Prayers

GPHI-SUMBER PENGHARAPAN INT. MINISTRIES
GADING NIAS KELAPA GADING 05/02/20 STUDI 13

WHAT IS PRAYER
Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God.

Prayer can be audible or silent, private or public, formal or informal. Prayer is spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him. Prayer to God is like a child’s conversation with his father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs.

Prayer addressed to God as Father, in the name of Christ as Mediator, and through the enabling grace of the indwelling Spirit.

METHODS OF PRAYER
Seeking God’s favor (Exodus 32:11),
Pouring out one’s soul to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:15),
Crying out to heaven (2 Chronicles 32:20),
Drawing near to God (Psalm 73:28, KJV), and
Kneeling before the Father (Ephesians 3:14).

TYPES OF PRAYERS
The prayer of faith:
James 5:15 says, “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” In this context, prayer is offered in faith for someone who is sick, asking God to heal. When we pray, we are to believe in the power and goodness of God (Mark 9:23).

The prayer of agreement (also known as corporate prayer):
After Jesus’ ascension, the disciples “all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14). Later, after Pentecost, the early church “devoted themselves” to prayer (Acts 2:42). Their example encourages us to pray with others.

The prayer of request (or supplication):
We are to take our requests to God. Philippians 4:6 teaches, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Part of winning the spiritual battle is to be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18).

The prayer of thanksgiving:
We see another type of prayer in Philippians 4:6: thanksgiving or thanks to God. “With thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Many examples of thanksgiving prayers can be found in the Psalms.

The prayer of praise & worship:
The prayer of worship is similar to the prayer of thanksgiving. The difference is that worship focuses on who God is; thanksgiving focuses on what God has done. Church leaders in Antioch prayed in this manner with fasting: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:2-3).

The prayer of consecration:
Sometimes, prayer is a time of setting ourselves apart to follow God’s will. Jesus made such a prayer the night before His crucifixion: “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:39).

The prayer of intercession:
Many times, our prayers include requests for others as we intercede for them. We are told to make intercession “for everyone” in 1 Timothy 2:1. Jesus serves as our example in this area. The whole of John 17 is a prayer of Jesus on behalf of His disciples and all believers.

The prayer of Blessing:
Prayers are used to invoke God’s judgment on the wicked and thereby avenge the righteous. The psalmists use this type of appeal to emphasize the holiness of God and the surety of His judgment. Jesus teaches us to pray for blessing on our enemies, not cursing (Matthew 5:44-48).

Adoration:
This means worship—glorying and exalting God. Through adoration, we show our loyalty and admiration of our Father. As we pray, we are called to worship God in adoration. This could be a song of praise to Him, praying a psalm of worship, declaring His attributes, or a myriad of other forms of worship.

Confession:
The word confess means “to agree with.” When we confess our sins, we agree with God that we are wrong and that we have sinned against Him by what we have said, thought, or done. God forgives us and restores our fellowship with Him (1 John 1:9).

The Bible also speaks of praying in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:14-15) and prayers when we are unable to think of adequate words (Romans 8:26-27). In those times, the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us.

WHY DO WE PRAY
God invites into a relationship with Him, not to just get stuff from him. He invites us into His purposes and power – power to defeat the enemy, save, restore, strengthen, raise up, heal, glorify God, accomplish the impossible, bless, impart wisdom, secure peace, keep us from sinning, and reveal God’s will. When we see prayer this way, it helps us to be joyful anticipation of how our Father will move the world for his glory and our good.

Prayer is based on God’s love for us. Through his grace, he gives us things which they do not deserve, while through his mercy he shields us from those things which we do deserve. Therefore, prayer is primarily a relationship with our heavenly Father (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6). Prayer is deliberate and intentional communication that nurtures this relationship with the Father. It is our way of connecting daily with the living God and hearing him tell us who he is and who we are. To neglect this privilege is to ignore God himself and miss out on a promised joy to every follower of Jesus. To lean into this relationship is just one way we let God how much we love him. When we love someone, we will make time for them. So, what are some reasons why we should pray?

PRAYER HELPS US IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:

  • Defeat Satan (Luke 22:31-32)
  • Save the sinner (Luke 18:13)
  • Restore the backslider (James 5:16)
  • Strengthen the believer (jude20)
  • Raise up laborers (Matthew 9:38; Acts 3:2-3)
  • Heal the sick (James 5:14-15)
  • Glorify God’s name (Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4)
  • Accomplish the impossible (Matthew 21:22; Mark 9:29; James 5:17-18)
  • Bless us (Matthew 7:7-11)
  • Impart wisdom (James 1:5)
  • Secure peace (Philippians 4:5-7)
  • Keep us from sin (Matthew 26:41)
  • Reveal the will of God (Luke 11:9-10)

WHY WE MUST PRAY
God invites us to pray (Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Timothy 2:8).

Jesus spent time in prayer (Hebrews 5:7).

Early followers of Jesus prayed (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 6:4)

The Apostle Paul prayed (Acts 9:10-11; 16:25; 20:36; 21:5)

WHAT SHOULD WE BE PRAYING ABOUT?

Matthew 6:9-13

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

In what has become known as the “Lord’s prayer,” Jesus Christ lays out for us a framework for praying to God. It is not a strict, inflexible format to which we must adhere every time we come before God (Matthew 6:7), but rather an excellent checklist of things we do need to take the time to pray about. We should be praying on a regular basis for, among other things, God’s will to be done, our needs to be taken care of, the forgiveness of our sins and deliverance from Satan.

Matthew 7:7-8

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Luke 21:36

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Along with praying for others, it is vital to also pray for ourselves. Our lives are filled with reminders that we can’t make it on our own. It would be inconceivable to refrain from asking God for the help we so desperately require.

Our God stands ready to provide us with the strength, wisdom and courage we need to stand against our enemy, but He wants us first to come before Him and ask for it.

Matthew 26:39

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

When Jesus prayed fervently before His crucifixion, He knew what He wanted to happen. But He always remembered that His Father was in charge and had the eternal best interests of everyone in mind. It is important for us to pray for God’s will to be done too.

Ephesians 6:18-20

…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

The ministers of God’s Church, on whom falls the bulk of His work, are just as human as the rest of us. They, too, are subject to exhaustion, sickness and heartache. They, too, can—and at times, will—fall short of the high mark God has set for us. 

Also, they can face difficult trials (Paul spent time in prison for obeying God) and many challenging decisions in doing God’s work. Paul was particularly concerned that God would continue to give him the courage, opportunities and clarity to boldly preach God’s truth even at the risk of suffering or death.

As this is the case, we should be sure to keep God’s servants in our prayers—and not only His ministers, but all His people. We are in this battle together, and prayer is one of the most effective ways we can support each other, care for each other and fulfill the God-inspired command given to us in Philippians 2:4.

WRONG WAY TO PRAY

The reason this prayer is ineffective and useless is because God does not hear it  Job 27:8-9; Job 35:13; Isaiah 1:15-16; Isaiah 59:2; Micah 3:4; Zechariah 7:11-13; Luke 18:11-12. 

(1) “Do not always pray openly for others to see and hear.” [Matthew 6:5-6]

(2) “Do not pray using repetitive prayers. ” [Matthew 6:5-6]

(3) Prayer with a wrong motive cannot be effective. We learn this from James 4:3, and how often we pray selfishly! Only prayer which is offered for the glory of God secures His ear and His answer.

(4) If we know of sin in our lives, prayer cannot be effective. We learn this from Psalm 66:18. How easy it is to harbour sin! We need to pray the prayers that David prayed – Psalm 139:23-24; Psalm 51:3-4, and act on 1 John 1:9.

(3) An unforgiving spirit will hinder prayer. We learn this from Mark 11:25-26. Is this a possible reason why our prayers for the conversion of our loved ones are not being answered?

(5) An unwillingness to be reconciled to someone prevents prayer from being effective. We learn this from Matthew 5:23-24. It is of little use to pray, worship, go to meetings, or engage in God’’s service and to expect His blessing, if we are unwilling first to be reconciled to another believer.

(6) A wrong relationship is a barrier in prayer. We learn this from 1 Peter 3:7. Perhaps our relationship with members of our own family is not all that it should be. According to this verse, that can be a hindrance to our prayers.

(7) Unthankful Heart: We are to pray with thankful hearts. Those of us who come before God without a spirit of thankfulness will find our prayers are not heard (Phil. 4:6)

THE RIGHT WAY TO PRAY

(1)“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. ”

[Matthew 6:9]

Before launching into to what you need or the purpose of your prayer, start with praise to the Lord. Begin your prayer with worship and by exalting the name of the Lord.

(2)“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

[Matthew 6:10]

Remember that when you pray, you are not making demands of God. Christians should always want Gods will above their own. Include this in your prayer by asking that Gods will be done.

“Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

[Matthew 6:11-12]

After you have worshiped and exalted the Lord and asked that His will be done, it is time to ask for any needs that you might have. This could be healing for yourself or others, the strength to deal with difficult people, help with financial needs, the need to be forgiven for sin or anything else.

(3)“Whatever needs you have, the Bible says that you should make your requests known unto God”

[Phillipians 4:6]

There is nothing wrong with asking God for help in meeting your needs; in fact you just saw that the Bible tells you to do just that.

What Christians must be careful of, however, is coming to God with a laundry list of requests without taking the time to offer praise and worship. That is why following the basic template of the Lords Prayer is helpful.

(4)“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: ”

[Matthew 6:13]

With temptation all around, it is a good idea to include a request for help in avoiding it. When you ask God for help in avoiding temptation you are acknowledging that the strength to live a dedicated and holy life does not come from you, but from Gods grace.

When you ask God to deliver you from evil, He can put a hedge about your life and help to protect you from the influences that could cause you to fall into sin.

(5)“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

[Matthew 6:13]

Finally, you should end your prayers the same way that you began: with praise and worship to God.

When you pray in the same manner that Jesus prayed, you words will find their way to the heart of the Lord.

WHAT WE KNOW WHEN WE ARE PRAYING
It sounds obvious to say that we have great needs that should drive us to prayer. But the truth is, our pride blinds us to how needy we really are, so that we rely on ourselves or on other people or on some godless method to get us out of our troubles. Finally, when nothing else has worked, we say, “We’ve done all that we can do. The only thing left is to pray!” It’s our last resort.

This psalm shows that David knew the God to whom he was praying. Knowing God’s attributes and His promises gives us hope and endurance in prayer. To approach God’s holy throne, we must know that He is good, ready to forgive, and abundant in loving-kindness to all who call upon Him (psalms 86:5). We must know that He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth” (Psalms 86:15). In this prayer, David basically puts who God is against his enemies and leaves the outcome to God.

  1. Watch and Pray always

Jesus Christ commanded us to watch (our spiritual condition as well as world events) and pray.

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36, King James Version).

  1. Repent and hold on to the truth.

“Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (Revelation 3:3).

  1. Be children of the light; don’t give into the darkness of this world.

“You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6).

EXAMPLES OF PRAYERS
1. Abraham’s concern for Lot led him to pray boldly for God to spare Sodom.

“And Abraham came near and said, ‘Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ So the Lord said, ‘If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.’…

“Then he said, ‘Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?’ And He said, ‘I will not destroy it for the sake of ten'” (Genesis 18:23-26, 32).

  1. Daniel’s love for his people led him to fast and pray for Israel.

“Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name” (Daniel 9:17-19).

  1. Jesus Christ set the highest example, as He interceded for all of us while we were sinners.

“Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).

Jesus prayer for God to be glorified (John 17:1-5)

Jesus prays for His disciples (John 17:6-19)

Jesus prays for all believers (John 17:20-26)

QUESTIONS
1. To what extent is our prayerlessness due to our not seeing our great needs?

  1. How can we be more aware of our true needs?
  2. How can we develop true joy and thankfulness in the midst of trials?

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