2015.02.08. BASICS TO PRAYER
The Bible has a lot to say about prayer. The first mention of prayer is found in Genesis, chapter 4.
Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
WHAT IS THE CORRECT POSTURE FOR PRAYER?
In the Bible people prayed on their knees (1 Kings 8:54), bowing (Exodus 4:31), on their faces before God (2 Chronicles 20:18; Matthew 26:39), and standing (1 Kings 8:22). You may pray with your eyes opened or closed, quietly or out loud—however you are most comfortable and least distracted.
1 Samuel 16:7b for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
A CORRECT POSTURE FOR PRAYER - PRAYER FROM THE HEART
SHOULD I PRAY WITH ELOQUENT WORDS OF SPEECH?
Your prayers need not be wordy or impressive in speech.
Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
"When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again." (NLT)
Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. (NIV)
WHY SHOULD I PRAY?
Prayer Develops Our Relationship with God.
If we never speak to our spouse or never listen to anything our spouse might have to say to us, our marriage relationship will quickly deteriorate. It is the same way with God. Prayer—communicating with God—helps us grow closer and more intimately connected with God.
Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'These are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' " (NLT)
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! (NLT)
THE LORD INSTRUCTED US TO PRAY
One of the simplest reasons to spend time in prayer is because the Lord instructed us to pray. Obedience is a natural by-product of discipleship.
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
"Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!" (NLT)
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (NIV)
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
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 saints. (NIV)
(See also - Matthew 7:7 and 1 Timothy 2:8)
WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PRAY?
The Holy Spirit will help you in prayer when you don't know how to pray.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. (NIV)
ARE THERE REQUIREMENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL PRAYER?
Yes, there are some requirements found in the Bible for successful prayer.
Successful prayer requires:
• A HUMBLE HEART
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)
Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (NIV)
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (NIV)
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (NIV)
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
And we will receive whatever we request because we obey him and do the things that please him. (NLT)
DOES GOD HEAR AND ANSWER PRAYER?
Yes, God hears and answers prayer. Here are examples of this promise from the Bible.
Psalms 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. (NIV)
Psalms 91:15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. (NIV)
• 1 Samuel 1:27
• Psalm 4:3
• Psalm 18:6
• Proverbs 15:29
• Isaiah 58:9
• Luke 11:9
WHY ARE SOME PRAYERS NOT ANSWERED?
Sometimes our prayers are not answered. The Bible gives several reasons or causes for failure in prayer:
• Disobedience - Deuteronomy 1:45; 1 Samuel 14:37
• Secret Sin - Psalm 66:18
• Indifference - Proverbs 1:28
• Neglect of mercy - Proverbs 21:13
• Despising the Law - Proverbs 28:9
• Bloodguiltiness - Isaiah 1:15
• Iniquity - Isaiah 59:2; Micah 3:4
• Stubbornness - Zechariah 7:13
• Instability or Doubt - James 1:6-7
• Self-indulgence - James 4:3
Sometimes our prayers are refused. Prayer must be in accord with God's divine will.
1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (NIV)
(See also - Deuteronomy 3:26; Ezekiel 20:3)
SHOULD I PRAY ALONE OR WITH OTHERS? (BOTH)
God wants us to pray together with other believers.
Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. (NIV)
Luke 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.(NIV)
Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (NIV)
God also wants us to pray alone and in secret.
Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (NIV)
Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (NIV)
Luke 5:15-16 15 But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (NIV)
Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (NKJV)
NOTE: I thank GOD for taking me on a path of prayer. Learning to pray. Utilizing GOD's WORD to pray, by praying the scriptures. www.prayingscriptures.com
Also, for the weekly study by Eddie and Alice Smith from www.teachmetopray.com from which this sermon text comes.