Summary: God wants us to approach Him in prayer from the perspective of His being our Father, Savior and Friend
Prayer in the Context of Grace
Luke 11:1 (NKJV) Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray”
• We have set ourselves the goal of becoming more of a praying church this year so for the next month or so we are going to do a refresher on prayer
• Let me start by asking the question
What is the purpose of Prayer? Ultimately?
• Before you answer this, I want you to put it in the context of your salvation?
• You have just come to recognize you are a sinner and deserved to die
• you have learnt you need someone to save you as you can’t save yourself
• You learn that that Savior is Jesus Christ who left his throne of glory, descended to earth and died a horrific death on the cross so you wouldn’t have to
• He rose again on the third day picturing our new life devoted to Him
• He is going to return some day and we will spend eternity with Him
• Let me put it another way. You’re sitting on death row for committing a terrible crime, (which by the way is true of all of us) waiting to be executed when you find out someone has volunteered to die in your place.
• What would you want to do? Hopefully you would want to meet him so you could thank him
• This is exactly the scenario forgiven Christians find ourselves in
So what is the purpose of prayer?
• It is the primary way you and I can get to know more about this incredible Being who did this for us!
• Its is the method God has given humans to get to know Him
Okay, so we have just learned who this “Savior” is, this God who died in your stead, what would you like to say to Him?
• Thank Him
• Praise Him – The Hebrew word “Hallelujah” means just that – to give God our highest praise
• You may want to apologize to Him for putting Him through the crucifixion
• You may want to get to know Him better so that you can become more like Him
• And you find out He has not only saved you from the executioner, but He can also help us out in other ways if we ask Him
• And He can also help out others if we ask Him
• So we begin to see what we can pray about
Looking at Prayer in the context of our Salvation or Grace also governs our approach to Prayer
• Think of the story of the “Pharisee and the Publican”
• Let’s read it and think about differences in approach
• Luke 18:9-14 (KJV) 9 And he spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
• 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
• Comments? What are the differences in approach?
• Notice these people was speaking to had two problems, they trusted in their own righteousness, and the second problem followed the first, they despised others
• One went to let God know how good he was, the other came to ask for God’s mercy
• One trusted in his own sufficiency, the other recognized his insufficiency and need for God
• When we approach God in prayer in the context of “His grace” it reminds us of our place in the relationship
• The words of the Prodigal come to mind, “I am not worthy to be called your son” (Luke 15:19)
• Story of beggar in king’s court
• “I come here each day to remind myself of where I came from”
• Christians should never ever forget “where” we came from and “how” we arrived in the relationship
• It is good for us to revisit the beggars room each day before we go before God’s throne
• Each of us was a low-life sinner and if it weren’t for God’s grace that’s where we would still be