Summary: Getting the most out of prayer! Part 1: Our misconceptions

Luke 11:1

1 Once when Jesus had been out praying, one of his disciples came to him as he finished and said, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."

Matthew 6:9-13

9 Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,

may your name be honored.

10 May your Kingdom come soon.

May your will be done here on earth,

just as it is in heaven.

11 Give us our food for today,

12 and forgive us our sins,

just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.

13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, Forever. Amen.

( Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.)

How To Experience The Power Of Prayer

Part I

Luke 11:2-4; Matthew 6:9-13

-Abundance of books on Prayer

-Prayer in integral to our faith

-Prayer is the communication factor in our relationship with God.

-It is our "lifeline" to the Father

James 5:16 "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results."

(The New Living Translation)

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (KJV)

As with any relationship, if you want to get the most out of it you must first understand the dynamics which make it work. What is, or is not, expected. A relationship with God absent of prayer is like a marriage without love. Form, but no substance. Saying the words, "I love you," but never displaying affection. Think of what your relationships would be like if nobody paid attention to you. Prayer, simply stated, is talking, or conversing, with God. And yet as simple as this may be, it is one of the more difficult areas for Christians to deal with. It is replete with questions; "How long should I pray?", "Should I stand, sit, or kneel?", "What should I pray about?", "Does God really hear my prayers?"

I. Our Abundant Misconceptions About Prayer Prevent Us From Experiencing Prayer’s Full Potential.

5 Misconceptions About Prayer

1. Prayer Is Asking God For Things.

Philippians 4:6 "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." (New Living Translation)

1. Forgiveness of sin

2. Healing James 5:14 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" (RSV)

3. Spiritual maturity James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him." (RSV)

4. Material blessings

Matthew 6:8 "... your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!" (New Living Translation)

Always praying and asking constant intercession, but failing to praise, or develop personal relationship.

*Example: Two lovers wanting to spend all their free time together. They come together for a private breakfast. dinner. One has come and sits enjoying the presence of the other; the second, however, has come with a list of duties for the other to fill and while the first attempts to enjoy the moment, starring deeply into the eyes of the second, the second callously reads the list for the other to fulfill. "I’m glad we could get together. I love spending time with you. Oh, but before I forget, Tommy’s at the hospital and I need you to go visit him, Dad’s having trouble with his back again and needs help around the house. Jack is stuck at the church and needs a ride home, oh, and I almost forgot, I’ve got a big project in Dallas next week on Tuesday, so don’t call me at home. And did you hear about that earthquake in Seattle?" on-and-on. Eventually the romance is going to fade. Relationships require two way communication. Talking and listening.

Matthew 6:8 "... your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!" (New Living Translation)

Instead of requests we should rather pray, "Our Father, who art in Heaven, how are you doing today?" And with no further ado just sit and listen.

2. There Are Certain Positions For Prayer.

Matthew 14:19 "..and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven." (RSV) (Cf. Mark 6:41)

*We’re taught that we are suppose to bow our heads an close our eyes. Jesus broke rule #1.

How Valerie prays

II Chronicles 6:13 Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the court; and he stood upon it. Then he knelt upon his knees in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven; (RSV)

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