Summary: In order to stay spiritually and emotionally healthy, we must engage in a regular prayer life which involves praying trusting, heart-felt prayers.
1. Story of little Billy leading prayer in Bible Class
a. Uses a big, deep voice full of pomp
b. Isn’t that the proper way to pray?
2. Knowing how to pray not come naturally
a. The disciples were grown men and felt they still could learn
c. It is okay if you have difficulties praying - As long as you don’t stop
3. Going to look at some principles of prayer this morning
I. (1 Thess 5:17) - Pray Constantly
A. Paul instructs us to pray without ceasing
1. How many of us do this very thing?
2. Book of Nehemiah - A man who prayed constantly
3. Do any of us pray like this?
a. Working class families often slept together
b. To get up would mean waking the family
2 If a freind grant request to persistent freind
a. How much more will God grant requests to us
b. God gives what we need, gives good gifts
3 Exhortation is literally - “All of you keep on asking”
4. In the past, I always would look to someone else as example
a. A have known a few who prayed at drop of a hat
b. Since someone else as example, means I have work to do
c. have gotten better - But it takes humility
C. ILL: Pride hinders Praying with Persistence
1. You ever not tell anyone about struggles because not want help?
2. Like the child you try to help that says, “I’m doing iiiiit.”
3. Pride says you can handle it all on your own
4. Same attitude can hinder your prayer life
D. Need to make communication with God a regular daily, hourly activity
II. (Mk 11:24) Pray Faithfully
A. Faith can move mountains
1. Jas 5:17 - Elijah prayed for no rain, it not rain 3 1/2 years
2. Josh 10:2 - Joshua’s long day
3. Faith as mustard seed move mountains
B. ILL: I have a couple of stories about God answering prayers
1. Jeremy and his birth - God granted request
2. Prayer for Verlin - But he died anyway
3. I thought if we keep on asking, we will receive?
C. Does this mean God not answer prayers? Not get what we ask?
1. (2 Cor. 12:7-10)
a. Paul persistent in praying for healing
b. Asked for healing, got grace
c. Did he ask for fish and got a stone?
2. Did this sort of thing ever happen to Jesus? (Mk 14:32-41)
a. Prayed for cup removal THREE times
b. Didn’t get removed
c. Did God ignore him?
3. In both Jesus, and Paul’s case, they accepted God’s answer
a. Jesus said, not my will but yours
b. (1 Jn 5:14) ask anything according to his will, He hears us
c. (Jas 4:3) - Ask not receive, ask with wrong motives
4. So we need to ask according to his will
D. But isn’t this just a cop out to smooth over unanswered prayers?
1. Accepting a “NO” answer is an excercise of faith
2. Faith that God will do what is best as in Gethsemane
a. What if God had said yes?
b. God knows and does what is best
3. Faith that God will do what is best as with Thorn in flesh
a. What if Paul said, “I not ask for grace, take it away!”
b. God gives what is best
4. God knows what is best, so submit by saying “Your will be done”
a. Not a cop out
b. It a statement of extreme faith
III. Pray Sincerely (Matt. 6:5-8)