What is prayer?

Psalm 119:164
Daniel
Ezra

• vv
Lesson 5: The Believer’s
Prayer Life
Prayer is Knocking
on God’s Door. We
Must Ask With a
Pure Heart
THOUGHTS WRITTEN ABOUT PRAYER
• Men and women are at their noblest and best when they are on
their knees before God in prayer. I doubt if anybody has ever
become at all Christ-like, who has not been diligent in prayer;
• In prayer we express our dependence on God in every area of our
human life. Material (daily bread), spiritual (forgiveness of sins) and
moral (deliverance from evil) as it is in the Lord’s prayer.
• The purpose of prayer is emphatically not to bend God’s will to
ours, but rather to align our will to his will. 1 John 5:14; Matt 6:10
• It is by prayer that we seek God’s will embrace it and align ourselves
with it. To pray is to change.
• Obedience is the indispensable condition, not the mysterious cause
of answered prayer.
• Prayer is to the spirit what oxygen is to the body.


Why
and How
Do I Pray?
What is Prayer?
With God - Prayer is communion or communication with
God in worship. not for the benefit of others
“When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray
to your Father who is unseen” Matthew 6
6

Communication - Is a two directional communication
between man and God. John 2:5 (His mother said to the
servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”). not just a ritual
“Do not keep on babbling like pagans …” Matthew 6
7

Relational - the act of prayer develops our relationship
“Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward
you” Matthew 6
6

Two-way - “receiving” as well as “transmitting
Two-way, relational communication with God
Prayer involves the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit of God
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
What is Prayer?
Jesus taught us to pray, Matthew 6:9 (After this manner therefore pray ye: Our
Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name). It is based on our
relationship with God as our Father.
“Our Father in heaven” Matthew 6
9

God is personal
He is not only “our Father” - He is “our Father in heaven, and has heavenly
power
Prayer is the main business of the Christian that expresses one’s dependence on God
as the sustainer of life. Without God man can do nothing. Relationship with God is
the basis for a stronger prayer life.

Christian Prayer is prayer “to your Father”
100,000 million stars in our galaxy
100,000 million galaxies
“He also made the stars… ”Genesis 1
16

Why
and How
Do I Pray?
What is Prayer?
Christian Prayer is prayer through the “Son”
“… through (Jesus) we … have access to the
Father by one Spirit” Ephesians 2
18

Jesus said the Father would give “whatever you
ask in my name” John 15
16
We have no right in ourselves to come to God,
but can do so “through Jesus” and “in his name”
This is why prayers often end with “through
Jesus Christ our Lord” or “in the name of Jesus”
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
What is Prayer?
Christian Prayer is prayer through the “Son”
Through his death on the
cross, Jesus removed the
barrier between us and
God. That is why there is
such power in the name of
Jesus
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
What is Prayer?
Christian Prayer is prayer through the “Son”
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
What is Prayer?
Christian Prayer is prayer “by one Spirit”
“… the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to
pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes
for us with groans that words cannot
express.” Romans 8
26

When we pray, God is praying through us
by his Spirit who lives in us as Christians
It helps now and then to step back and take the long
view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even
beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our life time only a tiny
fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s
work.
No statement says
all that could be
said.
No prayer fully
expresses our
faith.
No confession
brings perfection.
No pastoral visit
brings wholeness.
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
Why Pray?
We develop a relationship with our Father
in heaven
(through communication, and as we see prayer answered)
Jesus prayed - and he taught us to do the
same “When you pray”, Matthew 6
7
Jesus taught that there are rewards for
prayer Matthew 6
6
Prayer not only changes us, but changes
situations Jesus encourages us to ask - Matthew 7
7,8

Why We Should Pray
The Old Testament shows us that men only accomplished God’s work in their
lives when they prayed.









Scripture Men prayed in His will & accomplished much
Genesis 18:20-32 Abraham prayed for Sodom prayers of intercession
Exodus 5:22-23 Moses prayed for the Israelites when the straw was not
available
1 Chronicles 4: 9-10 Jabez prayed for himself for God’s blessing
1 Samuel 2:2-10 Hannah prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and praise
1 Samuel 12: 18 Samuel prayed for God’s people, a prayer of
intercession
Job 42:8 Job prayed for his friends so that they could be
forgiven
Nehemiah 4:1-5 Nehemiah prayed against the opposition from the
enemies.
Why We Should Pray
We also pray in obedience to Jesus’ instruction and in following His examples.
He always had unbroken communication with the Father.









Scripture Men prayed in His will &
accomplished much
Luke 3: 21 Now when all the people were baptized, and
when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the
heavens were opened,
He began his ministry by praying
Mark 1: 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still
dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary
place, where he prayed.
He prayed in solitude before dawn
Luke 5: 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and
prayed
He interposed periods of ministry
with prayer
Matthew 26: 36-44

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a
place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here
while I go over there and pray.
He prayed before going to the
Cross
Why We Should Pray
John 17 Jesus Prays to Be Glorified, Jesus Prays for His
Disciples, Jesus Prays for All Believers
Hebrews 7: 24-25

But because Jesus lives forever, he has a
permanent priesthood.
25
Therefore he is able to save
completely those who come to God through him, because
he always lives to intercede for them.
He now intercedes for his people
as High Priest
Luke 11:1-4 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.
When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord,
teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2
He
said to them, “When you pray, say:
Taught His disciples how to pray
Luke 18:1-8 The Parable of the Persistent Widow
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that
they should always pray and not give up.
Taught about persistence in prayer
Why We Should Pray
The early Church kept the precedent set by Christ & the Old Testament saints. They
accomplished lots for God’s Kingdom and in their personal lives as a result of prayer.
We too must pray.



Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the breaking of bread and
prayer
Acts 12:5-11 Church prayed for Peter and God delivered him out of
prison
Apostle Paul
Acts 9:11 Paul acquired the custom of praying immediately after
conversion
Romans 15: 30-32 Requested for prayer from saints for his protection and
ministry
Ephesians 1:15-16 Prayed for saints constantly for their growth
Philippians 1:3-4 Prayed for saints according to their needs
James 5:13-18 Exaltation to pray at all times
Why We Should Pray
If the Son of God needed to pray, we cannot do
otherwise. His instruction must be obeyed.
• To overcome temptation. Luke 22:40-45
• Seeking God’s will in our lives. Luke 6:12-16
• We pray for spiritual change. Psalm 51
• We pray to make our requests known to God. Phil
4:6
• Prayer helps change situations. Exodus 32:14
Col 4:2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being
watchful and thankful.

Types of Prayer
• Confession, Psalm 32:1-5, 1 John 1:9,Isai.59:1-3
• Praise, Heb,13:15, Ephe,5:20
• Thanksgiving 1 Thessa.,5:18
• Intercession, Heb 13:18-19
• Petition/Faith Phil 4:6
• Binding/Loosing
• Consecration/Dedication
• Agreement
• Warfare
• Psalm 7, 55, 69


Requirement for Effective prayer
Personal relationship with Christ. Prayer is only
effective for the righteous, that is those in the right
relationship with Christ. Those born again.



John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and
the truth and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through
me.
Ephesian
s 2:18
For through him we both have
access to the Father by one Spirit.
John
14:13
And I will do whatever you ask in my
name, so that the Father may be
glorified in the Son.
Requirement for Effective prayer
ii) Walking in the right fellowship with God and
others

Psalm 66:18 If I cherish sin in my heart , God will not hear my prayer
Jer 5:25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
your sins have deprived you of good.
Philippians
2: 1-5
Talks about putting the interests of others ahead of our own
1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your
wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and
as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will
hinder your prayers.
Mark 11:25-
26
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against
anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive
you your sins.”
Requirement for Effective prayer
iii) Obeying God’s word

Proverbs
28:9
If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even
their prayers are detestable.
2
Chronicle
s 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will
humble themselves and pray and seek my face and
turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from
heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their
land.
John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask
whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Requirement for Effective prayer
iv) Praying in faith expecting


Matthew
21:22
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask
for in prayer.”
Hebrews
11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to him must believe that
he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly
seek him.
James
1:5-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you.
6 But when you ask, you must believe
and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and
tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from
the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

1 John
5:14-15

This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to his will, he
hears us.
Requirement for Effective prayer
Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him
must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
James 1:5-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without
finding fault, and it will be given to you.
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the
one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything
from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

1 John 5:14-15

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according
to his will, he hears us.
15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked
of him.

Why
and How
Do I Pray?
Does God Always Answer Prayer?
Un-confessed sin causes a barrier between us and God - Broken
relationship Psalm 51, 1 Peter 3:7, Mark 11:25-26.
Our motives may be wrong-To pray with the right motive, in the right
condition, is the way of expressing our dependence on God. When we
pray thus we receive, and as a result we experience joy in God.
We may be asking for what is not good for us
• The answer to our prayer may be “yes”, “no” or “wait”! Pretentiousness
and pride in prayer, Matt 6:5-6, (self-justification and righteousness hinders
prayer.) Failing to pray or failing to wait on God.

There may be good reasons why we do not always get
what we ask for (Hindrances to prayer)
“If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us”
1 John 5
14

Why
and How
Do I Pray?
Does God Always Answer Prayer?
Martyn Lloyd-Jones
“I thank God that he is not prepared
to do anything I may chance to ask
him … I am profoundly grateful to
God that he did not grant me certain
things for which I asked, and that
he shut certain doors in my face”
“God has not always answered
my prayers. If he had, I would
have married the wrong man -
several times”
Ruth Graham
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
How Should We Pray?
There is no set way for what is relational -
but a pattern can help
A
C
T
S
Adoration – Worship & praising God for
who he is and what he has done
Confession - asking God’s forgiveness
for anything that we have done wrong
Thanksgiving – We thank God for what
He has done for us -for health, family,
friends, and so on
Supplication – We present our needs
before God, praying for ourselves, for
our friends, and for others
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
How Should We Pray?
A pattern that Jesus taught …
“Our Father in heaven …”
Thanking God for who he is, and my
relationship with him
Thanking him for prayers answered

Why
and How
Do I Pray?
How Should We Pray?
A pattern that Jesus taught …
“Hallowed be your name …”
Asking for God’s rule and reign
Praying for people to be converted,
healed, set free from evil, filled with
the Spirit
Praying for God’s peace, justice and
compassion - for the marginalised in
society
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
How Should We Pray?
D. L. Moody
Prayed for a list of 100 people
96 converted in his lifetime
… the other 4 at his funeral!
A rebellious son … liar … bad tempered
… cheat … thief … money-focussed …
loose morals … lived with several
women … had son by one … throughout
all his mother prayed for him … had a
vision of Jesus … prayed for another 9
years before her son was converted St Augustine
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
How Should We Pray?
A pattern that Jesus taught …
“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
Not resignation but releasing burdens
Recognising who is in charge
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
How Should We Pray?
A pattern that Jesus taught …
“Give us today our daily bread”
Refers to our basic needs
Luther: “Everything necessary for the
preservation of this life, like food, a
healthy body, good weather, house, home,
wife, children, good government, and
peace”.
OK to pray for our own concerns - provided
God’s name, God’s kingdom and God’s will
come first!
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
How Should We Pray?
A pattern that Jesus taught …
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have
forgiven our debtors”
Jesus teaches us to pray for forgiveness
On-going cleaning-up
Willingness to forgive others is a sign that
we are ourselves truly forgiven
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
How Should We Pray?
A pattern that Jesus taught …
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us
from the evil one”
God does not tempt us, but he controls how
much we are exposed to the devil

Why
and How
Do I Pray?
When Should We Pray?
Always!
Anywhere (not just in
a special building)
Planned, regular time
useful
Often good to combine
with Bible reading
Prayer with others
important
Satan laughs at our words
Mocks at our toil
But trembles when we pray!
“We are sure that if
we ask anything
that He wants us to
have, He will hear
us.” 1 John 5:14
• Failing to pray or failing to wait on
God. James 4:2
• Broken relationship or unrepentant
sin Psalm 51, 1 Peter 3:7, Mark
11:25-26.
• Pretentiousness and pride in prayer,
Matt 6:5-6, (self-justification and
righteousness hinders prayer.)
To pray with the right motive, in the
right condition, is the way of expressing
our dependence on God. When we
pray thus we receive, and as a result we
experience joy in God.


Conditions for answering
prayer
“Or if you do ask, you do not
receive because your reasons for
asking are wrong. You want these
things only to please yourselves.”
James 4:3 (False motives in
prayer)

Conditions For Answering Prayer
Prayer is
Knocking on
God’s Door

We Must Ask
With
Believing
Heart
Ask With
Faith
“All things
you ask for
in prayer,
you will
receive if
you have
faith.”
Matthew 21:22
Prayer is
Knocking on
God’s Door

We Must Ask
and Never
Quit
Keep Asking and Don’t
Give Up
“Then Jesus said to them,
‘Suppose someone has a
friend. He goes to him at
midnight. He says,
'Friend, lend me three
loaves of bread.
A friend of mine on a
journey has come to stay
with me. I have nothing
for him to eat.'
"Then the one
inside
answers,
'Don't bother
me. The door
is already
locked. My
children are
with me in
bed. I can't get
up and give
you anything.'
"I tell you, that person will not get
up. And he won't give the man
bread just because he is his
friend. But because the man
keeps on asking, he will get up.
He will give him as much as he
needs.
•Ask and it will
be given to you
Seek and you
will find
Knock and the
door will be
opened to you
We Must Ask
With Persistent
Heart
Not a Quitter’s
Heart

Prayer is
Knocking
on God’s
Door

Ask Friends
to Join You
Ask
Your
Friends
to Join
You in
Prayer
“Where two or three people meet
together in my name, I am there
with them." Matthew 18:20
Ask
Friends
to Join
You in
Prayer
We Must Ask
With a Whole
Heart
Pray With Your Whole
Heart
Not Half-Hearted
Pray With Your Whole Heart
…The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a
righteous man makes tremendous power
available… James 5:16
Prayer is
Knocking on
God’s Door
WHAT DOES FASTING DO?
BRINGS A DEEPER INTIMACY BETWEEN YOU & GOD

A CLOSER CONNECTION

GOD ALWAYS LISTENS THROUGH PRAYER

FASTING SHOWS GOD YOUR WILLINGNESS FOR THOSE PRAYERS TO
BE ANSWERED

FASTING RELEASES THE ANOINTING, FAVOR & BLESSING OF GOD IN
YOUR LIFE
SPIRITUAL HUNGER
MATTHEW 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for
they will be filled

FASTING SHOWS HUNGER & THIRST FOR HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS

WHEN ELIMINATING FOOD FROM YOUR DIET FOR A NUMBER OF DAYS

YOUR SPIRIT BECOMES UNCLUTTERED BY THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD AND
AMAZINGLY SENSITIVE TO GOD


FASTING IS A SECRET SOURCE OF POWER THAT IS OVER LOOKED BY MANY

THREEFOLD CORD
Jesus devoted his time to teaching His disciples the principles of the kingdom of
God, principles that conflict with those of the world

MATTHEW 6 Jesus provides the pattern by which each of us is to live as a child of
God

PATTERN = 3 SPECIFIC DUTIES OF A CHRISTIAN: GIVING, PRAYING & FASTING

Solomon, when writing books of wisdom for Israel points out that a cord or rope
braided with 3 strands is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

GIVING, PRAYING & FASTING = THREEFOLD CORD

NOT EASILY BROKEN


BOB ROGERS – 101 REASONS TO FAST
American History: the foundation of the Nation used Prayer & Fasting based on the Bible

2 Chronicles 7:14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek
My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and
heal their land.

POINT 1:
Assembly of Virginia passed a resolution on June 1, 1774 as a day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer
May 1774, the British Parliament ordered an embargo of Boston to begin June 1
st

Immediately the Burgesses of Virginia passed a resolution protesting this act and setting aside the day
of embargo to seek God through fasting & prayer

Here’s how the resolution read:
Tuesday, 24th of May, King George III, 1774: This house deeply impressed with the apprehension of
the great dangers to be derived to British America from the hostile invasion of the city of Boston our
sister colony of Massachusetts Bay whose commerce and harbor are on the 1st Day of June next to be
stopped by an armed force, deem it highly necessary that the set 1st day of June be set apart by the
members of the House of a day of fasting humiliation and prayer devalued to implore the divine
interposition for averting the heavy calamity which threatens the destruction of our civil rights

CAN YOU IMAGINE THIS GOING ON TODAY IN OUR GOVERNEMENT?
WASHINGTON & ADAMS
POINT 2:
GEORGE WASHINGTON: set a pattern for leaders of the USA to fast and pray

During the resolution passed in Virginia, 1774 Washington’s Diary reads:

“He went to Church and fasted all day…”

OUR COUNTRY WAS PROCEEDED TO FAST AND PRAY TO AVOID WAR

JOHN ADAMS: who was the 2nd President proclaimed May 9, 1798 as a
Day of Solon Humiliation, Fasting & Prayer

U.S. was on the verge of war with France

UNDER MADISON
4th President of the USA, James Madison, the United States was engaged in war with Britain

Both Houses of Congress passed a joint resolution desiring a public day of humiliation, fasting & prayer on
Jan 12, 1815

This historical event in the nation’s history fulfilled God’s promise recorded in:

Isaiah 65:24 “It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will
hear.

4 days before the fasting date set by President Madison, Britain was defeated in the battle of New Orleans

Peace soon followed and Congress set the 2
nd
Tuesday of April, 1815 as a day of Thanksgiving to God

PROCLAMATION READS:
“it is for blessings such as these and especially for the restoration of the blessing of peace that I now
recommend that the 2nd Tuesday of April, next be set apart as a day on which the people of every
religious denomination may in their solon assemblies unite their heart and their voices in a free will
offering to the Heavenly benefactor for their homage of thanksgiving and of their songs of praise”
ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Abraham Lincoln one of the best presidents of the USA proclaimed 3 fasts:
September, 1861
March 30, 1863
August, 1864

so the president of the United States proclaimed a fast 3 times….no
wonder the civil war ended and America was brought back together

When you humble yourself and pray what does God say He will do?

Bible says, “He will heal their land”

SODOM & GOMORAH
Ezekiel 16:49-50 'Now this was the sin of your
sister Sodom: She and her daughters were
arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not
help the poor and needy. They were haughty
and did detestable things before me. Therefore I
did away with them as you have seen.

KING STOMACH HELPED CARRY THEM RIGHT INTO DAMNATION
“Draw near to
God, and He will
draw near to
you…
…Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and
make your hearts pure, you who are
half-hearted towards God.” James 4:8 WNT
Why
and How
Do I Pray?
75% of the UK population admit to
praying at least once a week
Patients admitted to hospital with
heart problems have 25% fewer
problems if someone is praying for
them
Prayer for hospital patients is
reported to have a beneficial effect
in 57% of cases
Researchers say those who pray are
less likely to suffer from depression
and anxiety, and more likely to have
high self-esteem
Research on Prayer
Sources:
Nicky Gumbel,
“Questions of
Life”
BBC News archive
Close in
Prayer