Summary: Constant communication with God is important in the Christian life.
Focus Passage: Matthew 6:5-13
Supplemental Passage: 1Th 5:17 “pray without ceasing”
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6 NASB).
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. "Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? "Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:7-11 NASB)
Introduction: Make some personal remarks about prayer. [Early African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, "Brother, the grass grows on your path."] Today in the Word, June 29, 1992.
I. Adoration of God
a. (vs Respect and make Holy the name of God. (Third Commandment: Exodus 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.)
b. Declaring God’s will to be supreme (over your own will and the will of others)
c. ‘Dear God, Your will, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen’ – Bobby Richardson
II. Supplication to God
a. Needs. Not wants. Short, sweet and to the point. Not a long list of stuff.
b. Forgiveness: Since Jesus was without sin, this was NOT His prayer. It should be called “the Disciple’s prayer”. It is a model of HOW TO PRAY. We are to confess that we are with sin (and confess our sin and ask for forgiveness)
i. The request for daily forgiveness is supposed to lead us to forgive others in the way we are forgiven…that is, whether they deserve it or not. It’s a sure proof we truly got saved.
c. Strength and Guidance: Having prayed that the guilt of sin may be removed, we pray, as it is fit, that we may never return again to folly, that we may not be tempted to it. It is not as if God tempted any to sin; but, “Lord, do not let Satan loose upon us; chain up that roaring lion, for he is subtle and spiteful; Lord, do not leave us to ourselves (Matthew Henry’s Commentary)
III. Praise to God
a. 1 Chronicles 29:11 "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. (David’s Doxology)
b. Give Thanks! 1Th 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
c. Heb 13:15 let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
i. Learn how to do it now; you’ll be doing it for eternity when you get to heaven!
Invitation: Christ went more readily to the cross than we do to the throne of grace. ~Thomas Watson If we have Christ, we have direct access to God. If you do not have Christ, your prayers are in vain.