Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Prayer is simply talking to God.

A. What is Prayer?

1. Prayer is simply talking to God; it’s as easy as a child talking to a parent.

2. There are many ways a child talks to a parent. There are many ways to pray.

3. A baby’s first word, “Da Da,” is a beginning prayer.

4. As children grow older, reflects asking prayer.

5. “Mother, I am sorry,” reflects prayer of brokenness.

6. When a child yells, desperate prayers.

7. Children talk about little things, minutia praying.

B. Different Approaches to Prayer

1. When by our self, we solo-pray.

2. When with others, we fellowship-pray.

3. To soak in His presence is communion-pray.

4. When God becomes our entire focus, we worship-pray.

5. When we are absolutely sure we faith-pray.

6. We warfare-pray as we wrestle spiritually.

“All you need to do to learn to pray is to pray.”

~Wesley Duewel, Mighty Prevailing Prayer

C. Beginning Prayer

“With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply like this: Our Father in Heaven, reveal who you are” (Matt. 6:9, The Message).

1. How do you start praying when you don’t know how to approach God?

a. A new teenaged Christian, “Hi, God . . .”

b. Some feel you must be very reverent.

c. Others think you must be friendly.

d. The issue is not what you call God.

2. This issue is relationship.

3. Realize God has invited you to come into His presence. “Come my children . . .” (Ps. 34:11, NLT).

4. Maybe you have been beaten up by sin. Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden” (Matt. 11:28).

5. Perhaps you used to pray, but you quit. “I will go home to my Father” (Luke 15:18, NLT).

6. Prayer is not about words, it is about a love-relationship between you and your God.

7. “He who prays well, loves well.”

8. The word most used for prayer is proseuchomai which comes from pros which means toward, and euchomai, the face.

9. People say, “I can’t pray.” Don’t focus on what you don’t do; focus on what you can do. If all you can say is, “God . . .” then start there.

10. Maybe you have to get everything just right to pray; the dying thief on the cross cried out, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom . . .” (Luke 23:42).

11. Some don’t pray because they haven’t mastered the mechanics. Illustration of older people who won’t learn how to use a computer.

12. Some won’t pray because their motives are not right.

13. A man who has fallen is embarrassed to yell out, “HELP.”

14. Come to the Father just like a little child coming to a parent with outlandish requests or with selfish things, but they come.

15. If you wait to come with the right words, you may never come. The little boy brings dandelions to his mother. She doesn’t see weeds; she receives them as though they are roses.

16. You will never outgrow the level of simple prayers.

“God punishes us mildly by ignoring our prayers and severely by answering them.” ~Richard J. Needham

D. Three Practical Suggestions

1. Start a prayer list. A reminder of things and people that need prayers.

a. People, family, co-workers, spiritual leaders, Church workers, political leaders.

b. Mark both yes and no for answers.

c. Included place for notes or journal.

d. Transfer request to new list when there is a burden.

2. Find a prayer partner. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matt. 18:19).

a. A prayer partner makes you a better intercessor.

• Motivates – you pray biblically.

• Examines – you pray honestly.

• Supports – you pray effectively.

b. A prayer partner gives you accountability in ministry.

• “Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer” (Acts 3:1).

• Prayer opens new opportunities for ministry and gives compassion to a lame man.

c. A prayer partner gives you victory in spiritual warfare. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

d. A prayer partner gets you out of trouble. “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25). This is prayer intimacy and worship.

• They didn’t pray for the authorities to be punished.

• They didn’t ask God to release them.

3. Commit yourself to a time and place.

a. You can pray any place, but you will pray but and must frequently at a comfortable location.

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