Lord teach us to pray. Luke 11:1, and what follows is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus has a lot to say about prayer. - We need confidence when we pray. Jesus said to ask, seek and knock in the following verses. - We need to pray with persistence. Luke 18:1-8. - Thirdly, we need humility when we pray, Luke 18:6-14. We need to understand who it is we are addressing and our unworthiness in His sight. Question: are modern distractions making it harder to pray effectively? Cellphones have become an intrusive part of our life, for one. So how do we learn to pray? - By praying. It’s something we just have to start doing and keep doing. - Maybe we learned initially from our parents, or from our Bible class teachers, or by observing others pray.. Do we pray expecting our prayers to be effective? Some suggestions for effective praying: 1. Preparation vs. impulse. Men assigned to pray publicly know well in advance. There is no excuse for not preparing ahead of time.
a. We need to remove distractions.
b. Make notes and lists so you can pray specifically.
c. Allow adequate time. It will take some self discipline. The devil will tell you that you don’t have the time.
d. Devote ourselves to prayer, Col 4:2 "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving"; i.e.do it habitually.
2. Needs Purpose vs. being haphazard.
a. Do we think of what outcome we want? Consider Elijah. James 5:16-18.
b. Thanksgiving, be specific. “It will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
c. Prayers of courage, confidence and resolve. Be specific about our fears and concerns.
d. Temptations - be honest about our motives. James 4:3-4.
Do I (we) pray enough? There are a lot of things we cannot fix. Do we give those things over to God? Praying enough doesn’t necessarily mean length, publicly or privately. The quality of what we pray about is much more important than the length. Habitual prayer is necessary but beware of the ruts. We can get into habits of rote prayer, of trite phrases. Do we truly appreciate the power at our disposal? - Jesus the creator of the universe represents us before God. Heb. 9:24, 7:25
- The “owner” of the church is our advocate, 1 Jn2:1
- Jesus is family, Rom 8:29.