1. PRAYER IS COMMUNICATING WITH GOD OR SPEAKING WITH GOD.
Before the fall of Adam and eve, God and man simply talked (Gen 3:8-13). First mention of prayer or calling on his name is mentioned in Gen 4:26. As we express our feelings and burdens in conversation with god ,it can be in the form of adoration ps34:1-4 or confession 1st john 1:9 or request matt 7:7 or thanksgiving eph5:4-20. Now we pray and pitition with thanksgiving. Phil 4:6-7.
2. IS THERE A SPECIAL PRAYER POSTURE ?
Prayer is a place of humility before God and generally the prayer position shows our dependance on God.
On the face
And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.
– Num 20:6
Face between the knees
So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees
And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD
And it was [so], that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
– Mk 11:25
Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle
– Ps 28:2
3. INNER ATTITUDE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUTER POSTURE.
We have to pray with humility 2 Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land
We should Not pray for show Mt 6:5-7 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking
We have to pray in faith Mt 21:22 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
We have to pray with truth Jh 4:24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
We have to pray with confidence 1 Jh 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
We have to pray with having forgiven Mk 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
We have to pray with proper heart Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
4. WHEN TO PRAY
Many of the great people in the Bible set three time periods a day specifically for prayer at morning, noon and evening. Ps 55:16-17 As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. (17)Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. See also Daniel 6:10
5.HOW SHOULD WE PRAY
We have to pray unto God Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. We should pray in the name of Jesus Ask in My Name Jh 14:13-14 The father will give whatever you ask in my name jh 15:16/16:23,26 Give thanks to god the father in Jesus Name eph 5:20 Pray in the spirit Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints
6. WHY WE SHOULD PRAY AND WHAT TO PRAY ?
i. Watch and pray always Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
ii. Pray lest you fall into temptation: Matt 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.
a. We have to pray for ourselves 1Chr 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep [me] from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
b. Pray for those in authority: 1 Tim 2:1,2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men;For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
c. We should pray for one another Jas 5:16 Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
d. Pray for workers Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly [is] great, but the labourers [are] few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
e. We should pray for the sick and distraught Jas 5:14-16 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
f. For those ensnared by sin 1 Jn 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin [which is] not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
g. We should pray for our enemies: Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
7. HELP IN PRAYER
· Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Rom 8:26
· And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God. Rom 8:27
· For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. Luke 12:12
8. PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED
Sometimes immediately Is 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
Sometimes after a delay 1 ki 18:44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare [thy chariot], and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.
Sometimes differently than we expect 2 Cor 12:8-9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me
Better than we can expect or think Jer 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
9. HINDRANCES TO PRAYERS BEING HEARD OR ANSWERED
a. We lack faith Heb 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
b. We ask with selfish motives: Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.
c. We ask while making a practice of sin: Ps 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear [me]:
d. We are disobedient to known command of god: Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination.
e. We have an unforgiving spirit: Matt 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
10. PRIVATE PRAYER Matt 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Jesus is our example. Matt 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
11. PUBLIC PRAYER Matt 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. Acts 12:12 And when he had considered [the thing], he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.