How to Pray so That God Will Hear Us

HOW TO PRAY  SO THAT GOD WILL HEAR

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

  1. INTRODUCTIONIN MATTHEW 6:1 JESUS SAID “BE CAREFUL NOT TO DO YOUR ACTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS BEFORE MEN TO BE SEEN OF THEM, AND GOES ON TO SPEAK OF OUR GIVING TO THE NEEDY, PRAYING AND FASTING. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE EYES OF GOD ARE CONTINUALLY SEARCHING THE HEARTS OF MEN.  GOD NOT ONLY SEES WHAT WE DO BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO.  WE SERVE A GOD WHO IS MERCIFUL TO SINNERS BUT IS VERY IMPATIENT WITH OUR ATTEMPTS AT SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 

TODAY I WANT TO CONTINUE MY SERIES ON PRAYER.  I AM CONVINCED THAT EVERYONE PRAYS AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER ALTHOUGH SOME MAY NOT ADMIT IT.  THESE ARE OFTEN PRAYERS OF DESPERATION. WE CRY OUT TO A GOD THAT WE DO NOT KNOW OR HAVE RELATIONSHIP WITH AND DO NOT SERVE.. ITS KIND OF LIKE PLAYING THE LOTTERY, YOU NEVER KNOW, IF THERE IS A GOD, MAYBE HE WILL GET US OUT OF THE JAM THAT WE HAVE GOTTEN OURSELVES INTO.   I THINK THAT ALL AGREE THAT THERE IS NO POINT IN PRAYING IF GOD DOES NOT HEAR US. MANY HAVE GOTTEN DISCOURAGED BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD HEARS THEIR PRAYERS. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER DESIRES THAT WE PRAY TO HIM OFEN AND EFFECTIVELY.  THE BIBLE SAYS, “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING”.   WHICH I INTERPRET TO MEAN THAT WE SHOULD LIVE OUR DAILY LIVES IN CONSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH GOD.   THERE IS A COMPANY CALLED NEXTEL WHICH MARKETS A RADIO TELEPHONE THAT ENABLES PEOPLE TO HAVE THIS DEVICE TO COMMUNICATE ALMOST INSTANTLY – JUST A PUSH OF THE BUTTON AND THEY ARE IN COMMUNICATION WITH ONE ANOTHER THIS IS THE WAY PRAYER SHOULD BE.   PRAYER SHOULD BE AS NATURAL AS BREATHING FOR A CHILD OF GOD.   JESUS WAS A MAN OF PRAYER.   HE TOOK TIME OUT HIS BUSY SCHEDULE TO GET ALONE AND PRAY TO THE FATHER, OFTEN HE WOULD PRAY ALL NIGHT OR INTO THE WEE HOURS OF THE MORNING.   IF PRAYER WAS IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY TO JESUS HOW SHOULD WE REGARD THE NEED TO PRAY?

EVERY CHILD OF GOD SHOULD PRAY KNOWING THAT GOD HEARS OUR AND ANSWERS HIS / HER PRAYERS;  EVERY CHILD OF GOD SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE PRAYER – PRAYER THAT GOD HEARS AND ANSWERS. WHY DO SO OFTEN FEEL THAT GOD DOES NOT HEAR OUR PRAYERS – THAT OUR PRAYERS ARE NOT BEING ANSWERED? 

JESUS TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES TO PRAY.  LET’S SEE WHAT HE HAS TO SAY…   (TEXT MATTHEW 6:5 – 14)

II.            GET ALONE WITH GOD WHEN YOU PRAY (5)

GOING INTO OUR CLOSET MEANS TO GET ALONE WITH GOD – TO SHUT OUT THE WORLD AND THE MANY VOICES AND DISTRACTIONS AND QUIET OURSELVES BEFORE THE LORD SO THAT WE CAN HEAR FROM HIM.

WE SHOULD BEGIN AND END EACH DAY IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, WORSHIPING HIM AND  AFFIRMING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.

 III.           PRAY TO GOD WITH HUMILITY. (5)

    1. IF WE PRAY TO BE SEEN OF MEN WE HAVE OUR REWARD IN FULL.
    2. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT PUBLIC PRAYER IS WRONG – IT IS THE MOTIVE ONE THE HEART THAT COUNTS.
      1. 2 Chron 7:13-14: if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray NIV
      2. 1 Peter 5:5: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” NIV

IV.          PRAY TO GOD IN FAITH. (6)

IT TAKES FAITH TO PRAY TO A GOD WHO WE CANNOT SEE.

THE BIBLE SAYS  “WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD”.  E.W. KENYON SAID “UNBELIEF CANNOT PRAY, IT CAN ONLY UTTER WORDS”.

James 2:5-6: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

Heb 4:1-2: SPEAKING OF THOSE WHO HAVE NOT ENTERED INTO GOD’S REST SAYS: For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. NIV

V.            PRAY TO GOD IN SINCERITY. (7, 8)

    1. WE ARE NOT TO BABBLE LIKE THE PAGANS, THAT IS RECITE WORDS REPETITIOUSLY WITHOUT THOUGHT AND SINCERITY.
    2. THE PROPHETS OF BAAL SPENT FROM MORNING UNTIL EVENING CRYING OUT TO THEIR GODS, TO NO AVAIL.
    3. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO PETITION GOD FOR PRAYERS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN ANSWERED.

VI.          PRAY TO YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IN REVERENCE, DEVOTION AND ADORATION. (9)

    1. WE LOVINGLY ACKNOWLEDGE GOD AS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
    2. WE “HALLOW HIS NAME” WHICH MEANS WE ARE TO REVERE AND HONOR GOD’S NAME AND NOT MISUSE IT.
      1. Ps 34:1-3: I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2 My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. NIV
      2. Ex 20:7: “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. NIV
      3. Ps 91:14-15: “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; NIV
  1. VII.         PRAY GOD’S WILL BE DONE ON EARTH. (10)
    1. JESUS PRAYED “NOT MY WILL BY THINE BE DONE” IN THE GARDEN OF GETHESEMENE.
    2. SEEK TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND GOD’S WILL PERTAINING TO A SITUATION BEFORE YOU PRAY FOR SPECIFIC ANSWERS – WE OFTEN WANT GOD TO PUT A BAND AID ON THE WOUND WHEN GOD WANTS TO ERRADICATE THE INFECTION WHICH MAY REQUIRE THE SCALPEL.
    3. IN MATTHEW 13 JESUS TELLS 7 DIFFERENT PARABLES CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF GOD FOR OUR INSTRUCTION.   THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE “A MAN WHO SOWED GOOD SEED”, “A MUSTARD SEED”, “YEAST THAT A WOMEN MIXED IN HER FLOUR”. “A TREASURE HIDDEN IN A FIELD”, “A MERCHANT LOOKING FOR FINE PEARLS”, “A NET THAT WAS LET DOWN INTO THE LAKE”.
    4. GOD WANT US UNDERSTAND, IDENTIFY AND ANTICIPATE THE TIME WHEN HE WILL RULE AND REIGN ON PLANET EARTH.
    5. Ps 110:1-2: The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” 2 The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. NIV
    6. 1 John 2:17: The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. NIV
  1. VIII.        PRAY TO GOD FOR YOUR DAILY PROVISION. (11)
    1. GOD PROVIDES FOR THE BEASTS OF THE FOREST AND THE BIRDS OF THE AIR HOW MUCH MORE HE WANTS TO PROVIDE FOR YOUR NEEDS.
    2. WHEN THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WERE IN THE WILDERNESS GOD PROVIDED DAILY MANNA FOR THEIR SUSTENANCE.
    3. GOD USES OUR NEED TO DRAW US INTO RELATIONSHIP WITH HIMSELF.
    4. Phil 4:18-19: And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. NIV   HE OFTEN USES OUR BOTHERS AND SISTERS TO DO THIS.
  1. IX.          PRAY TO GOD WITH FORGIVENESS TOWARD OTHERS. (12, 14)
    1. WHEN SOMEONE WRONGS OR TAKES ADVANTAGE OF US OR INJURES US IN SOME WAY THEY BECOME A DEBTOR TO US.  WHEN WE SIN WE BECOME A DEBTORS TO GOD.
      1. Matt 5:23-25: if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. NKJV
      2. Mark 11:25: when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” NIV
      3. Matt 18:21-35 Parable of the servant who had a great debt to his master and his master forgave him of that debt but the servant would not forgive a small debt that a fellow servant owed him. Matt 18:32-35  “Then the master called the servant in. `You wicked servant,’ he said, `I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” NIV
      4. Col 3:13: Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. NIV
      5. WHEN WE PRAY GOD WANTS US TO EXAMINE OUR HEARTS AND RELEASE PEOPLE FROM THOSE DEBTS – TO FORGIVE THEM, THEN GOD FORGIVES US AND RELEASE US FROM OUR DEBT TO HIM.

X.            PRAY THAT GOD KEEP US FROM TEMPTATION (13)

    1. GOD DOES NOT TEMPT US BUT HE CAN KEEP US FROM TEMPTATION: James 1:13-15: When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. NIV
    2. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN GOD ALLOWS US TO BE TEMPTED.  JESUS WAS LED BY THE SPIRIT INTO THE WILDERNESS TO BE TEMPTED BY SATAN BEFORE HE BEGAN HIS MINISTRY UPON EARTH.  WE ARE OFTEN TEMPTED BEFORE THE START OF SOME NEW PHASE OF MINISTRY THAT GOD IS CALLING US INTO.CONCLUSION – (READ QUOTE FROM E.M. BOUNDS “THE WEAPON OF PRAYER” PP 43 –44.) PRAYER IS LIKE BREATHING TO THE CHILD OF GOD.   THE WORD OF GOD COMMANDS US TO PRAY.  IT GIVES MANY EXAMPLES OF GREAT PRAYERS THAT GOD ANSWERED. (DANIEL IN CAPTIVITY, SOLOMON AT THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE, ELIJAH ON MOUNT CARMAL, JESUS HIGH PRIESTLY PRAYER AND IN THE GARDEN OF GATHSEMENE…)  JESUS TOOK TIME TO TEACH US HOW TO PRAY AND PRAY EFFECTIVELY, SO THAT GOD WILL HEAR US.  IT IS MY HOPE THAT WE WILL BECOME A PEOPLE OF PRAYER.

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