The 10 on Prayer
Men’s Breakfast Bible Study
Faith Baptist Church November 16, 2013
Prayer Is … Prayer does …
I’ve always loved the nature of Abraham’s relationship with God. The Lord appears to him in Genesis 18 and I love what he says, it would be a great way for us to begin a prayer session, v3 says “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by”.
But then down in verse, God is heading down to destroy Sodom for its wickedness and he says “shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” … I LOVE and am in continual desire for this kind of relationship with God. I want the lines of communication open. I want to know and sense God’s presence so that if he did something around me, I would know it, unless he hid it from me?
So, some simple thoughts on prayer, on fellowshipping with God, like a countdown to Liftoff …
10. Prayer Is Communication with God –
I know this states the obvious but we make prayer into something we can’t figure out what to do. But do we know how to Communicate don’t we?
What our prayer involves in the nature and person of God should help us determine HOW to Pray and to Whom we address.
If your world has fallen apart, if you need recreation, restoration, restoring of order, Address God as Creator God … “Creator, Create in me” …, “Creator, maker of everything, designer of the world, sustainer of all things, Jesus Christ please …”
If you need strength, direction, inheritance, family business, address the Father. If you are hurting, crawl into his lap “Abba, Daddy, Father, hold me close”
If you need to understand scripture, to remember the words of Christ, strength in prayer, knowledge in how to pray, pray to the Holy Spirit our Intercessor, our Guide, “Spirit, Intercessor, Teacher, Guide me Holy Spirit”
Communicate with God … when you start the day off, instead of “Lord it’s morning”, why not “Good Morning Lord”, Talk to him as you would talk to the one who has all you need, who knows the answer, who meets our needs … Communicate … it is simple as “hello”, “simple as Lord do you see this, do you hear me, I’m struggling …”
Communication is TWO way … God spoke to Moses like a man speaks with a Friend
God revealed to Abraham his plans around him … so, we have to ask, listen, tarry.
Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Countdown, 10 …
09. Prayer is Worship –
We tend to separate out so much of our life.
This is Worship, this is preaching, this is Bible Study, this is Prayer, This is Obedience … Can I say that it is ALL Worship …
When we pray, we are worshipping God by saying “You are God, and I am not” – “You are Able to meet my needs” – “I Love you and You Love Me” – “You have the answers I seek” that is all worship
Psalm 86:8-12 “Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours, all the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever”
That is beautiful worship in prayer from David. See how he began with worship, then spoke of his desire for the world to come to Christ, because he is great and there is none like him. Then he asked God to Teach him how to live, a promise to live according to him, and give me a single hearted desire to live that way and I will give you the praise and glory. That is a comprehensive prayer of worship4
Countdown, 10 … 09 …
08. Prayer Relieves My Fears …
When I realize God is on the throne, He is aware, He loves me, He is able, He makes me able, He shows me how … Prayer confesses those things
Psalm 27:3 Though and army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock”
Communicating with God in worship, relieves my fears
Countdown 10 … 09 …08 …
07. Prayer Is Instruction from my Sovereign and Savior –
God has a plan, God is doing something … If you think that God is not at work in your office, on your block, in your home, in your like … you need to hear from him
Jesus said John 5:17 “My father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too am working” … God is busy … HE IS at work … do we stop long enough to hear from him, to know what he is doing. Do you receive instruction from him for the purpose of joining him?
Jesus told the Father John 17:4 “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do”
“God reveal to me your plans and I will complete them”… “you are my Sovereign and my Savior and worthy of my grateful obedience”
Countdown 10 … 09 … 08 … 07 …
06. Prayer is an Exercise in Trust
1 Tim 1:5 says Jesus is the mediator between God and Man. But put that verse in context. It is in the middle bookend instructions on prayer.
Jesus is the ONLY reason that I can ask God ANYTHING,
read vv1-8 “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – 2 for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 this is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 for there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men – the testimony given in its proper time 7 and for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle – I am telling the truth, I and not lying, and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles 8 I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing”
Prayer is trust on display. When we know who Jesus is and what he has done for us we can come to him with every kind of prayer – determine to trust
Ps 56:3 when I am afraid, I will trust in you
Ps 91:2 I will say of the Lord ‘he is my refuge and fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”
Lord I Believe … I trust you
Countdown 10 … 09 … 08 … 07 … 06 …
05. A Means to Which God Changes Me …
We think that prayer is about changing God, getting God to do our stuff …
As if HE is the branches while we are the vine … we command and he does … we need and he provides … apart from us he is still God … but apart from HIM we can do NOTHING
Yes FAITH is a critical aspect in prayer. And we must believe and not doubt. But sometimes the reason we doubt, is because the thing we are praying for is not in the Lord’s plan. We can believe all we want but God is trying to change our plans so that we come in line with what HE is doing. If I’m “at the table” with the Lord and telling him my heart’s desire, but he is saying “But Jim, I have a different plan, I have a plan that will transform you into the image of Christ and will bring me glory and advance the kingdom”… At that point, I need to HEAR my Sovereign Savior and CHANGE to his plans.
On the flipside, if my nature is to be weak, and doubt, but God is telling me clearly to press in and press on … BELIEVE … CHANGE
Prayer receives instruction from God … So prayer is me saying “God, shape me mold me, direct me, inform me, change ME
Countdown 10 … 09 … 08 … 07 … 06 … 05 …
04. Prayer IS the Battleground,
it doesn’t prepare us FOR the battle ground. It is where the battle is fought and often won or lost.
Let me take a little liberty and remind you that in our spiritual armor the belt is truth, but the belt included the skirt that held it up which went down to the knees … Prayer is where we discern the TRUTH of our circumstance … Prayer is where we defeat strongholds and pretenses set up against us
2 Cor 10:4-6 the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 and we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, one your obedience is complete
The battle is in the mind and heart through prayer, deciding to fight for obedience
Take CAPTIVE every thought. When a thought enters that is contrary to the Lord, that thought is a temptation to turn away from the Lord … if we dwell on it, play it out, it becomes sin in our heart and eventually sin in our actions … Take CAPTIVE every thought and make it obedient … Philippians 4:4-9 is a great companion passage. Rejoice, always … don’t be anxious … prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God … whatever is true … noble … right … pure … lovely … admirable … excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things … put it into practice and the God of peace will be with you.
Take captive every thought … Prayer is the battleground
Jesus succeeded on the cross because he had already died in the Garden
Countdown 10 … 09 … 08 … 07 … 06 … 05 … 04 …
03. Prayer is a Lifeline –
We all get down, we get we get over the cliff hanging on by a thread … who’s your thread? Are you hanging on to the scarlet thread? The Cross of Jesus gives us hope …
Ps 63:4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 28:2 hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place
Reach Out, Cry Out, Look Up … “Lord pull me up, set me right, set my break, sooth my wound”
The Lord is my shepherd, I have all I need
Countdown 10 … 09 … 08 … 07 … 06 … 05 … 04 … 03 …
02. Prayer Is a Means to Grace Being Alive in My Life –
When I fail to pray … I miss the active grace of God all around me
Every good and perfect gift is from above … we don’t deserve any of it so that makes everything grace …
When I don’t pray I miss the grace that is active around me. I don’t realize what God is doing for me and for others. I don’t come in line with what God is doing. I am not aware of his active grace. I am not aware and actively living gratefully in the Grace around me
When we pray and seek his answers for life, the grace around us then
Pro 1:8-9 listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck
Gal 6:18 the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers amen
1 Peter 1:13 prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed
Countdown 10 … 09 … 08 … 07 … 06 … 05 … 04 … 03 … 02 …
01. Prayer is an Opportunity to Touch ETERNITY From my place in TIME
I have wanted to change the world, my whole life. Maybe that’s you. But sometimes I get so myopically focused on my moment in time and don’t realize that I have an opportunity to get off the Launchpad. I fail to realize that prayer is an opportunity to break out of the gravity of my situation and blast off into the realms of the Heavenly, the Eternal
Psalm 144:3-7 O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? 4 Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow 5 part your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke. 6 Send forth lightning and scatter the enemies; shoot your arrows and rout them. 7 Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners
Psalm 6:9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.
Prayer is my change to touch the one who is IN Eternity. “Lord … Part the Heavens and Come down …”
Get out of the realm of the now and then and when, and into the realm of completed. Jesus Christ is out of time and he sees my situation completed. God sees us as known, called, justified, glorified. When we pray we break out of the possibilities and into the realm of what God knows is done and we can live according to faith which is the substance of the things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. When I touch eternity I give God the chance to tell me how to act how to live, to be what He wants me to be.
Daniel 10:12 Do not be afraid, Daniel, Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your god, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 but the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. I have come to explain to you what will happen …
When Daniel prayed something happened in Eternity but it wasn’t until later that it came into Time and Daniel experienced it. Fear not, wonder not if God heard … He IS at work
Communicate – commonly and continually
Instructions from Sovereign
God changing me
Fighting the battle on our knees
Holding on to our lifeline
Laying Hold of Grace
We CAN …