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Prayer: Hotline to Heaven

Developing Confidence in Biblical Prayer

What is prayer?

Prayer is a dialogue between two persons who love each other—God and man. Prayer is more than words; it is an attitude and an expression of the heart toward God. Prayer is hard work. Prayer is holy work. God has a more difficult time finding people to pray than He does any other assignment.

Who does God listen to? (John 9:31)

The Privilege

Prayer is one of the greatest privileges God has given us. Prayer, though unseen, allows us to participate in the work of God throughout the world.

1. How seriously did Samuel take his role in prayer? (1 Samuel 12:23)

We can read about Jesus’ prayers throughout the four Gospels. His most famous prayer is found in Luke 11.

2. What does Jesus say is true of us? (Matthew 10:24)

3. Jesus prayed consistently. Should we pray any less?

4. According to these verses, why should we pray?

  • Proverbs 15:8
  • John 14:13
  • 1 Thessalonians 5: 17
  • Hebrews 4:1 6

Clearly, prayer is inherently valuable to God.

5. What has Jesus been doing the past 2,000 years since His resurrection? (Hebrews 7:25)

6. What is the aroma God chooses to use as fragrance in heaven? (Revelation 5:8)

7. Who prays for us when we don’t know how to pray? (Romans 8:26)

8. God is crazy about you (Jeremiah 31:3)! He wants to hear what’s on your heart and wants    to share His heart with you (Psalm 25:14; Isaiah 42:9; Daniel 2:22). How does this make you feel?

The Power

The average Christian spends less than one hour per week in prayer. If prayer is so important, why don’t more people pray?

People don’t pray because:

1. They don’t know how!

2. They don’t know what to say.

3. There is unconfessed sin in the person’s life.

4. They don’t realize what takes place when we pray.

Prayer is Powerful

1. What did these men accomplish through prayer?

  • Moses (Exodus 15:23-25)
  • Samson (Judges 16:28-30)
  • Peter (Acts 9:36-41)
  • Elijah (James 5:17,18)

2. Read Acts 12:1-18.

  • What did the church do while Peter was in prison?
  • What was God’s answer to their prayers?
  • What was their response to God’s answer?

3. Read Ephesians 6: 10-20.

  • How many times is each piece of armor mentioned?
  • How many times is prayer mentioned?
  • What point is Paul trying to make about the power of prayer in spiritual battle?

Prayer is a major way in which we accomplish God’s work in the world. God doesn’t need any help! Yet, God has chosen to get His job done in the world with our help. On the world’s stage, we have a VIP backstage pass to enter the power center – heaven’s throne room – to intercede along with Christ.

We can turn on the radio, TV or read a newspaper and change that burst of information into a call to prayer.

Today you can:

  • Spend 30 minutes in a war-ravaged land influencing people for God and for the good.
  • Spend 15 minutes in a country closed to the gospel.
  • Spend time encouraging fellow believers meeting secretly in a hidden church in a distant land.
  • Spend five minutes in the nursery of any major metropolitan hospital pleading for the very lives and salvation of babies born addicted to crack.

Prayer releases God’s power "straight outta heaven" t o do the incredible and unexplainable.

The Promises

So much of our prayer life is event- and crisis- oriented:

  • "Oh, if I can only pass this final exam."
  • "I need this job badly."
  • "The rent is due. My money is funny and credit won’t get it."
  • "Good food. Good meat. Good gosh! Let’s eat."

God desires us to experience the full benefits of a prayer life grounded in His Word and founded on His promises.

1. God always answers His children’s prayer. What are the three possible responses you may receive to your prayers?

  1. Psalm 116:1, 8-9
  2. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
  3. Psalm 40:1

2. In 1 John 5: 14-15, we are told to "ask anything according to His will." How should one pray according to God’s will? (Psalm 119:105)

3. What can we expect God to provide for us through prayer?

  • Philippians 4:6-7
  • Psalm 84:1 1
  • Isaiah 41:10
  • Psalm 32:8

We make God’s promises our own when we believe them and put our faith to work.

The Procedure

1. To whom should we pray? (Psalm 5:1-2)

2. Through whom do we pray? (John 16:23-24, 1 Timothy 2:5)

3. In whom do we pray? (Romans 8:26-27, Jude 20)

We can be the answer to our own prayers or a hindrance.

4. What do we do to hinder our prayers ?

  • Psalm 66: 18
  • James 4:2
  • Matthew 6:5
  • 1 Peter 3:12

A Model for Prayer

God uniquely created each of us. We were also created to pray. Therefore, each believer has his own unique style of conversation with God. In prayer, we should follow a simple procedure but never become bound to a ritual. God is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. A model you may use in your prayer times is the simple acronym ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.

A Adoration: Worship begins and ends with who God is.

  • Why should God be adored? (Deuteronomy 10:21)

C Confession: Admit your specific sin. Ask God to make you aware of sin.

  • What should we do when we have broken fellowship with God? (1 John 1:9)

T Thanksgiving: Express gratitude for everything.

  • When should we give thanks? (Hebrews 13:15)
  • Why should we give thanks? (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • What happened this past week that you can give thanks to God for?
  • What about when "bad things happen to good people"?
  • What should our attitude be when this happens? (Isaiah 55:8-9, Roman 8:28)

S Supplication: Specific requests to God.

  • Read Psalm 20:4-5. What was David expecting as a result of his prayers?
  • Do you think David could have been vague in his prayers and still have a high level of expectancy about specific answers?

We live in perilous times. All around us the unsaved are dying and going to hell. Fellow believers are "walking wounded," battered by Satan’s blows. In the midst of all this, we have a grand privilege to use our resources of prayer to bring about healing and spiritual renaissance in the world around us. The revolution will not be televised! However, the revolution will begin quietly with us—one person and one prayer at a time.

From Intercultural Resources/Campus Crusade for Christ 2000 Call 1.407.826.2000


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