PRAYER

 
     
 

MEMORY VERSE: Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, Matthew 7:7.

BIBLE PASSAGE: Matt. 6:5-15

INTRODUCATION: What is prayer? The simplest answer is, prayer is talking to Jesus. It is the soul of man talking to God. It is worship addressed to God the Father, in the Name of God the Son and through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 12:5, John 14:13, Eph. 6:18).

WHAT CONSTITUTES PRAYER?
Prayer should consist of at least four parts:
(a) Adoration i.e. praise and worship of God for what God is e.g. God is good, merciful, kind, powerful, faithful, just etc. When you praise God for what He is rather than what He has done for you, it is true worship (Ps. 95:6).
(b) Confession, repentance from every know sin. (Ps. 32:5). This will be followed by washing in the Blood of Christ. If you are already sanctified and you have no sin to confess, wash in the Blood all the same. You can never be too clean.
(c) Thanksgiving. Be thankful for anything and everything that God has done (Phil. 4:6).
(d) Supplication i.e. intercession, requests, petitions and desires can now be addressed to god, in the Name of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. (1 Tim. 2:1).

WHERE CAN I PRAY?
We can pray everywhere (1 Tim. 2:8), in the closet (Mt. 6:6) or in the church LK. 18:10. Private prayer may be made in the secret place, family prayer will involve a large group and may be made in the sitting room and public prayer may be made before the congregation.

WHEN CAN I PRAY?
We can pray in the morning (Ps. 5:3), at noon and in the evening (Ps. 55:17), day and night (Ps. 88:1), daily (Ps. 86:3) and always (Lk. 18:1). It is not only when you are on your knees with your eyes closed that you can pray. You can pray as you drive to work, while at work or while resting. Singing praises to God is also a form of prayer. Pray without ceasing.

FOR WHAT AM I TO PRAY?
Many people cannot pray long because their prayer is selfish, that is, they pray only for themselves. Consider the list below and see if you can finish all these prayers in a few hours!
(a) Pray for the sick (James 5:13-16).
(b) Pray for all men, for the President, Governors, Commissioners, the General Superintendent, Pastors, Deacons, workers, the Choir, the Ushers, the Sunday school Teachers, the Children, the Youths and the Elders (1 Tim. 2:1-4).
(c) Pray for every Christian to be made perfect in Christ Jesus (Col. 1:28).
(d) Pray for your enemies (Mt. 5:38-48).
(e) Pray for wisdom and understanding (1 Kings 3:5-9).
(f) Pray for personal safety and the safety of others (Dan. 6:18-23).
(g) Pray for a longer life (Isa. 38:1-5).
(h) Pray for the second coming of Christ, that you might be able to do the will of the Lord, to receive daily bread, forgiveness, guidance, victory over temptation and sin Matt. 6:9-13. Then include your own individual requests! Do you think it is still difficult to pray without ceasing?

HOW AM I TO PRAY?
(a) We should be guided by the Holy Spirit in our praying (Rom. 8:26-27).
(b) We must pray with faith in the existence of God (Heb. 11:6).
(c) We must pray persistently (Lk. 18:1-8).
(d) We must pray with humility (11 Chr. 7:14).
(e) We must not ask God to do anything contrary to His will (Matt. 26:39).
(f). We must forgive others it we want God to answer our prayers (Mk. 11:25).
(g) We must be obedient to God (1 Jn. 3:22).
(h) We must not stray from the way (Jn. 15:7), and above all,
(i) We must pray IN JESUS’ Name (Jn. 16:24).

WHY ARE SOME PRAYERS UNANSWERED?
There are four major causes of unanswered prayers, namely:
(a) Unbelief (James 1:6-7);
(b) an unforgiving spirit Mk. 11:25;
(c) Sin (Ps. 66:18); and
(d) asking amiss i.e. asking with wrong motives or against the will of God (James 4:3). Has your prayers been answered? Do you enjoy listening to you. Even a sinner can pray and say, “Have mercy on me, miserable offender and save my soul.” So that we can all pray. Why not now?

QUESTIONS
1. What is prayer?
2. What are the main parts of a prayer?
3. Why is it possible to pray without ceasing?
4. Why are some prayers unanswered?

FURTHER READINGS: The following passages will tell you about God’s promises concerning prayers:
MK. 11:24, Jn. 15:7, 1 Jn. 5:14-15, Ph.4:6, Heb. 4:6.

 
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