Summary: The foundational legs of prayer for a stronger more effective prayer life.
A Solid Foundation of Prayer
Matt. 6: 5-15
Luke 11: 1-4
One of the greatest things we have as Christians is the power of prayer. But prayer is not some rambled utterance, but a well thought out, patterned encounter with God. Jesus was asked about prayer and in what we commonly refer to as the "Lord’s Prayer," Today we will look at the legs that form a firm foundation of prayer, using the "Lord’s Prayer" as a model.
The first thing to key in on is the worship and adoration of our Heavenly Father. God desires the praise and adoration of his people. Your praise is an outflowing of a grateful heart. Let’s take a look at some passages that clarify this point.
2. Psalm 29:2
3. John 4:23-24
The second part of the prayer is a time of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time of being thankful for all that God has done. We need to take time to express gratitude. So often we ask for things, but never say thank you for all that has already been given. Let’s take a look at some scriptural examples of thanksgiving.
1. Psalm 136: 1-3
2. Isaiah 63:7
4. Psalm 68:19
Next we see that we must confess our sins. Now you may be asking why don’t we confess our sins first. If you are aware of sin in your life, by all means immediately confess it. But what I want you to see here is that as you spend time in the presence of the Lord, His glory will make hidden and unconfessed sin visible, so that they can be dealt with. Think about it, the dust in your house is most visible in the radiance of a morning sunrise. It is important that we ask God to show us the unconfessed sin that stands in the way of His will for our lives. It is important to confess with a repentant heart. Don’t just give your sin a flipant "sorry", be truly broken and sorrowful for the sin in your life. It is also important that we be specific. So many times we want to make a "blanket" confession, but the problem with that is that we never truly come face to face with the sin in our lives. For some examples of confession let’s consider the following scriptures.
1. Psalm 32:5
2. 1 John 1:9
Now that we have taken time to praise and adore God for who He is, taken time to say thank you for all that He’s done, and confessed completely our sins then and only then can we truly begin to ask for supplication. By having done these things prior to asking our focus is on God and not on us. Again, when you make requests be specific. Remember that no request is too great or too small. God wants to know what is on your mind. When you pray, pray like you mean it. Ask in faith, believing that the end result
will be delivered. It has been said that the greatest reason prayers go unanswered is not what is asked for, but the quality of how it is asked for. For examples of supplication let’s consider these scriptures.
1. Matthew 7: 7-8
2. Rom 8:26
5. James 1: 6-7
Now I want you to also consider some important external factors. First of all be still, I like to call this the shut up and listen principle. I once read an account of a reporter’s interview with Mother Teresa. The reporter asked her, "When you pray, what do you say to God?" Mother Teresa replied, "Sometimes I don’t say anything I just listen." Psalm 37:7 emphasizes this point as well. We must also consider our relationships with those around us. Not only must our relationship with God be in good standing, but also with your brother. The following scriptures speak to this issue.
a. Mark 11:25