THE FOCUS OF OUR PRAYERS

Intro.
1. Prayer is based on & the expression of the Christian's relationship with God - Matt. 6:9; 7:11; 1 Pet. 3:10-12 (Psa. 34:11-16).
2. God's house (church) is a house of prayer - Isa. 56:7 (1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 8:3-4).
3. 1 Ths. 5:17; Col. 4:2 - Prayer should have a regular place in our lives. (If it does not -- why not?)

I. THE FOCUS OF PRAYER.
  A. Our Father in Heaven - Matt. 6:9.
    1. God as our Provider & Protector (physically & spiritually) - Matt. 6:25-33; Gal. 4:4-7 (provisions, preservation & redemption).
    2. Prayer is to express our humility before our Father & our dependency upon Him!
    3. Reverence is due Him in our prayers - Matt. 6:9.
  B. It is Our Privilege to Seek Favor from Our Heavenly Father - Phil. 4:6-7. (cf. Isa. 55:6-7 - Salvation & continued favor)
    1. Matt. 7:7-8 - Ask & receive.
      a. Right motives - cf. Jas. 4:3.
      b. Right faith - 1 Jno. 5:14-15.
      c. Right things - Matt. 6:10-13 (praise, needs, entreaty, intercession, blessings, etc.).
    2. Nothing a child of God is kept from praying about to his heavenly Father within the framework of faith in Him, in His will & a sincere heart. - cf. Heb. 4:16
  C. Our Faith in Our Heavenly Father - Jas. 1:5-8.
    1. Prayer expresses our trust in God (presence, power & protection) - Psa. 40:1-4; 34:4-9.
    2. Devotion (singleness of heart) must characterize our prayers. cf. Jesus - Matt. 26:36-44.
    3. Matt. 7:7-11 - We trust God is not far from us! He hears & answers!
    4. Lk. 18:1 - Don't become discouraged in prayer. (18:8)
      -Here is faith that prayer works - Jas. 5:16.

II. WHY DO WE LOSE CONCENTRATION (FOCUS) WHEN WE PRAY?

  • Distractions of the sinful world - Lk. 21:34-36.
  • Too busy with other things - Eph. 6:18.
  • Self-reliance rather than humble dependency on God - Lk. 18:9-14.
  • Do not expect God to answer - little faith in the presence & power of God to hear & answer our prayers - Mk. 11:23-24.

III. WE CAN BRING OUR PRAYERS INTO FOCUS BY REMEMBERING…

  • Who we are speaking to - Acts 1:24.
  • What we want to pray about - cf. Col. 1:9.
    Why we are praying about it - cf. Col. 1:10-11 (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
  • That God hears and answers our prayers - Jas. 5:16 (1 Jno. 3:22).
  • When possible, to choose an environment that is conducive to prayer (Mk. 1:35; Acts 10:9-10).
  • Give up the prideful, self-reliant, "I can do it alone" mentality - 1 Pet. 5:5-6; cf. Jesus, Heb. 5:7.

Conclusion
1. Prayer is a tremendous spiritual blessing we have in Christ!
2. It is not a casual, half-hearted exercise.
3. Not a recital of rehearsed phrases, but the genuine, sincere sentiment of our heart before & unto God.
4. Every honor, reverence, humility & praise must attend our prayers, including our focus on our Heavenly Father, His favor, and our faith.