Summary: Introductory Message on a series for Prayer.
Luke 11:1-4 KJV And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.  And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us day by day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
l. INTRODUCTION -- THE WORD THAT BRINGS GOD
• What is the single word that can bring the great God that we serve?
• What is the word that turns captivity captive?
• What is the word that unites far separated souls around one common seat of mercy?
• What is the word that brings man’s storm driven ship into the haven of safety and peace?
• What is the word that turns back the shadow of death on the face of life’s dial?
• What is the word that gives songs in the night and that lifts the load of guilt from the conscience smitten heart?
• What is the word that puts a sword in our hand when we face temptation?
• What is the word that gives us strength to bear our daily burdens?
• What is the word that fortifies the soul when it kneels before its cup in some Gethsemane of sore agony?
• What is the word that lifts us up when we have fallen?
• What is the word that brings angels down from heaven to minister to us when we have overcome the devil?
• What is the word that makes us co-workers in the Kingdom of God?
• What is the word that calls the wanderer from the far country?
• What is the word that is the best physician for both soul and body?
• What is the word which, when we speak it, may set the captive free?
• What is the word that companions the soul in its hours of loneliness and that comforts it in the day of sorrow?
• What is the word that sets a lamp of forgiveness and reconciliation in the window for the prodigal and the wanderer?
• What is the word that is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try?
• What is the word that is smallest strain that can reach the majesty on high?
• What is the word that makes the angles rejoice when they hear it on lips of a contrite sinner?
• What is the word that is our watchword at the gate of death, the word with which we enter heaven?
-That mighty, all prevailing, God-conquering word is prayer. James 5:16 bears out that, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (Clarence Edward Macartney)
-All of that is true of prayer and there is even more that has not been tapped concerning the power and magnitude of prayer.
• If such is true of prayer, then why is the church and her ministers not more involved in such activity?
• Why is the church unwilling to make an all out stride for the throne of grace?
• Why is the church willing to live in the shallows of true religion by merely dabbling with prayer?
• Why can the church not shake the sleep from her eyes to pray?
-Perhaps because the church does not understand the magnitude, the power, the hope, nor the royalty of prayer.
-There is small chance of success in the spiritual life unless men are willing to sacrifice and crucify the listless, slothful, and self-indulgent habits.
-Men who are weak and anemic in the Spirit are generally those men who refuse to pray. Prayer needs to be entertained at all times.
-It cannot be embraced only in the midst of tribulation and turmoil. Prayer is a necessity. It is imperative that the church learn how to pray.
ll. LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY
A. Of All The Things Asked For, It Was The Knowledge of Prayer
-Of all the things that the disciples requested of the Lord, the request “Teach us to pray” is by far the most important.
-When one searches out the requests of the disciples, one finds that they did not ask the Lord of a great many things. Collectively, they only made two requests.
-One is found in our text of Luke 11:1 and the other is voiced by Philip in John (14:8-11) when they requested to see the Father.
-Of all the things that they could have asked for, careful consideration should be given to the fact that they asked to pray.