Basics of Prayer
13 Mar 2016
Prayer is fellowship and communion with God.
- Through prayer, we worship God for who He is, and we thank Him for the things He has done for us.
- Through prayer, we enlist God’s help in meeting the needs of people around us, and in meeting the needs in our own personal life.
We should be, “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,” (Romans 12:12, NASB95) The Phillips Translation says – “steadfastly maintain the habit of prayer.”
“Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,” (Luke 18:1, NASB95)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6, NASB95) “Don’t worry over anything whatever; whenever you pray tell God every detail of your needs in thankful prayer, and the peace of God, which surpasses human understanding, will keep guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 Phillips Translation)
God has designed prayers to be answered. The Word of God gives us instructions concerning prayer.
- Pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus. ““In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” (John 16:23–24, NASB95)
- God wants us to be joyful because the joy of the Lord is our strength. “Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”” (Nehemiah 8:10, NASB95)
- God does not answer prayer with a “no” or a “maybe.” When we pray according to His word, He always answers yes! “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20, NASB95)
- Base prayer on the Word of God; find scriptures that promise what we desire. ““If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7, NASB95)
- God always honors His Word when we stand on it in prayer. “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11, NASB95) “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8, NASB95) “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89, NASB95) ““My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.” (Psalm 89:34, NASB95) ““God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19, NASB95)
- God wants us to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously” (Colossians 1:9–11, NASB95)
- God’s Word is God’s will. To know God’s will in a matter, see what His Word has to say about it. “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” (1 John 5:14–15, NASB95)
- Believe we have received the answer the moment we pray, and then we will have it. We must believe before we see the answer. This may require meditating on the word of God before we pray. ““Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” (Mark 11:24, NASB95)
- Praise God for the answer to your prayer. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6, NASB95)
Hindrances to prayer:
- Doubt: between two opinions. “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6–8, NASB95)
- Cast down doubt. “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NASB95)
- When we feed our faith with the Word of God, our doubts will starve.
- Sin and forgiveness. “If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;” (Psalm 66:18, NASB95) ““Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” (Mark 11:25, NASB95)
- Wrong motives. “You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:2–3, NASB95)
- “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7, NASB95)
God’s remedy when our prayers are hindered. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NASB95)