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Communicating With God

September 8, 1996


Scripture:  1Kings 8:6 - 9:9  (2Chron. 5:7 - 7:22)





          If the spiritual discipline of Bible Intake is most important, then surely the spiritual discipline of prayer is second in importance as we pray God’s Word back to Him in both understanding and application toward godliness.  It can be said that the main reason for a lack of godliness is prayerlessness because we have not opened up our spirit to the enablement of God’s Spirit.  The transition between Bible intake (through hearing, reading and studying) and prayer is meditation.  This is the process whereby we wait upon God to become convicted by the Holy Spirit to praise, confess, thank and intercede in spontaneous prayer.  But prayer is not only a conviction, it is a duty.  In praying God’s Word back to Him, we bring ourselves under its authority and power to carry out God’s work in us and through us.  Adrian Rodgers has said, “We can do more than pray after we have prayed, but we can not do more than pray until we have prayed.  And as Daniel said in Dan. 9:18b, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”  Prayer taps us into the boundless mercy of God.

          Prayer is a deep subject and can cover many avenues.  When one thinks about it, how can we even begin to approach the subject of communication with the infinite God of the universe?  The Bible gives us many examples of famous prayers.  They serve different purposes, but the one thing they all have in common (that is why they are in the Bible) is that God has answered, and is still answering, them all.  They are there for us to see and appreciate God.  Let’s just list some of these prayers:

          1Sam. 2:1             Hannah’s Prayer

                   Prophetic praise for Samuel’s miraculous birth, looking forward                       to the establishment of the kingship and ultimately in the                                       Messiah.

          2Sam. 7:18           David’s Prayer

                   Humble praise for God’s revelation of the Davidic Covenant                              through Nathan, asking God to always remember His                               unconditional promise of an enduring kingdom (fulfilled in                         Christ) and to bless David’s house.

          1Chron. 17:16      David’s Prayer

                   A repeat of 2Sam. 7:18.

          1Chron. 29:10      David’s Prayer

                   Praise to God and a request that Solomon would indeed                                     complete the temple and that the people would provide for it.

          1Kings 8:22                   Solomon’s Prayer

                   Praise to God for Solomon’s part in the Davidic Covenant, a                             request for God to keep it, dedication of the temple and request                         for God to hear the prayers of the people - looking forward to an                 eternal kingdom in Christ.

          2Chron. 6:12        Solomon’s Prayer

                   A repeat of 1Kings 8:22.

          2Kings 19:14        Hezekiah’s Prayer

                   An appeal for God’s protection of Jerusalem from the Assyrians.

          Is. 37:14               Hezekiah’s Prayer

                   Repeat of 2Kings 19:14.

          Ezra 9:1                Ezra’s Prayer

                   Confession of continuing sin in spite of God’s goodness in                       bringing a remnant back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple,                          pleading mercy.

          Neh. 1:1               Nehemiah’s Prayer

                   Acknowledgment of God’s hand in Jewish history, confession                           of national sin, and a request for success in asking the                                   Babylonian king for permission to return and rebuild Jerusalem.

          Ps. 17;86;142       Prayers of David

          Ps. 90                             Prayer of Moses

          Ps. 102                 Prayer of the Afflicted

          Is. 63:7                 Praise and Prayer

                   Request for God’s fulfillment of divine history and His return to              His people.       

          Jer. 10:23             Jeremiah’s Prayer

                   Request for God’s fulfillment of divine justice in human history.

          Dan. 9:1               Daniel’s Prayer

                   Confession of national sin, pleading for mercy, and a request for              God to return to His sanctuary, His city and His people.

          Jonah 2:1             Jonah’s Prayer

                   An acknowledgment of God’s divine hand of discipline and                      submission to it in desire to be a part of God’s program of                       salvation.

          Micah 7:14           Prayer and Praise

                   A request for God to display His power among the nations,                     forgive sin, and restore Israel.

          Hab. 3:1               Habakkuk’s Prayer

                   Praise for God’s glory and power and for strength to remain                              until deliverance comes.

          John 17:20           Jesus’ Prayer

                   That believers might be unified in Christ in the knowledge of the              love of God in Christ, and that they might see the glory of God                            in Christ unto eternal life.

          Acts 4:23              Believer’s Prayer (Peter and John)

                   An acknowledgment of the power of God not only as Creator                            but as Holy Spirit to enable them to speak (as David did) the                         Word of God with power and authority, especially about Christ.

I.       Prayer is Expected

          A.      Jesus expects us to pray.

          B.      God’s Word also makes this expectation clear.

II.      Prayer is Learned

          A.      Prayer is learned by praying.

          B.      Prayer is learned by meditating upon Scripture.

          C.      Prayer is learned by praying with others.

          D.      Prayer is learned by the experience of others.

III.    Prayer is Answered      

IV.    Conclusion

          A.      Since prayer is expected, will you plan to pray?

          B.      Since prayer is learned, will you learn to pray?

          C.      Since prayer is answered, will you persistently pray?

I.       Know Who You Are With


II.      Know What You Are Asking


III.    Pray With A Sense Of Community


IV.    Pray With A Sense Of The Supernatural


V.      Come Home To A Sense Of Intimacy


VI.    Believe That God Will Answer


VII.   Believe God When He Does Answer

Communicating With God, Part II


A.      Pray to God

          1.       Elements of Prayer

                   a.       Adoration and communion

                   b.      Confession

                   c.       Intercession

                             (1)     Intercession for the afflicted

                             (2)     Intercession for believers by Christian leaders

                             (3)     Intercession for believers in general

                             (4)     Intercession for children by parents

                             (5)     Intercession for enemies

                             (6)     Intercession for everyone

                             (7)     Intercession for ministers

                             (8)     Intercession for public authorities

                             (9)     Intercession for the unsaved


                   d.      Petition

                             (1)     Petition for conviction of sin

                             (2)     Petition for daily provision

                             (3)     Petition for deliverance from difficulty

                             (4)     Petition for deliverance from enemies

                             (5)     Petition for deliverance from oppression

                             (6)     Petition for favor in old age

                             (7)     Petition for help

                             (8)     Petition for the Holy Spirit

                             (9)     Petition for instruction

                             (10)   Petition for judgment on enemies

                             (11)   Petition for judgment on the nations

                             (12)   Petition for judgment on oneself

                             (13)   Petition for judgment on oppressors of the poor

                             (14)   Petition for judgment on preachers of another                                        gospel

                             (15)   Petition for judgment on the wicked

                             (16)   Petition for mercy and grace

                             (17)   Petition for pardon of sin

                             (18)   Petition for physical well-being

                             (19)   Petition for spiritual development

                             (20)   Petition for strength amidst trouble

                             (21)   Petition for success

                             (22)   Petition for wisdom

                             (23)   Petition for the work of ministry


                   e.       Submission

                             (1)     Job submitted to God in prayer

                             (2)     David submitted to God in prayer

                             (3)     Jesus submitted to the Father in prayer

                             (4)     Paul submitted to God in prayer


                   f.       Thanksgiving

                             (1)     Thanks for answered prayer

                             (2)     Thanks for food

                             (3)     Thanks for God’s blessings

                             (4)     Thanks for God’s wondrous deeds

                             (5)     Thanks for other believers


                   g.       The elements of prayer in the Lord’s Prayer


          2.       The Manner of Prayer

                   a.       Pray according to God’s will

                   b.      Pray in corporate worship

                   c.       Pray in faith

                   d.      Pray in the Name of Christ

                   e.       Pray in personal meditation

                   f.       Pray in righteousness

                   g.       Pray in truth

                   h.      Pray through the Spirit’s intercession

                   i.        Pray with a clear mind and self-control

                   j.       Pray with corresponding good works

                   k.      Pray with fasting

                   l.        Pray with the fear of God

                   m.     Pray with fervency and depth of feeling

                   n.      Pray with forgiveness toward others

                   o.       Pray with humility, confession of sin, and penitence

                    p.      Pray with love for God

                   q.      Pray with obedience to God

                   r.       Pray with patience

                   s.       Pray with perseverence

                   t.       Pray with sincerty of heart

                   u.      Pray with wise and appropriate words


          3.       Motives for Prayer

                   a.       Pray because God hears prayer

                   b.      Pray because it is a Christian duty

                   c.       Pray in confidence that prayers are heard

                   d.      Pray out of a desire for the things of God

                   e.       Pray with certainty of personal access to God


          4.       Times of Prayer

                   a.       Pray always, constantly, regularly

                   b.      Pray anytime, day or night

                   c.       Pray at mealtimes

                   d.      Pray in times of need

                   e.       Pray in times of rejoicing

                   f.       Pray on special occasions

                             (1)     David prayed in preparing to build the temple

                             (2)     Solomon prayed in dedicating the temple

                             (3)     The Jews prayed in worshipping at the temple


          5.       Postures and Gestures of Prayer

                   a.       The arms and hands during prayer

                   b.      The body during prayer

                             (1)     Bow to the earth when praying

                             (2)     Kneel when praying

                             (3)     Prostrate yourself when praying

                             (4)     Sit when praying

                             (5)     Stand when praying


                   c.       The head during prayer


          6.       Places and Occasions for Prayer

                   a.       Pray everywhere

                   b.      Pray in normal times

                             (1)     Pray inside

                             (2)     Pray outside


                   c.       Pray in times of crisis


          7.       The Value of Prayer

                   a.       Prayer assures one of the Lord’s presence

                   b.      Prayer brings blessing from God

                   c.       Prayer brings help in time of need

                   d.      Prayer brings joy

                   e.       Prayer brings physical and spiritual healing

                   f.       Prayer brings understanding

                   g.       Prayer consecrates all of God’s creation

                   h.      Prayer is powerful and effective

                   i.        Prayer pleases God

                   j.       Prayer strengthens against temptation


          8.       Hindrances to Prayer

                   a.       Anxiety hinders prayer

                   b.      Disobedience hinders prayer

                   c.       Doubt hinders prayer

                   d.      Failure to heed God’s Law hinders prayer

                   e.       Failure to pray hinders prayer

                   f.       Failure to remain in Christ hinders prayer

                   g.       Faithlessness hinders prayer

                   h.      Forsaking God hinders prayer

                   i.        Haughtiness hinders prayer

                   j.       Hypocrisy hinders prayer

                   k.      Idolatry hinders prayer

                   l.        An improper husband-wife relationship hinders                                     prayer

                   m.     Insecurity hinders prayer

                   n.      Irreverence hinders prayer

                   o.       Losing heart hinders prayer

                   p.      Meaningless repetition hinders prayer

                   q.      Praying contrary to God’s will hinders prayer

                   r.       Pretentiousness hinders prayer

                   s.       Refusal to help the poor hinders prayer

                   t.       Selfishness hinders prayer

                   u.      Self-righteousness hinders prayer

                   v.       Sleepiness hinders prayer

                   w.      Unconfessed sin hinders prayer

                   x.       Unfaithfulness hinders prayer

                   y.       An unforgiving spirit hinders prayer

                   z.       Wickedness hinders prayer


          9.       Examples of Persevering Prayer

                   a.       Anna persevered in prayer

                   b.      The Apostles persevered in prayer

                   c.       Cornelius persevered in prayer

                   d.      Daniel persevered in prayer

                   e.       Epaphras persevered in prayer

                   f.       Jacob persevered in prayer

                   g.       The Jerusalem Church persevered in prayer

                   h.      Moses persevered in prayer

                   i.        Paul persevered in prayer

                   j.       Samuel persevered in prayer


B.      Confess to God

          1.       The Character of Confession

                   a.       Confession accompanies faith

                   b.      Confession accompanies the fear of God

                   c.       Confession accompanies prayer

                   d.      Confession accompanies worship

                   e.       Confession honors God

                   f.       Confession involves the acknowledgment of sin

                   g.       Confession involves cleansing

                   h.      Confession involves humility

                   i.        Confession involves introspection

                   j.       Confession involves remorse

                   k.      Confession involves repentance

                   l.        Confession involves restitution

                   m.     Confession is demanded by God


          2.       Results of Confession

                   a.       Confession results in communion with Christ

                   b.      Confession results in divine blessing

                   c.       Confession results in divine healing

                   d.      Confession results in divine mercy

                   e.       Confession results in forgiveness of sins

                   f.       Confession results in godly living

                   g.       Confession results in praise

                   h.      Confession results in separation from evil


          3.       Expressions of Confession

                   a.       Illustrations of confession

                             (1)     The confession of the prodigal son

                             (2)     The confession of the tax collector


                   b.      Confession in the lives of God’s people

                             (1)     Aaron’s confession

                             (2)     Israel’s confession

                             (3)     Job’s confession

                             (4)     David’s confession

                             (5)     Isaiah’s confession

                             (6)     Jeremiah’s confession

                             (7)     Daniel’s confession

                             (8)     Ezra’s confession

                             (9)     Nehemiah’s confession

                             (10)   The Levites’s confession

                             (11)   Peter’s confession

                             (12)   The penitent thief’s confession

                             (13)   Paul’s confession


C.      Meditate on God

          1.       Meditation on God Himself

          2.       Meditation on God’s Word

          3.       Meditation on God’s Work


D.      Commune with God

          1.       Divine Participants in Communion

                   a.       Communion with the Father

                   b.      Communion with the Son

                   c.       Communion with the Spirit


          2.       Means of Communion

                   a.       Communion through the Lord’s Supper

                   b.      Communion through meditation

                   c.       Communion through prayer

                   d.      Communion through worship


          3.       Prerequisites of Communion

                   a.       Holiness is a prerequisite of communion

                   b.      Love and obedience are prerequisites of communion

                   c.       Reconciliation is a prerequisite of communion


          4.       Results of Communion

                   a.       Communion imparts the peace of God

                   b.      Communion  produces Christ-likeness

                   c.       Communion produces the desire for more communion

                   d.      Communion provides divine assistance in times of                                  need

                   e.       Communion unites one with other believers


          5.       Illustrations of Communion

                   a.       Enoch communed with God

                   b.      Noah communed with God

                   c.       Moses communed with God

                   d.      Jesus communed with the Father

Prayer:  Intercession and Petition


A.      Intercession

          (1)     Intercession for the afflicted

                   Ps. 10:12,17


          (2)     Intercession for believers by Christian leaders

                   2Thess. 1:11-12


          (3)     Intercession for believers in general

                   Eph. 6:18


          (4)     Intercession for children by parents

                   Job 1:5


          (5)     Intercession for enemies

                   Mt. 5:44


          (6)     Intercession for ministers

                   Eph. 6:19-20


          (7)     Intercession for everyone

                   1Tim. 2:1


          (8)     Intercession for public authorities

                   1Tim. 2:2-3


          (9)     Intercession for the unsaved

                   1Tim. 2:4


B.      Petition

          (1)     Petition for conviction of sin

                   Ps. 139:23-24


          (2)     Petition for daily provision

                   Mt. 6:9,11


          (3)     Petition for deliverance from difficulty

                   Ps. 77:1-4


          (4)     Petition for deliverance from enemies

                   Ps. 43:1-3


          (5)     Petition for deliverance from oppression

                   Ps. 72:12


          (6)     Petition for favor in old age

                   Ps. 71:9


          (7)     Petition for help

                   1Tim. 5:5


          (8)     Petition for the Holy Spirit

                   Lk. 11:13


          (9)     Petition for instruction

                   Ps. 25:4-5


          (10)   Petition for judgment on enemies

                   Ps. 70:1-3


          (11)   Petition for judgment on the nations

                   Ps. 9:20


          (12)   Petition for judgment on oneself

                   Ps. 7:3-5


          (13)   Petition for judgment on oppressors of the poor

                   Ps. 109:7-16


          (14)   Petition for judgment on preachers of another gospel                  

                   Gal. 1:8-9


          (15)   Petition for judgment on the wicked

                   Lk. 18:7-8


          (16)   Petition for mercy and grace

                   Heb. 4:16


          (17)   Petition for pardon of sin

                   Hos. 14:1-2


          (18)   Petition for physical well-being

                   James 5:13-15


          (19)   Petition for spiritual development

                   Eph. 1:16-19


          (20)   Petition for strength amidst trouble

                   Ps. 116:3-9


          (21)   Petition for success

                   Gen. 24:12-15


          (22)   Petition for wisdom

                   James 1:5


          (23)   Petition for the work of ministry

                   Acts 4:18,24,29-31

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