Summary: describes the disciple’s discipline of prayer.
, The Discipline of Prayer
At the end of Matthew chapter 28, one of the last things Jesus told His disciples before going to be with His Father, was to go and make disciples. That is one of the primary responsibilities Jesus has given us. We are to be disciple makers. Now, before we can make disciples of Jesus, we must first be disciples ourselves.
If you remember, we have seen that there are several attitudes, several marks that show a disciple. A disciple, we have seen, is a person who;
1. Has a changed life
2. Loves Jesus more than anyone else in the world
3. Loves Jesus more than anything else in the world
4. Loves Jesus more than comfort and security
5. Continues in His walk
6. Loves God’s people.
We are to be disciples, being transformed into Jesus’ image, more and more each day. But, discipleship, growing as disciples, requires discipline. In order for a boxer to be strong and expect to win in his fights, he must train. He runs. He exercises. He works on the bag. To be a successful fighter requires discipline.
A young lady, wanting to be a model, must discipline herself. She controls what she eats. She exercises. She gets the right amount of sleep. To be a successful model requires discipline.
What is true of boxers and models is also true of disciples. There are disciplines which can help us grow as disciples. This morning I would like us to look at the discipline of prayer.
> 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray constantly.
Evidently prayer is important. Think about it. Jesus’ followers saw Him multiply loaves and fish to feed 5000, and yet they never asked Him to teach them to do that. They watched Him raise the dead, and didn’t ask Him how to do that. They saw Him heal the sick, and didn’t ask Him to teach them to heal. No, what the disciples asked Jesus to teach them was how to pray.
> Luke 11:1 He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
After that request, Jesus taught them what we often call the Lord’s Prayer. You’ll see it there in your outline. Let’s say that together.
LORD’S PRAYER Matthew 6:9-13
Our Father, which art in Heaven, hollowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
If you want to grow as a disciple, you will be a person of prayer. If you want to revitalize your prayer life, there are several steps you can take.
I. APPROACH PRAYER WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
1. BE Real – v5
Don’t try to Impress
2. Be Alone – v6
3. Be Sincere – vv 7-8
You don’t “win” or “earn” God answering your prayers with the quantity of your prayers. Saying the same thing over and over again does not wear Him down. *Parents being worn down by their children’s constant requests.
II. USE THE MODEL JESUS GAVE US
> Matthew 6:9 Therefore, you should pray like this…
1. Praise: I begin by Praising God – v9
Adoration – Praising God for Who He Is
Thanksgiving – Praising God for What He has Done
> Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
As you read your Bible, make a list of God’s character qualities. God’s character is the basis for our boldness in making requests in prayer.
Make a list of things to thank God for. Each day, thank God for at least one specific thing in the following areas of life.
Material possessions (house, shoes, etc.)
Physical blessings (eyes, mouth, etc.)
Spiritual blessings (forgiveness, healing, etc.)
People (one each day)
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
2. Purpose: I commit myself to God’s Will – v10
Pray for God’s will to be done … in your family, my church… my ministry, my job, my future, my city, the nation, the world.
3. Provision: I ask God to Provide – v11
>Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
> James 4:2 …You do not have because you do not ask.
Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
4. Pardon: I ask God to Forgive Me – v12