sermon

Prayer: Communicating with God

By: Ken Ference

September 16, 2018

Prayer is our way of communicating with God.

While doing the research for my Sermon today; I found this on the website at all about prayer.org and wanted to share this with you all.

What is Prayer? – Talking With God
What is prayer? Prayer is our direct line with heaven. Prayer is a communication process that allows us to talk to God! He wants us to communicate with Him, like a person-to-person phone call. Cell phones and other devices have become a necessity to some people in today’s society. We have bluetooth devices, blackberries, and talking computers! These are means of communication that allow two or more people to interact, discuss, and respond to one another. 

To many people, prayer seems complicated, but it is simply talking to God. Here are some points about what prayer is:

What is Prayer? – The Logistics
Many people question what is prayer because they desire to pray, but don’t know how. Consider these tips:

  • What Do I Say? Praying is like talking to your best friend! It’s easy to talk to someone when you know they love you unconditionally!
    1. Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and make you new in Him! “Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins” (Acts 3:19).
    2. Tell Him your needs! “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you” (1 Peter 5:7).
    3. Thank Him, for He died on the cross at Calvary for us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
  • How Do I Say It? Here’s how I have learned to approach the Savior of my life.
    1. With confidence and belief that He will deliver: “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome” (Ephesians 3:12). “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it” (Hebrews 4:16).
    2. With joy that He can deliver. “You have shown me the way of life, and you will give me wonderful joy in your presence” (Acts 2:28).
    3. With expectation that He is going to deliver. “Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3). “I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray” (Psalm 17:6).

What is Prayer? – What Does the Bible Say?
Pray for each other. Jesus set an example for us on what to pray. He prayed for His disciples and for every generation to come that would follow Him. His prayer was that God protect and strengthen them as long as they were in this world. Jesus also prayed for those who would come to believe in Him through the Gospel message (John 17).

Pray with faith. “So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Pray with worship and reverence. “Exalt the LORD our God! Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!” (Psalm 99:5). “‘Yes, Lord,’ the man said, ‘I believe!’ And he worshiped Jesus” (John 9:38).

You will know with confidence that God can hear you when you pray, so open that line of communication! Pray, knowing that no matter how far you roam, your connection with Him can never be lost!

“I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding” (Philippians 1:9).

Praying in the name of JESUS

Praying in the name of Jesus is not just a magical incantation that is tacked on to the end of prayers. People end their prayers with “in the name of Jesus” without understanding all that it entails. The word “in” is a preposition of position and it carries with it a doctrinal truth that all believers need to know. The book of Ephesians could be called the “position book” and the word “in” brings our position into focus. This doctrinal truth is called our “ascension privilege” and it is our position in Jesus Christ. Therefore, our standing before God rests in Jesus Christ and praying in the name of Jesus is the way our prayers are heard.

In the name of Jesus, is an acknowledgment of the believer’s position in Jesus Christ and an understanding that our prayers are heard as we approach the throne of grace. It is in obedience to the command of Jesus, for we cannot pray in our own standing but we pray in His. “God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Praying in Jesus’ name means praying according to God’s will, “And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for” (1 John 5:14-15). Praying in Jesus’ name is praying for things that will honor and glorify Jesus.

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. Yes, ask anything in my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:13-14).

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony” (John 17:20).

“For ‘Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:13).

“We are writing to the church of God in Corinth, you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did all Christians everywhere–whoever calls upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and theirs” (1 Corinthians 1:2).

“And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

“And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17).

“Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14).

“I am writing to you, my dear children, because your sins have been forgiven because of Jesus” (1 John 2:12).

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Learn To Pray

QUESTION: How do I learn to pray?

ANSWER:

In certain situations, learning to pray comes very quickly. When we are in trouble, the first thing we say is, “God, please help me.” Jesus taught His disciples by example, using the prayer that we now call “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13).This is the model for prayer that we use.

  • We ask God for mercy and forgiveness for the things we have done that separate us from His holiness.
  • We are taught to forgive others who have done things to distress us.
  • We acknowledge that God provides everything that is necessary in our lives.
  • We ask for protection from our enemies and from evil.
  • We grow in faith as we see God’s hand in our lives.
  • The relationship with our Heavenly Father grows as we learn to trust in Him and rely upon His grace and mercy.

God will never leave us or forsake us. He will never let us down, and He always wants what is best for us. I have found that my life has improved beyond comprehension since I asked the Lord into my life and began seeking Him in prayer. Prayer is a living breathing relationship with the Creator of the universe. Try it and see.

I can attest to the fact that God is with me as I go through all of the trials of my life. When any of my family had severe health issues, I prayed heavily and God came through on his promise to help. When my daughter was in a serious car crash, I prayed for her healing and it happened. We use prayer mostly when we have some kind of a crisis or emergency but we should be praying even in good times. We should offer prayers of thanks and praise to God for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For it is through him that we are saved and delivered to God our Father.

 

When I went through a long bout of heavy drinking and almost died, I came to Christ yet once again and asked for His help through my battle with alcoholism. To this day, He is my strength and my saving grace. He is the reason I am sober.

Just recently, I met a woman who is a 10 year cancer survivor and her cancer has returned. She recently had surgery and is undergoing more chemotherapy treatment and she is still going on with her life because of her faith and her prayer life.

She told me she is in a good place both spiritually and emotionally because she prays for the love of Jesus to be with her and to give her strength. She is thankful that God has given her the past ten years to be with her family and she even wrote a book of poetry relating to her cancer and surviving during those past ten years and she is even taking a class at a University to show others the strength she has in her faith and belief of Jesus Christ. She is truly a blessed person and a strong mentor for the young women who are in her class at the University.

Robert Velarde; primary author of The Power of Family Prayer writes,

One key reason to pray is because God has commanded us to pray. If we are to be obedient to His will, then prayer must be part of our life in Him.

Prayer allows us to worship and praise the Lord. It also allows us to offer confession of our sins, which should lead to our genuine repentance. Moreover, prayer grants us the opportunity to present our requests to God. All of these aspects of prayer involve communication with our Creator. He is personal, cares for us, and wants to commune with us through prayer.

Why did Jesus pray? One reason he prayed was as an example so that we could learn from him. The Gospels are full of references to the prayers of Christ, including these examples:

  • “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” –Matthew 14:23
  • “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.'” –Matthew 26:36
  • “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.” –Mark 1:35
  • “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” –Luke 5:16
  • “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” –Luke 6:12
  • “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” –Luke 18:1
  • Prayer Allows us to Participate in God’s Works
  • Does God need our help? No. He is all powerful and in control of everything in His creation. Why do we need to pray? Because prayer is the means God has ordained for some things to happen. Prayer, for instance, helps others know the love of Jesus. Prayer can clear human obstacles out of the way in order for God to work. It is not that God can’t work without our prayers, but that He has established prayer as part of His plan for accomplishing His will in this world.
  • Can physical strength help us overcome obstacles and challenges in the spiritual realm? No, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). But in prayer even the physically weak can become strong in the spiritual realm. As such, we can call upon God to grant us power over evil.
  • Prayer Keeps us Humble Before God
  • Humility is a virtue God desires in us (Proverbs 11:2; 22:4; Micah 6:8; Ephesians 4:2; James 4:10). Prayer reminds us that we are not in control, but God is, thus keeping us from pride.
  • Answered Prayer is a Potential Witness
  • If our prayer is answered, it can serve as a potential witness for those who doubt.
  • Prayer Strengthens the Bonds Between Believers
  • Prayer not only strengthens our relationship with God, but when we pray with other believers, prayer also strengthens the bonds between fellow Christians.

So in closing, I ask you to study God’s Holy Word and pray more often. I want to share two more prayers with all of you that make a difference in my life. They are as follows:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.

Amen.

 

Prayer of St Francis

 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

 

 

 

 

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