Prayer - Section 3 - Lesson 5

Content Author: 
Melton, Donnie
Scripture Passage: 
Luke 11:1-4
Go to the opening page of the That You May Grow Discipleship Series or back to Lesson Four: Bible Study.
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.

Introduction:

While the Bible is God talking to you, prayer is you talking to God.  Prayer is essential to personal Christian growth.  It is humbling to know that Almighty God is willing to hear our prayers.  Not only does God hear, but also He answers our prayers.  It is through prayer that God will help you in your daily life.

From the above text, you learn about prayer.  In this text, the disciples ask the Lord, “Teach us to pray.”  Surely, this should be the desire of all Christians.  From the Bible, you learn that prayer opened the barren womb of Hannah so that she had a child.  James wrote in his epistle that Elijah’s prayer caused it not to rain for three years.  Prayer can make the impossible become possible!  No wonder the disciples asked, “Teach us to pray.”

Prayer is the scriptural way to receive the things you need.   James  wrote, “ye  have  not  because  ye  ask not ...” (James 4:2).  Jesus tells us, “Ask, and it shall be given unto you ...” (Matthew 7:7).  The way to get the things you need is to ask your heavenly Father.  Prayer causes the hand of God to move and to intervene in your behalf.

It is the purpose of this lesson to teach you to pray more effectively that you may receive the things you are in need of.  Consider four things that will help you to pray more effectively.

Privilege of Prayer

The fact that you and I, as finite beings, can communicate with God who is infinite is a privilege that ought not to be taken lightly.  Jesus reminded you that this privilege is based on your relationship with your “Father which is in heaven. . . .”

Not all people have this privilege.  As you consider the privilege of prayer, observe two classes of people.

Sinners

Those who have never been saved are known biblically as sinners.  Though God is willing to save them, they are not willing to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Therefore, God is not their heavenly Father because they have never been born again.  Of these, John wrote in his Gospel, “For we know that God heareth not a sinner’s prayer.”  God hears only the sinner’s prayer for salvation.

There are two reasons why sinners do not have the privilege of prayer.  First, there is the fact of sin.  Of this fact, the Psalmist wrote, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18).  The fact of sin keeps them from this wonderful privilege of prayer.  The second reason God does not hear the sinner’s prayer is the faithlessness of sinners.  James wrote of this inability, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:6-7).  While the saved can be faithless in prayer, the sinner cannot help but to be!

Sinners do not have the privilege of prayer because of their  sin  and  their  faithlessness.    For these reasons, “God heareth not the sinner’s prayer.”

Saints

Saints are the second class of people.  Those who have been saved by faith through grace are known scripturally as Saints.  They have exercised faith in Christ and have been born again.  God is their heavenly Father.  It is to them that Almighty God has granted the privilege of prayer.  This is the reason Jesus taught us to pray saying “Our Father, which are in heaven. . . .”

Promises of Prayer

God is delighted when you pray.  To encourage you to pray, He has given you special promises in the Bible.  Two of the many promises found in the Scriptures are discussed below.

Call Promise

First, God has given you a call promise.  Of this promise, Jeremiah wrote, “Call  unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).  Through this promise our Heavenly Father encourages us to call upon Him in prayer.

Confidence Promise

Secondly, God has given you a confidence promise.  John wrote of this promise, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

These are just two of many wonderful promises God has given to encourage us to pray.  As you consider His promises, surely you will cry out, “Teach me to pray.”

Principles of Prayer

You need to be taught to pray scripturally.  Unbiblical prayers are unanswered prayers!  Therefore God has given you many principles in the Bible to guide you as you pray.  While there are many principles of prayer found in the Bible, they can be classified into two categories.

Hinder Category

The hindrance principles are the first category of prayer principles.  The Bible makes it plain that your prayers can be hindered.  One thing that hinders prayer is sin in your life.  Even a Christian can find his prayers hindered if he “regards iniquity in [his] my heart. . . . ”  Another reason your prayers are hindered is a lack of faith.  In order to have your prayers answered, you must “ask in faith, nothing wavering. . . . ”

Lack of faith will hinder your prayers.  Your failure to ask will always hinder your prayers.  James  tells  you that, “you have not because you ask not. . . .”  The Bible gives definite reasons why your prayers may be hindered.  You would be wise to study the Scriptures so that you might learn those things which will hinder your prayers.

Help Category

The help principles comprise the second category of prayer principles.  These are the things which will help you get your prayers answered.  The first principle which helps you get your prayers answered is the faith principle.  In order to get our prayers answered, be sure to “ask in faith, nothing wavering . . .” (James 1:6).  Remember the confidence promise and pray believing.  Another help principle is the fervency principle.  God always honors fervency in prayer.  Of this principle James wrote, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16b).

Another important principle is the frequency principle.  Jesus wrote of the frequency principle in verses 5-10 following our lesson text.  The frequency of our petitions (prayers) is evidence of the fervency of our need.  The Word of God is filled with principles so that you might know how to pray effectively.  It is important to pray scripturally if you want to get your prayers answered.

Practice of Prayer

From the lesson text, you can learn two important things which will aid you in your practice of prayer.  These simple things will greatly help you in your prayer life.

Place of Prayer

Luke wrote, “as He was praying in a certain place.”  It is important that you find a certain place where you may pray without being hindered.  In Matthew 6, Jesus tells you to “enter into thy closet.”  As simple as it may seem, it is important to find a place where you can pray without being distracted.  You will find such a place a real blessing to your prayer life.

Period of Prayer

As Jesus instructed His disciples about prayer He said, “When ye pray. . . . ”  It is important for you to set aside a certain portion of the day to pray.  Each day at the appointed time, steal away to your place of prayer for a time of talking with God.

God has ordained that you might get those things you have need of through prayer.  I have written in my Bible above Luke 11, “The greatest failure among God’s people is prayer failure.”  Prayer is essential to your growth as a Christian!

                   Section Three–Lesson Five

                                     Prayer

  1. While the Bible is God talking to you, _____________ is you talking to God.
  2. Not all people have the ______________________ of prayer.
  3. Sinners do not have the privilege of prayer because of the _________ of sin and the ________________ of sinners.
  4. God has granted to __________ the privilege of prayer.
  5. The first promise God has given to you is the _________ promise which encourages you to call upon Him in prayer.
  6. Secondly, God has given you a ______________ promise.
  7. The first category of biblical principles of prayer is the ________________ principles.
  8. The other category of prayer principles is the ____________ principles.
  9. In the practice of prayer, it is important that you find a certain _________ where you may pray without being hindered.
  10. It is important you set aside a certain ___________ of the day to pray.
Go Forward to Lesson Six: Give Through Tithes and Offerings.
Donnie Melton
Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:16

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.