Family School at Faith Baptist Church
S.S.S. Study Biblical Apostleship
Week 5: Marked by Prayer
Prayer defined: In Worship, a solemn address to the Supreme Being, consisting of adoration, or an expression of our sense of God's glorious perfections, confession of our sins, supplication for mercy and forgiveness, intercession for blessings on others, and thanksgiving, or an expression of gratitude to God for his mercies and benefits. A prayer however may consist of a single petition, and it may be extemporaneous, written or printed.
Prayer is in its simplest definition, speaking with God. Though it is simple there is still a right and a wrong way to pray, Matthew 6:5-13
Never pray for applause of men. (Prayer is a sacred right, not a religious duty, or bragging right.)
Do not waste your breath on vain and repetitious praying. (Prayers should come from your heart, not writing on a page.)
Jesus's example of praying does five distinct things,
First- Recognizes God as Holy
Second- Submits to God's will
Third- Asks only for DAILY provision
Fourth-Asks for forgiveness, Deliverance, and Safety
Lastly- Gives all Glory to God
Seeing the example Christ laid out in the Holy Scriptures let's examine the where, when, why, and how, of prayer.
Where: In every place, Prayers were made in God's word from mountains, valleys, prisons, and palaces.
Where did Jesus prefer to pray? Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, Luke 22:41. There's just something special about getting alone with God with no distractions around.
When: In any time, During persecution, happy days, struggles both physical and spiritual.
Acts 9:40 (among sadness), Acts 20:36 (among believers), Acts 7:59-60 (among enemies)
Why should we-
Psalm 145:1-5 (To worship God) Daniel 2:23 (To thank God), Psalm 46:1 (To get help), to petition God on the behalf of others (1st Thessalonians 5:25, 2nd Thessalonians 5:31, Hebrews 13:18).
Why do we-
James 4:3 (To ask for blessings)
Why is it so important that we pray for spiritual things before physical?
Cancer does not send a man to Hell, a bad home life does not send a teen to Hell, getting mixed up in drugs does not send a girl to Hell, it is rejecting Jesus Christ that sends sinners to Hell! Prayers for the lost in our lives should far outnumber prayers for sick grandfather, or a broken relationship.
Since the question of how to pray was addressed by Christ in Matthew 6, and can be as simply described as talking to our Heavenly Father, let's look at the overlooked question; How do I know if I am praying in accord with God's will?
Examine who and what you are praying for, and match that up with what God's will is as stated in His word.
Perhaps if you feel that you do not often have your prayers "answered" it is because you are praying against the will of God. Remember James 4:3? Also look to Moses and the burning bush, Moses asked God to chose someone else, God chose Moses. Read 1st John 5:14-15
You may be praying for something that is good, and that is Gods will, but God gave man a free will as well. Which is why 1st Timothy 2:4 is not a lie, God wants your lost loved one saved more than you do, but He will not force salvation upon them it is their choice to accept or deny Jesus Christ. Do not give up on prayer just because you don't see results today, Israelites lived in bondage hundreds of years before the exodus.
The Longest New Testament prayer: John 17
What did Christ pray for?
God to be glorified
For those who believed on Him, Protection, Unity, Joy, Sanctification, and more.
Homework: Take note of specific things you pray for this week, also set aside a minimum of TEN MINUTES each day by yourself to pray and write a prayer list.