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A Closer Walk With God - Principles Of Prayer

March 9, 2014

Introduction

A. Long before there was Wi-Fi, there was prayer.

 

B. A Prayerless Christian is a Powerless Christian - 2Co 3:5  Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God. Sufficient =adequate

 

Discussion I – Why Pray?

A. Prayer is one of the Greatest Blessings for Christians. 

  1. Through prayer, we find FORGIVENESS (1 John 1:9 ).

  2. Through prayer, we find PEACE to replace anxiety (Phil. 4:6-7 )

  3. Through prayer, we find STRENGTH to overcome temptation (Mrk 14:38).  Watch and Pray (Matt 26:41) - Watchfulness sees temptation coming; prayer gives strength to withstand it.

 

B. Prayer is COMMUNICATION with God.

  1. You can’t draw closer with God until you start to communicate with God. And you can’t communicate with God until you draw close to God. James 4:8

  2. Communication is a vital part of maintaining a successful relationship, even with God.

  3. “I don’t feel close to God.” WHY? 

  4. Psa 5:3  My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

 

C. Prayer is BELIEVING God.

  1. A praying Christian is a sure sign he is has faith (Pro 3:3-5).

  2. Heard this excuse? “Don’t bother to ask him. He won’t accede to your request.” There is no faith or trust. John 16:24 

  3. James 1:6  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

 

D. Prayer is LETTING God.

  1. Note the prayer of Jesus: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt 26:41).

  2. not as I will, but as thou wilt – The Lord yielded it up in entire submission to his Father’s will.

  3. But some are quite content being immature babies in Christ, crying to Him for their needs and complaining when things aren't exactly how they want them to be. 4. Eg of David’s submission though he prayed earnestly – 2 Sam 12:15-23

 

E. Prayer is WALKING God.

  1. It shows a walk with God –a closer walk with God. Eg Enoch Gen 5:24

  2. Being Christian doesn't mean we are instantly spiritual. Deep spirituality requires fellowship and conversation with God.

  3. Having faith in God is only the beginning. Deep spirituality and connection with God requires a daily fellowship with God, but like any relationship, it is up to us, how close we want to be to Him. 

  4. 1John 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 

Discussion II - Principles of Prayer

A. Offered in Faith. Matt 21:22; Jas 1:6

  1. Mark 11:24: Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (That they are yours from the time you ask for them.)

  2. Avoid doubt in your heart and unbelief. James 1:7-8; Heb. 3:19.

  3. How do you pray for rain?

 

B. Offered to the Father. Matt 6:9; 7:11

  1. John 16:23  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you. 

  2. Luke 11:2  When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven. iii. “Why can’t I pray to Jesus?” Because Jesus says we should pray to the Father.

    

C. Offered In Jesus’ Name.  John 16:23-24

  1. For many of us “in Jesus’ name, Amen” means that the prayer is almost over and it’s time to eat dinner.

  2. The phrase "in my name" equivalent to saying on my account, or for my sake. We must realize that Jesus is the only way by which we can approach God - Jn 14:6. It means God will hear a Christian’s prayer on account of his relationship with Jesus.

  3. Why would the Father listen to us only “in Jesus’ Name”?
    Answer: Because we are Christians - John 16:27  For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

  4. In Jesus’ Name - It signifies Christ as our Mediator. 1 Tim 2:5

  5. When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are confessing our faith that Jesus Christ is the only way to God (John 14:6). He gives us the right of access to pray to God being now priests of God (1 Pet 2:9). Christian approach God in their prayers in the name of Christ Jesus; non-Christians do not have the same access. 

  6. In Jesus’ Name - It signifies we belong to Christ. "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple [because he is my disciple, JL], verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward" (Matt. 10:42)

 

D. Do the Will of God.

  1. God does not hear the prayer of an unbeliever but one who does the will of God. John 9:31

  2. God hears a righteous man’s prayer. Jas 5:16

  3. God hears the prayers of an obedient Christian. 1 Jn 3:22

 

E. Offered with “Holy Hands”; that is, a Holy Life. 1 Tim 2:8; Isa 59:2

  1. God will not hear the prayer of a sinner. Pro 15:29

  2. Or a Christian who cannot love and forgive his brother. An unforgiving spirit hinders our prayers -Matt 6:14-15; 1 Pet 3:12; 1 Jn 4:20 

  3. The BASIS for prayer rests upon our being in fellowship with Him; such fellowship is broken if we are living in wilful sin! - Ps 66:18; 1 Jn 1:7

 

F. In Harmony with God’s Will. 

  1. David’s son. 2 Sam 12:14-18

  2. Praying to God to forgive a brother who is living in sin. 1 John 5:16; 1:9

  3. Praying God to forgive a false teacher. 2 John 1:9-11; Gal 1:6-9 iv. Praying to God to save one who is not a believer. Mk 16:16

 

G. Ask The Right Thing. Jas 4:3

  1. Asking God to raise one who is already dead.

  2. Asking to win a jackpot.

 

H. Offered in the Right Spirit:

  1. Respectfully - Our Father who art in heaven. Matt 6:9a

  2. With Reverence - Hallowed be thy name.  Matt 6:9b

  3. With Submissiveness - Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Matt 6:10

  4. With Earnest Petition - Give us this day our daily bread. Matt 6:11

  5. With Repentance - Forgive us our debts, Matt 6:12a

  6. With Forgiveness - As we forgive our debtors. Matt 6:12b

  7. With Helplessness - And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Matt 6:13

  8. With Adoration - For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Matt 6:13b

  9. With Humility - Psalm 34:18; 51:17; Lk 18: 9-14

  10. With Fervency – James 5:17-18

  11. With Constancy - Psalm 55:17; 1 Thess 5:17. Don’t pray only when we need help.

  12. With Persistence: 
    a. The parable of the persistent friend - Lk 11:5-10
    b. The parable of the persistent widow - Lk 18:1-8
    c. Jesus at Gethsemane - Mt 26:44
    d. Paul, pertaining to his "thorn in the flesh" - 2Co 12:7-8

 

I. Submission - Accept God’s Answer.

  1. God may say Yes.

  2. He may say No.

  3. He may say Wait.

  4. He may Give something else.

 

Conclusion:

A. Are you praying enough?

 

B. Do you consider yourself to be a praying Christian?

 

C. Do you believe in the power of prayer?

 

D. Friends – Will God listen to your prayers? Can you approach God “in Jesus’ Name”?

 

E. Friends – You cannot come to God “in Jesus’ name until you have put on that name. Gal 3:27; 2 Tim 2:19; Jas 2:7 

   

 

 

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