Summary: Believers desire to become attached to God through prayer.
How Does One Learn to Pray?
(Inspired by material found in Harold Hazelip’s "Questions People Ask Ministers Most."
Feb. 26, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A Richard Dehaan tells of a story about a soldier who was standing guard near the front line in WWI.
1 He was relieved of his duty, & as a Christian, he wanted to pray (thanksgiving & continued protection).
a The enemy line was close, so he went up a little ways & began to pray aloud.
b The guard who took over for him overheard his voice & thought he was speaking to someone in the enemy lines, so he reported him.
2 The officer said, "You’ve been accused of revealing secrets to the enemy, how do you respond?" (It’s not true!)
a "Then what were you doing when you were standing out there facing the enemy & talking?" (I was praying)
b "You were praying out loud?" (Yes) "Show me, pray right now."
c The soldier got on his knees & prayed. When he got up the officer dismissed the charges.
d Why? "Because," he said, "Nobody can pray like that unless they’ve been practicing."
B Prayer causes many of us problems.
1 Trivialize prayer (little kids)
2 Selfish prayers (is it O.K. to pray for success?)
3 If God already knows about tomorrow, why pray?
4 Unusual response (IL Chester vs. Red Bud praying to win)
5 We must pray even if we don’t have it all figured out!
C It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples." Luke 11:1 (NASB)
1 Essence of the Text in a Sentence: Jesus’ disciples wanted to learn how to pray.
a Essence of the Sermon in a Sentence: Believers desire to become attached to God through prayer.
b Objective: I hope you’ll better understand how prayer fits into the life of the believer.
2 Probing Question: How well is prayer fitting into your life today?
a Transitional Sentence: Let’s look at two reasons why it’s important to fit prayer into our lives as Christians.
I The Bible calls us to pray even if we don’t understand it.
A The mother of James & John made a huge mistake in her request of Jesus to give her boys the choice seats in His kingdom. Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21 And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said* to Him, "Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left." Matt 20:20-21 (NASB)
1 Her request was a normal one from a mother’s heart
a She didn’t understand what she was asking
b There is a left & right place for those who have served the kingdom to win those places.
aa Not salvation!
bb Reward to come
2 Jesus didn’t use the woman’s misunderstood request to humiliate her.
a He taught her a lesson
b She learned something about how to request (pray) that day.
B Sometimes we’re like the sons of Zebedee’s momma, we don’t know what we’re really asking for when we ask.
1 God knows we are going to mess up with our prayer, we’re human.