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Scripture Reading: Luke 18:1-8
1. Be watchful in your prayers, 1 Pet. 4:7.
2. Prayer by righteous people is powerful, Jas. 5:16.
3. When prayer loses its place in our lives it is because we have lost faith in our God, Lk. 18:1-8.
I. PRAYER IS BASED ON ONE’S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
A. Prayer is Ineffective and Futile without a Relationship with God.
1. Our Father: Family relationship with God, Matt. 6:9; Gal. 3:26.
2. Prayers are petitions that grow out of relationship, Matt. 7:7-11 (Gal. 4:6).
3. In fellowship with God: Heard (responds), Jno. 9:31; 1 Pet. 3:12.
B. Fundamentally: Prayer is a Spiritual Blessing we have in Christ, Eph. 1:3; Gal. 3:27. The Christian, Heb. 4:16; Phil. 4:6-7.
II. SOME IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF PRAYER.
A. Prayer is:
1. An appeal: For providential care, divine intervention, Eph. 3:20.
a. Nehemiah’s request for God’s intervention, Neh. 1:11-2:4, 8.
b. Like Elijah, our prayers can move God to action, Jas. 5:16-18.
c. “The possibilities of prayer are gauged by faith in God’s ability to do.” (Mk. 11:22-24)
d. “The power of prayer is that it activates the power of God.”
e. “Prayer is not getting God to do my will; it is asking that God’s will be done in my life, my family, my business, and in my relationships, as it is done in heaven.” (Haddon W. Robinson, Jesus’ Blueprint For Prayer, 14-15) Matt. 6:10
2. A request, Phil. 4:6 (thankfully asked).
a. For forgiveness, Matt. 6:12 (1 Jno. 1:9).
b. For God’s blessings, cf. Eph. 6:18-20.
1) Material nature, Matt. 6:11, 31-32. (sustenance in life)
2) Spiritual nature, Phil. 4:7 (strength of life)
c. For wisdom, Jas. 1:5-8.
3. An expression of:
a. Joyful thanks, 1 Ths. 5:16-18. Grateful recognition of God’s gifts.
b. Respect, 1 Chrn. 29:10-13. Prayer must express our reverence and honor for God. Adoration and praise (Acts 4:24)
c. Dependency upon God, 1 Tim. 5:5; Psa. 17:6; 61:1-2 (86:1-7).
-World says: “Rely on self”; Prayer says: “Rely on God”.
III. HOW TO PRAY EFFECTIVELY (Lk.11:1).
A. Pray in Faith, Mk. 11:22-24; Jas. 1:5-6.
1. Trust, reliance, and confidence in God.
2. “Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God!”
3. Christians expect prayer to prevail, 1 Jno. 3:22; 5:15.
B. Live in Harmony with what you Pray, cf. Mk. 11:25-26.
1. Our lives must be consistence with the prayers we pray.
2. Examples: Prayer of adoration (show reverence in our living); ask for blessings (be thankful for present ones); seek forgiveness (be forgiving of others); for a friend (be a friend)...
C. Be Obedient to God, 1 Jno. 3:22.
1. God promises He will fully hear and answer because we obey Him.
2. Rebellion forfeits answers, 1 Pet. 3:12 (disobedience hinders and holds back the power of prayer, 3:7).
D. Ask According to the Will of God, 1 Jno. 5:14-15.
1. When God has revealed His will, we cannot expect Him to answer prayer in violation of it:
a. Pray to be saved vs. the plan of salvation.
b. Pray for the dead vs. death ends opportunities (Lk. 16:19-31).
c. Pray for a miracle vs. time of miracles is over (1 Cor. 13:8-10).
2. Here is a precise place where faith in prayer is crucial: The prayer of faith honors the will of God, not seek to violate it, Matt.26:39; Jas. 5:14-15.
E. Don’t Stop Praying, 1 Ths. 5:17; Lk. 18:1; 11:5-8. Be persistent!
1. We should rejoice in the great blessing that God is present in our lives and powerfully answers our prayers.
2. We must be a praying people; our Lord is a prayer-answering God!
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: August 1, 2013