Summary: Prayer is an ultimate way to bow down before God.
Intro: Johnny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over and then said a prayer.
"Fine", said the pleased mother. "If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you."
"Oh, I didn't ask Him to help me not misbehave," said Johnny. "I asked Him to help you put up with me."
Jesus is still trying to tear down our assumptions and ideas about who should and how should we worship. Prayer is one of the ultimate ways we bow before God. This bowing down is not supposed to be an interruption of our regular life it is our life.
This is not the simple belief that the demons have according to James 2:19. It is the recognition of all that God is that will move us to trust Him in prayer. We will never be shamed into prayer, encouraged into prayer or forced into prayer.
True prayer is worship, bowing our life before the person of God revealed in Jesus and the Bible.
At this point you may stumble. You may have faced a struggle, a hurt or a loss. You have become convinced that a loving God doesn’t allow struggles, hurts or losses. Look directly and squarely at the cross and realize that God has dealt with every struggle, every hurt and every loss. If He did this we can recognize Him as God!!
Prayer begins with believing God is as He is. The God of the universe is not easy to describe or understand. He cannot be completely explained by a single verse of scripture or expressed by a single encounter with a believer. He is completely revealed by Jesus.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews wants us to understand that we must believe that God is exactly who He reveals Himself to be. There is a caution that you must hear. If we conceive of God as we want Him to be,” He is only a god of our making and imagination no better than an idol. We must accept all that He is revealed to be. He is a god of love, but also of judgment because He revealed Himself that way! His is not only a God of mercy and kindness, but also of holiness and wrath. So we must “Believe in the God who reveals Himself in His Word.”
Do you see that the basis for worshiping God in prayer is not simply saying, “Yep I believe in God.” Then living your life completely opposite of what He is revealed to be in His character.
He is revealed in His work, in His word and in Jesus! If we are not allowing His revelation to shape and form our recognition and reception of Him then we are merely forming a God, an idol in our own making and possibly in our image.
Please pray with me. “Father we want our belief to go beyond simple information. We want the knowledge we have about you to change our lives forever. Please continue to show us your character through Jesus, your Word through your Spirit. Father give us a hunger for your word that continually reveals who you are and how we are to respond to you. Father we want our image of you to be in line with your revelation of yourself.”
II. Prayer is conversation with God as Father
From His solitude in the mountains to His all night prayer vigils. Raising Lazarus from the dead to submitting to God’s will instead of His own desires in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus spoke to God as Father. Jesus revealed that God wants to walk with us and talk with us. When we read about Moses, Elijah, Jesus we find that we can have a conversation with God. When Jesus tore down the dividing wall between us and God he opened the way for a relationship with us and God the father through Jesus.
A) Prayer is personal
Moses, Elijah and David all spoke to God directly. They shared their fears, complaints, problems.
We can talk to Him in confession. Even though God knows how we sin He longs for us to come to Him as Sons and Daughters and be honest about our need for repentance and forgiveness.
We can talk to Him about how thankful we are.
We can talk to Him and share our struggles.
We can talk to Him and share our complaints, misunderstandings, desires, why? Because if we have confessed Jesus as savior and Lord, He longs to walk with us and talk with us.
B) Prayer is practical
John 15:7 “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.”