PRAYER

 

1. Praying is seeking and asking God - Matthew 7:7-12

2. Pray according to the Word of God, asking and receiving - 1 John 5:14-15

3. Pray for the knowledge of the unrevealed will of God in a specific situation or need – Colossians 3:1

4. Seeking and finding - Jeremiah 29:12-13

5. Pray for the miraculous intervention of God in your life. I am not speaking signs and wonders, but to handle situations that are out of your control - Matthew 17:14-21

 

Why Pray?

1. Prayer is imperative - Matthew 26:41

2. Prayer is the only way to request things from God - James 4:2

3. Prayer is Joy - John 16:24

4. Prayer can help deliver you out of trouble - Acts 12:1-17

5. Prayer unlocks the treasure chest of God's wisdom - James 1:5

6. Praying is a vehicle for power - Jeremiah 33:3

7. Not praying is a sin - 1 Samuel 12:23

8. Salvation is through prayer in faith for those called by God - Romans 10:13

9. Pray without ceasing - 1 Thessalonians 5:17

10. Prayer brings hope - Psalm 33:22

 

How to Pray

1. Christ taught the disciples how to pray (see the exemplary prayer) - Matthew 6:9-13

2. Pray in the name of Christ - John 14:13-14

3. The Holy Spirit interprets when we are short on words and long on problems – Romans 8:26-27

4. Pray that God's will is done in everything - James 4:15

5. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem - Psalm 122:6 (Not for the city in Israel but for the Body of Christ who is the New Jerusalem) - Hebrews 10:22; Revelation 3:12; 21:2

6. Pray for daily necessities - Luke 11:3

7. Pray for forgiveness and forgive others - Matthew 18:21-22

8. Pray in faith - Hebrews 11:6

 

Hindrances to Prayer

1. Selfishness - James 4:3

2. Unbelief - Hebrews 11:6; James 1:6-7

3. Sin in the heart - Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:1-2; John 9:31

4. Husbands who do not honor their wives - 1 Peter 3:7

 

Answers to Prayer

1. Does God answer our prayers? - Jeremiah 33:3; John 15:7

2. Requirements for answers to prayer - Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:16-17

3. Delayed - John 11:1-44; Daniel 10:12-14

4. With peace - Philippians 4:6-7

5. With grace - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

6. God answers all prayers but not always as we ask - Isaiah 55:8

7. Above all we must endure - Hebrews 10:36

 

Does God answer our Prayers?

God promises in Jeremiah 33:3 that if we call upon Him, He WILL answer our prayers. He didn't say maybe or might but that He will answer our prayers. We must keep in mind that God may not answer our prayers the way we would like Him to. Let me give you four methods by which God answers our prayers. These are the four D's of answered prayer. It is good that you memorize them so you will be ready when the answers come and you will be able to identify it.  The 4 Ds of answered prayer were given by Dr. Harold Sala back in the 1980s when I was a young believer myself. 

 

1. Direct Answer

God may choose to answer your prayer in a direct manner. You might pray for something and God will grant it just the way you asked Him for it. This type of answer means you were praying in accord with the will of God.

 

2. Disguised Answer

Let me place before you an analogy which might help you recognize a disguised answer to prayer. You may be praying for your sick child plus you lack the funds to take him to the doctor, when all of a sudden Uncle Emery from the old country (I am Hungarian) shows up for a visit while you are praying. You immediately view him as another mouth to feed and a cumbersome responsibility at a bad time. Then you start speaking about the sickness your child has. Then Uncle Emery asks you what kind of herbs and spices you have in the house. (You are probably thinking to yourself, what is he going to make a pot of stuffed cabbage?) You just "happen" to have the ones he needs. He starts combining them in a mixture and makes a poultice out of it. He gives it to the child, two days go by, three days go by, and nothing happens but on the fourth day the child improves and is sitting up and getting stronger, a week goes by and the child is cured. You see, God disguised the answer to your prayer in a visit by Uncle Emery.  Sometimes our first inclination toward an answer to prayer is that "this can't be the answer to my prayer."

 

3. Delayed Answer

Many times God will answer a prayer but it will be according to His timing. We may be praying according to His will but He is engineering special circumstances which will benefit us when it is time to claim the answer. The delayed answer teaches us a lesson in patience and trusting God.   Psalm 27:14; Psalm 130:5  Lazarus was dead 4 days before Jesus raised him from the dead.  (John 11:39)

 

4. Denied Answer

This is the answer we never want to hear but many times at a later date we find out that it was good that God denied my prayer request. When God denies a request, it is being denied by absolute wisdom, plus God knows our entire lives from beginning to end, so it is never to our disadvantage, even though we believe it is.

 

So we see that no matter when or how we pray, God does answer our prayers because direct as well as denied is an answer.  How many times did you ask your parents for something and they said “no?”  It was an answer but not the one you wanted.

 

The Exemplary Prayer – Commonly Called The Lord’s Prayer - Matthew 6:9-13

 

1. Our Father

The term “our Father” indicates a personal relationship with God the Father and this only happens when one is saved in the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “our” is a plural word denoting a brotherly relationship with other true Christians. While we can think of God the Father as our own personal Father, He has millions of children worldwide. This is not an implication of the universal fatherhood of God, but it states the universal brotherhood of all true believers. "Father" indicates the familial relationship between God and His children.

 2. Which Art in Heaven

God is in Heaven meaning that He is higher than man's earth. Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. (Psalm 20:6, KJV) We must realize that God is the King of the Universe and Heaven and that He is the potter and we are the clay. The fact that we realize God is in Heaven, means we understand that we are the creation and He is the Creator. We come to God in faith knowing that we are on earth and He is in Heaven. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6, KJV) Some of the New Age based religions teach that we can become a god and that is so false. This is why we acknowledge the fact that the true God is in Heaven and if anyone states they are god, then we know they are false.

 

3. Hallowed Be Thy Name

God is to be reverenced. Hallowed means to make holy. This is why God’s name is never to be attached to a swear word or even some type of “joke.” Since Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also God, then their names are not to be used as swear words or even in a common manner. His name is holy and we find many places in the Bible where it speaks about the worship of God because of His holiness. David felt this part of prayer was so important that he had a group of men in the temple to do just that. Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. (1 Chronicles 23:5, KJV) So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight. (1 Chronicles 25:7, KJV) God is so holy that he is worshipped by special angels. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (Revelation 4:8, KJV)  As Christians when we approach God, it must be in the Spirit, that is, we must be saved because otherwise we are in the flesh and God does not hear the prayer of the unbeliever. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. {24} God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24, KJV) Unsaved man is spiritually dead and still in their sins and therefore can never come into God’s holy presence.

 

4. Thy Kingdom Come - Expectation

When Jesus was speaking at this time there was an expectation that the Kingdom of God would arrive when the Messiah came. Many have attached this verse to the false teaching of a literal thousand year reign of Christ. The Kingdom of God which came is made up of those who are born again in the Lord Jesus Christ. The kingdom of God is the church and it will not be a visible kingdom as some are looking for. And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: {21} Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:20-21, KJV) The only time the church is visible is when it is assembled for worship. The ultimate fulfilling of this coming Kingdom will be when the New Heavens and the New Earth are created after this present age is completed with the Great White Throne Judgment and then God makes everything new for eternity.

 

5. Thy Will Be Done In Earth As It Is In Heaven

At the present time, God's will is that He redeem a people for Himself. He did this by establishing His salvation plan on earth. God's will for salvation was established in heaven before the foundation of the world. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (Ephesians 1:4, KJV) Before Adam and Eve sinned, they walked in harmony with God but once they sinned, that fellowship was broken and had to be restored by means of Christ going to the cross. The ultimate will of God is for His people to become saved. When a person becomes saved in Christ, they are made holy by means of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So the believer is the extension of the holiness found in Heaven but on earth. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.(Romans 14:17, KJV) Notice in Ephesians 1:4, we see that the believer should be “holy,” and that holiness comes from Heaven as God establishes His will that His children will be holy for He is holy. That holiness comes to the believer by the imputed righteousness of Christ.

 

6. Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
Our praying should be as our eating habits - daily. The daily bread that we are to seek is spiritual nourishment. We must seek the face of God in prayer every day.  Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. {35} And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:34-35, KJV) It is the bread of life that we are to seek. When we ask for daily bread, we are asking for those attributes that the Lord Jesus Christ has to help face our daily trials. We ask for meekness in the presence of trials, we ask for strength to face the day, we ask for wisdom to confront our enemies, we ask for joy to face the losses of the day, and we ask for true love to be able to be a witness to the unbelievers. We may also ask God for daily physical sustenance but the weightier meaning of this verse is in the spiritual realm. George Mueller, when he ran his orphanages in England, would always pray for the sustenance needed to take care of the orphans and God always provided, so it is not wrong to pray and ask God to provide our food for us.
 
7. And Forgive Us Our Debts
Debt is a word used here to signify sin. We pray that God will forgive our sins and if you are true believer then Christ has paid for your sins. Each person is a debtor to God because of our sin and when we become saved, that debt is paid by the Lord Jesus Christ. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. (Luke 11:4, KJV) Luke gives a clear definition that sins are in view.
 
8. As We Forgive Our Debtors
Do we put forth our hands and say to others I forgive you? One of the best narratives in Scripture which deals with forgiveness is found in Matthew 18:23-35. A master forgave the financial debt of a slave which amounted to 10,000 talents of gold or silver. Each talent weighed 56 pounds and 11 ounces. Here is the value of that by today’s standards on 9/9/17. The weight would be 683 ounces. If it was gold, it would be 683 X $1346.64 = $919,755.12 equals one talent of Gold. 10,000 X 1,102,840.1 = $9,197,551,200 Silver equals $17.96 per ounce. The value would be $122,666,800. Where would a slave get 9 billion dollars or even 123 million dollars? Both of these sums would be absolutely impossible for any slave to raise. Even by today’s standards, how many could raise 123 million? What Jesus is showing us here is that no person on earth has the ability to pay for their sins in their entirety. God forgave us our sins because Christ took the penalty of those sins and as a result, we are totally free from the penalty.
 
Now within that parable, the one who was forgiven obviously forgot how much he was forgiven and went and found someone who owed him a mere pittance in comparison to what he previously owed. The amount would be approximately 8 ounces. A Roman pence was 1/8 of an ounce. If it was 8 ounces of silver, the debt would be $143.68 and if it was gold, it would be $10773.12. What a tremendous difference! 123 million versus 143.68 or 9.19 billion versus 10773. When we look at what God has forgiven us, how could we not forgive someone else who has sinned in such a small way in comparison to our sins. The Lord is basically teaching that those who sin against us will never match the amount and severity of the sins we have committed against God. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalm 51:4, KJV)
 
9. And Lead Us Not Into Temptation
The word "temptation" may also be translated "a proving, testing, or trials." In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we read "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." The word "temptation" in 1 Corinthians 10:13 is the word for "trials." What is the great trial which will come upon the entire world which is common to man? It is Judgment Day which is the great trial of all people on the earth who are unsaved. If you have become saved, then Christ has stood in your place at your trial and because of Him you were found not guilty.
 
What is also in view here is that we pray that God would not allow us to be led into temptation, that is, into a temptation that we may not initially see as a temptation but may see it differently. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8, KJV)  We pray that the Lord will go before us and keep us from the path of erroneously engaging something which may be a satanic snare which could lead us away from the path of righteousness. God never leads us into a temptation which could cause us to fall away. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: (James 1:13, KJV)  We are seeing in this prayer that we pray to be kept from temptations which will cause us to stray and that is the basic gist of the meaning.
 
10. But Deliver Us from Evil

Many of the modern versions translate “evil” as “the evil one,” which is erroneous. The reality is that Christ already delivered us from the evil one at the moment we became saved. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. (John 14:30, KJV)  Satan has nothing in the Lord Jesus Christ and he has nothing in the believer. Jesus uses this phrase right on the heels of “lead us not into temptation or trials.” Those trials which could possibly cause us to stray from the path of righteousness. If I was to paraphrase this section, I would say it this way, “lead us not into the trial which could cause me to stray from holiness but deliver us from the evil intent and substance of those trials.” We are to pray that we would be delivered from the evil principles of the kingdom of Satan. Even though we have become saved and taken from the kingdom of Satan and adopted into the Kingdom of God, we can still be tempted and if we fall prey to those trials, then we may lose our testimony or something else. We are asking to be delivered from the evil snares that the kingdom of Satan will place before us to try and get us to fall.

 

11. For Thine Is The Kingdom, And The Power, And The Glory, For Ever, Amen.

This is a great doxology to end a prayer on. A good example would be David's prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:10-19. We are being reminded here that our lives are not our own because we are in the Kingdom of God and it is His Kingdom and we represent Him on this earth at present. Jesus had taught previously “thy kingdom come” and He is speaking about the eternal Kingdom of God. We are to recognize that all the power belongs to God because it was through His power that sin and Satan was defeated at the cross and it was His power that will raise us up on the last day. We are also reminded that all that God has done for us, from forgiveness to deliverance from Satan, is to the glory of God and not to ours. There are many false preachers out there thinking that they have some type of divine power and they glorify themselves instead of God. Then Jesus winds up the prayer reminding us that God’s glory, His power, and His kingdom, of which we are a part, will be forever. Then the word Amen is used which means “finality, stability, truly, so let it be,”
 
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