A Better Way to Pray
2 Nov 2016
Our beliefs are so powerful that most of the uncomfortable issues we face are the results of wrong-believing. What we think determines what we do, and we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to live right without first believing right. Our prayer life is an example. Most people think prayer is a repetitive recitation of words to God, but Jesus Himself cautioned against this. Prayer is communing with God, and if He is not responding back to us, then our prayers are ineffective. We are supposed to get results every time we pray. When we pray in faith, and not simply recite words, we will see the manifestations.
A. Real prayer should come from the heart. It is not simply reciting words from memory.
B. The Lord’s Prayer is a framework for us to build on. Religion has confused us about it.
- Jesus said not to pray like the hypocrites, who like to pray in public to be seen by others. He said to pray in secret, and not to use vain repetitions. He gave an example of a model prayer (Matthew 6:5-13).
- Seeking the honor of others over honor from God is a sign of pride.
- Prayer should be a conversation with God, not simply reciting or repeating words. The Lord’s Prayer is an example of something from God that people have turned into vain repetition.
- Jesus gave this prayer as an outline, not something we should repeat word for word.
- Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you. Up until now, you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full (John 16:23, 24).
- The Lord’s Prayer is not a New Testament prayer, because it is not prayed in Jesus’ name.
- God wants us to have an effective prayer life. To accomplish this, we should start by praising Him (Psalm 100:1-5).
- We must not go to God with a “give me” attitude. We can use our mouths to thank and praise Him. Words are powerful (Proverbs 18:21).
- “Our father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” can translate to “we greatly revere, respect, and honor Your holy name.”
- This is praise the way Psalm 100 describes it. Starting and ending our prayers with praise and thanksgiving for the finished works of Jesus is more effective than contemplating whatever problem we are facing.
- “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” is a declaration and acknowledgment of God’s will being fulfilled in the world like it already is in heaven.
- It is important to pay attention to what we are focusing on, because what we focus on the most is what we are most likely to do.
- We should focus less on what is happening on the earth, and more on what is happening in heaven, where there is no lack, poverty, or sickness.
- “Give us this day our daily bread” is a bold statement of faith. It acknowledges that, as God’s children, we have a right to confidently approach Him, expecting Him to give us what we need.
- Even though He is King, He is also our Father who loves us. We do not have to beg (Hebrews 4:16).
- God is not trying to punish us. He loves us, no matter what. However, sin has consequences that we must deal with.
- We must continually reprogram and renew our minds with the Word, based on what we face every day.
- When we pray “deliver us from evil,” we know that God has already delivered us.
- We can have victory over the action of sinning. When we realize what we are doing, we can find what we need in the Word that goes against our sin, and spend time meditating on it. Our actions will change as a result.
- We must be responsible for our decisions. Prayer is important in this respect, because God is our Guide to help us in our decision-making.
- We reap what we sow. Our sin will find us out (Numbers 32:23).
- When we make a bad decision, we should not blame God for the consequences, or make Him the bad guy (John 10:10).
- We must be careful not to open a door for the enemy to come into our lives, by praying the wrong words.
- “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation” is not New Testament praying.
- We have already been forgiven for our sins. We do not need to doubt what God has already done.
- In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus was led into temptation in the wilderness. He successfully resisted it and overcame the devil. God will never lead us into temptation.
- God will never tempt us, but we all are tempted when lust draws us away and entices us (James 1:13, 14).
- Temptation is pressure applied to us, to get us to do something contrary to the Word of God. We put ourselves into this type of pressure.
John 16:23, 24
James 1:13, 14