Summary: This is the 5th sermon in the "Changing Your Spiritual Appetite" series.
Series: Changing Your Spiritual Appetite [#5]
BE DEVOTED TO PRAYER
This morning we are going to look at the 4th thing that the Early Church devoted themselves to- Prayer.
Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
“They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Out of all of the things that the Disciples could have asked Jesus to teach them, they chose prayer. Prayer is communication with God and in order to communicate we need a personal relationship with Him. We pray in sincere humility, not being proud like the Pharisee’s. Prayer takes time and effort, it’s hard work. There are tremendous benefits to prayer.
Learning to pray- "This is how you should pray"; not this is what you pray. This is important because of the fact that many religions in our society teach their people to pray this prayer over and over again by rote. Jesus said in verse 7 not to use vain repetitions as the unsaved do. Would you personally like to see your life change, both spiritually and physically? I ask you this morning to yield yourself to learning how to pray. Do not let Satan rob you of this valuable privilege of prayer.
Matthew 6:9-10 (NIV)
“This, then, is how you should pray: `Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
1. Worship and adoration of God.
True prayer starts with worshipping God. It’s expressing your love to Him. Waiting upon God in silence preparing your heart to come before Him. This is very important because it gets your attention off yourself, off your problems, off your distractions and gets you focused upon God. In reverence and awe for who He is. Proper adoration and worship causes your attitude to change. God alone is the 1 we worship and adore. As you begin your prayer time, come before Him in worship and adoration for who God is. Omnipotent, omnipresent, and an all-knowing God. He is Jehovah God, there is no other.
When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do. When we rely upon education, we get what education can do. When we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do, and so on. When we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do.
Matthew 6:10 (NIV)
“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
2. Personal submission.
As fallen sinful man we often love and think so highly of ourselves. Take time to see yourself as God would see you- Personally become submissive to God’s will. A personal submission to God’s will not my will. True prayer is brokenness before God. Prayer is the mechanism, the channel that God provides for His children. Coming to Him in simple child-like trust, with a clean, open and sincere heart. Praying not my will but God’s will to be done in my life, my family, my home, and my church.
Matthew 6:11 (NIV)
“Give us today our daily bread.”
3. Honest requests in faith.
What do I mean when I say "honest" requests? It’s praying in God’s will and not my lusts. Food, shelter, clothing, wisdom, safety, understanding, praying God’s Word. Not a name it and claim it attitude we see proclaimed in many religious circles today. As you approach God with a submissive attitude, your heart will be vitally linked with God’s. God’s focus becomes your focus and you pray as God would have you to pray, in the Spirit. Your will is aligned with your heavenly Fathers. Salvation for lost souls, growth for believers, spiritual maturity within the body of Christ, a deepening love for others, and an impact for Christ upon our community. Far too often our prayers become self-centered always praying for me, my, or I. Honestly look at the balance of your prayer life. Self-centered or God and others centered?
Matthew 6:12 (NIV)
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
4. Give and seek forgiveness.
Forgiving others that have wronged you and seeking personal forgiveness of sin. As you’re praying before God, ask Him to search your heart. To reveal sin in your hearts. The closer we get to God the more He’ll reveal our hearts for what they are. We commit sin one at a time. We confess them the same way. Don’t seek 1 big blanket confession- God forgive me for my sins. You name them and confess them to God.