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Prayer Sermon Notes January 7, 2018
Scripture Text: Matt 6:5-14
Consistent communication keeps us close to those we love. It's the same with our relationship with God. Today is about refining our prayer life so that we can continue to grow closer to God, and be used for His Kingdom.
I. Pray in Secret – verses 5-6
This isn’t a condemnation of praying in public. Instead it’s an attitude check.
John 11:41-42 Jesus prayed publically before He called Lazarus out of the tomb.
Acts 27:35 Paul blessed his food in public.
Don’t be like the Pharisees. Look back at prev. verses too.
They pray to be noticed, and the attention they get is all that they get.
The word translated “closet” or “inner room” was a private chamber of any kind. The idea is spend some time alone with God.
**Shut off the TV, leave your phone in another room, be careful about playing ,music. Seek times of quiet solitude before God.
II. Pray with Purpose – verses 7-8
It is easy to get in the rut of praying out of habit without engaging our minds. Jesus isn’t saying that we shouldn’t ask for something more than once, instead he’s giving a challenge to be intentional and genuine in our prayers.
Both Paul and Jesus repeated prayers. Jesus asked multiple times for an option other than the cross (Matt 26:36-46) and Paul repeatedly asked God to remove his thorn in the flesh (2 Cor 12:7-8).
A. Don’t ramble
In other words don’t just go on and on without a direction and purpose. God knows our needs, and we don’t have to convince Him to help. Prayer is seeking His will and acknowledging our need for Him.
In simplest terms, have a conversation.
B. Don’t recite mindless prayers
It’s ok to recite memorized prayers, but they need to be sincere. Keep your mind engaged and pray from your heart. Remember who you are talking to.
III. Jesus’ Example – verses 9-13
This is an example or sample of how we should pray. It’s a pattern to follow, but not necessarily meant to be memorized and repeated. Also, the elements don’t have to be kept in this exact order, or appear in every prayer.
A. Honor God
Think about who you are praying to. Jesus says, “Father, in heaven, Hallowed be your name.”
You are talking to your Father who loves you.
He is in heaven (or above this world) yet His presence is everywhere. Ps. 139
He is holy, separate, set apart.
B. Pray for His will
Acknowledge who is really in control. Matt6:27 & James 4
Jesus’ example of this in the garden. Matthew 26:39, 42
How do we find God’s will? Bible. Holy Spirit (what the Spirit says will be = to what the Bible teaches). Rom 12:1-2.
C. Ask for Physical Needs
It is ok to ask for personal physical needs to be met, but that shouldn’t be our focus.
We don’t have because we don’t ask God James 4:2.
Ask, Seek, Knock Matt 7:7-11
Ask in faith, trusting God, and committing to His will. (Matt. 6:25-34)
Different Answers that He may give:
D. Ask for Forgiveness v12 & 14
Keep a short account with God- 1st John 1:9
Example: Peter’s feet John
We must also forgive as we’ve been forgiven.
Forgiving others sets us free and displays God’s love
This is not a threat of losing salvation.
Forgiveness is a choice to not hold resentment over an offense. It is not the same as withholding consequences or taking future precautions.
E. Ask for Rescue from trials and our enemy
God cannot tempt us (James 1:13-17)
Can be translated trials or temptation
Lead away from the evil one. (Eph 6:10-13)
Most likely is a prayer that God lead us away from trials and temptation toward His will.
Make Prayer a Priority
Set a consistent time to pray
Learn from Others
Don't let your prayers be just about you
**** A little more to think about
What keeps prayers from being answered?
Wrong motives – James 4:2-4
Sin – Psalm 66:18
Lack of Faith – Matthew ,
God’s will – Luke
satan - Daniel 10:11-13
How do you pray?
Make it a conversation (talk and listen) – prayers of Jesus (John 17)
Constantly – (1st Thes. ) pray right when you think of a need. Pray several times a day.
A – adoration: Praise God for who He is. Hebrews
C – confession: Agree with God about your son. Admit you did it. 1st John 1:9
T – thanks: Thank God for what He has done. 1st Thes.
S – supplication: Ask for things. Don’t forget to pray for others. Philippians 4:6
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