The key to any great relationship is communication, two-way conversations where each party grows in their knowledge of the other. It is clear in the scriptures that the Lord seeks a relationship with us. He communicates to us through his Word, and we communicate to Him through prayer. In Luke chapter 11, Christ’s disciples observed the Lord praying and simply asked Him to teach them how to pray, so it is also clear we need direction from God’s Word to help us understand prayer’s importance and purpose. In this lesson, we will see:
- The Privilege of Prayer
- The Priority of Prayer
- The Power of Prayer
The Privilege of Prayer
Christians have direct access to the God the Father through prayer Ephesians 3:12
1. God has not always been this accessible. Exodus 19:10-25, Numbers 8:89, Job 9:32-33, Hebrews 9:6-8
2. God is Holy and we are sinners. Exodus 3:5, Job 40:4, Isaiah 59:2, Romans 8:15-16, Ephesians 2:11-13
3. When we have Christ, we do not need a priest to give us access to God. John 14:6, Ephesians 2:13, 1Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 4:14-16, Hebrews 9:24
4. The Spirit of God helps us in our prayer life. Romans 8:26-27, Galatians 4:6
5. Given we have such direct access to God, why would we neglect such a privilege? 1Corinthians 1:21-22, Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30, 2Corinthians 5:4-5
The Priority of Prayer
We are commanded to pray 1Timothy 2:1-3
1. We should acknowledge God in all aspects of our life. 1Samuel 23:2, Psalm 16:8, Proverbs 3:5-6
2. He should be our first option, not our last resort Romans 8:26-27, 1Timothy 2:1
3. We should always start with thanksgiving and praise. Psalm 100:4, Job 1:20-22, Romans 1:8, Philippians 1:3, Colossians 3:17, 2Timothy 1:3
4. We should develop a lifestyle of prayer, i.e. “always” - Acts 16:24-25, Ephesians 6:18, 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, 1Timothy 2:8
The Power of Prayer
Prayer is an empowering tool in ministry, a weapon in spiritual warfare and a comfort in times of affliction Philippians 2:13
1. Prayer is not about changing God’s mind, but ours. Galatians 6:8, Philippians 4:6-7, 2Corinthians 12:8-10
2. Prayer is effectual when we yield to His will. Luke 22:42, Romans 8:28, 1Corinthians 3:12-17
3. Prayer is a ministry to others. 2Corinthians 1:11, Philippians 1:4, Colossians 1:9-10, Colossians 4:3
4. Prayer is a weapon in spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:18, 2Thessalonians 3:1-2
5. Prayer is a process. Romans 15:30, Colossians 4:12, 1Thessalonians 3:10, James 5:16-18
Digging Deeper – Learning more about Prayer
1. Does your prayer life consist of the following?
a. Praise (thanksgiving) - Romans 8:26-27, Colossians 1:3, 1Thessalonians 1:2
b. Pondering (meditation) - Psalm 1:2, Ephesians 5:18-19, Philippians 4:8, Colossians 3:15-16, 1Timothy 4:15
c. Petitions (requests for others and self) - Romans 1:9-10, Philippians 4:6, 1Timothy 2:1-3
2. Do you have a prayer journal?
3. Do Christians need to have a “prayer closet”?
4. Do you have a set time to pray?
5. Consider Luke 11:1-4, i.e. The Lord’s Prayer: what aspects of this lesson can you see in His prayer template to his disciples?
Meditating on the Word:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.