Summary: My teacher taught me the 5 W’s of Writing: Who, What, Where, When and Why. This series will look at the 5 W's of Prayer. This is the first one...Who?
When I was in elementary school, my teacher taught me the 5 W’s of Writing. These were five foundational elements of writing anything… especially a report. These five W’s are: Who, What, Where, When and Why.
These five W’s have served me well through school and life.
For the next few weeks, maybe more than five, we are going to be looking at PRAYER. As we look at it, I want to teach some basic truths about prayer. To do that I will be using the Five W’s. Today we will start with the first one… WHO?
All of my points will be questions that begin with WHO (whom)
1. WHO SHOULD PRAY
The answer to this one is easy… everyone SHOULD pray.
The scripture is very clear on this point… God wants every person to pray.
8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
Though the “I” in this verse refers to Paul, He is laying down spiritual truth… God wants everyone to pray.
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, taught the God wants us to pray because over and over He said, WHEN you pray… not IF. God expects us to pray.
Why does God want everyone to pray? There are three very good reasons:
a. God is your heavenly Father and he loves you very much.
When you love someone very much, you want to hear from them. It thrills you. It may not be anything important, but you just love to hear from them. So, first of all, God wants you to talk to Him because he loves you and it thrills Him to hear from you.
b. God has many gifts he wants to give to you, but you must ask.
I don’t know why, I just know it is true… God has many, many blessings He wants to give to us. They are things we need and things that will just make us happy. But we often miss out on those things because we don’t ask for them.
If God has them… and knows that we need them or they will make us happy… why does He not just give them to us? I don’t know!!
Maybe He uses them to get us to talk to Him… remember how much He loves to hear from us. Maybe it has to do with submission. I don’t know why… but I know from scripture that sometimes we miss out because we don’t ask.
James 4:2 is clear, “…you have not because you ask not.”
There may be other reasons why you don’t have… but some things we don’t have because we don’t ask.
God is just waiting for us to ask.
So one reason God wants us to pray is… so He can give us good things.
c. Prayer Leads to Confession
Not always and not for all people, but for most people praying to God causes us to face, acknowledge and confess our sins. That is something else that is very important to God… confession of sins. God loves you very much. Sin separates you from Him and blocks Him from being able to hear your prayers or give you the good things He has for you. So confessed sin is very important to God and prayer is leads to confession.
2. WHO SHOULD WE PRAY TO? (Bad English, I know)
Should we pray to God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit?
All three are God!!!
There is scriptural teaching and support for praying to God and Jesus. There is not one example in all of scripture of a prayer being offered to the Holy Spirit.
Of course we pray to God, the Father. Scripture tells us to do that and gives us many examples of spiritual examples of people who did.
A few scriptures shall suffice to make the point.
Matthew 6:9 9 “This, then, is how you should pray:“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Luke 11:13 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
John 17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.
Ephesians 1:17 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
So we know that we can pray to God, the Father.
But there are also scriptural examples of people praying to Jesus, the Son, and our Lord.
A few scriptures:
Acts 7:59 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”