PRAYER in the life of a Believer...


True Bible Teaching - About You and God and Your Hope of Salvation

PRAYER in the life of a Believer...


What is Prayer?

Prayer is communication with God?

One writer writes: "In the simplest terms prayer is the lifting of heart and mind and will to God."Prayer in the life of a BELIEVER

Faith must be the basis of all acceptable Prayer - See Hebrews 11:6

Prayer in action = "faith and works" - See Nehemiah 4:8-9; Psalm 127:1

How do we Pray?

The lesson of 'incense' is useful for this:

Incense was a skilful blend of special ingredients.  It is described as "a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary" (Exod 30:35).  As choice had to be made of its ingredients and care and skill had to be exercised in compounding of it, so careful preparation should be given to prayer.  It should not be entered into lightly.  A careless, casual approach to God is dishonouring to Him. 

The Lord's Prayer a good pattern, but not essential to follow see Matthew 6:9-13

Our Prayer will depend on circumstances eg:

Jonah as he was thrown over into the sea - See Jonah 2:1-2

Daniel and the fiery furnace or lions den - Daniel 3:21, 6:16

Christ at crucifixion - See Luke 23:34

Hannah "lips moved but no voice" - 1Samuel 1:13

Hannah all embracing - See 1Samuel 2:1-10

Typical flow of Prayer:

Open with Praising God

Extol His Purpose & Mercy

Entreaty (ie. what we are praying for)


Close with Praise

When do we Pray?

Any time - "pray without ceasing…" - 1Thessalonians 5:17, 1Timothy 2:8

But a set time is important for example under the law of Israel Incense was offered morning and evening (Exodus 30:7-8)

We need to establish prayer when "God may be found…” - See Psalm 32:5-6

Meditation is an important accompaniment to Prayer - "Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God."  Job 37:14

How do we know God hears our Prayer?

We have His promise' - See 2Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 145:18&19; Matthew 7:7-8

For contrast - See Deuteronomy 1:45; Jeremiah 15:1; Hosea 5:5-6;

Psalm 66:18 "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened."

John 9:31 "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."

See 2Corinthians 12:8-9 re: suffering

What role does Jesus play?

For those Baptised into Christ (ie. those who have entered into a covenant relationship with Christ through the waters of Baptism see Romans Ch 6), he becomes our advocate or mediator at the right hand of God.

1Timothy 2:5  "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

Greek 'mesites' sig  a) one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant  b) a medium of communication, arbitrator

This is a great privilege we have in Christ

See Hebrews 10:19-21 & 4:16

See Romans 8

How does God respond to our Prayer?

See Habakkuk 1:2; Psalm 88:1

Examples of effective prayer are found in:

Abram going into battle - Genesis 14:13 & Note: vs22-23

Abram and Ishmael  - Genesis 17:18-21  Note: Even though Abram had received great promises from God, he didn't stop praying for their fulfillment Cp. Genesis 18:14 "is anything too hard for Yahweh…?"

Abraham's eldest servant seeking wife for Isaac - Genesis 24:12-15 & 45

David at Gath - 1Samuel 21:10-15 Cf. Psalm 34:4

Paul "thorn in the flesh" - 2Corinthians 12:7:10

What should we Pray for?

To Praise

To Thank

To seek help

"Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms."  James 5:13

Essentially for anything and everything, but it must be coupled with "according to His will"  (note James 4:3)

Luke 18:1; Phillippians 4:6;; John 16:22, 15:16

Matthew 21:22 "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."

See Matthew 6:7 re: structure of our prayer

See example of Hezekiah regarding the need to prepare for effective prayer 2 Kings 19:1-2, 15-19

Good examples of Prayer in daily life are found in the following:

Daniel: An example of frequent, sincere and earnest prayer - Daniel 6:10, note also 9:21 & 10:10-12

David: for deliverance from enemies, for forgiveness, thanks and praise for all Yahweh's mercy - Psalm 34 & 51

Christ: for strength and endurance - "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God"  Luke 6:12

See Christ’s prayer in John 17

Paul’s prayer for others - "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,  4Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" Phillippians 1:3-6

Robert Roberts summary of Prayer…

"Some things asked for we have received, and some we have not.  But we should not feel discouraged if God were apparently to turn a deaf ear to all our requests.  We should consider that His wisdom required the denial of all our desires, as in the case of Job (6:8-11; 13:24-26; 19:7-11).  David had to say sometimes: 'O my God, I cry in the day time, but Thou hearest not, and in the night season I am not silent' (Psa 22:2).  Man is small and life is short, and the issues of futurity are immeasurable and can only be truly judged by unerring wisdom.  For this reason, all our petitions should e qualified with the recognition of the will of God as the supreme regulator.  We should in everything give thanks, and in all our petitions subordinate our own ideas and wishes to the perfect will of God.

Christ has given us an example in his own prayer to the Father in Gethsemane: "Take away this cup from me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt!"  This qualification makes us certain of an answer to all our prayers, even if we do not get the answer in the very form we may ask it.  This is John's reasoning on the point:  "This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.  And if we know that He hear us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."  That is, true children of God would desire nothing that God sees not fit to give.  What He sees fit, that He gives; and this being what we ask, we know that we always have what we ask: and here we rest, even in the midst of the more direful experiences, knowing that experience of evil is part of the instrumentality by which God is preparing children for Himself during this transitory age of evil, against the perfect and endless ages beyond."