Summary: This sermon is designed to assist those who wants to learn how to pray and to believe for answers.
How to Pray
By: Dr Perry Edison Newton Sr
Word of Faith Tabernacle
Word of Faith Church
Prayer is one of the powerful weapons that God has entrusted to the believer. Prayer is a means by which natural beings contact the Supernatural Creator of the universe. Prayer is the means by which man pours out his soul to the Almighty God and expects to be heard and answered. The purpose of this series is to allow you to know and under stand prayer; why should we pray; where should we pray; to whom should we pray and how should we pray.
In the context of Christianity, Prayer is said to be a monologue, a series of statements, requests, petitions, thanksgivings, giving of praises to the almighty God, seeking his help, his favour and showing gratitude for his blessings on our behalf.
When I say prayer is a monologue I say so because by means of prayer man tells God what is in his heart or how he feels. We may make a prayer request on behalf of someone else, but we cannot pray for a person. No one knows what is in the heart of another person, therefore no one can say exactly what a person needs are; we may only stand in agreement with them based on what they reveal to us. Often people do not say every thing that they feel or are experiencing. They tell it to Jesus alone.
Prayer is of such vital importance to the believer that in every generation mankind was encouraged to pray. Paul tells us that "a man should always pray and not faint;" he also admonishes us "to Pray without ceasing," so it is evident that prayer is important to the believer. Let us now examine prayer in a deeper way.
In the eleventh chapter of St Luke’s we are told that Jesus’ disciples came to him and asked him to teach them how to pray as John also taught his disciples. This is rather strange that the Disciples of Christ would want to emulate the things which John’s disciples were doing seeing that Jesus was greater than John. I could come up with no explanation other than to say that John’s prayer no doubt was effectual and that John’s disciples seemed to be quite disciplined in their prayer life.
In respect to this request by his disciples, Jesus did not offer any explanation as to why they should or should not pray; he did not feel slighted or of less importance because his disciples referred to John.
It seems that this desire to be taught how to pray on behalf of his disciples was met very favorably by Jesus; and without hesitation, he gave them an out-line for effective prayer.
In presenting the model for prayer Jesus, began by acknowledging our Heavenly Father. He is here stating that all prayer must begin, with an acknowledgement of God even to the extent of reverencing his name. Here is what Christ says as he began the prayer: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”(Lk 11:2)It is important to note that Jesus places God as being in Heaven and states that all prayer must contain an element of praying for God’s kingdom to come and his will be done on this earth the same way it is done in heaven.
To pray for the above implies that one is prepared to subjugate his will in favour of God’s will. This suggests that by so praying, God is being given free reign to rule in the life of those so praying. Isn’t this why Satan has made every effort to block the Lord’s Prayer from being made in school meetings and he has even deceived the church into not praying the Lord’s Prayer substituting instead, wordy and meaningless recitation... It is time for the church to re-visit the tenet expressed in the Lord’s Prayer with a view of getting our prayers answered.
The next part of the prayer gives us instruction on how we should approach and address God. We must “Hallow” God’s name; we must pray that God’s will be done in earth as it is in heaven; we must pray that his kingdom come and of course it is our duty to ensure that the kingdom of God does come to this earth by our leading others to Christ. To hallow God’s name means to hold it high esteem and reverence; believing that once we call on this name he will respond. One writer says the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it and they are safe.
The second segment of this prayer points us to what we should pray for in relation to ourselves. Jesus wants us to put our full dependency on God. Some people tend to forget that God owns every thing and as his children we must ask him for what we need. Here is what Christ said. “Give us this day our daily bread” In the same breath we must also ask God to “forgive us our sins” but on the back of that it presupposes that we also forgive those who sin against us. It suggests that if God is to forgive us our sins then we must forgive others and failing this could result in God not hearing us. Unforgivensss is a cardinal sin and once sin is present in our lives, God face turns from us. However, once we pardon others we can come boldly to the throne of grace. As to how often we must forgive those who trespass against us the bible says seventy times seven a day. “Then came Peter to him and said Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus said unto him, I say unto thee not until seven times: but until seventy times seven.” (Math 18:22-23) Obviously, if we mere mortals are required to extend such grace, then certainly our heavenly Father will extend his mercies to us in a more significant way. The scripture says that God’s mercies are everlasting and he is slow to anger and gracious. Here is what Jesus says we must pray: “And forgive us our trespass for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us.” As we continue to look at ourselves we are to ask God not to lead us into temptation, and to deliver us from evil.” Looking at this statement it seems to suggest that there is a chance that God may lead us or allow us to be tempted. Of course when we recall the story of Job(Job 1:1;42:1-10 we are reminded that God does permit trials to come our way but he also protects us through our trials and restores every thing that we lose as a result of the trial. But Jesus makes it a requirement that we ask our Heavenly Father not to lead us into temptation and indeed that we ask that he delivers us from evil. Jesus is mindful of the fact that on occasion we may find ourselves in situations over which we have no control, and would be in need of Gods deliverance. So he tells us to ask God in advance that he delivers us from evil, whether by our design or not.