What is Prayer?

 

I.         Prayer is not necessarily natural

            A.        The disciples asked their Lord to teach them to pray - Lk 11:1-4

            B.        We know a lot about prayer, because we have seen others pray and we imitate them.

            C.        But sometimes we assume things that are not true because we don’t know exactly what is going on.

II.        What is prayer?

            A.        [Solicit answers]

            B.        I Tim 2:1-3

                        1.         Supplication - a request regarding a need

                        2.         Prayer - to worship

                        3.         Intercession - an interview, a request

                        4.         Giving thanks - gratitude

            C.        Phil 4:6

                        1.         Prayer - to worship

                        2.         Supplication - a request

                        3.         Thanksgiving

            D.        It is the primary way followers of God talk to the creator.

                        1.         To ask

                                    a.         A way to ask for something from God - James 4:2

                                    b.         Ask in Jesus’ name - John 16:24

                                    c.         To help others - II Cor 1:11

                        2.         To ask for pardon

                                    a.         James 5:16 - Ask for others

                        3.         To praise

                                    a.         I Sam 2:1-10 - Example of Hannah’s prayer

                                    b.         Ps 66:19-20 - Blessings on God for hearing David’s prayer

                        4.         To give thanks

                                    a.         I Thess 5:18

                        5.         To seek communion

                                    a.         James 4:8-10

                                    b.         Eph 3:12 - Access with confidence

            E.        Mt 6:5-6 - Prayer is a private matter between the pettioner and God. It is not meant for public display. Though some prayers are delivered publicly.

III.       How does God hear your prayers?

            A.        Do you need to shout loud? Do you need to do something to get His attention?

                        1.         I Kings 18:19-39 - The priests of Baal thought they could attract their god’s attention with much noise and self-mutilation.

                        2.         Notice Elijah’s taunts. Our God is never unaware.