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Prayer Defined

Prayer is communication or communion with God. It can be a petition or an appeal to Him confessing our
sins and asking for forgiveness. It can be conversation with Him giving Him praise for showering us with
blessings.

It can be an outpouring of thanksgiving from the innermost part of our heart. It can be a request for help
or assistance for us or for someone else. It is talking to our Heavenly Father just as we talk to people
around us.

Characteristics of Prayer

1. Intentional
a. Finding a time

b. Finding a place

2. Prayer is costly

“This spiritual nourishment and protection that we can receive through prayer does not come without a
cost. God has made himself accessible to us any time of day or night, yet so few believers take advantage
of this opportunity that God has given us. Everything in our world today fights against prayer. Our busy
lives interfere with times of prayer. Society tells us that if we aren’t always on the go that we aren’t
successful. Our body resists it, our minds resist it; and Satan resists it. But we must pray because it is our
necessary lifeline to God.”

3. Persevering

“The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

4. It is with a pure heart

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in
heaven may forgive you your sins.”

If Jesus had stopped at verse 24 we could easily believe that there are no prayers that God will not
answer but Jesus tells us that there is one thing that will ruin our prayers and that one thing is
unforgiveness.

If we hold anything against anyone God will not answer our prayers.

If we are holding onto anything against anyone then our hands are not free to receive from God.
We must Forgive them because to not forgive is a sin.

Forgive them because unless we forgive God cannot forgive us.

Importance of Prayer

1. God reveals himself through prayer


i. God not only gives us answers to our prayers, but with every answer he gives us
something of himself.
ii. The primary purpose prayer is not to get answers, but to deepen our friendship
with God
iii. It is in our prayers that we commune with God.
iv. It is the foundation of everything else in our lives
2. Gives Clarity in our lives
 It is a direct link to peace of mind and perspective
5. It gives life to our spirit
 As breath is to the body, prayer is to the soul
 It unites our soul to the source of life, God

6. It changes everything
 It changes the one who prays and it changes the one prayed for;
 Do you believe that when you are praying, you are also being changed by God?

7. Impossible is made possible


 Prayer is invading the impossible
 It will move the mountains in you life

“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the
sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen,
it will be done for him.

8. Through prayer temptations are overcame.


 Prayer is a virtue that prevaileth against all temptations
9. It is our greatest weapon
 More can be done by prayer than anything else, prayer is our greatest weapon.
10. It brings blessings into our lives

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and
it will be yours.”

God has so many blessings for us that we can only have by prayer
Disadvantages of a life without prayer

1. Unstable
 Living a life without prayer is like building a house without nails
2. No power
 The Christian life without prayer is like computer hardware without software
 A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian.
1. The Devil need not kill you, all he needs is to kill your prayer. “Satan knows
that prayer spells his defeat. He’ll fight you more to keep you from praying
than any other thing you do. Sometimes, he will even encourage you to
other specific activities because he knows how fruitless they are.”

Guidelines in Prayer
1. Confession
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify
us from all unrighteousness.”

2. Praise
1st Chronicles 29:10-13, “David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,
‘Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O
Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for
everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head
over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are
strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and
praise your glorious name.”

3. Thanksgiving
1st Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ
Jesus.”

 Every day of our life we have something for which we can be thankful for.
 We can thank God for our health, our safety, our friends, family, church, joyful
times in our life, and of course for our salvation.

 If you read Romans chapter 1, Paul speaks of the sinfulness of mankind and he
includes thanklessness as one of those.

 Romans 1:21, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God
nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts
were darkened.”
1. Don’t allow yourself to fall into this same trap of thanklessness. God has
blessed us abundantly, but he desires us to humble ourselves before him
and give him thanks and glory for those blessings.

4. Intercession
1st Timothy 2:1-4, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for everyone, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet
lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men
to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

5. Petition
The final point to our plan of prayer is petition. Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you
ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”