The Basics of Prayer

How would you define prayer?

What is prayer?  Prayer is personal communication with God – talking and listening to Him.  He loves and cares for us.  He wants to hear what we have to say.  He is delighted when we pray.

Why is prayer important?

God commands us to pray (I Thessalonians 5: 17; Ephesians 6: 18) .

Prayer glorifies God (John 14: 13).

Prayer prepares our hearts to obey and walk with Jesus.

Prayer benefits us.

Prayer builds intimacy with God.

God answers prayer (Acts 4: 23 –33; Matthew 9: 38).

Prayer is both a privilege and a duty.

What did Jesus say about prayer?

Luke 11:1 -13

Matthew 6: 5 - 18

Matthew 7: 7 - 11

Luke 18: 1 – 14

What example did He set for us?

Jesus prayed. He loved to pray. His regular habit was to pray. Prayer was a natural part of His life. Examples:

Mark 1: 35 - We see Him praying in the morning.

Luke 5: 15 – 16 - He often slipped away to the wilderness to pray even when He was busy.

Luke 6: 12 – 13 - He spent the entire night in prayer.

The night before the crucifixion was spent in prayer.

Luke 22: 32. John 17: 6 - 19 - He prayed for others by name.

Luke 9: 29 - He prayed with others.

The disciples never asked Jesus how to walk on water or how to raise the dead but they begged Him to "teach us to pray". They knew there was a relationship between the power His life manifested and the hours He spent conversing with God the Father.

How to pray -elements of prayer

ADORATION - We express our adoration and praise to God, express wonder of His great majesty, His sovereignty and mighty power. We praise God for who He is and what He is like. We honor Him for the wonderful things He has done. In the Psalms are many excellent examples of praise and adoration.

CONFESSION - What is confession? Confession means to agree with God about our sin.  Confession involves repentance. I John 1: 9, Psalm 51

THANKSGIVING - We express appreciation to God for what He has done for us. Our gratitude demonstrates faith. (I Thessalonians 5: 18, Psalm 107: 1, Psalm 103: 2)

SUPPLICATION - Making requests. We pray for other people and their needs and for our own needs. (Matthew 6: 11 -13, Philippians 4: 6 -7)

Hindrances to prayer

Psalm 66: 18  “If I had cherished sin in my heart the Lord would not have listened.”  If there is anything worse than not praying, it is praying when we should be confessing.  (Psalm 109: 7, Proverbs 15: 29)

I Peter 3: 7

Matthew 5: 23 - 24

James 4: 3 – Selfish Motives

Prayer is like anything else. We learn by practicing. If you want to learn how to pray then pray. God has invited us to come freely into His presence. Let us take Him up on this incredible offer!

Permission is granted to use this Bible Study outline for personal study and small groups only. 

Study written by Bob Krepps  © 1994 all rights reserved

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