1999 James A. Fowler
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I. Some New Testament references to "prayer"
Matt. 6:5 - "hypocrites...love
to stand and pray...in order to be seen of men"
Matt. 6:6 - "when you pray, go into
your inner room, pray to your Father in secret"
Matt. 6:7 - "when you are praying,
do not use meaningless repetition"
Matt. 6:8 - "your Father knows what
you need, before you ask Him"
Matt. 21:22 - "everything you ask
in prayer, believing, you shall receive"
Mk. 11:25 - "when you pray, forgive,
if you have anything against anyone"
Rom. 8:26 - "we do not know how
to pray as we should, but the Spirit intercedes"
Eph. 6:18 - "pray at all times in
Phil. 4:6 - "in everything with
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be
I Thess. 5:17 - "pray without ceasing"
I Tim. 2:1 - "I urge entreaties
and prayers...be made on behalf of all men"
James 5:16 - "the effective prayer
of a righteous man can accomplish much"
I Jn. 5:14 - "if we ask anything
according to His will, He hears us"
I Jn. 5:15 - "if we know that He
hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests
have asked from Him"
II. Common questions about prayer
A. If God is omniscient and omnipotent,
why should we pray?
B. Does prayer change anything? God?
C. Does God hear or answer the prayers
D. Is there a proper or preferable time
or posture for prayer?
E. How long should one "wait"
for God to answer prayer?
F. What if one asks for the wrong thing?
G. Should we repeat our petitions day
H. Should we pray that people be converted?
I. Is there any advantage to Christians
III. Christian prayer is NOT
A. to give God information - Matt.
B. telling God what to do - Rom. 11:34
C. asking God to engineer a situation
to the end we desire.
D. something we do to please or appease
God - Jn. 19:30
E. a meritorious performance God expects
of us; a duty or obligation of obedience.
F. an exercise to make us better, stronger,
or more "spiritual"
G. for therapeutic psychological adjustment,
H. self-instruction to gain a knowledge
of God's will
I. soliciting more "blessings"
or "benefits" from God
J. an evasion of the problems and anxieties
of contemporary existence
K. a superstitious, mystical or magical
L. a spiritual "power-tool"
to employ the "power of prayer"
M. a discipline or devotional exercise
that will lead us to godliness
N. demanding our rights before God
O. persistence and shameless haranguing
until we get what we want
P. a mechanical ritual or rote formulas
Q. an external religious action, pretentious
and ostentatious (Matt. 6:5,6)
R. verbosity of meaningless repetition
S. a religious activity executed "on
command" - litanies, rosaries, etc.
T. prescribed by place, time or procedure
IV. Christian prayer Christo-centric prayer
A. Christ: the basis of Christian
relationship - Heb. 10:19,22
provision - Heb. 7:25
B. Christ: the pray-er of Christian prayer
our intercessor - Rom. 8:26
our confessor - Heb. 3:1
our thanksgiving - Heb. 13:15
our suppliant - Jn. 11:22
our praise and adoration - Heb. 13:15; Phil. 1:11
our worshipper - Heb. 8:2
C. Christ: the answer to Christian prayer
is God's complete provision
1:3 - "God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing
in Christ Jesus"
Peter 1:4 - "His divine power has granted us everything
pertaining to life and godliness"
ACTS in Christian prayer
Adoration and praise- "I am not; only You are"
Confession - "I cannot; only You can"
Thanksgiving - "I do not; only You do"
Supplication - "I have not; only You have"
provides the connectivity of obedience and faith in the Christian
obedience is "listening under" - hupakouo
faith is "our receptivity of His activity"