Let’s look at Prayer Video
Welcome to session 4 of Let’s look at Prayer
How about a quick recap on what we said in last week’s session on Warfare prayers?
- Pray God’s Will – Warfare prayers are a matter of seeking God’s will. It is never man’s place to make a decision on behalf of God.
- What is warfare prayer? – Warfare prayer is asking God to come up against powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness, that we may witness in our day
- What are spiritual weapons? – Spiritual weapons are the unseen weapons of the spiritual world – through God
- When to pray ‘forbid or Permit’ prayers – The more we are one with God, the more we hear Him directing us when to pray
- How to pray ‘forbid and permit’ prayers – God will give us the wording for each burden that he gives us to pray for
- How not to pray ‘forbid and permit’ prayers – ‘Binding and Loosing’ prayers should never be prayed in our own strength or out of an emotional frenzy
- Where is our Authority? – The only authority that we have on this earth is “…through God…”
- How do we lay hold of this authority? – Our authority lies ‘In Christ’ only. The more our old nature is laid down, the deeper ‘in Christ’ we move and the more His authority is released through us
In this week’s session we’ll look at some important questions about prayer.
WHAT SHOULD MY ATTITUDE BE WHEN I PRAY?
In Luke 18, Jesus explains to us what our attitude should be when we pray. He is saying that it is persistent prayer, inspired by faith and intensity, from a heart that is humble and repentant, that receives a response from the throne of God .
It’s not that God gets some kind of pleasure at seeing us begging and grovelling before Him day after day, but rather that the persistent prayer of a righteous believer will break down the evil forces that try to prevent the answers to our prayers reaching us as confirmed by these scriptures (Eph. 6:12; Jas. 5:16; 1Thess.5:17). Later, we’ll look more closely at the example of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter 9.
Believing and trusting God (in other words Faith) when we pray, puts the emphasis on God Himself. It is all about Him and His faithfulness. Jesus did not teach us to rely on prayer alone – He taught us to rely on, and trust Him. Only when we can fully trust Him, can we fully pray believing. We are to believe Him first, and then express that belief in prayer. Trust must be in the heart before prayer comes out of the mouth. In Luke 18, we see how strong the beggar’s faith was. He trusted God to heal him.
Another example of prayer attitude is once again seen in Luke 18 where Jesus says that the Tax gatherer’s seeking God, was one of humility. We also see in Daniel chapter 9 how Daniel prayed from a heart that was humble and repentant, longing to understand God’s will. Please, if you have time this week, read through this chapter and let the Lord show you the state of Daniel’s heart.
CAN WE PRAY LIKE THE GREAT MEN OF GOD?
Let’s have a look at two examples of how great men of God prayed. In 1 Kings 18, we enter the story at the point where Elijah tells King Ahab that it is going to rain (and that’s after three and a half years of drought!). Although he tells Ahab, what he is really doing is prophesying.
Elijah immediately then got onto his knees and prayed until what he had prophesied had come to pass.
Daniel, in chapter 9, said this: “So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes…” (Dan.9:3).
Daniel’s seeking the Lord was very serious – not a light hearted approach.
We must desire to pray the way Elijah and Daniel prayed because these types of prayers produce results. Not only this, but they are within the reach of every believer.
We need however to take note of a very important factor here:-
Both these men prayed in God’s will.
Elijah heard from God before he prophesied to Ahab that there would be no rain.
Daniel read about the prophecies of Jeremiah before he began to pray .
PRAY IN GOD’S WILL, PRAY BELIEVING
The next important issue is that they both firmly believed that their prayers would be heard by God. This was visible by their behaviour. Elijah went to Ahab and told him what was going to happen, then prayed without moving from his place until his servant reported a cloud.
Daniel never moved from his place for three whole weeks, neither eating, drinking nor bathing!!
HUMILITY AND BROKENESS IS WHAT WE NEED IN PRAYER
If we go back to Luke 18, Jesus describes two attitudes in prayer:
Firstly, the scribe who is proud of his achievements and legalistic in his manner of praying.
Secondly, and very different, is the attitude of the tax-gatherer. He goes to God with a heart that is looking for mercy.
Let’s try and remember these prayer attitudes, as we next seek God.
CAN I ONLY PRAY THE WILL OF GOD?
Praying in the will of God is really a way of life. In other words, people who have utterly surrendered their lives to God, don’t have much difficulty praying God’s will, because they KNOW Him – not just know ABOUT Him. Let’s just repeat that… they KNOW him – not just know ABOUT Him.
But for those of us still growing to that place, we need firstly to desire to pray in God’s will, and then ask Him to cause our prayers to be prayed in His will. But we are certainly free to ask God for the things that we want, then ask Him to make it subject to His will.
WHY DOES GOD WANT US TO DO THE PRAYING?
God’s ways are unique to Him and they work in spite of what we do or don’t do. He does require us to pray and preach to fulfill His purpose on earth, but even where we are disobedient, He will find others that are willing, so He always accomplishes His will. The scripture of Romans 10 shows us this.
In Luke 18, Jesus gives us some idea as to why God wants us to pray:
In this instance, the judge can be likened to the position God holds over the earth. He is in total charge.
The widow (who is a symbol of defencelessness and a particular focus of God’s deep compassion), is likened to a person who cries out for deliverance from their adversary.
The adversary is Satan who constantly seeks to bind people in slavery to his will.
The widow remained persistent, and it was because of this that the judge agreed to deliver her, “…lest by her continuous requesting, she wear me out…” (vs. 5). Jesus says that God too, will deliver, when His children pray to Him, “…crying to Him day and night…” (vs. 7).
Jesus guarantees, in fact, that God will deliver speedily (vs. 8)!
WHY PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER?
Why would God insist that we persist in prayer, is He like a judge waiting to be wearied? Never! God is just and has a very good reason for us persisting in prayer.
We see in Daniel 9, how and what Daniel prayed. The answer to his prayer comes in chapter 10 when a messenger from God tells Daniel that his prayer was answered the first time he prayed, but it took twenty-one days for the answer to reach him. Why? Because it was hindered by the Prince of Persia (which we can understand to be a demonic strong-hold over the area – vs. 13).
Daniel fasted and never gave up on his praying. His prayers were persistent and in deep sincerity.
In 1 John 3, we read that Jesus defeated Satan, yet Satan is still the god of this world as we see in 2 Cor.2. How? By illegal means, he does this. He tempts man to sin and those that do not have the power to overcome, become slaves to him. Therefore, he rules!
However, as the saints persist in prayer, many shall be freed from his evil clutches. In Heb.10, we see that through perseverance and the will of God, we will receive what He promises us (Heb.10:36).
SOME LAST POINTS TO CONSIDER…
In essence then, this is what Jesus is teaching us:
When we pray, first look for what GOD wants.
Ask God to empty us as we begin to pray and show us what’s on His heart.
Pray according to the will of God.
BELIEVE that God will not only hear our prayer, but will answer them as well.
Persist in prayer – don’t give up!
Lastly, when all this has been done, ask God to give you peace about that which you have prayed.
OK… let’s quickly recap what have we seen this week:
- What should my attitude be when I pray? – It is persistent prayer, inspired by faith and intensity, from a heart that is humble and repentant, that receives a response from the throne of God
- Can we pray like the great men of God? – Praying is well within the reach of everybody and is encouraged by God – there are many biblical examples of praying people.
- Pray in God’s Will, pray believing – All great praying people totally believed God would answer their requests
- Humility and Brokenness in prayer – God looks for humble hearts seeking mercy rather than arrogant prideful attitudes in prayer
- Can I only pray the will of God? – God’s will in our prayers will come naturally as we get to know Him – but we are free to ask for the things we want according to His will
- Why does God want us to do the praying? – God uses us to further His Kingdom here on earth – through prayer and His will
- Why persistence in prayer? – We need to persevere in prayer because answers are sometimes delayed in the heavenlies and through perseverance and the will of God, we will receive answers.
And lastly, when we pray:
- Look for what God wants – ask God to empty our hearts as we begin to pray – pray the will of God – believe God will hear our prayer and trust Him for the answer – persist and don’t give up – and then ask Him to give us peace about what we have prayed.
Let’s end off this last session by praying together in your group. Hopefully by now we are all used to praying with each other and we’ve begun to hear God sharing His heart with us in the prayer time.
Remember – we hold a very powerful tool in our hands when we pray, not by our power – but by His. Talk to God all day long – get to know Him intimately and tell Him you love Him. Marvel as we see situations around us change by the power of our prayers, subject to God’s will.
Thanks so much for joining me as we’ve had a look together at the topic prayer over the last few weeks. I pray the Lord has used these sessions in some way, to bring us all that bit closer to Him.
May our Father in Heaven Bless you all.
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“…time with the Master…”