A Closer Walk With God - The Practice Of Prayer
Text: Luk 11:1-4
A. Acts of prayer.
Adoration (Luk 11:2). a. Definition: The act of paying honor, as to a divine being. b. “Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” c. We give adoration to God because He is worthy to be praised (Psa 18:3).
Confession (Luk 11:4). a. Definition: Acknowledgment or disclosure of sin or sinfulness. b. “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.” c. We confess our sins to God because He shows mercy to the penitent sinner (Pro 28:13).
Thanksgiving (Luk 10:21). a. Definition: Grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God. b. “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth,” c. We give thanks to God because He is the giver of every good gift (Jas 1:17).
Supplication / Intercession (Luk 11:3-4). a. Definition: Entreaty, or petition. b. “Give us day by day our daily bread... And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” c. We make supplications to God because He cares for us (1Pe 5:7).
B. Attitudes towards prayer.
Persistency (Luk 11:5-8). a. Definition: To continue steadfastly or firmly in some course of action. b. The early church’s persistent prayers for Peter (Act 12:5,12). c. We ought not to lose heart in our prayers (Luk 18:1).
Expectancy (Luk 11:9-13). a. Definition: The act or state of looking forward or anticipating. b. Elijah’s expectant prayer for fire from heaven (1Ki 18:36-37). c. We ought not to lose faith in our prayers (Mar 11:23-24).
Simplicity (Mat 6:5-8). a. Definition: Not elaborate or artificial. b. The publican’s simple prayer for mercy (Luk 18:13-14). c. We ought not to be overly elaborate in our prayers (1Co 14:15,19).
C. Ambit of prayer.
Jesus prayed for Himself (Joh 17:1-5). a. Jesus prayed for God to be glorified through Him (Joh 17:1) – we also ought to pray for God to be glorified through us. b. Prayers for self. For physical needs (Mat 6:11). For spiritual growth (Jas 1:5). c. Prayers for family. For physical well-being (2Sa 12:15-16). For spiritual well-being (Job 1:5).
Jesus prayed for His disciples (Joh 17:6-19). a. Jesus prayed for unity among His disciples that He may be glorified (Joh 17:10-11) – we also ought to pray for unity in the church that God may be glorified. b. Prayers for Christians. For the sick (Jas 5:14-16). For those undergoing adversities (Heb 13:3). For those spiritually weak (Luk 22:32). For those travelling (Phm 22). c. Prayers for church. For elders (Heb 13:7). For evangelists (2Th 3:1-2). For faithful brethren (1Th 1:2-3).
Jesus prayed for future believers (Joh 17:20-26). a. Jesus prayed for unity among future believers that His glory may be manifested in them (Joh 17:20-23) – we also ought to pray for unity in the religious world that the world may know and believe in Christ. b. Prayers for community. For teaching opportunities (Col 4:3-4). For more teachers (Luk 10:2). For salvation of the lost (Rom 10:1). c. Prayers for country. For peace in the country (Jer 29:7). For good stable government (1Ti 2:1-3).
D. Answers to prayer.
Yes. a. God may agree with our prayers, if it is according to His will (1Jo 5:14). b. God agreed to Hezekiah’s prayer and extended his life by 15 years (2Ki 20:1-7).
Yes, but not as expected. a. God may answer our prayers in another manner according to His wisdom (Isa 55:8-9). b. God answered Habakkuk’s prayer to cleanse Israel of their wickedness by using the Babylonians to bring them into captivity, even though Habakkuk cannot understand how God can allow a more wicked nation to punish Israel (Hab 1:1-4,12-13).
Yes, but not yet. a. God may answer our prayers according to His timing (Ecc 3:1). b. God answered the prayers of the martyred saints to bring judgment upon the earth by assuring them that it will take place in due time (Rev 6:10-11).
No. a. God may disagree with our prayers, if it is out of wrong motives (Jas 4:3). b. God disagreed with Paul’s prayer to remove his thorn in the flesh to keep him humble (2Co 12:7-10).