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 Prayer: Why its important

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joshuajared2000
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PostSubject: Prayer: Why its important   Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:13 am

The Actions of a Christian
Part 2
"Prayer"
*Audio click here to download the audio version *


Greetings every one and thank you for joining us tonight.
Last week we started a new series titled "Actions of a Christian"
and we spoke on "why" we should read the bible. Why it is important for us
in our lives, spiritual lives, and its beniffets.

Tonight picking up where we left off, were going to be talking about "Prayer"
Why its important, What its for, Why we do it. We choose prayer for this
second bible study because of its importance and Honestly because of How
little people know about it and use it.

So many times people come in to rooms, or call up phone numbers for one reason. Prayer
And then move on, But Prayer is more then just asking others to do it. Prayer is as part of our lives as water is, or as important to us spiritually as the word of God is. Prayer opens doors, closes down attacks and more.

So lets get started. First as always let us pray..

Heavenly Father, Tonight I pray that you would open our eyes, hearts and ears to your word.
I pray father that we would leave tonight with that "skillful and Godly wisdom" that you
speak of. I pray tonight father that we would see our prayer lives become stronger then ever berfore, in the name of Jesus Amen.


So i guess the first question to answer is ..What is Prayer?

Well First, Prayer is a Noun. It is a tangiable thing we have. And Im going to use a Definition from Dictionary.com Primaraly because i really like their wording on this topic
1. a devout petition to God
2. a spiritual communion with God, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.

Prayer is a petition, it is a Type of Communication between you and God the Father. Your relationship to God is not like Aladdin and his Geni, rubbing the magic bible and asking for a new Camero. But instead is build on the word of God, and Strengthened by our communication with him.

Its to be takin seriously, it is not a joke, or a game we play to amuse our selfs, Even though there are sadly many who say Prayers can be done in such manners.

So, Prayer is communication. Not a Game.. So lets get to #2
#2 Why do we Pray?

Prayer as we have seen is a line of Communication. It deepen's our life and walk with God.
Can you imagine having a friend or family member who was always arround you but you and them never spoke? never said a word? you just existed in the same space? What kind of relationship would that be?

We pray to know the Father more, To lay our burdens upon him. To bring to him our Questions, Desires, Doubts and Needs. To come to him on the behalf of Friends and others, and some times even people we dont know, and yes even for those would be our enemies.

The life of Jesus is the best example. Jesus said almost to the end of his ministry, before the cross. "“Father, I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do"
How is it that Jesus knew what God wanted? it is because Christ Spent many times Praying to his father.
Here are some other examples of Why we pray.

Judges 15:18
Samson was very thirsty, and he prayed to the Lord and said, You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall
Samson was worried, and He took that Concern to the Lord. When we are worried or in Doubt thats a perfect time to go to the Lord, and ask for his wisdom!!

Its important to pray for others.2 Corinthians 1:11
While you also cooperate by your prayers for us . Thus many persons give thanks on our behalf for the grace granted us at the request of the many who have prayed." How cool is that?!?! Our Prayers for Others will affect the lives of others!!!!

Job 42:8, Acts 20:36, Col 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:25 and 2nd Thessalonians 3:1 are also good verses about praying for others.

We Pray To Confess our Sins
James 5:16
Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The earnest prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available.

Its important to Confess our Sins, How can God Truly Forgive us, if we wont truly Accept Responcability and Ask his forgiveness? Daniel 9:20 “While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy hill of my God.”

When we go to the Lord in prayer, its to talk and to Confess our sins. To leave them there and end our talk with the lord clean and white as snow.

Nehemiah 1:6
Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to listen to the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You day and night for the Israelites, Your servants, confessing the sins of the Israelites which we have sinned against You. Yes, I and my father's house have sinned.
Nehemiah Prayed Day and Night for the sins of his people and his own. This prayer of Confession helps us to trust our Father more and Helps us to lean on him further.

We Pray for the Sick
Psalm 35:13
But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting, and I prayed with head bowed on my breast.
James 5:13
Is anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)?He Should Pray

We Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
Psalm 122:6 --Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!


As you can see there are so many reasons for Prayer.
We Pray to grow closer to the lord, we Pray to know his will and His desires. We pray for the forgivness of our sins, and for those who are sick and hurting. We pray for others even those we wouldnt normally think to pray for.
Matthew 5:44
“But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
Its not easy to pray for those who we feel attack us and call us names. But there is power in prayer that changes lives. Sure you can fire back “well shut up” “no you shut up” “no you” or you can pray FOR them and turn them over to the lord. And im sure we all agree his judgments are better then ours lol

So we know What Prayer is, and why we pray, but Where do we pray?
Should we pray alone? Should we pray with friends? In church? Or in private?!?! well Good news! There isnt just one way to pray!

1 Samuel 7:5
Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you.
Luke 6:12
Now in those days it occurred that He went up into a mountain to pray, and spent the whole night in prayer to God.
Acts 9:11
And the Lord said to him, Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying [there].
Acts 10:9
The next day as they were still on their way and were approaching the town, Peter went up to the roof of the house to pray, about the sixth hour (noon).

You see, It doesnt matter if your with friends, On a Mountian top, at a friends house, or on a roof top God wants to spend time with you, he doesnt care where you spend it. You remember being a younger child? And Mom or Dad or Some one would take you to a store? There in the Candy Isle you hear “pick one”
you didnt care what it was, it could have been a zagnut, snickers, or yumma bubba bazooka joe it didnt matter, they just wanted you to get one... God is that parent.. saying to you, Just pick a time.
In Luke 6:12 Were told how he “spend the whole night in Prayer to God” Can you imagine such a time?
1 Timothy 2:8
I desire therefore that in every place men should pray, without anger or quarreling or resentment or doubt [in their minds], lifting up holy hands.
This brings us to point #4
When do we pray?
So let here im going to post some verses and then ill explaine some things about them.

Acts 10:2
A devout man who venerated God and treated Him with reverential obedience, as did all his household; and he gave much alms to the people and prayed continually to God.
1 Thessalonians 3:10
[And we] continue to pray especially and with most intense earnestness night and day that we may see you face to face and mend and make good whatever may be imperfect and lacking in your faith.
Luke 18:1
ALSO [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to [a]turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up).

What the lord is saying here is that there is no TIME FRAME!! there is no need to wake up thinking
“i have to pray by 6:45pm Central time, Even though I live on the eastern seaboard.” there is no Deadline. “Act now your prayer can be received if sent in by 11:59PM tonight” God wants us to pray Continually, Day and Night, With out Fear or Cowardess. Prayer needs to be on our lips as often as we breath, drink and sleep if not more then those things...
Luke 21:36
Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.

Ephesians 6:18
Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people).
Again God is here saying PRAY ALWAYS! And you know what? You dont have to pray for the whole world. John 17:9 says “I am praying for them. I am not praying (requesting) for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they belong to You.”

You dont have to save the world by prayer, but you can change much praying for a few people, every now and then.

John 17:20
Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,
And Here Jesus is praying for Future Events!!! not content with the “here and now” Jesus reached out to the future and Prayed for YOU!!!!!!

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];
Colossians 4:2
Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving.
Bottom Line here is this, Pray Always, be Unceasing and Steadfast. Dont give up bc you Feel like things are not working out.. “oh yeah I tried being a christian” that wont cut it. DONT GIVE UP.
Things may be rough and tough now, why wouldnt they? Your growing closer to the lord! Do you honestly think satan is going to leave you alone? No!

Finally My friends...Understand there is a power in Prayer....

James 5:17
Elijah was a human being with a nature such as we have [with feelings, affections, and a constitution like ours]; and he prayed earnestly for it not to rain, and no rain fell on the earth for three years and six months.
His Faith, In accordance with the Will of God, and his Prayer Went before the lord, and prayed and God acted.. Prayer is the “calling out” of the power of our Father..

Acts 7:59-60
And while they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit! And falling on his knees, he cried out loudly, Lord, fix not this sin upon them [lay it not to their charge]! And when he had said this, he fell asleep[in death].
Pray in Love. Stephen was dying. And yet he reached out and Prayed “Lord Fix not this sin upon them” Prayer is another tool that the Father in heaven has given you to show mercy to those who may not deserve it. USE THIS TOOL!!!

Luke 11: tells us the story of Jesus being asked about Prayer. Most of us know this as the lords prayer. Jesus wasnt saying that when you pray you had to pray those words. He wanted to give an example. Its how hes always done things. So he gave them an outline. And before I close I just wanted to share that real quick.

Now im going to post the prayer and then explaine it.

Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.Give us daily our bread.And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us [who has offended us or done us wrong]. And bring us not into temptation but rescue us from evil.
Jesus shows us some thing powerful here. First “Our Father who is in Heaven” we are not praying to Budda, we are not praying to Our friend Bob, We are not praying to that pastor we really like but who died 3 weeks ago . We are not praying to a Dead being but a Living God!

“hallowed be your name, Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth” Seek Gods Desires not your own in prayer.
“Give us this day our daily bread” Seek for his daily providence.
“And forgive us as we forgive others” Seek Forgiveness and Offer it
“Lead us not into temptation but rescuse us from evil” Seek his plan for your life, Desire to lean on him.

When we pray we need to remember who were praying to,God, and what were seeking, His will.
When we ask for some thing, let it be for him to provide us, and to forgive. Finally when we pray let us seek him, as the one to lead us in our walk.




I close tonight with this... Prayer is a wounderful Communication between you and the lord. With it you can defend yourself, Forgive others, Help others and learn the fathers will. With it you can learn the desires of his heart, and grow closer to the Lord. But be warned... for you can hinder your prayers as well..
1 Peter 3:7
In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an a recognition , honoring the woman as the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God's unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]
“in order that your prayers may not be hindered” look at your life.. are your prayers going unanswered? Ask the lord to show you if there is error in your ways.. maybe there isnt, and Gods answer to your prayer is no, or not yet, but you should always ask him if there is error. This will Draw you closer to his wisdom and futher from the corrup wisdom of men

_________________
It is not what is in front of you.....
It is not what lays behind you....
But what is IN you that matters....

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