Summary: Prayer acknowledges our limitations to help ourselves.
1. Prayer acknowledges our limitations to help ourselves.
2. Our many needs motivate us to pray.
3. We don’t need to be told to pray, Jesus directed us to proper prayer by His example and directions.
4. The Greek word used of Jesus’ prayer is proseuchomai (pros toward, euchomai, the face), i.e., to talk or commune. The word Jesus directed us, aiteo (to ask because of need or desire). Therefore, when we fellowship with God we can ask.
5. Many do not receive what they ask because God knows their motives. “The evil desires at war within you. You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have . . . so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong” (James 4:2-3, NLT).
B. “ASK” . . . JESUS’ FAVORITE WORD FOR US TO PRAY
1. Jesus instructed us to ask specifically. “Hitherto have you asked nothing in My name, ask and you shall receive” (John 16:24).
2. Ask with continued confidence. “Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for, keep on seeking . . . keep on knocking” (Matt. 7:7, NLT).
3. Ask boldly. “Anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works . . . ask for anything in My name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-13).
a. Qualification: “I will do it,” i.e., tied to Jesus doing it.
b. Qualification: believe or faith.
4. Ask as you abide or remain in Jesus. “If you remain in Me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted” (John 15:7).
a. Qualification: abiding according to His Word/Scripture.
b. Continuous practice of His Word.
5. Asking because of fruit bearing. “Go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask” (John 15:16).
a. Qualification: not superficial fruit, but lasting results, i.e., test of time.
b. Fruit is character (Gal. 5:22-23) and another believer.
c. Fruitfulness is whole purpose of asking.
6. Asking rejoicing. “Ask and you will receive so that your happiness may be complete” (John 16:24, TEV).
a. Qualification: happiness is an inner attitude when walking with God.
b. You don’t ask to get happy, but happy people get answers from God.
7. Asking obediently. “We come to the Lord . . . and get whatever we ask for because we are obeying Him and doing the things that please Him” (1 John 3:21-22, NLT).
a. Qualification: Not single obedience but lifestyle obedience.
b. Based on your heart attitude, “Please Him.”
c. Practice: we can use a prayer list to remind us
d. All asking is rooted in faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
All PBC lessons are available online at trbc.org/pbc. Go to www.Hopenow.tv for the current program schedule.
Dr. Towns' email is ELTowns@liberty.edu
Dr. Towns’ web address is www.elmertowns.com