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Presentation on theme: "Prayer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prayer

2 What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. This old hymn was written by Joseph Scriven, a Baptist preacher who gave so much of himself, ministering tirelessly and gave so much of himself to the poor. He never married, but spent the remainder of his life giving all his time, money and even the clothes off his own back to help the less fortunate and to spread the love and compassion of Jesus wherever he went. He must have discovered the secret of receiving strength from the Lord, because his own life was so full of tragedy, and yet he was such an uplifting and encouraging force for so many. Irish born Joseph M. Scriven ( ) was 25 years old, in love and to be married. The day before his wedding his fiance died in a tragic drowning accident. Heartbroken, Joseph sailed from his homeland to start a new life in Canada. While in Canada working as a teacher, he fell in love again and became engaged to Eliza Roche, a relative of one of his students. Once again, Joseph's hopes and dreams were shattered when Eliza became ill and died before the wedding could take place. Although one can only imagine the turmoil within this young man, history tells us that his faith in God sustained him. Around the same time that Eliza died, Joseph received word from Ireland that his mother was ill. He could not go to be with her, so he wrote a letter of comfort and enclosed one of his poems entitled What a Friend We Have in Jesus.

3 The Privilege of Prayer
Prayer Means: Conversing, communicating with God God’s favorite title: “Dad” Romans 8:15 (NIV) …you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." We should pray respectfully but need not formally. Prayer is: To the Father Through the Son By the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:4-6 (NIV) 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. He chose us, we did not choose Him! He predestined us, meaning He created our destiny to be His sons through Jesus Christ. That was His doing, not our doing, so we cannot buy it or earn it. We need to humble ourselves and accept it as gift. As such, the privilege of relationship with God is also not earned but accepted gratefully. The privilege of prayer is obtained through grace, not out of obligation or even discipline. Imagine how would you feel if your child came up to you and said that he disciplined himself very hard to spend time with you and to talk to you. Or he is spending time with you because he feels “obligated” to and thus “sacrificed” time for you. He may add how hard it was when he decided to come to you, how he didn’t want it, but finally he forced himself to do it anyway. Would you be happy or sad? Anything that is done outside of pure love becomes ugly!

4 Effective prayers are: Unceasing Faith filled In His Name Fervent
Unceasing: Pray without ceasing means you weave prayer into all your life. Jesus didn’t just have one chapter in any gospel on prayer. His teaching on prayer was woven through all of this teaching. Little bit here. Little bit here. Little bit here. He’s constantly teaching on prayer and constantly praying. He’s weaving prayer throughout all of his life. That’s how prayer is to be. In the New Testament we’re also told to pray without ceasing. What this doesn’t mean is like some religions where you want to be holy so you get like a Jedi robe, go find a high mountain, build a hut, sit in the lotus position, drink decaf and say, “Um.” It’s not like that. Pray without ceasing means you weave prayer into all your life. You get up, you’re talking to God. You go into work, you’re talking to God. You got decisions throughout the day, you’re talking to God. You’re on your commute home talking to God. You get home with family, friends, maybe your roommates, you’re talking to God. Before you go to bed you talk to God. You’re just talking to God throughout the course of the day just like breathing. He’s alive. He’s present. He’s there. It just becomes a very natural course of life. That’s prayer. Faith filled: James 1:6-7 (NIV) 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; Prayer without faith is a waste of time. Nothing’s gonna happen. If you cant honestly pray for something with all conviction that it is right it is according to God’s Word (Faith comes by hearing of the Word; if it doesn’t come from the Word you can’t build faith upon it), your prayer is for nothing. Example: If you want to pray for something frivolous like asking for a fancy car or a hot girl/guy or a date with Justin Bieber, if you have good conscience you will find that you probably can’t even convince yourself that its OK to ask that from God, let alone putting holy faith upon the request. Might as well don’t pray for such things; it’s a waste of time. In His Name: Here’s what Jesus’ saying. Ask in my name. That’s asking in God’s will. How do you know what God’s will is? Well you read the Bible. God wants me to grow. God, help me to grow. God wants me to love my enemies. God, help me love my enemies. God, you want me to pray for people who are sick and hurting. Okay God, I will do that. God, you want me to have a heart for the poor. Okay God, help me to grow to serve the poor. You pray in God’s will. Some of you, you pray against God’s will. Say, “I don’t know why God doesn’t answer my prayers.” Cause they’re bad. Right? Some of you are gals here, Christian gals with non-Christian guys. You’re praying, “Jesus, please save the boyfriend that I’m sleeping with.” That’s like saying, “Jesus, I need more crack.” No. He’s not gonna answer that prayer. He’s not in heaven going, “Oh, any more – where’s the crack? I need more crack.” Got a request. No. Some of you want God to bless relationships you shouldn’t be in. Bless businesses that are crooked and corrupt. Bless decisions that are not of his will. Pray in his will. Don’t do what you want, your will, and then pray for him to fix it. Pray in his will. John 16:23 (NIV) 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Pray fervently. Keep praying. Keep praying. Don’t just pray once and move on, keep praying. Luke 18:1. Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they are always to pray and not lose heart. Some of you have been praying for something for a long time. You know it’s in God’s will. Keep praying. Keep praying. I’ll tell you a couple reasons to keep praying. One, you’ll keep hoping. It’ll keep hope alive. Two, it’ll maintain a willingness in you to learn and be teachable. If God’s trying to teach you something, as soon as you stop praying about it what you’re saying is, “I don’t want to learn. I don’t want to grow. I don’t want to change. I’m not even talking about it.” Let’s say you’re frustrated with someone. As soon as you stop praying for them you’ve lost hope for them. You’ve decided, “I’m done with you. I give up. I’m not even gonna have any affection toward you anymore. If you keep praying for people it means you love them. If you keep praying for things in your life and yourself it means you’re teachable. Some of you are single. You’ve been praying for a spouse. Keep praying. Why? Because in that season of waiting, if God has appointed for you to be married, he’s using this season to grow you, to purify you, to change you, to make you so that you will be more prepared to be a better spouse if and when he brings along that person. So keep praying. I’ll tell you what too, and I know many of you are single so I give this example. If every day you’re praying for the person that God would have you to marry, it will help guard your heart against temptation to sin in the meantime. Because you will be waiting in hope. And praying in hope. And having your will conform to the will of God for you. Those are some things Jesus said about how we should pray.

5 The Secret Place Luke 11:1 (NKJV)
1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples." QUOTE: (Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer). "The disciples had learned to understand something of the connection between Christ’s wondrous life in public and His secret life of prayer. They had been with Him and had seen Him pray. They had learned to believe in Him as a Master in the art of prayer. None could pray like Him. And so they went to Him with the request, "Lord, teach us to pray.” This did not come from a teaching of Jesus compelling his disciples to pray, this came from observing the connection between Jesus’ private life of prayer and His beautiful character and ministry. It created a longing in the disciples, it motivates them to want to go “deeper”. This was a request not from Jesus, but from them. So it should be today; I hope that we all have an inner motivation, a longing, a thirst to go deeper, because we have seen and we want to, not because we feel guilty and feel that we ought to. So if we are all on the same page, here’s the big idea: God does want us to learn how to pray. To get alone in the secret place until we’re not alone anymore. To learn how to hear His voice, and enjoy fellowship with Him.

6 To get alone in the secret place until we’re not alone anymore Matthew 6:6-8 (NKJV) 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. Let’s unpack this verse!

7 It needs privacy! (shut the door)
Going Deeper means that you have to make a special occasion out of it; starting with finding a special place! Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” It needs privacy! (shut the door) The whole story of the Bible is God longing for a personal relationship with human beings. From the first words that God spoke to Adam and Eve in Genesis when they sinned, “Where are you?” to the words of Jesus to the church in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” God wants our hearts! Interesting that He wants to “dine” with us. It’s almost like a “date”. Remember? When you were chasing your wife/girlfriend; we are not satisfied anymore with the little chit-chat at church or CG. We want “more”. We long to go “deeper”. So we ask for a “date”; where? We go to “dine” –maybe Mc Cormick’s, not Mc Donald’s, Yamashiro, not Yoshinoya! Place is important! Why? There is something about a nice, cozy, intimate place. It makes us want to talk, to linger and enjoy a good long conversation. 2. Privacy is important! Imagine if your brother in law showed up when you are having this intimate dinner with your girlfriend and he invited himself to sit in between the two of you and started to crack up bad jokes… It will ruin your time won’t it? You know him, right? He may have some funny name like Blackberry, S3, FB or iPhone! Once you ensured privacy, then you can relax and start to enjoy the fellowship, the presence of your lover. Every lover has their favorite “secret place”. When we took time and effort to find that secret place, where it’s just “You and me”… you won’t be alone anymore; He rewards you “openly” – it will be felt, it will be tangible!

8 Be conversational: “do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do” (heathen = people who do not know God) – in place of real heartfelt conversations they try to use a cheap alternative: vain repetitions. It makes them feel good, making believe that they are actually communicating. It’s like small talk, because we don’t have the real thing going. Just talk with God.

9 A good way to do that is to “pray the scriptures”
Talk about something other than needs and petitions. “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” A good way to do that is to “pray the scriptures” Imagine if all you talk about with your girlfriend is about needs and requests. Can you buy me a watch? I need a watch. My old one is broken. Can you buy me a new iPhone? Mine is 2 years old. Can you buy me a new car? Can you buy me a house? Can you buy me a Coke? It gets very tiring won’t it? When we mature in our relationship with God, we start to be able to move away from child’s talk into “lover talk”. Read the Psalms, beautiful expressions of folks that knew God! Pray the scriptures: Pray, read, pray, read, pray, read etc. Jesus prayed scripture. On the cross he prayed Psalm 22:1. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Prayer and Bible reading go together. The Holy Spirit inspired the writing of scripture. The Holy Spirit indwells us and teaches us to pray. It all goes together. This is how the Holy Spirit grows us. In prayer we speak to God and in scripture God speaks to us. So if you want to know how to pray, maybe you don’t know how to pray, don’t know what to pray about. Your prayer life gets dry. You’re not sure you’re praying in God’s will. Read scripture and stop and pray. First pray before you read. “Holy Spirit, you wrote the scriptures, please teach them to me. Let me see Jesus. Let me learn. Let me grow.” Come in prayer to scripture. As you start reading, if you feel convicted, stop and pray repentance. “God, I see that there’s sin my life here and I need to talk to you about that.” And talk to him. Read some more. “God, I didn’t know this. Thank you for teaching me this. I need to learn this. Please help me understand this.” “God, this is an important section. I need to highlight this and memorize this.” Take some time to memorize that scripture that God leaves on your heart so you can pray it as needed through the rest of your life. You’re reading some more. “God I believe lies and I’m reading the truth here. Help me to not believe lies but to believe your truth.” “God this reminds me of someone. I need to pray for them. I need to love them. I think this section of scripture would really minister to them. I’ll send it to them. Let me pray for them right now.” Stop and pray. The goal is not just to read, read, read, read, but read, pray, read, pray, read, pray, read, pray. Listen, talk, listen, talk, listen, talk, listen, talk. You won’t get through the Bible as fast, but it’ll stick. And you’ll enjoy it. It’ll become worship and prayer and life. And your prayer life will absolutely be guided by scripture and the Holy Spirit so you’ll know you’re praying in God’s will.

10 Learning to listen: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27 Ask God to speak to you. “Call to me and I will answer you.” Jeremiah 33:3 Learn to be quiet and listen in prayer. “Be still and know…” Psalm 46:10 Learn the language of the Holy Spirit – He speaks Bible. The more familiar we become with the written Word of God, the more we will recognize the spoken Word. a. Being His sheep, Scripture says that we are given the ability to hear His voice, enabling us to follow Him. Obviously He wants us to follow Him, therefore for sure He will not conceal His voice from us! Believe this! You can hear His voice! b. With this believe, you can ask God with faith to speak to you. c. You asked, based on Scripture, so He will start speaking! Now the only reason that you may not hear Him is if it is very noisy in your brain. Thus we need to learn to quiet down to listen. Have you tried to listen to someone talking in a noisy room? First you try to quiet things down, then you try to focus on that special voice. d. God’s choice method for speaking and guiding us: Psalm 119:105 (AMP) 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

11 Going Deeper Find a special place It needs privacy Be conversational Talk about something other than needs and petitions Pray the scriptures” Learn to listen

12 The “what” of Prayer Pray about “everything”: Philippians 4:6 (NLT) 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Start with “thankful prayers”

13 Let’s enjoy this new adventure!
To get alone in the secret place until we’re not alone anymore…

14 Prayer

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