Spiritual Training  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Welcome: Welcome back to Hype Student Ministries tonight. It gives me joy to see that you are willing to spend your time with us this evening. Last week at our kickoff event we started a teaching series titled “Spiritual Training” as we explore the spiritual disciplines.
Who remembers which Spiritual Discipline did we talk about last week?
Scripture reading
What was one of the books of the bible that we read from during the lesson?
1 Cor, 2 Tim. John, Matthew


To start off tonight, I want to ask you this question. Who is the most influential person in your life? Who has had the most impact in your life? (Get three answers)
Mother, Dad, older brother/sister, friend, pastor, teacher, coach, or mentor.
If you could ask them to teach you one thing what would it be? (Get three answers)
It would make sense that you want to learn things from the people that have impacted your life.
The same thing occured for Jesus’ 12 disciples. Needless to say Jesus was a highly influential person in the life of each disciple. Of all the things that Jesus did, all the miracles, all the healings, all the teaching, you want to know the one thing they asked Jesus to teach them? How to pray. Now you might ask, why prayer? I think it’s because when the disciples saw Jesus pray, they saw God at work. They saw God work in supernatural and miraculous ways. They saw a glimpse of heaven on earth. They saw an infinite God interact with humanity. They saw these things take place and they desired to have the same connection to God the Father that Jesus has.
We see this story take place in Luke 11. Please open up your bibles to Luke 11:1-13.
Read Luke 11:1-4.

11 He was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”

2 He said to them, “Whenever you pray, say,


your name be honored as holy.

Your kingdom come.

3 Give us each day our daily bread.

4 And forgive us our sins,

for we ourselves also forgive everyone

in debt to us.

And do not bring us into temptation.”

I want to stop here for a moment to note some things.
From this model prayer of Jesus,
1. we see what prayer is.
2. we see what attitude we should have during prayer
3. we see what we should be praying for

What is Prayer?

We see from Jesus’ model of prayer that prayer is a conversation.
More specifically, prayer is a conversation with God. In Jesus’ case He’s praying to God the Father.
In your prayer, you’re not having a conversation with some far off person but rather this is a very personal conversation. God is called our Father. In other passages of scripture God is called a friend of those who have placed their faith in Him. So when you pray, pray as if you’re having a conversation with a loving father or a faithful friend.
So if this is what prayer is, then why is prayer considered a spiritual discipline?
Why is Prayer Considered a Spiritual Discipline?
If a spiritual discipline is something to help us train spiritually, then we are saying yes to something and then no to something else. For example if I’m physically training to get into better shape for a sport, I’m going to discipline my body to say yes to working out more and I’m saying no to eating a bunch of junk food to that my body will grow stronger and healthier.
As it relates to prayer being a spiritual discipline, we are saying no to isolation and saying yes to being relational with God. When we say Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we enter into a right relationship with God. So therefore we need to be relational with God. Prayer is one of those ways we are relational with God.
Ask who’s been in a dating relationship?
Talk about my experience dating in high school (not talking to my girlfriend, just held hands)
Relate how in order to grow in our relationship with God we need to talk to Him and be relational.

What Attitude Should We Have During Prayer?

We see from Jesus’ model of prayer that we need to have an attitude of humility.
Show scripture slide here
v. 2 We are acknowledging our position as a human compared to God.
We declare that God is holy, and we are not.
We declare that God’s kingdom to be the priority not our name or popularity.
v. 3We declare that God is sovereign and in control and we are not.
v.4 We declare that we are sinners and that God is only the one who can forgive sin.
We also declare that we need God’s help to forgive others when they sin against us.
Finally, we declare that it’s only by God’s power that we can overcome temptation.
All of this shows a posture of humility. We see our need for God. We are not coming to God with pride and arrogance but rather humility. We are not approaching God with entitlement or that God owes me something but rather with a heart that sees how God has loved you and your response to ask God here I am, help me to love you and love others.
Transition Statement: This get into the third thing we see from Jesus’ model of prayer.

What Should We be Praying For?

We see from Jesus’ model of prayer that we should be praying for God to be glorified in our lives.
This is lived out by loving God and loving others.
v. 2 - God name and kingdom advancing not our name.
Give sports analogy (God help me to get a hit vs. God help me play in a way that glorifies you.)
v. 4- One of the biggest way we can glorify God in our lives is when we forgive those who sin against us.
Transition Statement: These three points of 1. what prayer is, 2. what attitude we should have during prayer, 3. what we should be praying for. These are three aspects of prayer that we see in Jesus model prayer in v. 1-4.
Jesus isn’t done teaching about prayer. He then uses a story to illustrate his teaching.
Read Luke 11:5-13.

5 He also said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ 7 Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s shameless boldness, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

The big picture of this story and the final point of our lesson tonight is this

We Can Pray to God with Confidence

Go over the story,
This man has no food for his friend (not prepared)
Goes to another man’s house after everyone is asleep and wake’s him up to give him bread.
This man should have been full of shame but yet it says that he has shameless boldness.
Jesus is saying that even though we might put ourselves in an awful situation. God is faithful to give us what we need. Notice I said what we need. Not necessarily what we want.
It might be midnight and you cry out to God, I need your help. I’ve not prepared my heart well, I’m in an awful situation. I’ve just sinned big time. Whether it saying something that is hurtful, doing something hurtful to someone else, or looking at something that is sinful.
I want you to know that you can cry out to God at anytime, even at midnight, and pray. God I need you. I need you to forgive of my sin. God I need you to help me to love you more. God I need you to love others around me, especially those I really don’t like. God I need you to help me see others how you see them, with love, grace, compassion, and forgiveness. We can be sure that if this is our prayer that God will listen to it.
This is the point of Jesus’ story. That no matter the sin, no matter the situation or need, we can pray to God with confidence and know that God will give us what we need.
Transition Statement: As we close this lesson I want to ask you this question

What Hinders You From Praying to God?

I know for me, sometime I just want to do things on my own. I don’t really want to reach out to God. In that moment I’m being completely selfish, prideful to think I do it on my own, I’m not being relational with God. I’m saying God I don’t need you, I don’t want to grow relationally with you.
Maybe for you, you might be embarrassed or you have shame or guilt. You don’t feel like you’re not good enough to approach God in prayer.
Maybe you think God doesn’t care about what you’re going through. That it’s not important to Him.
Maybe you thing that your prayers aren’t good enough. That somehow you need to learn how to pray better before you pray to God.
Whatever your reason is for not praying to God. I just want to tell you that any excuse for not praying to God is a lie for Satan himself. There is never a good enough excuse for not praying.
So I ask you again “What Hinders You From Praying to God?”
I hope that you would confess that to God and be honest about your heart in your prayers.
Why? Because praying is a spiritual discipline that helps you and I grow spiritually as we become closer to God relationally. So with that let’s pray.
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