Summary: We are examining why we do certain things as Christians, along with why we do certain things at church. This week we will examine why we pray.
• Johnny and Chachi VIDEO
• SLIDE #1
• In our series, WHY DO WE DO THAT, we are going to examine the issue of prayer.
• Why do we pray in church, why do Christians pray?
• I am not sure that Johnny and Chachi would be much help; however, through their video we can see some references to how some folks view prayer.
• Prayer is something that offers us a great blessing if we will use it.
• One of the things Jesus did during His ministry is pray. Jesus spent a great deal of time in prayer, Jesus modeled for us the importance of prayer.
• I feel that one who was as close to God as Jesus felt it was important to pray, then it should be something we ought to consider as important for us.
• Prayer is not mindless, worthless babble, it is a power blessing.
• I have said in jest before that I will not pray for patience because God will help teach me about the art of patience. That view sees prayer as something that God uses to punish us, when that is the furthest thing from the truth.
• Are there times when we need to learn the art of things such as patience; however, if we reduce prayer to something that God will use against us, we are cheating ourselves out of a beautiful gift.
• Prayer is our way of being able to communicate with God. Think about this, if you see communication with someone as a bad thing, your relationship with that person may not be very solid.
• On the other hand, when you truly love someone, you want to communicate with them, you want to share your sorrows, your joys, your victories and even your defeats.
• The simple answer to the question, WHY DO WE PRAY, is simple, Christians should desire to communicate with God, the God we love, the God who loves us so much that He gave His only begotten son so we could enjoy eternal life!
• Today, we will examine three specific reasons we pray.
• Let’s begin by looking at Psalm 66:18-20
• SLIDE #2
• Psalm 66:18–20 (HCSB) — 18 If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 However, God has listened; He has paid attention to the sound of my prayer. 20 May God be praised! He has not turned away my prayer or turned His faithful love from me.
• One of the reasons we pray is…
• SLIDE #3
I. Prayer is a way to know God.
• Can one really get to know someone if they do not ever communicate with the person they want to know?
• We can read books, watch videos, in the information age, we can learn a great deal about another person; however, without some form of communication with the person, your knowledge is limited to facts and figures.
• We can fall into the same trap with God, we can read a lot about Him, know a great number of facts about Him, yet we can be in a position where we do not know Him.
• To KNOW God requires us to communicate with God through PRAYER!
• Unfortunately, God does not text, is not on Twitter, or Facebook, God does not have an Instagram account, nor does He carry a cell phone.
• We will not see a bunch of God selfies on the Internet.
• For a relationship with function, trust has to exist. Without trust, which is built upon knowing someone, there is no chance for a true healthy relationship.
• In Psalm 66, the Psalmist is speaking of the prayer he offered up to God, and that God heard his prayers.
• Sometimes I wonder if we are not as dedicated to prayer because we are fearful that God will know us better than we are comfortable with.
• I have news for you, God knows you better than you know yourself, what prayer does it helps us to get to know Him better, this allows us to learn to trust Him, which in turn will led to us turning to Him during times of joy as well as sorrow.
• When you take the step to get to God better, it makes you a better person.
• Look at verse 18 once again.
• SLIDE #4
• Psalm 66:18 (HCSB) If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
• What the Psalmist is says is that if he had been aware of his sin, yet done nothing about it, that the Lord would not have listened to his prayer.
• The implication is that because the Psalmist had a relationship with God, he was aware of his sin and not only was he aware of his sin, he took steps to correct the problem.