Summary: Fourth in a series on prayer dealing with the prerequisites for prayer related to our walk
“Divine Dialogue” Pt 4
Prayer Factors related to our Walk
I. PERSPECTIVE ON PRAYER -- What is prayer?
II. PURPOSE OF PRAYER – Why Pray?
III. PREREQUISITES FOR PRAYER – Who can pray?
A. Factors related to the WORK and PERSON OF CHRIST
B. Factors related to the WALK of Christians
In the last message I presented the requirements related to prayer related to the WORK of Christ. This message considers the factors that may affect prayer related to the WALK of the believer. Nothing prevents access to talk to God at any time. He invites us to talk with Him and share our requests and the concerns of our heart. Some things may affect His response to those prayers. I call them “Prayer Blockers”. If there are some things that can block our prayers, it follows that the opposite might boost our prayer life. Just because we are free to talk with someone does not guarantee a positive outcome. The Bible records a number of things related to our daily walk that the may hinder answers to prayer. These things do not prevent access or union, but may waylay answers or may strain the communication between us and the Father. Our access to God does not depend on us, but often we are the key to when and whether some of those prayers get answered and the quality of our communication. We can affect the enjoyment and significance of our dialogue with God. At times, attitudes and behavior may strain communication not only with people but with God.
Do you wonder why you don't get response to your prayers?
Do you feel like God stopped listening and responding?
Are you unenthusiastic about spending time in prayer?
You are not alone in those feelings.
CONCERN ABOUT GOD HEARING
O Lord God Almighty, how long will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people? Psa 80:4
Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble. Psa 69:17
Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. Lam 3:8
He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked. Lam 3:9
You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through. Lam 3:44
As you can see from these passages, many of God’s people at one time or another wondered about the effectiveness of their prayer life.
CONFIDENCE ABOUT GOD HEARING
In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me. Psa 86:7
I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Psa 17:6
He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. Psa 102:17
The things in this list also block communication on a human level. The following scriptures will hopefully serve as check points in your own life related to our prayer life. These notes include more information than presented in the message. I urge you to take time to contemplate the expanded thought presented here.
1. HUMBLE SUBMISSION VS PROUD INDEPENDENCE
An attitude of self-service and pride will block communication with others in a hurry. If one senses an arrogant proud attitude in someone, they are less likely to reciprocate with a warm response. We tend to resist someone who projects that kind of attitude. Scripture indicates God feels the same way.
God gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:6-8
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:1-2
Humility involves recognizing who I am in light of who God is.
Humility before God acknowledges who is in charge. I come before God as a willing bondslave dedicated to accomplishing His will in the world.
Humility realizes that God is the source of all gifts, skills, talents, etc. and there is no room for pride. With this view in mind I am better able to demonstrate a proper attitude toward others. I can be free from the necessity of thinking of myself more highly than I ought to think and to view others as more important than myself. My conversation will come from a right perspective.