Summary: This is the third message in a series on understanding and doing the will of God. Teh third essential tool for accomplishings God’s will is genuine prayer.
Trans: For a closer walk with Thee ¡V we need a closer talk with Him.
Define: Prayer is the natural response to a Spirit-led life. It is the breath of the child of God. Just as breathing is a natural response for a child from birth, so too, is prayer a natural response for someone who is born of God.
Simple: Prayer is nothing more than talking, listening, and communing w/ God.
Prayer is not 1 Talking w/ unnatural words
2 Vain repetition
3 Hail Mary¡¦s
4 An act to impress others
Define: Prayer is communicating w/ God for the purposes of knowing Him, seeking His heart, and doing His will. It is putting your ear to God¡¦s chest to hear and know His heartbeat.
Trans: Prayer is often the most overlooked discipline in the church and in the life of a Christian ¡V yet prayer is the great privilege which provides great power for Christian living.
Imagine: When you bow to pray heaven stops to listen.
Quote: It has been said that faith moves mountains but that prayer moves God.
Sad: For many people, the extent of their prayer life is at the dinner table. (Good bread, good meat, good God let¡¦s eat.) Let me tell you something, the Devil enjoys those types of prayer, b/c they don¡¦t seek the movement of God.
Verse: The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man has a powerful impact. Jm. 5
Truth: While praying is a privilege, it is also powerful. Prayer changes things!
„« Prayer changes our character
„« Prayer changes our faith
„« Prayer changes our vision
Trans: But before we go any further, let¡¦s state the obvious about prayer.
1 No one prays enough.
2 A lack of prayer affects our ability to meet w/ and be used by God.
3 As the children and church of God, we need instruction on prayer.
HOW ARE WE TO PRAY
I We Are To Pray
Idea: In Mt. 6:5-7 Jesus says, ¡§When you pray¡K¡¨
Note: Talk about huge assumptions ¡V When you pray¡K but do you pray?
Trans: It is amazing how many people go through the motion but don¡¦t pray.
Remember ¡V prayer involves talking and listening to God. If I am only talking and not listening and hearing, then I am not praying.
Quote: Prayer occurs when you depend on God.
Prayerlessness occurs when you depend on yourself.
Trans: Prayer begins w/ praying
II We Are To Pray From Our Hearts
Verse: And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard b/c of their many words. Do not be like them. Mt. 6:7-8
Idea: Prayer is not about length or particular words ¡V it is about the heart.
Truth: Prayer is not about impressing God or impressing others, prayer is about being honest w/ your self before God.
III We Are To Pray In Private
Verse: But when you pray, go into the 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. Mt. 6:6
Quote: We pray too many words in public and too few in private.
Truth: There is a different earnestness and a deeper searching when I pray in private. In private, God and I know the truth and we can be honest w/ one another.
Note: I am free to be honest when I am alone w/ God in prayer.
IV We Are To Pray In Faith
Verse: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mk 11:24
Quote: Prayer is the key to changing the world and faith is the key to praying.
Idea: We pray in faith believing God is able to accomplish His will and work in and among us. When we see God move b/c we have prayed according to His will and this causes us to trust Him more.
V We Are To Pray Expecting
Verse: This is the confidence we have in approaching God ¡V if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that He hears us ¡V whatever we as ¡V we know that we have what we asked of Him. ¡V 1 Jn 5:14f
Truth: When you pray, you can always expect an answer ¡V Yes/No/Wait
Trans: Why are prayers un-answered
1 They are never offered
2 They are offered w/ wrong motives
3 They are offered while in sin
4 They are flippant and not fervent
5 They are offered, but we don¡¦t believe God will answer
6 They are offered, but we don¡¦t want to be submissive to God
VI We Are To Pray For the Lost and for Soul Winners