April 19, 2017 (H2BEC: Prayer 2)

The Why and How of Prayer:

Last Week—What is prayer? —An exercise in faith, persistence, community, obedience.
                            What does it do? —An exercise in patience, power.

·       Why do we pray?

o   Because Jesus did

§  Matt 14:23; Matt 26:36; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12; Luke 18:1

o   It’s how we talk to God

§  2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 40:29-31; Hebrews 4:15-16
Prayer is not just about asking for God's blessings – though we are welcome to do so – but it is about communication with the living God. Without communication, relationships fall apart. So, too, our relationship with God suffers when we do not communicate with Him.

o   Allows us to be used by God

§  Acts 1:14

§  Great Awakening -4 college guys started praying for God to bring revival to their college campus. Before long over half the campus was saved. “Before long half of the students were under conviction, and the revival spread rapidly through the college and to surrounding counties.”

§  Boiler Room- Charles Spurgeon was giving a tour. Boiler room was dirty, hot. This is where he called his prayer room. Men and women would pray for the service and for God to move, and He answered greatly.

·       What hinders our prayer life?

o   Cynicism -skepticism, doubt, distrust

o   Pride- Thinking highly of yourself with disregard to others

o   Apathy- not caring

o   Thinking you don’t know how.

o   Thinking we are too busy

§  When we don’t care about something, we don’t put much effort into it. If we don’t care about the health of our prayer life, then we won’t see God move. We need to make prayer the most important thing in our life, not just what we do when we have nowhere else to turn.

o   Shia Lebouf- Just DO IT!

·         How do we pray?

o   With Childlike faith- Matthew 18:2-5

§  Humility

§  Expectation

§  Joy

§  Excitement, Trust

§  Prayer is about admitting we need God, we are not in control. (Judges, Israel)

o   How did Jesus pray?

§  For Others;                              Matthew 19:13

§  With Others;                           Luke 9:28

§  By Himself, Regularly            Luke 5:16

§  In Nature;                                Luke 6:12

§  Briefly;                                    Matthew 6: 9-13

§  Lengthy;                                 Luke 6:12

§  Heartfelt;                                John 17 (Himself, His disciples, for all believers)

§  For God’s Will                        Luke 22:42

·         Conclusion:
Is our prayer life one that is filled with half-hearted suggestions, or are we truly allowing God to speak to us and showing Him that we are not in control? When we begin to hand everything in our life over to God, that is when He can move and will move.

Next time we will look at the Lord’s Prayer in depth because this is how Jesus told the disciples to pray.