Summary: Prayer is pleasing to God. Praying will bring deliverance in our collective and individual lives.
A century and a half ago, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln spoke the following about prayer and praying:
"We have been the receipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prospertiy; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."__submitted to www.sermoncentral.com by Jeff Sims
Note: Scriptures are from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible unless otherwise noted.
Matthew 6:5-13, “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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’"
Joel 1:10, "The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the olive oil fails."
Joel 2:15-17, Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the portico and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
Prayer is pleasing to God. Praying will bring deliverance in our collective and individual lives.
Samuel Chadwick, a nineteenth century Wesleyan Methodist minister, stated, "The one concern of the Devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray."
Praying in private is productive (Matthew 6:6); but, no matter where we are God can hear us. He heard Hagar in the wilderness--Genesis 16:13; Jonah in the deep--Jonah 2:1; Hezekiah on his bed--2 Kings 20:2; David in a cave--1 Samuel 22:1; Psalm 142; Peter on a ship--Matthew 14:28; the malefactor on the Cross--Luke 22:32.
There is a certain philosophy in prayer. God is to be honored and God is to be acknowledged according to James 4:3, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." The petitioner must bring his will into God's will. Even God's Son Jesus The Christ subjected His will to the will of His Heavenly Father. Please note the following proof texts:
Matthew 6:8, "Do not be like them [babbling pagans], for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
John 15:7, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."
John 15:14, "You are my friends if you do what I command."
Matthew 6:9-13 discloses the manner of prayer:
Pray fraternally - "Our Father..."
Pray reverently - "Hallowed be Thy Name."
Pray loyally and hopefully - "Thy Kingdom come..."
Pray submissively and assertively - "Thy will be done..."
Pray dependently - "...daily bread..."
Pray penitently - "Forgive us our debts."
Pray cautiously - "Deliver us from evil."
Additionally, in Ephesians 6:18, the prayer warrior to is pray in the Holy Spirit.
Paul the Apostle said that he prayed and the Spirit and prayed in the understanding also. He sang in the Spirit and sang in the understanding also (1 Corinthians 14:15).
Through praying in the Spirit God has provided a supernatural means of communication with Himself.