Faithlife Sermons

How Do We Pray?

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
This sermon today will finish up this short series on Prayer...
Though I hope your prayer life doesn’t slow or cease due to us now closing out this series...
As just a quick recap to look back at what we’ve seen so far...
We’ve seen that Prayer is - first of all...
A Privilege Bought with Blood…the blood of Jesus Christ!
see, when Christ died on the cross for our sins...
He not only purchased our FORGIVENESS…but He also purchased our DIRECT access to the Father…! (**the temple veil that tore)
And that ACCESS to God - a GIFT to us - given to us at the cost of the Son of God’s life...
SO THINK of the VALUE of this thing called PRAYER...
The price tag on it - reads - The Blood of Jesus!
We also saw that Prayer is...
Personal COMMUNION with God...
ONLY THOSE who BELIEVE in Jesus Christ have access to God’s ear in prayer...
AND SO - prayer is - PERSONAL!!
God delights to hear from - YOU...
He WANTS to hear from you...
*As a parent - are you satisfied in only hearing from your kids teacher about how school is going?
OR - do you LONG to hear from your child?
You WANT to hear from them!!
God WANTS to hear from you - not just your pastor or spouse...
Only IN Jesus Christ do we have access to God’s ear...
And so we saw that - NOT ALL Prayer is created equal...
God hears the prayers of those who are His...
And so - What a PRIVILEGE we have - the creator of the universe HEARS us!!
We’ve ALSO SEEN how much of an IMPACT our prayers have and WILL have in God’s story of REDEMPTION!!
As we saw last week - From Scripture - that our prayers will USHER in the coming victory of God - in Jesus Christ!
That our prayers will all CULMINATE into the return of Jesus Christ!
And so - WOW - what a POWERFUL tool we have at our disposal!
WHICH BRINGS me to the cards on your seat this morning...
**The cards on your seat are for you to fill out…and turn back into us… (offering boxes)
They’re simply for you to fill out - write down things that you HOPE WOULD COME TO PASS…!
Whatever it is - as CRAZY as it may seem...
We serve a God who is - ABLE!
And so after you turn them in - we’ll end up redistributing them back out to different people in the congregation...
With the hope being that put these on our...
refrigerators...
in our cars…wherever we’ll be able to see them - and PRAY for them - with your FAMILIES...
throughout this year!
And speaking of FAMILIES - this doesn’t just end with us - The kids in their classes today will be getting these same cards…to fill out
And so - throughout this summer - at our gatherings, we’ll pray over these things...
And then NEXT MAY - when we revisit this topic of prayer again - We’ll have some great testimonies of us - GETTING ON OUR KNEES and pleading...
SO - we have a challenge today!
Before YOU LEAVE today- get these filled out. If you walk out these doors today without doing so, will you get to it?
Ok - now - Having this challenge before us...
KNOWING - WHAT prayer is
KNOWING - WHY to pray...
It would be helpful to know - HOW do we pray...
If we want to please the Lord in our prayer life - we need to know - HOW to pray...
Which brings us to our sermon today...
Today we’re going to see that God-Honoring prayer is done -
in the Spirit
in the closet
in confidence!
And so we’ll be jumping around Scripture to see these truths…so let’s begin!
SLIDE: God-Honoring Prayer Happens: In the Spirit

God-Honoring Prayer Happens

So what does this mean?
We’ve heard this phrase before have we not? - In the Spirit
And we actually heard it not too long ago in the Gospel of John...
Remember the woman at the well...
What did Jesus tell her?
John 4:23 ESV
23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
ONLY - in the Spirit can God be worshiped!
It’s one thing to MERELY proclaim FACTS about God - to God...
It’s ANOTHER thing to do so - in the Spirit...
When a person is AWAKENED to Christ and puts his faith in Christ...
The Holy Spirit comes and lives in that believer....
Now - what does the Spirit do?
1. The indwelling Spirit comes to a soul dead in sin and creates new life (Titus 3:5).
Titus 3:5 ESV
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
2. The indwelling Spirit confirms to the believer that he belongs to the Lord and is an heir of God and fellow-heir with Christ (Romans 8:15–17).
Romans 8:15–17 ESV
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
3. The indwelling Spirit gives spiritual gifts (God-given abilities for service) to the believer to edify the church and serve the Lord effectively for His glory (1 Corinthians 12:11).
1 Corinthians 12:11 ESV
11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
4. The indwelling Spirit helps the believer understand and apply the Scripture to his daily life (1 Corinthians 2:12).
1 Corinthians 2:12 ESV
12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
5. The indwelling Holy Spirit empowers the yielded believer to live for Christ to do His will (Galatians 5:16)
Galatians 5:16 ESV
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
6. And lastly…the Spirit helps us with our prayer life...
Romans 8:26–27 ESV
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
NOW - lest we think that the Spirit only helps us - SOMETIMES....when it comes to prayer...
Listen to this...
1 Corinthians 12:3 ESV
3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
Do you see how VITAL the Spirit is - when it comes to our PRAYER life...
This here says...
If you have the Spirit inside you....and you are speaking IN THE SPIRIT - NO ONE - WHO HAS THE SPIRIT - would ever say - AND MEAN - Jesus is accursed!
ALSO - NO ONE can say - Jesus is Lord (and MEAN it) - UNLESS they speak in the Spirit!!
So this means that - to pray in the Spirit - it means to be speaking...
…UNDER THE GUIDANCE of the Holy Spirit
FUELED by the Holy Spirit
HELPED by the Holy Spirit
AND think this thru - If the Holy Spirit helps us to UNDERSTAND the scriptures...
then if I want to GLORIFY God in my prayer life- I will - MOST DEFINITELY - need to pursue Christ in the Word of God...
Do you see the connection?
I CANNOT ignore God’s WORD - and still GLORIFY God in my prayer life
SLIDE:
I cannot ignore God’s Word, and still glorify God in my prayer life
And this is why your PRAYER LIFE - needs work.
It needs to be cultivated.
The SEED of Prayer cannot grow apart from the fertile soil of God’s Word.
SLIDE:
The seed of prayer cannot grow apart from the fertile soil of God’s Word.
SO NOT ONLY do we pursue prayer - in the Spirit...
But we also honor God through prayer - in the closet.
SLIDE: God-Honoring Prayer Happens: In the Closet

God-Honoring Prayer Happens

Now - before we go home and clean out our closets...
Let’s look at what this means...
This idea comes from Matthew chapter 6...
Matthew 6:5–8 ESV
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
What we see ELEVATED here in this text is this - Motive in Prayer
What is your motive in prayer?
v5 said...
Matthew 6:5 ESV
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
When it comes to prayer - what is a Hypocrite?
A hypocrite will:
Yes, pray to God (sounds good)
They’ll pray in the synagogues and on street corners (nothing wrong with that)
BUT - for what reason...
“that they may be SEEN by others”
Hypocrites want to be GLORIFIED…even if it means - I’ll use God to do it!
See - i think there are 2 types of people on this planet…ultimately.
Those who seek to glorify God
Those who seek to be glorified themselves
And so a HUGE question that we need to answer for ourselves is this...
SLIDE:
Do you feel more loved by God when He provides you with opportunities to make much of Him, or do you feel more loved by God when He makes much of you?
Did you know that:
Cancer
Loss of job
Loss of loved one
Disease
Heartache
Pain
Suffering
Did you know that ALL of these things - and more - are coming for you?
And did you know that when they come...
We will either:
View them as opportunities given to us by God to make much of Him...
OR
We will view them as God attacking us - NOT loving us
We will either view these things as - God LOVING us...
OR
God - NOT loving us
This is what this text is about…it’s about our - MOTIVES
Think of the music ministry here...
WHICH - i don’t know if you know - But CALLIE is going to be joining the praise band...
At the wedding on Friday night (she was singing in front of everybody)!
*music ministry (why do we rotate every month?)
I’ve known people who WOULD NOT come to church if they weren’t on stage!
MOTIVES, MOTIVES, MOTIVES...
Ask the “why” question! Always!
It’s vital in Christianity!
It will take you to the ULTIMATE reason for “WHY” you do something!!
And this text is saying - Make the GLORIFICATION of God your ultimate REASON to pray!!
That if you pray for HEALING....and God HEALS you...
DON’T say - “I’m a SURVIVOR!!” - - and leave it at that!!
No - use your SURVIVAL as an Opportunity to - PRAISE the One who LET you survive!!
So - PRAYER...
Yes, pray - but pray IN THE SPIRIT! (cultivated by the spirit and the Word of God) *pray the Bible
And
Pray in the closet of life...
DON’T seek to be glorified!!
Use PRAYER as a MEANS to GLORIFY God!!
But that’s not all…1 more point today!
SLIDE: God-Honoring Prayer Happens: In Confident Prayer

God-Honoring Prayer Happens

This is huge for me...
I need this.
Let’s look at this passage:
Mark 11:20–24 ESV
20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Now - as you might know, many people want to grab this verse - and use it to their ends...
In doing so - they ABUSE this verse.
In context, the fig tree is referring to Israel…the temple...
And so when the TEMPLE would be destroyed…when the sacrificial system would be done away with...
It would seem as though there would be nowhere to turn - in order to GET TO GOD...
But Jesus here…is HIGHLIGHTING FAITH (v22) and FORGIVENESS (v25)...
And EACH - encased in PRAYER as now - the way to God...
Right? the Temple Veil was going to tear...
We would now have access to God OUTSIDE of the sacrificial system...
Jesus here is LOOKING ahead to a time when people may be scratching their heads as to how to access God...
And He says - HAVE FAITH… (faith in ME)
FORGIVE OTHERS...
AND PRAY!!
And don’t JUST PRAY - but BELIEVE that your Father in Heaven HEARS you!!
Now - what does v24 say? (read it)
I think a lot of times we think of prayer as only containing the THING we WANT!
And if that’s true, then this verse (24) - seems to be a GENIE in a bottle - does it not?
Sounds like we’re to have amazing CONFIDENCE no?
But confidence in what? The THING we’re wanting?
Let’s go back to that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego story...
Daniel 3:16–17 ESV
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
Sounds like PURE confidence does it not?
It is confidence!
They are confident that God will deliver them - from the furnace!
But they weren’t done praying here...
next verse...
Daniel 3:18 ESV
18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
So - these 3 guys were speaking to Nebuchadnezzar - But we could easily view this as their prayer to God.
NOW - this prayer resulted in - their being SAVED from the furnace!
But their prayer INCLUDED what?
A confidence that God is ABLE to deliver them from the furnace...
And a confidence that God WOULD deliver them from the hand of Nebuchadnezzar
Let’s look at these 2 confidences...
Daniel 3:17 ESV
17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
*explain both confidences...
And so we see that their CONFIDENCE wasn’t ROOTED in the act of being delivered from the FURNACE...
But instead rooted in the fact that God REIGNS over this king!
And that if God chooses to FREE them from the physical suffering - so beit...
If He chooses NOT TO - then He will still be PRAISED!
That’s why the “Name it CLAIM it” movement is so off base!
The Name it Claim it movement says - If you have enough FAITH - you will receive what you ask for...
wealth
health
healing
whatever it is!
And so what THEY”RE saying is - the RESULT is based on - Your will!*
But what about the prayer of Christ in the garden??
Luke 22:42 ESV
42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Did Jesus just not have ENOUGH FAITH?
According to the Name it Claim it movement - Jesus should have just had enough faith and asked for DELIVERANCE>>>
SO - how does this affect us today?
Confidence in Prayer - is confidence in GOD
Confidence in Prayer sounds like this:
“Lord, You are God and I am not. I believe that you are able to heal me from this disease that i have, completely, and so I ask for healing…But even if you don’t, I know that You REIGN over this disease…and I will praise you through it. You know what I need, and I trust You.”
Confidence in Prayer does not sound like this:
“Lord I believe that You will heal me.”
No- Confidence entails - But even if you don’t!
What have we seen in this series on Prayer?
We’ve seen:
Prayer
Privilege Bought with Blood
Personal Communion with God
This is WHAT prayer is...
We’ve also seen WHY we should pray...
Prayer is God’s way of winning His victory through us
Prayer helps sustain the advancement of God’s kingdom...
AND helps usher in His coming kingdom!
And today - we’ve seen how we are to pray...
That God-Honoring Prayer Happens:
In the Spirit
In the Closet
In Confident Prayer
Let’s pray...
Lord’s Table
This brings us to the Lord’s Table…a time for each of us to reflect on our lives, to examine ourselves spiritually, and to remember the cost of our faith. We were bought with a price, and these elements remind us of this.
Have you experienced the Saving Power of Christ at the cross?
We are however, not to take this lightly. Scripture says – “ whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
Take time now and examine yourself before the Lord.
So when you’re ready, come up and DROP your prayer cards into the offering box…
And you can take the elements back to your seats where we’ll partake together...
22 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Do this in remembrance of Me...
Related Media
Related Sermons