Summary: A discussion about (Public) prayer from 1 Timothy 2:1-8
Sermon for 11/17/2002
A. Wayne Watson- When God’s people pray, and take the pains of earth to the doors of heaven, when God’s people pray, there is hope reborn, there is sin forgiven. And miracles you can’t explain away, when God’s people pray.
B. Wonderful time when had a prayer group and we prayed.
A. In these verses it talks more about prayer in the worship service.
B. First of all (vs. 1), this is just not a side note. It is not filler until we can get to the important things like communion and the sermon. Look at Vs. 3
C. Prayer is important.
D. Suggestions on Public prayer:
1. We must have a heavenly frame of mind. We are not approaching the butcher or the baker or a worker at McDonald’s, we are approaching the King of Kings and we need to come with reverence and holy fear.
2. We are addressing our prayers to the Lord. If this is the case then sermonizing during the prayer is ridiculous. We do not preach to God, we talk to Him. We need to remember that we are leading others in prayer, but we do not word our prayers to win others respect or favor. We are talking to God.
3. We need to avoid caned phrases. Lord is often overused after every phrase or some other word is sprinkled throughout so that it becomes filler until we can think of something else to say.
4. In prayer, we also do not demand God to do certain things. In our prayer closets, we can work and agonize with God over certain issues, but in public it is better to have the attitude of laying our requests before God with the understanding and wording of “Your will be done.”
5. Pray as one who has tried and proved his God, and so comes with undoubting confidence that God will do great things. Maybe not exactly in the way or time frame that we want, but God will do great things.
6. Public prayers must be a matter of the heart. It is a pleasure to hear new Christian pray in public. Everything is so genuine and so unpretentious.
7. Vary the length and content of our public prayers. One elder who prayed said the same things every Sunday. Everyone in the crowd could quote what his prayer would be. He began to vary his content when a little boy prayed with him aloud and didn’t miss a word.
8. Vary the requests that are being laid at God’s feet. Many things to pray for and our requests don’t always have to center around the sick. In these verses we see that we need to pray for government officials, we need to pray for those who are lost.
9. Be natural. Don’t try to do things or say things that are not in our beings or character. Vs. 8 talks about lifting holy hands and this is great if it is natural for you. I have often been lead to bow my knees when I pray. Whatever is worshipful and meaningful is appropriate. We also should not judge or snub those who pray in a different position or with uplifted arms or with different tones or gestures. Don’t be afraid to try new things but also be natural.
10. Try to keep it short. No more than 5 minutes
E. If someone is long or you are having a hard time praying with the leader, then repeat softly or silently the words and phrases after the one praying. We are praying together and our minds need to be together as someone is leading us.
F. Some people are naturally more gifted than others in leading prayer. Generally those who are known to be men of prayer make good leaders of public prayer.
G. Prayer is special.
Thesis: Prayer brings us into contact with God. Prayer brings us into communion with God. Prayer brings us into cooperation with God.
H. Prayer brings us into contact with God.
** 3 essentials to have this contact with God.
A. A revelation with God.
1. From Creation we can see some of God’s characteristics. However, for us to really know Him, He must reveal, share some things with us. He has revealed himself in His Word.
2. Jesus Christ is called the Word. The ultimate Word sent down from God so that God revealed much of his character and being through Jesus Christ.
3. We can know God through His written Word but especially through the actions of His Son.
4. I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes unto the Father but by Me.
B. A relationship with God.
1. God is our Father and we are His children. We must have this relationship to have effective prayer.