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If we’re going to be Serious in our relationship with God then we must be SERIOUS about Prayer…
Prayer is the Power! Without it we only do what we can do in our own power and strength and that’s not very much!
Luke 5:16 NLT – But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
Luke 18 – NLT – Jesus said we should always pray and not give up.
Philippians 4:6 NCV – Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.
John 15:7 ESV – If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.
Matthew 7:7-8 NLT – 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 26:41 ESV – Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jeremiah 29:13 NLT – If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
1 Chronicles 16:11 NLT – Search for the Lord and for his strength;continually seek him.
What is Prayer?
- Prayer is a lot of things….
- Communication, talking with God
- Fellowship, spending time with God
- Relationship with God
Prayer is “intimacy” with God.
What are some ways we can be more serious in our Prayer life… or become more “Intimate” with God!?
- Start with the Relationship! Confession!
Hebrews 11:6 – And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
There is only one way to seek God. Through Repentance and through His Word and Prayer!
2. Be Restored. Restoration takes work. Restoration is simply removing barriers in our life between us and God? To improve the Relationship! First thing we have to do is submit and surrender to be Restored!
What are the barriers that hinder our Restoration and our Prayers?
- Sin in our life – Isaiah 59:2 NLT – It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.
- Idols in our life. Ezekiel 14:3 – Son of Man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?
- Selfishness – Wrong motives. James 4:2-3 NLT – 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
- Unforgiveness – Mark 11:25 NIV – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
- Lack of Faith – James 1:5-8 NLT – 5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
- Improper relationship between Husband and Wife – 1 Peter 3:7 NLT – In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
3. Let go! God can’t do anything if you’re still holding on to things of this world!
Proverbs 3:5-8 NLT – Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
4. Humble ourselves and Submit! Are there areas of your life where you aren’t (or won’t) submit to God? Could it be possible that God is waiting for you to submit in area to Him before He can do anything about it?! Before He answers our prayers!?
2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV – 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.
5. Praise Him in the STORM! Because He’s God!
Thessalonians 5:16-18 – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
6. Claim His Promises.
- Unconditional promises of God, which means we don’t have to do anything to receive God’s promise. Have Faith!
- Conditional promises of God, which means there is something we have to do. Do it! Obey!
Psalm 145: 18-19 NASB – The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.
7. Relationship versus Provision – God wants us to want Him, not what He can give us. When we stop focusing on what we can get from God and we’re simply content and satisfied with God Himself, we are in the right relationship with Him and that unlocks His provision.
Matthew 6:33 NCV – 33 Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.
Part of our problem with Prayer is… “Unanswered Prayer.” This is a huge issue for a lot of people!
God DOES answer Prayer.
Jeremiah 33:3 NASB – ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
The problem isn’t that He doesn’t answer. The problem is we don’t like the answer!
1 John 5:13-15 NIV – 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 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.
There are two ingredients to Prayer.
- The thing we’re asking for… (The request.)
- Our Desire… (The reason we’re asking.)
How does God answer?
- I love you too much to allow that. If I do that you would miss out on the “best” that I have for you or it doesn’t fit in with my ultimate plan. (Do we always know God’s plan?)
- Yes, but you’ll have to wait.
- Yes, but not what you expect.
- Yes, but it won’t be what you think, it will be more than you hoped for or imagined in your wildest dreams.
- Yes, Exactly! I though you would never ask!