Summary: Becoming a Person of Prayer Introduction and Overview
Becoming a Person of Prayer
Introduction and Overview
November 7, 2010
As I talk to most people about their spiritual lives, prayer is a major frustration. Because of this and the fact that we have lots of new people who have come to the Lord or have come back to the lord in the last couple of years I want to spend some focused time on prayer using the Lords prayer as a tool. Today I want to give an overview and introduction.
Let me start our by saying I am by nature a person who works best with structure. It is my personality. For years I have used the A.C.T.S. (adoration; confession, thanksgiving; supplication) method as a tool for prayer but I have sensed as need for something different and recently read a book, “Becoming a Man of Prayer” by Bob Belt'z that has renewed my prayer life. The book gave me a tool based upon the Lords prayer that helped me implement a strategy that has greatly helped me in my prayer life. It is only a tool but I think it will help you in your prayer life.
Jesus’ teaching on prayer grew out of the disciples request to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1). It is the only skill that the disciples requested help on. Let me share with you what I think motivated their request. The disciples have been intimately involved with Jesus for some time now, observing his life. In Luke 4, we see Jesus spending 40 days in the desert where he was praying and being tested. Then in chapter 5 we are told that he prayed often (16). Before he chooses the twelve disciples he spent the night praying (6:12). After that night of prayer we are told that power is coming from him to heal (6:19). Then while praying on the mountain he is transfigured before their eyes (9:28ff). Lastly, after a time of prayer the disciples come to him and ask that they teach them how to pray (11:1). They realized that all of his life flowed out of his experience of prayer – intimacy with his Father, power in his own life, power to help others, even power over dark spiritual forces at work. They were motivated to know about prayer!
How is your prayer life? Do you want to change it? Probably not or else you would have already. The problem for all of us – follower of Christ or not - is that we don’t always do what we want to do. We don’t even do what we need to do. We never do anything unless there is enough motivation or desire to change. We must become frustrated or discontent enough so that our desires change and that leads to a commitment to change. Today I want our time in the word to create the motivation or desire in you to become a person prayer. To do this I will give seven reasons to pray from the Lord’s Prayer.
First reason to pray is that prayer is Gods ordained vehicle to enhance our relationship with God. It is one of three ways (word, prayer, and community) of enhancing our relationship with God. So when Jesus says this is how you are to pray, he starts out with ‘our Father.’ Prayer is first and foremost about relationship – talking with God. Jesus’ point is that prayer flows out of a parent - child relationship. He is not only Jesus’ Father but theirs and ours also.
The second reason to pray is that prayer is Gods ordained vehicle to worship God. ‘Hallowed be your name.’ That means to make it special, treat it with honor and set it apart as holy. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he taught them to get on Gods agenda before ours. To really understand this life, to get a vision for life bigger than yourself you need to get a clear vision of God. If you have a vision of God that is little then your vision for this life will be little. If we lose sight of the vision of God we lose sight of our mission - win, train, and send.
Third reason to pray is that prayer is Gods ordained vehicle to tap into Kingdom realities and bring Gods intervention to bear on life here. ‘Your Kingdom come your, will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.’ That is, asking for the present Kingdom realities in heaven to bear in our current situation and circumstances here on earth. In short, asking for divine intervention. Do you need divine intervention - personally, in our church, in our state, and in our country world?
The fourth reason to pray is that prayer is Gods’ ordained vehicle for tapping into Kingdom resources for necessary provision for our own needs (note pattern shift from your to our in verse 11; principle of Matt. 6:33 applied). ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ God is our provider. By nature God provides for those who trust him. God delights to provide generously for his children (Luke 11:10-13). Now this provision is conditional no doubt about it. Three conditions: faith (James 1:5-7); right motives (James 4:3); and must be child of God (John 14:6).