Title: Purpose of Prayer
Text: Matthew 6
2000 years ago a man stood on a grassy hill and began to expound these words to the listeners. “After this manner therefore pray” or when you pray, pray this way.
The question we must ask ourselves 2000 years later is does this apply to us? Can we make a personal application to our lives in prayer?
Jesus told the disciples “men ought always to pray, and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1. Does this apply to us? Yes as we know. But we go back to this prayer. Can we personalize prayer? Is prayer just a rote words that we give to God or is it personal communication between us and God?
Prayer should be personal. It should be personal communication. It should be as a conversation. Yet we must always remember who the conversation is with. In life when we do talk to someone we talk differently by the person. If it is our friend we would be more relaxed. If it is a job interview we would be more keen to answer the question. If it is the president we would be respectful. But what if it is God. The creator of the universe. God who made us. God who saved us. Then we should really speak carefully but with personal words.
Jesus told the disciples and those listening that when we pray we are not to pray for the attention of others for but for the ear of God. We should pray not as others listen but as God listens. We should pray personally in our closets.
He also told us not to use vain repetitions. This is repeating our selves with mantras and meditative phrases. It is not how many times we ask that makes God answer but with the heart and motives that we ask with.
From here he goes into what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is not words in which we have to recite to pray but it is an example in which we should glean from as we study and desire to pray.
Prayer is a growing process as much as any spiritual area in our lives. We do not start as great prayers but we develop into one. And the best way to do this is as anything else. The best way to get good at something is to? Practice.
We need to practice so that we can grow in prayer.
But he tells us how to pray. When we pray we should make it personal. Let us begin. In this prayer there are 6 petitions. Three for the kingdom’s interest and three for our own interest.
We learn that the kingdom of God’s has a lot to depend on the prayers of his people. Jesus told his disciples
Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
Prayer should be Personal Response
Our Father which art in heaven
We speak to God with all the rights and privileges of being his children. This is why it is so important to make this prayer personal. So that we may know the mind of God. He is our father and with that there are privileges.
Prayer should be full of worship
Hallowed be thy name
Praising God means that when we go to him our responses will be only of what his desire and will is.
Prayer should be unselfish
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven
Prayer should be a time of asking
Give us this day our daily bread
Prayer should be a time of repentance
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
Not only should we be willing to receive but we must also be willing to conceive or give back
Prayer should be a time of forgiveness
As we forgive our debtors
Importance of forgiveness
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 AV)
As we learn from this passage how we forgive others will affect how the Lord will receive our prayers. It is important that we go to the Lord with the correct attitude.
Prayer should be a time of dependence
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
It is important to end in praise. This shows God your true motives. We trust him, love him, and honor him no matter what his answer to our prayer is
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen