Summary: It is essential for believer’s to pray. The reason many Christians quit and give up is because of the lack of prayer.
Pastor Jamie Wright * MFC *December 01, 2004
1. Purpose of Prayer
… one of His disciples said to Him, ’Lord, teach us to pray . . .’ -Luke 11:1
Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural man. We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he doesn’t pray, but I question that. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer. When a person is born again from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve or nourish that life. Prayer is the way that the life of God in us is nourished. Our common ideas regarding prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.
"Ask, and you will receive . . ." ( John 16:24 ). We complain before God, and sometimes we are apologetic or indifferent to Him, but we actually ask Him for very few things. Yet a child exhibits a magnificent boldness to ask! Our Lord said, ". . . unless you . . . become as little children . . ." ( Matthew 18:3 ). Ask and God will do. Give Jesus Christ the opportunity and the room to work. The problem is that no one will ever do this until he is at his wits’ end. When a person is at his wits’ end, it no longer seems to be a cowardly thing to pray; in fact, it is the only way he can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. Be yourself before God and present Him with your problems—the very things that have brought you to your wits’ end. But as long as you think you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.
To say that "prayer changes things" is not as close to the truth as saying, "Prayer changes me and then I change things." God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.
Purpose of prayer:
a) to get to know God
b) to change us
c) so we can communicate with God
2. Person(s) of Prayer prayer is offered
◦ to God not to Mary, the sun, spirits, or other gods
Psalm 5:2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God:
◦ through Christ There is no other way to the Father
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father
John 14:14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
◦ in the Holy Ghost You need to learn to pray in the Spirit
Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost
3. Picture of Prayer How prayer is portrayed
◦ Bowing knees Eph 3:14
◦ Looking up Psalm 5:3
◦ Lifting up the soul Psalm 25:1
◦ Lifting up the heart Lam. 3:41
◦ Pouring out the heart Psalm 62:8
◦ Calling on the Name of the Lord Psalm 116:4
◦ Crying unto God Psalm 27:7
◦ Drawing near to God Hebrews 10:22
◦ Crying to heaven 2 Chron 32:20
◦ Beseeching the Lord Exodus 32:11
◦ Seeking the face of the Lord Psalm 27:8
◦ Making supplication Jeremiah 36:7
4. Positions of prayer
◦ standing Mark 11:25
◦ bowing down Psalms 95:6
◦ falling on your face Num. 16:22, Jos. 5:14, Matt. 26:39
◦ lifting up hands Ps. 28:2, 1Tim. 1:8
5. Prayer takes place
◦ without ceasing 1 Thess 5:17 Pray without ceasing
◦ everywhere 1 Tim. 2:8 I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.
◦ in everything Phil. 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer…make your request known to God.
6. Procedure in prayer (P.R.A.Y.)
◦ Praise ◦ Thanksgiving
◦ Repentance ◦ Confession
◦ Asking Making our request known
◦ Yielding Take time to listen to God; the leadings of the spirit
◦ Weeping Jeremiah 31:9 They shall come with weeping
◦ Fasting Acts 13:3 and when they had fasted and prayed...
Col. 4:2 Continue in prayer and with thanksgiving
◦ don’t faint Luke 18:1 ...men ought always to pray and not to faint.
◦ continue instant Rom. 12:12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
◦ Avoid hindrances
7. Prayer should be