Summary: Five Aspects Of Prayer - From the Lord’s Prayer. 1. Come To God With PRAISE 2. Recognize Your POSITION 3. Ask God For His PROVISION 4. Ask For PARDON 5. Ask God For His PROTECTION (Sermon 5 in this series)
Becoming A Person Of Prayer
It is said that Andrew Bonar, a great man of prayer, had three rules:
(1) Not to speak to any man before speaking to Jesus;
(2) Not to do anything with his hands until he had been on his knees;
(3) Not to read the papers until he had read his Bible.
I don’t believe that all of us need to adopt these rules in our devotion to God. If we did, many would become rigid and legalistic in our approach to the Father – and none of us should want that. However, I do believe that most of us could use some help when it comes to prayer life. Do you remember the key verse for this series? It is found in First Timothy chapter four and verse seven. It reads:
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” 1st Timothy 4:7 (NASV)
When it comes to prayer – many of us could use a more disciplined lifestyle. One of the greatest requests that the disciples asked of Jesus was – “Lord, teach us to pray." (Luke 11:1)
Let us go ahead and read one of the best known passages on prayer. It is found in Matthew chapter six:
"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. "Pray, then, in this way: ’Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’ Matthew 6:5-13 (NASV)
We’re going to talk today about Becoming A Person of Prayer. God wants you to have a personal relationship with Him and a major element of that relationship is your prayer life. Yet for so many people, their prayer life is non-fulfilling – or dull and boring. So the first thing we are going to talk about is:
Approaching Prayer With The Right Attitude
Let’s look at three attitudes that help us in our prayer lives:
1. Be REAL
Remember what we just read – Jesus said:
"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” Matthew 6:5 (NASV)
Don’t try to impress others as the Pharisees were trying to do. The Pharisees were people who would stand on the street corner and raise their hands and their face to the sky and carry on in this very public way, trying to impress other people. Scripture says don’t try to impress other people.
Don’t try to impress God. Don’t pray what you think God wants to hear. Remember He already knows your heart and your thoughts and you’re not fooling him. Just speak to Him with what’s on your heart.
2. Be RELAXED
Matthew chapter six and verse six tells us:
“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 (NASV)
You need to relax, you need to go some place where you can be alone, where you can be quiet and take those deep breaths, and remove distractions and concentrate. The two main excuses most people give for not praying are that they don’t have time and they don’t have a place to go. Find a quite place – get relaxed.
3. Be REVEALING
Look at what we are told in verses seven and eight:
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:7-8 (NASV)
When you talk to the Lord – talk. Talk to Him like He is your friend – because He is. Talk to Him like He is you Father – because He is. Talk to Him like He is your counselor – because He is. Talk to Him like He is your Savior – because He is. That’s what prayer is with the Lord. It’s conversation between two people who love each other. We talk to Him because we have a love relationship with Him. When you come to God, be revealing. Tell Him what’s really on your heart. Just talk to Him.