Friday, 16 December 2011

Why Pray?

What is the point of Praying?
Disciples want to pray effectively : Luke 11:1-5 "Jesus, Teach us to Pray"

Luke 11:1. ‘And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Old Testament believers understood that God’s power would achieve that which is humanly impossible. As we come to the end of our own human resources, so we often, out of need, allow God to move. Moreover, we learn that God’s ways are to be followed. Psalm 107.13 ‘Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. In typical Hebrew style, this is repeated (verses 19 and 28) for emphasis. The Holy Spirit is saying to us ‘get a hold of this’.

Our human will does not know how to pray as we ought so Holy Spirit intercedes for us.

Luke 18.18 ‘then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to loose heart…And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay in helping them?’ Prayer is a manifestation of our relationship with God. It is something we develop as we grow; it takes time. As we choose to pray so we gain spiritual strength.

Our human wisdom not enough to sustain us. Our knowledge is not enough. Our experience is not enough. So we are instructed to ask our Heavenly Father for these things.

James 1:5 ‘If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly’.

PRAYING ALTERS ME.

Prayer is as important to our spirit as food is to the body.
We stop everything else to eat. We can do likewise for prayer.
So we pray or starve our spirit.

We have to commune with God to pray. There has to be relationship. So I build my relationship with Him as I pray. Relationship is real to Him. It is a means to get us to Him.

Prayer is not about getting things from God, or twisting his arm by clocking up hours on our knees!

Matt 6:10 Prayer is that God gets His will done. That His holiness, His purposes, His wisdom is brought about on earth as it is in heaven.

When in despair or distress we cry out without reasoning. Our logic goes haywire; we cry out for help. Mark 10:47 when a blind man ‘heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and cry ‘ Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me’.

One Purpose of Prayer is to reveal God’s presence, His ways and His acts in us and about us to others. Ps 103:7 ‘He made known his ways to Moses, and his acts to the people of Israel’.

Through prayer relationship with God we grow (spiritually) into His likeness by our response to Him. God’s order reveals His character and His grace.

Gods permissive will is what He allows. For example, God’s order is:
No sin; no suffering; no sickness; no limitations and no death.
His permissive will allowed us to be born, and keeps us for the sake of His love for us.

We come into His order - His ways - His character by being obedient to Him. Not by our own efforts, but by submission to Him in His strength.

John 14:13-14 ‘Ask in My name’ means to ask in Him and through Him.
As we grow into His character, becoming more like Him so His nature grows in our hearts.
In maturity we will not manifest two different streams of flowing water.
So we pray in accord to His life style; not our nature but His nature.

When we feel strong in our old self we feel we do not need to pray.
Our emotion rules over the Word of God through our feelings.
It is often when we are feeling powerless that we do what He says.

Our feelings can stop us praying as well as urging us to pray.
We act or react to where the self will get its’ greatest reward.

John 15:7 ‘If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask what you will and it will be done for you’.

Is our will at work in conjunction with the Fathers?
Is our will at work in what we are praying?
We ask according to the way we live, not only when we are praying but at other times also.
James 5:16 ‘The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective’ is a call to live righteously. The prayers of a righteous man mean a lot to the Lord.

The New Testament view of a Christian is that the Son of God is revealed in his life. Prayer nourishes and strengthens that life.

1 Pet 5: 7 ‘Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you’ and Phil 4:6 ‘ in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God’ both encourage us to refuse to be fearful, to worry or be anxious.
These things make us into self conscious people instead of God conscious people, and they cause us disturbance in our prayer life before God.
God is always with us to help us.

Prayer changes me, because in His presence things happen to me that are for my good.
It helps me relate to the one I pray to, the one I pray for and the one I pray with.
It is Spiritual communication.

When praying love rises in the heart. A man in love has a person on his heart. But the love in the heart changes the view of circumstances. Praying alters the view and faith rises and things change.