-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.
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
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
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
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
D. Prayer is to begin with thankgiving (Psalm 100:4).
E. We are to pray in faith with nothing wavering
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
2. We are to make supplication for all saints
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
1. Our strength is renewed as we wait on the Lord
2. Jabez made requests of the Lord (I Chronicles
3. God prospers those who seek Him (II Chronicles
C. INTERCESSIONS-when we argue in favor of a person or
cause before God.
1. Moses interceded for the nation fo Israel
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
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;
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,