Summary: The disciples ask Him, "Lord teach us to pray". This sermon teaches us how to pray based on the principles Jesus taught His disciples.
Have you ever thought about your prayer life? Have you ever examined it and wished that you could be better at communicating with God? Have you ever just felt like there were times when your prayers were just hitting the ceiling and bouncing right back down? I wonder if you¡¦ve ever stopped to consider whether there is any power in your prayers?
I read about a small Oklahoma town that had two churches and one distillery. Members of both churches complained that the distillery was giving the community a bad image. And to make matters worse the owner of the distillery was an out spoken atheist. He didn¡¦t believe in God one bit. The church people had tried unsuccessfully for years to shut down the distillery. So finally they decided to hold a joint Saturday night prayer meeting. They were going to ask God to intervene and settle the matter.
The church folks gathered on Saturday night and there was a horrible thunderstorm raging outside and to the delight of the church members lightening hit that old brewery and it burned to the ground.
The next morning the sermons that were preached in both churches were on the power of prayer.
But the insurance adjusters promptly notified the distillery owner that they were not going to pay for the damages because the fire was an act of God and that was an exclusion in the policy.
The distillery owner was furious and he sued both churches claiming that they had conspired with God to destroy his business. But the churches denied that they had anything to do with the cause of the fire.
The presiding judge opened the trial with theses words: ¡§ I find one thing in this cause most perplexing-we have a situation here where the plaintiff, an atheist is professing his belief in the power of prayer, and the defendants all faithful church members are denying the very same power
It seems that sometimes as Christians we pray asking God to do certain things, either in our life or the lives of others, only to be totally surprised when God answers our prayers.
So where do we start if it is our goal to establish a legitimate communication with God? The bookstores are full of books that are aimed at leading one into a prayer relationship with God but, how does one know what is valid and what isn¡¦t? I can relate to Lee Strobel when he said, and I quote, ¡§I treated prayer as if it were a spiritual smorgasbord¡XI took a little of this authors ideas, a bit of advise from that pastors sermon, applied some miscellaneous Bible verses, and mixed it with some counsel of well meaning friends. The result: an imbalanced and half-baked prayer life that left me starving for something more satisfying¡¨. We can find all too many sources that would endeavor to lead us into an intimate prayer life with God but who can best describe to us the principles of proper prayer better than the master communicator Himself, Jesus, the son of God. He spent more time in successful, active communication with the Father than anyone else. If we will listen to Him, the pathway to powerful prayer will be revealed to us.
I. Learn The Basic Principles Of Prayer-Prayer 101
1Now 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, as John also taught his disciples.
2So He said to them, When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3Give us day by day our daily bread 4And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation But deliver us from the evil one. 5And He said to them, Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6for
a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him¡ 7and he will answer from within and say, Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you¡ 8I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. 9So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!¡¨