Our Prayer Life - pt. 2

Let Us Rise Up and Build  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  45:12
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Tonight we’re going to continue with the message ‘Let Us Rise Up and Build Our Prayer Life’.
As mentioned this morning, the process is as such that led to this: I had a 4 point outline that grew to five. I planned to preach three one message and two the next, but then the first point grew to where it expanded even beyond that.
This morning, we examined
‘Particulars Concerning Prayer’
Some basic things to understand before we got into more specificities
The Significance of Prayer
It’s Communion & Communication with God
It Once was Unavailable, but now is Attainable
The Subtleties of Prayer
The Disciples Asked, Jesus Answered (Luk. 11:1-2a)
There are Hinderances to Prayer
Wrong Relationship w/ God (Joh. 9:31)
Harbored Sin (Psa. 66:18; Isa. 59:2; Mic. 3:4; Joh. 9:31)
Idols (Eze. 14:3)
Refusal to Ask (Jam. 4:2)
Asking Amiss (Jam. 4:3)
Lack of Faith (Jam. 1:6-7)
Once the Door is Shut (Mat. 25:12; Luk. 13:25; 16:19-31)
These are things that are necessary to understand as we consider the doctrine and privilege of prayer.
Today we’re going to get into the Scripture that I wanted to examine specifically
In our text, Jesus is giving what is known as the ‘Sermon on the Mount’. And within it, Jesus has much to say on a variety of topics, the portion of our study is on prayer. He begins speaking about prayer in v5 of Ch. 6
The first thing that we need to address is the call to Private Prayer

I. Private Prayer (v5-6)

Instruction against Pride
One thing that we need to address is that Jesus is not saying that public prayer is wrong. In fact many times throughout Scripture we see that public prayer is commendable unto God.
He called for it in Joel’s day: (Read Joel 1:1-14)
We see it honored in Zachariah’s day (Read Luk. 1:9-13a)
The church did so for Peter: Act. 12:5 “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” Act. 12:12 “And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.”
And of course, Jesus encouraged Peter, John & James to pray together in the garden just before His arrest.
I tell you this because I don’t want you to think that Jesus is speaking against public prayer altogether such as what we have in the church. What Jesus is speaking against here is pride.
We see an example of this in: Luk. 18:10-14 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
I’ve not encountered much of this that I’m aware of in my life - but it was very prevalent in Jesus’ day. I have seen it more in testimonies.
Needless to say, we certainly should not attempt to take the opportunity & privilege of prayer and turn it into a show for self-promotion.
We see the Instruction against Pride
Invitation to Intimacy
Here we see Jesus advising them to spend time alone with God.
I mentioned this somewhat this morning, but want to make sure we reiterate it. Our Heavenly Father desired to spend some quality, personal time with us!
(ill.) I’m assuming you understand the difference between a superficial and an intimate relationship is.
Superficial: It’s one where you know a person, you might say hi to them. Speak on general everyday topics ‘What do you think about the weather’. But not much further.
Intimate: Is where you share things that you keep from most. They are personal, private, meaningful. It’s the things that really mean something to you.
When we think of intimate relationships, first off is of course my wife. (I’m not speaking in terms of sexual) I’m just speaking of a closeness where we share our most intimate thoughts, hopes, dreams & aspirations. Personal things.
This is the relationship that God wants with us! He wants us to spend time with Him. Share our most personal thoughts, hopes, dreams, desires.
And there’s an advantage to having this type relationship with the LORD - and that is that we see an Implication to Impart
Implication to Impart
The Bible says that ‘He’ll reward thee opening’. In other words, He’ll answer your prayer.
Now I want to review a portion of the message from this morning, as I feel as though I didn’t quite do justice to the importance of it.
I address hinderances to prayer this morning. But within one of those points, I addressed some conditions that are out of our hands concerning whether God answers your prayers of not. And best I can come up with, there are three things that are out of our hands concerning whether God answers our prayers:
If it’s out of His Will
We might be asking for something that doesn’t align with God’s Will - and this could be for a multitude of reasons. And because it doesn’t align with His Will, His answer is ‘no’.
The Bible tells us: 1Jo. 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”
The Bible also gives us an example of an unanswered prayer: (Turn / Read 2Cor. 12:7-10. Several reasons are given as to why God refused to answer Paul’s prayer:
So he wouldn’t become prideful
So Paul would rest and rely on God’s Grace
So Paul could experience the Power of Christ
So that Paul would be strong
So it was BETTER for Paul to SUFFER than his infirmity to be healed. Sometimes our prayer is not bad, but it’s not His Will - and He has a purpose for us to experience something we’d prefer not.
If its out of His Purview
I explained that this morning with souls being lost. The Bible tells us: 2Pet. 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
We know therefore that God’s Will is not that any should perish, but all put their faith in Christ. If that’s true, then why does Hell enlarge itself? It’s because whether they go to Heaven or Hell is out of His hands. He has done EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to keep them from that awful place without perverting His Character.
People go to Hell because they CHOOSE to go to Hell. God has given man free-will, therefore He cannot answer a prayer that He simply doesn’t have authority to answer.
It’s not part of His Plan
Some truths from the Word of God
God loves us:
Paul said: 2Th. 2:16-17 “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”
I mean, He loved us enough to die for us, right? If that isn’t love (Kristi’s song this morning)
God’s ways are not ours:
Isa. 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Rom. 11:33-34 “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller?”
God is outside of time:
Rev. 1:8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
God has a plan:
Rom. 8:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
God is working:
Rom. 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
With these truths, we must understand that things that we pray for may not be answered because it runs contrary to His plan. Well what is His plan preacher?!? I don’t know - but I’m sure that’s what Martha & Mary thought in Joh. 11. (Read Joh. 11)
Why did Jesus tarry two days? Because He had a plan
Why did Jesus let Lazarus die? Because He had a plan
We see one of the reasons in (v14-15)
But Martha & Mary were broken over their brother’s death
Jesus was broken over them. (v33-37)
(I believe) Jesus is broken over bringing Lazarus back (v38)
We see the result in v45
When things don’t go according to our prayer or our plan, I suggest two things:
Make sure that you have nothing hindering your prayers
Trust in God’s goodness, His Ways, His Plan and His Work.
Private Prayer. If you want to have an Intimate Relationship with God, then you must spend time in Private prayer. Next we see Personal Prayer

II. Personal Prayer (v7-8)

Understand your Audience
Make sure that you understand a few things about who it is you’re talking to:
He’s not deaf
He’s not sleeping
Reminds me of Elijah upon Mt. Carmel 1Ki. 18:27 “And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.”
He’s doesn’t have a lack of understanding
(Ill.) My wife and I - have you ever heard of the book ‘Men are from mars, women from Venus’? I don’t know or recommend the book, but I do understand the concept put forth in the title. My wife and I (I know you never have this problem) but sometimes we have a hard time communicating. Not just what we say, but how we say it.
Listen, God doesn’t have any of those problems. He’s not hard of hearing, He’s not sleeping, He’s not trying to put the hieroglyphics together to understand what you’re saying. He’s God, He’s present and He’s awake.
You need to understand your audience.
Understand His Awareness
God knows what you need.
God knows what you need even better than you do. You know what you want, but God knows what you need.
Just speak to Him. Be honest with Him - for He knows where you’re at. Don’t try to put on a facade. Share your heart with the LORD.
Understand His Awareness


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