Summary: Praying on purpose and how it relates to Living on Purpose

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Praying on Purpose

December 8, 2002

Last week we talked about “living on purpose” and knowing God’s purpose for our lives. For the next several weeks we will be looking at some specific areas of our lives that relate to purpose. Today we will be talking about “praying on purpose”. If we’re going to “live on purpose” it’s essential that we “pray on purpose”.

Video clip: Sister Act (when Whoopie is asked to pray for the meal)

How can we know God’s purpose for our lives, unless we pray about it?

But how well do we really understand prayer?

Let’s start by testing your knowledge on the subject of prayer. We have a series of multiple choice questions.

1. Why should we pray?

a. to keep from feeling guilty

b. because God desires to spend time with us

c. so we’ll be covered in case the pastor asks

answer: B

2. Whose prayer is God most likely to hear?

a. a child’s

b. the pastor’s

c. the world’s most notorious sinner

answer: Yes

3. What should we pray about?

a. Buying a new car

b. friends who are sick

c. trying to break a bad habit

answer: Yes

4. When should we pray?

a. first thing in morning

b. Before we eat our meals

c. Just before bedtime

Answer: Yes

5. How long should our prayer be?

a. 1-2 seconds

b. 1-2 minutes

c. 1-2 hours

answer: Yes

3 keys to praying on purpose:

1. Confidence (have faith that God will answer)

I John 5:14-15

We must ask “in His will” not ours.

God gives us the desire for the things He wants in our lives.

2. Correct motives

James 4:2-3

Joke: A few weeks before Christmas, a small boy decided to pray and ask God for the Christmas presents he badly wanted. “Dear God, I’ve been good for six months now” he prayed. But after a moment’s reflection, he decided he should start over. “Dear God” he prayed “I’ve been good for three months now.” Just then, he remembered something he had done to his sister a few weeks earlier, so once again he started his prayer over. “Dear God, I’ve been good for two weeks now.” There was another brief pause. The boy got up from the bed where he was kneeling and went to the manger scene that was sitting on top of his dresser. He picked up the figure of Mary and went back to kneel by his bed. “Dear God, if you ever want to see your Mother again…”

3. Commitment (keep on praying)

Matthew 7:7-8

There’s a magazine cartoon that shows a little boy kneeling beside his bed for his bedtime prayer. He says with some measure of disgust, “Dear God, Uncle Jim still doesn’t have a job; Sis still doesn’t have a date for the social; Grandma is still feeling sick, and I’m tired of praying for this family and not getting results.

All of us have probably felt this way at one time or another, in regards to our prayers. Each one of us has probably felt like quitting. Probably more than a few of us have actually stopped praying, maybe not altogether, but at least about certain things. Things that God has put on our heart. Things that are important and not trivial. We quit praying because of discouragement and doubt. We wonder if it pays to pray. Even though we might not voice such thoughts, the questions have at least come into our minds.

Time of Reflection

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