Presentation on theme: "Understanding Prayer Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to."— Presentation transcript:
Understanding Prayer Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Prayer – What is it? For true Christians, prayer [Gk: "proseuche"] is communion with God. Prayer is talking with God. Prayer is listening to God. Prayer is enjoying the presence of God. The quality of our prayer life then determines the quality of our relationship with God. Prayer is talking with God. Prayer is listening to God. Prayer is enjoying the presence of God.
Scripture Trusting God: Psalm 25:1; 143:8 A pouring out our heart to God: Psalm 62:8 A crying out to God: Psalm 86:3 Spiritual incense to God: Rev 5:8 Our soul yearns and heart cries out: Psalm 84:1-2 At the throne of grace: Hebrews 4:16 To offer God praise: Hebrews 13:15 Drawing close to God in friendship, fellowship and trust: James 4:8
Prayer – Why Pray? Loving God is talking to God, just like human life Building intimate relationship with God The quality of our prayer life then determines the quality of our relationship with God. Prayer is encouraging; Prayer for guidance and for others Prayer is a vital part of the Christian life Necessary for Growth the closer and more intimate we are with him, the more God will use us to be a blessing to others
Reasons for Prayer Read John 14:13, I Thessalonians 5:17, Acts 4:23- 33, and Matthew 9:38. Identify at least 3 reasons for prayer.
Does God Answer Prayers? John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. God's understanding is unlimited Story of Joseph “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23). Context 10:19-29 God’s will does not always come to pass James 4:1-6 You have not because you ask not You ask amiss or with wrong motives
…sometimes not There is a lot of prayer that never reaches God. “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself” (Luke 18:11). “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer shall be an abomination.” (Proverbs 28:9).
Scripture John 14:12-13 - 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. 13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 15:7 - “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.
How to Pray 1 Corinthians 14:2,14 If we are baptized in the Spirit we can pray with the spirit, in languages unknown to us but not to God. Matthew 26:41 "Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!" Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Things NOT to do Matthew 6:7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Ecclesiastes 5:2 Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
Scripture Matthew 7:11, 14:30 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 good gifts to those who ask him! But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Daniel 9:3-19 Daniel 9:3-19 Habakkuk 1:1-4, Habakkuk 1:12-17 Habakkuk 1:1-4Habakkuk 1:12-17 Hebrews 2:14-16, 10:19-23 Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Bringing it all together The purpose of salvation is to restore lost people to relationship with God our Father. Through the cross of Jesus, the barriers to that relationship were removed. When we begin to trust God once again and turn from our sin, He comes into our lives to begin a new relationship of love with us. God is in every true Christian (Romans 8:9,10; John 14:23; Revelation 3:20; 2 Corinthians 13:5). Our faith and love towards God will lead us to recognize His presence with us, to talk with Him, to listen to Him, to sense Him. This is prayer. We express our thanks, our faith, our love, our hopes with God in prayer, and we receive from Him answers, assurance, guidance, peace, strength, power, revelation of who He is and what He wants to do. (Matthew 7:7-8; John 16:13; Philippians 4:6-7; Ephesians 1:17,18
Model Prayer - ACTS A – Adoration C – Confession T – Thanksgiving S - Supplication
A.C.T.S – Model Prayer A – Adoration The first component of this prayer model is adoration. Everyone likes to be complimented and praised! God is no different in that regard. He is deserving of your praise, and it pleases God to hear us offer words of adoration. When offering praise, be specific. "You're so wonderful" is a nice thing to say, but it doesn't reveal why we think God is wonderful. Praying, "God your mercy and love toward me is wonderful" lets God know exactly what we're feeling.
A.C.T.S – Model Prayer C – Confession We've all heard the expression, "Confession is good for the soul." Our sin(s) is what separates us from God. Confessing our sins in prayer before God clears the way for a deeper relationship with God. Yes, He already knows our sins. But our confession demonstrates our own self-awareness and our desire to remove any barriers to our relationship. "God, I have sinned against you by ____________." We don't have to be elaborate, just truthful and to the point. You can’t lie to God or hide anything so be painfully honest.
A.C.T.S – Model Prayer T – Thanksgiving What are you thankful for? Let God know, as if you were thanking a friend who is always there for you. "Thank you, God, for forgiving me, and loving me in spite of my sinfulness," is a simple, yet to the point way to pray this part of our model. There is no need to expound any further unless you're feeling especially blessed, and wish to list in detail those aspects of your life for which you're thankful. Don’t forget everyday things!
A.C.T.S – Model Prayer S – Supplication Supplication means to plead humbly, and is the final component of our prayer model. We have expressed our adoration, confessed our sins and expressed our thankfulness. ONLY NOW are ready to approach God with our request. In my case, a frequent supplication is "please help me be a better person." When you pray, you may request something specific as well. There's nothing wrong with asking God for exactly what we want. Matthew 21:22 assures us, "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."
A.C.T.S. Summary ACTS is a good model to use as we prepare to pray. The ACTS acronym helps us remember what we want to say to God. Our ACTS prayers may be very detailed and lengthy. ACTS can also be very simple, and to the point. What is more important than the model or technique we use, though, is that we simply pray honestly and from our hearts.
“I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding” (Philippians 1:9) The Serenity Prayer God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can And the wisdom to know the difference.