication with God. God hears and knows our prayers (Psalm 65:2; Psalm 10:17). We can pray verbally or mentally. The important factor is that we come before God with right attitudes. We must approach Him humbly, sincerely and reverently. We can be sure to pour out our hearts to God because He understands our needs (Psalm 62:8). I. What is the meaning of prayer? Several words are translated "pray" or "prayer" in both the Hebrew and Greek texts of the the Old and New Testaments. Some of the English words that are associated with prayer are: "entreaty," "intercession," and "supplication." A. Prayer is a time of communion and fellowship with God. This includes: 1. _Our_ speaking to the Lord. 2. The Lord addressing us as well. "...They called upon the Lord, and He answered them. He spake unto them..." (Psalm 99:6). B. Prayer is to be a _continual_ relationship (Ephesians 6:18.) II. What are some Biblical examples of prayer? A. Old Testament: 1. Hannah (I Samuel 1:17). 2. Solomon (I Kings 9:3). 3. Elijah (I Kings 18:37). B. New Testament: 1. Jesus (Mark 1:35; Luke 22:41,42). 2. Paul (Ephesians 3:14-21). 3. The early Church (Acts 4:31). III. How can we pray effectively? By following the example the Lord gave us for prayer. In Matthew 6:9-13, the gives us instructions on how to pray. It is important that we realize that mere memorization of words or phrases is not what the Lord was stressing here. Rather He was giving us the manner in which we should pray. A. "OUR FATHER": knits us with others in the body of Christ. Also acknowledging our position as "sons" (John 1:12). Only a _son_ has the right or priveledge to use the term "Father." B. "WHICH ARE IN HEAVEN": by acknowledging the supremacy of God and His position, we are brought to a place of meekness and humility. C. "HALLOWED BE THY NAME": we are to approach the Lord with reverence, offering praise and worship to His name. D. "THY KINGDOM COME": our main concern is to be the furtherance of the Kingdom of _God_, not the kingdom of self! E. "THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN": this is asking that God's will be carried out to the degree of perfection _in_ earth as it is in heaven. F. "GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD": here, we see that Jesus does make provision for us to ask that our immediate physical needs be met. G. "AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS": this expresses three vital parts of our prayer: 1. Confession (Psalm 32:5). 2. Repentance (a turning from sin) (Proverbs 28:13). 3. Forgiveness - we can only ask for forgiveness from God, in the same measure that we forgive others (Matthew 6:14,15). H. "AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION": here we see that we are to ask the Lord for guidance (Psalm 37:23). I. "BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL": we have the right to petition that God deliver us and He has the power to perform that which we ask! J. "FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOREVER": in this closing line, we are to be ever cautious to realize and acknowledge that all power and all glory is God's. IV. What other principles are we to follow when we pray? A. Our prayer is to be in accordance with God's will (I John 5:14,15). B. Prayer in directed to God (Matthew 6:5,6). C. Prayer is not to be mere ritual or vain repitition (Matthew 6:7). D. Prayer is to begin with thankgiving (Psalm 100:4). E. We are to pray in faith with nothing wavering (James 1:6-8). V. Are there different types of prayer? Yes. I Timothy 2:1 states, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, _supplications_, _prayers_, _intercessions_ and _giving of thanks_ be made for all men." A. SUPPLICATION-meaning to "beseech, beg, plead, or to appeal to God". 1. Daniel made supplication for the nation of Israel (Daniel 9). 2. We are to make supplication for all saints (Ephesians 6:18). B. PRAYERS-any type of communication between God and man. It could include waiting before God in silence, making petitions of Him, seeking His face, even calling upon His name. 1. Our strength is renewed as we wait on the Lord (Isaiah 40:31). 2. Jabez made requests of the Lord (I Chronicles 4:10). 3. God prospers those who seek Him (II Chronicles 26:5). C. INTERCESSIONS-when we argue in favor of a person or cause before God. 1. Moses interceded for the nation fo Israel (Exodus 32:10-14). 2. Jesus, for those who crucified Him (Luke 23:24). 3. Jesus, for us (Hebrews 7:25). D. GIVING OF THANKS-coming before God with an "attitude of gratitude." 1. We are to enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts (Psalm 100:4). 2. Our requests are to be made known with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). E. PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST-(Jude 20; Ephesians 6:18; I Corinthians 14:14,15). VI. What will hinder your prayers? A. Undisciplined thought (II Corinthians 10:4,5). B. Asking amiss (James 4:1-3). C. Wrong motives (Matthew 6:5-8). D. Merciless and unforgiving spirit (Matthew 5:7; 6:14,15; 18:21-35). E. Sin and Iniquity (Isaiah 59:1-4; Proverbs 28:13). F. Unbelief (James 1:5-7). G. Improper Relationships (I Peter 3:7). VII. Who can participate in prayer? A. An individual (Matthew 6:5-7). B. Two or three (Matthew 18:18-20). C. An entire church (Acts 2:42; 4:24). ============================================================== Like I said when I posted fasting, prayer and fasting go together, so you might want to do these two consecutively. I have other studies that I can post, email me for a list if you don't have the fasting study. I hope that you are all blessed. But if only one person comes to a better prayer life, then it was worth it!!!! Love in Christ, Joe

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