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Summary: This sermons answers the question "How then, should we pray?"

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Prayer

1 Timothy 2:8

I will, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." K.J.V.

A member of this church recently came to my office with several questions about

prayer.

Whenever that happens, a member has questions about anything, it makes me

think; "Maybe others have the same or similar questions."

That causes me to want to preach on that subject.

This verse hit me right between the eyes as answering some of those questions.

I want us to dissect the verse, take it in little pieces and learn from it.

1. God's Will Concerning Prayer

“I will, therefore, that men pray everywhere."

This little phrase answers the questions... when, where, how often, how much.

WHERE should we pray?

EVERYWHERE!!!

Some read the scriptures in Matthew 6:6 where Jesus says, "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand in the synagogue and on the street corners to be seen by men, ... But when pray, go into your room {closet}, close the door, and pray to your Father ... "

This can be misunderstood as saying that you should not pray in public or that you should only pray in private or that private prayers are more effective and God pleasing than public prayers.

Either of those understandings would be wrong.

The scripture says, "I will that men should pray EVERYWHERE. ... EVEN in

public.

Everywhere means ... EVERYWHERE... at work ... at school... driving ... resting .

cutting grass... doing dishes... cleaning house... washing the car

EVERYWHERE.

The scripture says, "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 men..."

Jesus was not saying you should not pray in church .... He prayed in church.

He was not saying you should not pray in public... he prayed before 15000.

The key is found in the phrase ... "to be seen by men ..."

They are just playing religion in order to have human approval. to get man's

praise.

God sees right through that acting job and it makes Him sick ... HE WILL NOT

HEAR THAT PRAYER.

The reason he says, "go into your closet and close the door ... " is that makes you

be real, sincere, honest because there is no reason to play act. God does hear and love those prayers.

You don't have to be in the closet... but it must be sincere and not to bring you honor.

That is why I can pray in the service and know God hears... it is real.

The scripture says in verse 6 that "then your Father, who sees what is done in

secret, will reward you."

That does not mean that there is a magic formula or way to get your prayers

answered ... it means that God sees into the secret place ... the heart .. and will

honor the sincere prayer.

You can pray a sincere, self-denying prayer in public and it be heard when a

self-serving prayer in private will not be heard.

WHERE? Everywhere.

WHEN? Everywhere = all the time

We should be in a continual prayer mode ... realizing that we are always in his

presence and can speak to him any time.

HOW OFTEN? Everywhere ... all the time ... every day ... any moment

HOW MUCH? 5 minutes? 1 hour? How much? Everywhere = as much as

you need.

Jesus taught in Matt. 6:7 that there is not a magic formula .. if you say the prayer

a certain number of prayers ... that the prayer will be answered.

Our Catholic friends were guilty in the past of this belief. A sinner going to

confession is told to pray a certain number of "Our Father’s or "Hail Marys and

he would be forgiven. Or sent to Rome and told to climb a certain set of steps

that Jesus supposedly climbed with the cross, and to pray on each step.

Jesus made it clear that repetition is not a lucky charm or a guarantee

In Jesus’ name

It is not the number or prayers .... but the quality of the prayers .... prayers that

meet the pre-requisites.

What are the pre-requisites for having prayers heard and answered?

If it is not the place or the time or the amount

Our text in ! Timothy 2:8 gives us three pre-requisites:

1. LIFTING UP HOLY HANDS ...

What does it mean to lift up holy hands?

When the Jews prayed they did so by standing .... we prefer to kneel. .. why? I

don't know.

Actually, the most Biblically precise way would probably be the way the scripture

most often speaks of and the way Billy Graham does it.. .. prostrate ... lying face

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