Summary: A short 3 week mini-series on prayer. Week 1: the basics. Week 2: Prayers of thanksgiving and praise. Week 3: What are intercession, supplication, and prayers of confession.
I. What is prayer (John 17:1-5) (1 Thes. 5:16, “pray without ceasing”)
1. Pray is “talking with God.”
i. How does God talk to us? – Through the Bible
ii. How do we talk to God? – Through Prayer
II. Foundations of prayer:
1. 2 types (personal and corporate),
i. Personal – prayer done alone. This can be done silently in your head as we sit here in the pews, it can be done aloud while you are alone in your car, while you are alone in your bedroom. A personal prayer is prayer where there is only you and God, no other person.
ii. Corporate – prayer done with 2 or more people. As we gather here in the church, we all come together and pray. That is corporate prayer, but the fact that we may all be praying at once does not make a corporate prayer, what makes a corporate prayer in when two or more agree. When we ask the Lords healing on Bob, we all agree in the request – that is a corporate prayer.
2. 2 Requirements for prayer:
i. Pray in Jesus’ name (form requirement). John 16:23-24.
1. Illustration (ask two people to volunteer for the Me and Me parts):
When we use the name of Jesus we are claiming the forgiveness found in His death, burial, and resurrection. Thus, being perfect by His work, we can approach the perfect God. This makes us “positionally perfect” because when God looks at us, He sees the cross, the shed blood of Jesus, thus making us and our prayer petitions acceptable unto Him. However, apart from Jesus the sinner deserves only God’s eternal condemnation.
ii. Pray in faith – Pray without doubt (personal requirement). James 1:6-7.
1. If you pray and have doubt, you’d might as well pray to a door knob. If you pray and doubt that something will happen, God will not do whatever it is that you pray for.
2. For example: Let’s say that you have been diagnosed with some form of terminal cancer, and the doctors have given you six weeks to live. You begin praying that God would heal you, but in the back of your mind you trust more in the words of the earthly physicians’ than you do in your prayer for healing. God will not grant your request for healing because you doubt.
3. Or say you are wanting and hoping for a raise and/or promotion at work. You are in the running for it along with 2-3 other people, but somehow you think they are more qualified, so in your prayers asking for the promotion you doubt, God will not grant your prayer petition.
4. On the other hand, as you may remember, in November just a few months ago, we were praying for deathly sick young lady, literally just moments from death. We began praying the God would heal Kortney Armentrout. We prayed in faith, knowing that if God wanted to heal her, He could. You know what? We prayed in faith, and God acted and healed her. Actually, just a week and a half ago while I was up at Bethel College, I saw Kortney and told her of this faithful group of Christians who are sitting here today, I told her we were continually praying for her. I told her of the emails I received from you all asking for updates. She humbly said “Thank you.” So on behalf of Kortney Armentrout – a true living miracle from God - I thank you for your faith in prayers. As a result of this situation, you can see the power of having faith and truly trusting God in your prayers – for whatever you may pray.