Home
Directory
Priorities
Virtuous Women
Table of Contents
Favorites
Instruction Book
About Jeff & I
The Welters
Search
Belarus Mission
Prayer Requests

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted by Kath Baer
PRAYER - Part 1
Prayer is our communication with God, our link with the eternal purpose He has laid out. The early Church "devoted themselves to prayer"

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Every believer would readily acknowledge the importance of prayer, but so few really come to grips with a meaningful prayer life and yet so many WANT it.

Prayer meetings are usually the least attended meetings in the majority of churches. Something must be wrong. For the average believer there must be a lack of vision or faulty understanding of what prayer really is. Surely, when we realize how the Lord delights to answer prayer, we would want to pray more. Hopefully, this is exactly what this study will do for you.

WHY PRAYER?

The early believers "devoted themselves . . . to prayer'' as we saw. Throughout the Book of Acts, prayer is emphasized again and again as being a key to their personal lives

Acts 10:9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.

Acts 10:30 So Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

Acts 21:5 When we had come to the end of those days, we departed and went on our way; and they all accompanied us, with wives and children, till we were out of the city. And we knelt down on the shore and prayed.

Acts 22:17-21 "Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance and saw Him saying to me, 'Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.' "So I said, 'Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. 'And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.' "Then He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.'"

Prayer was also their key to ministering to others.

Acts 6:6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.

Acts 8:14-15 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.

Acts 13:3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

Acts 14:23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Acts 20:36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

Acts 28:8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him.

Prayer is also vital to their survival in persecution.

Acts 4:21-31 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed. And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: "Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, "who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: 'Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.' "For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together "to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. "Now, Lord,look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, "by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus." And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Acts 16:22-26 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed.

So, you see that prayer was a vital part of the early church. In their personal relationship with God, in their ministry to others and in hard times they always returned to prayer.

Why is prayer so necessary? If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, surely He would answer our needs without us having to tell Him about them.

Prayer fulfills two vital functions in our relationship with God: communication, and joining in a purpose.


COMMUNICATION

In any relationship, whether it is between husband and wife, parents and children, or between friends, there has to be communication. Without it, a relationship will soon wither. The two people need to share their desires and frustrations, and find the answers together. It is the same with our relationship with God. How can we really love Him unless we share our heart with Him, and how can we begin to think like Him unless we ask Him what He thinks about the situations we face each day.

He doesn't need you to give him information. That's the point. He WANTS you to share with Him. He WANTS you to talk to Him. HE WANTS to be included.

Your marriage wouldn't last long if you never spoke. Yet, we expect our relationship with our Heavenly Father, to grow and grow, and for Him to do and do for us, without us talking to him very much.
God is BLESSED by our worship and prayer is a form of worship. Prayer isn't just asking" and we will get to that later in the study. God WANTS you to talk to him. He wants to hear your voice cry out to Him. Not much to ask from us considering what He did for us eh?

Prayer, for the believer, is NOT a religious duty. It's part of our fellowship with a personal God - our Father. The more time we spend with God in prayer, the closer our relationship will become. God would like to hang out with you. We spend more time with TV, friends, etc. then we do with our Abba and the excuses we come up with...Oy vey!

"Come on God, we are doing dishes". I actually HAVE had to do that because I HATE dishes. So I have to do as if I'm doing them for Him for me to be motivated. You want God interested in YOUR things? Include Him. You want God interested in your struggles. Include Him.
How can you "hear" Him if you don't have this time?

I talk to God in the grocery store. "whoohoo thank you Lord this is on sale"
"thanks for the GREAT parking space!" Seriously!! God WANTS to be included in your life.

We whine and complain when we don't "hear from God" ,when usually the reason is, we aren't praying, we aren't listening. But boy, the minute we want something we are in prayer.
We are so fickle.


JOINING IN A PURPOSE

We are living in the days when God is going to complete everything He has purposed since the beginning of time. God's plan is winding up, and though the world looks bleak, God is still in control.

He has actually gone as far as limiting Himself in His plan and waiting until we pray.
As we pray, we join with Him in His purposes and have the thrill of seeing Him work. The foundation for true prayer is a knowledge of WHO WE Are and of THE POWER AND AUTHORITY THAT WE'VE BEEN GIVEN.

When we realize that we are sons of God :

Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"

And heirs of His throne

Romans 8:15-17 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Who have been brought into rightstanding with Him

1st Corinthians 1:30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God; and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;

THEN we can come before the throne without fear or condemnation, and TALK.

Ephesians 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

We have even been delegated His name to use in any situation.

John 14:14 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

HINDRANCES


In the light of the excitement of prayer - the thrill of sharing personally with God and seeing Him work His purpose in our lives and in the world - why don't believers spend more time in prayer? We seem to have a talent for organizing prayer out of our schedule. The fact that many believers tend to avoid prayer indicates that something is seriously wrong.

The figures of relative attendance by believers at prayer meetings would suggest that there is a sad lack of vision and understanding of the miraculous possibilities of prayer. There are three main causes that usually play a part in this spiritual maladjustment:

1. A LACK OF BURDEN FOR THE SOULS OF MEN

Psalms 142:4 Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.

Most people's lives are filled with busy activities, but have you ever wondered how many, behind all of this, feel that nobody is really concerned for them? Many believers forget what it is like to be without the Lord and have lost the understanding of what an eternity without Messiah really means.
When we begin to realize that millions are being swept into a lost eternity every day, the Lord will place a burden of prayer on our hearts to enter in with Him in His concern

1st Timothy 2:1-8 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

Won't God draw people to him without our help? What does it matter that we pray?
Scripture says "If I Be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me". IF. God will do this WITH YOU.
YOU are his hands. This is what I mean by joined purposes mentioned above. God waits on prayer to move. Someone prayed for you or you wouldn't be here.

Sometimes I'll see someone on the side of the street or something. and say "God...send someone to tell them about you" then get smacked cause I DIDN'T STOP and tell'em. Just asking someone if you an get them a cuppa coffee sometimes is "curbside evangelism"
He tells us who to talk to? I really believe He doesn't tell you, He puts them in your life.

OK, sweet sappy story, but I will share it as an example. My 10 year old doesn't even know what "evangelism is". I was in the doctor's waiting room with Michael. There were several handicapped people there. One of them kept talking to Michael. Asking him questions about school, offering to let Michael go before her etc. ,she was being sweet. He got right up and sat down next to her , answered her questions, got her a magazine, fixed her blanket on her chair etc. and then they called us ,and He hugged her, and said "God really likes you, thanks for being nice to me today" and walked off. He was scared, so this lady made him feel better.

Sometimes THAT is evangelism.

Evangelism doesn't mean go shove the word in their face and say "BELIEVE IT"....it means SHOWING them Yeshua in you. You don't have to street preach to evangelize. Live it.

2. A FAULTY RELATIONSHIP

It's my opinion that this is the biggest one... A faulty relationship, either toward God or toward another believer, must be adjusted.

If a believer knows that his prayer life is lacking something of the vitality that he expects, then his relationship with the Lord must be examined. No person can fellowship with a holy God if he has feelings of guilt, inferiority and rejection, or bitterness toward another or himself.

1st John 2:1-2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Now you understand Yeshua's emphasis on FORGIVE.


3. AN ATTACK OF THE ENEMY
Because prayer is so closely tied with our relationship with the Lord, Satan's attack often comes in this area. He will try to discourage a believer, and produce in him feelings of guilt and condemnation. A feeling of unworthiness is the greatest enemy of prayer. But a believer must learn to distinguish between the voice of God and the voice of the enemy. Any influence that would seek to condemn and thus hinder prayer or the reading of God's Word, has to be an attack of the enemy and our flesh lets it continue.

Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

John 3:17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 5:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

When we realize the importance that even Satan sees in prayer, we can take a step of faith, with  God's help, and begin to pray regularly. The Holy Spirit then plays His part and brings the excitement that is generated by being involved with the eternal purpose of God.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Romans 8:27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.