Sunday, July 2, 2023

 The Christian Prayer Life

Greg Gilliam, Pastor 
Grace Christian Assembly, 
Independence, Missouri

What is Prayer? The dictionary gives two meanings concerning prayer. The first meaning is to address God – ask, request, adore, petition, or supplication. The second is to commune with God silently or using words.

Prayer to Whom? Jesus gives an example of prayer in Matthew 6:8-15. Notice verse 9, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Our prayers go to  God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He (Jesus) is the one (by His death, burial and resurrection) who has given us the authority and privilege to come into God’s presence. John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Also Eph. 2:18, “For through him (Jesus Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” 

In I Peter 5:7 we read, “Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you.” The thought here is to pray to the one who cares. No one cares quite like Jesus. Not only is He concerned for us, He has the ability to do something about our cares. Eph. 3:20 tells us, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”

Prayer Attitudes: Come boldly, knowing that you (any of God’s people) are accepted in His presence. Heb. 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Come for communion: (to converse or confer with Him intimately). Many times when we come into His presence, we come to get something. While we are in His presence, He not only wants to hear from us but he wants to speak to us. It has been said, that men would do well to listen twice as much as he talks. That is why God gave us two ears and one mouth. This communion takes two, one to speak and another to hear.

Come to worship: Christ desires our worship and praise. David knew that praise was important, read Psalm 146 and 147.

Come humbled: I have always been impressed with a thought in I Peter 5:5-7. Peter calls for us to be, “clothed with humility.” Before we come to cast our cares upon Him we must see our need. As we acknowledge our need (or insufficiency) God can work.

Come Submitting: Are you willing to forget your own desires and instead take His? In Matthew 26:39 Jesus did, “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

Come believing: James give us some advice about praying. In James 1:5-6, we read, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 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.” Believe (trust) that God is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). Romans 4:21 tells us to be, “fully persuaded that, what he had (has) promised, he was (is) able to perform.” He has great ability!

Come expecting: Look to receive an answer from Him (maybe not the answer you desired, but what He deems best for you.) God always answers prayer. David said in Psalm 3:4, “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.” With this in mind (re: God answers prayer) we can trust He hears our prayers. Matthew 7:8, “For everyone that asketh receiveth (In accordance to God’s will); and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

For whom do we pray? For them which despitefully use you – Matthew 5:44. Pray for the unsaved – Romans 10:1. Pray for the sick – Acts 19:12 & James 5:13-15. Pray for the saints – I Thess. 1:2-3; II Tim. 1:3-4. Also prayer is to be made for all men, kings, and all in authority – I Tim. 2:1-2.

Exhortations to Prayer: Eph. 6:18 – praying always. Col. 4:2, continue in prayer. I Thess. 5:17 – pray without ceasing.