Summary: This series is to make the church more aware of the importance of practicing the biblical discipline of prayer. Last three weeks adapted from a sermon series by Greg Groeschel called Prayer.
Last week- started a series on prayer- continue today.
Goal- encourage, inspire, ignite- our interest in prayer. Questions-
How many feel inadequate/guilty about lack of prayer?
How many would say their prayer life could be better?
How could it be better?
Arthur Pink- made- interesting point- when he said-
Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude- an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. Arthur W Pink
It is a dependency on God that drives us to prayer.
Review The practice of prayer is at the foundation of all Biblical faith.
As Christian’s -
we do not always know what we are doing,we are not always sure how to respond to life,it is not always clear what path to travel down.
Since we do not know, we MUST practice the biblical discipline of prayer.
Getting to Know God
Today-look at- basic, foundational truths about prayer.
Next time- Unanswered Prayer
Why does God answer prayer for some people, but when I pray He does not seem to hear me?
Following week-how did Jesus taught-disciples to pray Question: Why is it that many of us do not pray more? 1. We do not know how to pray
Am I praying the right way?
I do not know what to say?
What can I pray about, what can I not pray about?
2. We get bored or distracted while trying to pray
Start praying and remember you must mow your lawn.
3. We think our requests are too small for God
Why would God be concerned about things in my life?
I am sure He has bigger concerns than my puny stuff.
4. We are not sure our prayers will make a difference
If God already knows our prayers and can do whatever He wants anyway, then why do I need to pray?
The last time I prayed He did not answer my prayers, so why should I pray this time?
Working definition of prayer Question: What is prayer?
petition to God
spiritual communion with God
negligible hope/chance- (does not have a prayer) Prayer is two-way communication with God.
Amazing thought- we have access to God. Heb 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. NASU
Confidence- without fear, boldly- syn- adventurous.
We can approach God hopefully and expectantly.
V1 groaning- sigh, murmur-
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone you know intimately and they- sighed, groaned?
It communicated something clearly to you.
Even our groaning/sighing means something to God.
V2 Heed the sound of my cry for help-
Psalmist is expressing himself out of that place of having a close relationship with God.
V3 You will hear my voice-
Think how life changing that can be.
We are important enough to God that He listens to our prayers and moves on our behalf.
God may -
do exactly what we have ask Him,
do something different, or
do something better.
Is Psalm 105 we see- snapshot of how David prayed-
this was his unique way-communicating w/God.
Our prayer life does not need to look like someone else
If you are a parent- noticed how different children communicate differently-
some say everything they are thinking,
others might share after they get in bed.
As adults, we connect with God in different ways.
Give yourself permission to pray in a manner that-
you are comfortable with and (stretch yourself)
allows you to connect with God.
kneel down beside bed, fold hands and pray,
others may walk and talk (walkie-talkie),
some connect by singing,others can express their thoughts by writing,some are very emotional, others very stoic,
some see-beautiful sunrise- their hearts respond to the Creator with prayer/thanksgiving.
Even corporately we must be careful not to convey that there is one form of prayer that is right.
Bottom line- prayer is communicating with God.
Four ways to communicate with God- 1. With gut level honesty
Many people do not know how to be honest w/God.
Sometimes we put on our God voice and talk to God in a way we do not talk to anyone else.
God wants us to talk to Him with authenticity.
Authenticity- the real thing, the real you, no facade.
At times- might approach God very emotional/angry.
It is okay to pray honestly to God- but we should be-
respectful,approach God w/worship in our hearts, and
w/submissive attitude- in the end you are God.
Be careful not to let unbelief take root in your heart.
Jesus only criticized prayer for two reasons-
too long and not authentic.
Prayer does not need to be long, perfect, or fancy.
Talk to God like you would a close friend. 2. About everything that matters to you Phil 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. NASU