Summary: Prayer is an activity that most Christians struggle with. Our challenge is to pray great prayers but admittedly most would be challenged to simply pray period.
Pray Great Prayers
Prayer is an activity that most Christians struggle with. Our challenge is to pray great prayers but admittedly most would be challenged to simply pray period.
Thankfully There's an app for that! (show "Thy Phone" video from bluefish.tv)
But really pray is a real challenge.
For some it comes easy. I have been at awe to see seasoned deeply spiritual people pray.
Their words flow smoothly and passionately to a God they really love. They humbly and powerfully make requests to God and when they have finished you wouldn't be surprised if a host of angels appeared and sang the halleluiah chorus.
I want my prayers to be that way don't you?
* I want to pray to see a change.
* I want to pray and experience the true presence of our Living God.
* I want to pray with the confidence knowing that what I have requested in the name of Jesus will be done.
* I want to pray powerful selfless and deep prayers
* I want to pray like the new testament church prayed in Acts 4:31. When this group of believers had finished praying the place where they were meeting was literally shaken.
I think if we are going to learn to pray it would be best to learn from the very best.
If we are going to pray Great prayers then we are going to learn from Jesus.
This is not a new struggle the disciples struggled with this practice too. That's why we see the disciples coming to Jesus in Luke:11:1 and ask him "Lord, teach us to pray" Jesus right there launches What is commonly known as the Lords prayer. We see this prayer more detailed in Matthew 6:9-13.
It is interesting that before Jesus teaches his disciples tow to pray in Matthew he teaches them how not to pray. Notice what he says in Matthew 6:5-8
5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
* He tells them not to follow the examples of the outwardly righteous and inwardly rotten. Their motivation is to give only a show of holiness. They show off in public when they were praying. They dramatically show their false devotion. They show off using many words. This "show" of righteousness. Quite literally makes God sick
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
God is honored by heart felt, honest humble prayer
To pray Great prayers lets start right.
After Jesus gives us an example of what does not honor God He models what prayer should be in the Words of The Lords Prayer in Matthew 6:9-11
It would be good to point out a couple of things about this "Lord's Prayer"
1. it is not a prayer that applies to the Lord at all so it is better titled the model prayer or the disciple's prayer.
2. It is not intended to be prayed verbatim as a mindless chant. It is a beautiful pattern for prayer that we are intended to learn and fashion our prayers to follow.
This morning as we learn to Pray Great Prayers Id like to break down this prayer and bring out the areas that will help us develop great prayers as we learn form the master.
9 "This, then, is how you should pray:
"'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'
(and the NASB as well as the KJV include. This is not included in some earlier manuscripts ) [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.']