Concerning Prayer (Part 2)By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, August 15, 2010.
Concerning Prayer Instruction is needed concerning prayer. LUK 11:1; MAR 11:17; ROM 8:26. A. Without proper instruction, people may assume that God could not possibly stoop to hear their request. JOB 15:15-16; 9:16, 32-33 ct/w HEB 4:15-16; 1JO 2:1. B. Without proper instruction, people may assume that God will automatically grant any request. MAT 7:7; 18:19 ct/w PRO 1:21, 28; 2CO 12:7-9. C. Without proper instruction, people may pray for things that they ought not to pray for. JAM 4:3. D. Without proper instruction, people may pray for people that they ought not to pray for. 1JO 5:16; JER 7:16; JOH 17:15. E. Without proper instruction, prayers may go unanswered, leading people to doubt God's existence, His love or His ability to answer. PSA 77:9; LAM 3:8-10; LUK 18:7-8 ct/w 2PE 3:3-4. I. A person must be first regenerated and accounted righteous before his prayer will be heard (answered) by God. 1PE 3:12; ROM 3:10-11 ct/w EPH 5:9. A. At times it appears that God is hearkening to the prayers of the ungodly but closer examination reveals that they are merely receiving the benefits of God's faithfulness to His own promises and will. MAT 5:45 c/w GEN 8:22. B. God's government of this world is with an eye towards His people; there are spillovers of benefits to the rest. GEN 30:27; 39:5; MAR 13:20; 7:27-28; PRO 17:2; ISA 10:12; 1CO 7:14. C. God will hear the prayer of a righteous man on behalf of the unrighteous sometimes. 2CH 30:18-20; GEN 20:7; JOB 42:8. D. God at times alters His will at the request of the righteous. NUM 11:1-2; EXO 32:9-14; 2KI 20:1, 5-6. E. A child of God must be living a life well-pleasing to God or his prayer will not be heard. ISA 59:2; PRO 15:8, 29 ct/w 1JO 3:22; ACT 10:1-4, 34-35. II. Prayer offered in conformity to God's instructions can have dramatic influence in this life. JAM 5:16-18. A. Effectual: That produces its intended effect, or adequately answers its purpose. B. Fervent: Hot, burning, glowing, boiling. Of persons, their passions, dispositions, or actions: Ardent, intensely earnest. C. Righteous: Of persons: Just, upright, virtuous; guiltless; sinless; conforming to the standard of the divine or the moral law; acting rightly or justly. D. Effectual prayer is hard work. COL 4:12; HEB 5:7; LUK 22:44. E. God will be found of those who put in sincere effort. JER 29:12-13; HEB 11:6. III. There are numerous criteria which should regulate our prayer life so that our prayers may indeed be effectual. A. We must humble ourselves before God. 1PE 5:6; LUK 18:9-14. B. We must acknowledge our sins, confess them and ask forgiveness. MAT 6:12; 2CH 7:14; DAN 9:3-10, 17-20. C. We should magnify and glorify God. MAT 6:9; 1CH 29:11-12. 1. Glorify God for His salvation. 1SAM 2:1; PSA 20:5; REV 7:10. 2. Delight in HIM! PSA 37:4 c/w ISA 58:13-14. IV. Page 1 8-8-10 3. Bless the Lord even in tribulation. JOB 1:21; 1TH 5:18. 4. Remind God of His promises and faithfulness. 2CH 20:6-9. We should always remember to be thankful. 1TI 2:1; PHIL 4:6; COL 4:2; 1TI 4:4. 1. “SURELY the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name...” ( PSA 140:13). 2. Ingratitude is a sign of an apostate, ungodly people. ROM 1:21; 2TI 3:2. 3. God is more kind than men are thankful. LUK 6:35. We should pray according to God's will. MAT 6:10; 1JO 5:14-15; PSA 119:170. 1. Jesus always prayed in God's will. JOH 8:29; MAT 26:39-44. 2. We have special help from God in this regard. ROM 8:26-27. We must pray in faith. MAR 11:24; JUDE 1:20. 1. We can only come boldly unto God's throne if we do so in full confidence and faith. HEB 4:16 c/w HEB 11:6. 2. Waverers need not expect their prayers to be answered. JAM 1:5-7; 1TI 2:8. We must make an effort to retain Scripture. JOH 15:7; 1JO 3:22. We should pray in Jesus' name. JOH 14:13-14; COL 3:17. Pray without malice. MAR 11:25; LUK 17:3-4; JOB 42:10. Consider occasional fasting. DAN 9:3; 1CO 7:5; ACT 10:4, 30. Continue stedfast in prayer; be patient. 1TH 5:17; EPH 6:18. 1. Praying without ceasing does not mean that you should never cease from uttering prayer, but rather that you should not give up praying. LUK 11:1; 18:1-8; ACT 6:4. 2. Brethren, especially ministers, should be especially mindful of this towards each other. ROM 1:9; EPH 1:16; 1SAM 12:23. 3. We should pray frequently. PSA 55:17; DAN 6:10. 4. Circumstances should not pressure us out of praying. JON 2:1; ACT 16:25. Prayers don't have to be long in order to be effectual. MAT 23:14; 6:7; 1KI 18:25-38. We should not be embarrassed to assume a humble posture when praying. 1TI 2:8; PSA 141:2. 1. Kneeling is justified both privately and publicly. LUK 22:41; 1KI 8:54; ACT 20:36. 2. This does not mean that God does not hear prayers uttered in other postures. 1SAM 1:26; MAT 26:39; PSA 6:6. Prayer may be offered in solitude. MAT 6:6, 14:23; ACT 10:9. Prayer may be offered publicly. NEH 9:5; ACT 1:24. 1. The church is particularly blessed when its members unite in public, corporate prayer. ACT 4:31; 12:5. 2. God looks with special favor on prayers offered up in His house. 1KI 9:3; 2CH 7:15; MAT 21:13. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. M. N. O. The following are some things which are effectual in hindering prayer: A. Hypocrisy. MAT 6:5-6; 15:8; 23:14. B. Vain repetition. MAT 6:7. C. Pride and self-righteousness. LUK 18:9-14; PRO 30:12-13. D. Unforsaken sin. PRO 28:13; ISA 59:2. E. Forsaking the hearing of the word. PRO 28:9; HEB 10:25-26. F. Idolatry. ISA 44:17; 45:20 c/w 1CO 10:7 c/w EXO 32:5-6; COL 3:5. G. Covetousness. JAM 4:2-3 c/w PSA 78:18-19; 106:15. H. Poor marital relations. 1PE 3:7. V. Page 2 8-8-10 Concerning Prayer Inappropriate hair length. 1CO 11:4-5. Ignorance of the truth. ROM 15:16. Many other items could be added to this list, but in summation, any sin hampers the effectuality of prayer, especially willful, presumptuous sins. JAM 4:17 c/w LUK 12:47-48. I. J. K. As already seen, prayer should be in conformity with the revealed will of God. Here is a list of things that you can be assured God will answer in His own good time and manner, providing it is offered up in the prescribed fashion: A. Sustenance. MAT 6:11; PRO 30:8-9. 1. Petitioning God for your daily bread does not excuse you from your responsibility to take measures to secure the same by working. 2TH 3:10-11. 2. Stress spiritual concerns more than fleshly concerns. Do not let the needs of the flesh be all-consuming. MAT 6:25-34; ROM 8:5. 3. Be content with the sustenance that God gives. 1TI 6:7-9; HEB 13:5. B. Pray for wisdom. 2CH 1:10-12; JAM 1:5. C. Pray for peace. PSA 122:6; 1TI 2:2; JER 29:7. 1. Peace should never be desired at the expense of righteousness. JAM 3:17-18; PSA 85:10. 2. When prayers are kept in proper perspective, peace is a result. PHIL 4:6-7. D. Pray for those in authority. 1TI 2:1-2; JER 29:7. 1. Kings, governors, magistrates, other civil powers, employers, pastors, teachers, husbands, fathers, mothers and even children all have their limited, God-ordained authority. Prayer should be made for the godly exercise of the power that is in each of these authorities. 2. Pray for righteous powers. PRO 28:16, 28; 29:2. E. Pray for family. JOB 1:5. 1. Where applicable, pray that you might have children. 1SAM 1:27; PSA 127:3. 2. Pray that your children might be God-fearing. PRO 8:17 c/w LAM 3:26-27; PSA 144:11-12. 3. Pray that your children would embrace the truth and walk in it. 2JO 1:4. 4. Pray for God's direction in seeking a right way for your children. EZR 8:21. F. Pray for evangelism. 2TH 3:1; COL 4:3; MAT 9:38. G. Pray for your brethren (EPH 6:18). Pray for their 1. understanding. COL 1:9; EPH 1:16-18. 2. faith. LUK 22:32 c/w ROM 15:13. 3. fellowship. ROM 1:9-12; PHIL 1:4-5. 4. conversion. JAM 5:19-20; 1JO 5:16. 5. health. JAM 5:13-16. 6. spiritual strength. EPH 3:16. 7. abundant love. 1TH 3:12-13; PHIL 1:9-10. 8. worthy walk. 2TH 1:11. 9. likemindedness. ROM 15:5-6. 10. joy, peace and hope. ROM 15:13. 11. doing no evil. 2CO 13:7. 12. deliverance. MAT 6:13; ACT 12:5. H. Pray for your pastor. 1TH 5:25; HEB 13:18; PHIL 1:19; 2CO 1:11; 2TH 3:1; COL 4:3; EPH 6:19. VI. Page 3 8-8-10 Concerning Prayer Pray for those who do you wrong. MAT 5:44; JOB 42:10. 1. In general, pray for their forgiveness. ACT 7:60; 2TI 4:16; 1PE 3:9. 2. At times, prayer for their judgment is justified. 2TI 4:14; GAL 5:12. Pray for deliverance from the wicked. 2TH 3:2; ROM 15:30-31. Pray for deliverance from temptation. MAT 6:13; 26:41. Pray for the return of the Savior. ROM 8:23; HEB 9:28; REV 22:20.