One of the first lessons we give to our infant children is how to talk. We look at them as they first learn to follow us with their eyes and say “momma…daddy” and so on. We teach them how to talk, and they learn by imitation and repetition.
One of the first lessons we need to learn from our Heavenly Father is His ‘how to talk to Me’ lesson. These lessons are what the Bible teaches on prayer. If you have never done so, you would be enriched beyond measure to go from cover to cover in this book and personally find out all that your Father wants you to know about prayer.
Many years ago someone challenged me, just like I am challenging you. They said to me, “Before you buy or read another book or article on prayer, take as long as it takes to listen to EVERYTHING the One you are PRAYING TO has to say about how, when, where, and why YOU SHOULD PRAY TO HIM!” That makes sense, doesn’t it? So I took a Bible and a blue highlighter and read every word of the Bible.
|GENERAL BIBLE STATISTICS||DATA|
|God has Authored How many Books?||1|
|That Book has how many parts?||66|
|How many chapters in God’s Word?||1,189|
|How many verses are in the Bible?||31,102|
|How many words are in the Bible?||790,871|
|How many letters are in the English Bible?||3,227,553|
So, after reading each of the 31,102 verses of God’s Word armed with my blue highlighter – I found there are many different references to this vital topic.
- Prayer in the Word of God is mentioned about 350 times.
- The word “pray” and “prayer” however are actually translations of ten different Hebrew words and seven different Greek words. So we might say that God offers us an amazing multitude of personalized options in our approach to Him. Each of these 17 words portrays attitudes and approaches to communing with our Great Almighty King!
An intimate look at these words gives us the very heart of praying as demonstrated in the Old and New Testaments. To Practice Biblical Praying, it is vital to grasp the richness of these key “prayer words”. Through a personal prayer study, you will feel the depth of the heart’s desire for God, reflected in these special words God chose in the inspiration of His Word to us.
Prayer is often seen as being like incense in the Scriptures. Note the prayers of the saints in Revelation 5:8. The famed Old Testament scholar Wilson notes this word means, “To entreat, to make earnest and fervent prayer, which ascends like incense before God. Others think the primary meaning is power and abundance, as well as sweet odor.”
Please stand with me as we hear Jesus share our praying orders in Matthew 7.7-11.
Now that we are in this New Year, do your plans and priorities for 2003 mirror what the Lord desires? His desires are clearly laid out in His Word.
Our key passage for this series is 1st Timothy 4.7. Paul says we are to discipline our selves towards godliness. What encourages a godly life? That is our current study which I call The Disciplines of a Godly Life.
- 1st we examined The Discipline of Scripture. Time alone with God in His Word, the Scriptures, is the great necessity of our spiritual lives. We need to be alone with God daily! We need to find times to get away alone. Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. The Lord God of the Universe wants to Arrange your life, and Accompany you trip through life, and authorize everything needed from now on. Wow, that is the best life there is.
- 2nd we examined The Discipline of Spirit Filled Living. Jesus explained the Holy Spirit in our lives by using the image of a strong river of water flowing out of us. John 7.37-38. John 7:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink (present active imperative). He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Rivers of water is the way Jesus describes the normal life of believers, His children.
- 3rd we examined The Discipline of Stewardship. Last time we saw the stewardship of our lives, the stewardship of living. A life given back to God as an offering is what stewardship is all about. Stewardship is not about money it is about life itself. Time and life are far greater treasures than money and possessions. God wants you 1st and foremost! A GODLY STEWARD KNOWS THAT GOD OWNS HIM AND EVERYTHING HE HAS. Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 2 Corinthians 5:15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
- Now we are going to examine The Discipline of Supplication. All of us need to exercise ourselves in ceaseless prayer. As Jesus told His disciples in Mark 9, there is territory we will never enter for Him without learning the secret of Supplication which is fasting (denying ourselves) and praying (seeking God’s intervention and help in specific events and people). So today we need to discipline ourselves for the purpose of prayer!
- Exercise the Discipline of Supplication to Pray all the time.
- Exercise the Discipline of Supplication to Pray like the Saints of God’s Word.
- Exercise the Discipline of Supplication to Pray like Jesus taught us.
- Exercise the Discipline of Supplication to Pray with your family.
Exercise the Discipline of Supplication to Pray all the time.
First, we need to I read an article in a missions newsletter once called NON-STOP PRAYER that got me started on cultivating some fresh habits of prayer. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Paul says pray without ceasing. So if the Word of God says, “Pray without ceasing”, we can. Right? If you’ll just start practicing this concept, you will be taking vital steps toward obeying this teaching.
Here are just a few simple habits that many of us have learned to practice. These simple methods can revolutionize the prayer life of those who find extended prayer difficult:
- READING PRAYER: Don’t simply read through letters, but read and pray. After each paragraph quickly pray about what you just read.
- WATCHING PRAYER: When you watch something take place live, or on TV, immediately pray about what you are seeing. Especially do this after news programs.
- TALKING PRAYER: When you talk on the telephone, pray for the person you’re talking with. If it is a believer, you can pray together on the phone. This will likely lead you to a double ministry of prayer and encouragement!
- LISTENING PRAYER: As you hear things in a meeting, on the radio, or almost anywhere – quickly lift to God in prayer what you are hearing.
- WRITING PRAYER: As you shoot off emails – send them with a touch of God requested by prayer. When you write a letter or card (which is a great ministry in itself), pray about what you are writing and, of course, for the person you are writing to.
Prayer is the ONLY KEY to unlock God’s Provisions for us. Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
WE MUST PRAY OR WE BECOME DISOBEDIENT. We can only avoid sin, disobedience, and temptation by prayer.
- 1 Samuel 12:23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
- Matthew 9:38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
- Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
WE MUST PRAY OR WE BECOME WEAK. We can only experience the power God has for us as we wait upon Him, seek the fullness of His Spirit, and yield to His work through us moment by moment.
- Mark 9:29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
- Psalm 119:28 My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.
WE MUST PRAY OR WE BECOME BLIND. We can only understand and comprehend the ways of the Lord in His Word through prayer for illumination, guidance, and obedience.
- Luke 24:45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
- Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.
WE MUST PRAY OR WE BECOME FOOLISH. We can only have wisdom when we ask of God who loves to give His wisdom and direction.
- James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
- Joshua 9:14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord. (cf. Joshua 9:3-27).
WE MUST PRAY OR WE BECOME SPIRITUALLY POOR.
We can only lay up treasures in Heaven by prayerful life on Earth.
We can only fill our bowls of worship around God’s Throne by prayerful living.
We can only stay in touch with God by prayer.
We can only stay in love with Jesus by prayer.
We can only stay in step with the Spirit by prayer.
We must discipline ourselves to prayer or we are getting poorer and poorer. Prayerlessness leads to poverty in all that REALLY matters!
- James 4:2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
We have no idea how much wants to do in and through us UNTIL WE ASK!
What are you and I wasting by not asking?
God wants to do something we can’t plan, that we can’t program, that we can’t calculate – so that when He does it – HE GETS ALL THE CREDIT!
- Matthew 21:22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
- Mark 11:22-26 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
- John 14:13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
- John 16:23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
- Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
- 1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
- 1 John 5:15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
 These ideas were in an article by George Verwer , Interest Magazine, 9/91, p. 13.