Summary: Does the Lord hear all prayers? To whom should we pray? Why do we pray? Prayer is necessary for an interactive life with God. We cannot compartmentalize our lives into God-time and our-time.
Please open your Bibles to Matthew 6:5-15 so you can follow along.
What is prayer?
Communication with God
(Congregational reading of the Lord’s Prayer on PPT from the KJV)
So, let’s go ahead and read Matthew 6:5-15
We pray a lot in our services:
blessing the offering to the work of the Lord,
sometimes prayer when starting the sermon and
a prayer at the end of the service.
Why do we pray so much in our worship services?
The Lord is an active participant in the worship service.
Who can pray?
Everyone can pray
Who do we pray to?
We pray to the Father
We pray to the Father through Jesus the One and Only Mediator
We pray at the urging of the Holy Spirit
How do we pray?
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Why do (or why should) we pray so much in our daily lives?
The Lord is (or should be) an active participant in our daily lives.
When do we usually “resort” to continual prayer? During times of crisis.
During times of crisis we feel we “need” Jesus.
When do we actually need Jesus? All the time!
“Pray continually” does NOT mean repeating prayers over and over and over.
“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”
We love to say the Lord’s Prayer and it is a beautiful prayer but it is really an example, a kind of pattern Jesus gave to His disciples in order to teach them to pray. He never told them to repeat it over and over.
The Lord wants us to talk to Him. He’s not impressed with how many memorized prayers we can recite and how many times we can recite them.
Prayer is an interactive activity involving us and the entire Trinity.
We learn of God and His desires for us through His Holy Word.
The Holy Spirit calls us to prayer.
We bring our prayers to the Father through Jesus and in the authority of His name
The Lord answers according to what is best for us
The Lord moves in our spirits
Examples: How the Lord moved our hearts in our calls to churches
How the Lord moved my heart to change the sermon this morning.
“You may ask Me (Jesus) for anything in My name, and I will do it.”
Who may ask Jesus for anything in His name and He will do it?
Sons and daughters of God who are in right relationship with God.
Sons and daughters of God who know the mind and the will of Christ.
Sons and daughters of God who seek to do the will of Christ.
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Ex. Man continually robbing. Someone shoots him. Dear God, please don’t let me die …
Nothing about …
I’m sorry for my wicked life …
I’m sorry I have caused such pain for others …
I’m sorry I have lived in rebellion against You, Lord …
Please forgive me …
Please help me to make it right with those I’ve heart …
Is using the Lord as a “spare tire god” a prayer that will be heard?
If you make unwise financial decisions. Get all of the loans you can get. Get all of the credit cards you can get and max them out. Go out to eat five times a week. Buy breakfast and expensive coffee on the way to work every day instead of eating at home. Buy lunch out every day instead of packing a lunch. Keeping your home at 80 degrees and running around in a t-shirt instead of dressing warmly. Going on expensive vacations you can’t afford. Buying the most expensive cars and home that the bank will finance. Robbing the Lord’s tithes and offerings in order to spend on yourself, etc. And then you come to the Lord and asking Him to bail you out!
On the other hand, what can we expect if we are living lives pleasing to God?
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet He did not sin.