“The men upon whose shoulders rested the initial responsibility of Christianizing the world came to Jesus with one supreme request. They did not say, ‘Lord, teach us to preach; ‘Lord, teach us to do miracles,’ or ‘Lord, teach us to be wise’… but they said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’” — Billy Graham
- The Necessity of Prayer
- The Nature of Prayer
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. — 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)
Understanding God’s “If Clauses” of Scripture
There are __________ conditional clauses of Scripture.
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”
“If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved…”
Observation One: The Necessity of Prayer (Four Insights)
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” — Martin Luther
Prayer prepares the way for _____________________.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved… For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” — Romans 10:9-10, 13 (NLT)
Prayer prepares the way for divine _________________.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. — Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)
Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. — Exodus 33:11a (NLT)
Prayer prepares the way for spiritual ________________.
The humble shall see this and be glad; And you who seek God, your hearts shall live. — Psalm 69:32 (NKJV)
…but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word. — Acts 6:4 (NKJV)
Prayer prepares the way for unexpected _____________.
Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church… And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.” Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. — Acts 12:5, 13-16 (NKJV)
“What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, prayer is to the soul.” — Corrie Ten Boom
Observation Two: The Nature of Prayer (Four Definitions)
“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom.” — Charles H. Spurgeon
Prayer is ___________________!
(_________________ with God.)
The three went out. God descended in a Pillar of Cloud and stood at the entrance to the Tent. He called Aaron and Miriam to him. When they stepped out, he said, Listen carefully to what I’m telling you. If there is a prophet of God among you, I make myself known to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But I don’t do it that way with my servant Moses; he has the run of my entire house; I speak to him intimately, in person, in plain talk without riddles: He ponders the very form of God… — Numbers 12:5-8 (MSG)
Prayer is ____________________!
(Applying God’s ______________.)
When it was time for the sacrifice to be offered, Elijah the prophet came up and prayed, “O God, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make it known right now that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I’m doing what I’m doing under your orders. Answer me, God; O answer me and reveal to this people that you are God, the true God, and that you are giving these people another chance at repentance.” Immediately the fire of God fell and burned up the offering, the wood, the stones, the dirt, and even the water in the trench. — 1 Kings 18:36-38 (MSG)
Prayer is ___________________!
(Hearing God’s ____________.)
Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he’s up to no good—a sheep rustler! The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. — John 10:1-4 (MSG)
Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. — Deuteronomy 13:4 (NLT)
Prayer is ______________________!
(_____________________ the Lord.)
“Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings.” — Chrysostom, Early Church Father
“But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me… They shall enter My sanctuary, and they shall come near My table to minister to Me…” — Ezekiel 44:15-16 (NKJV)
Ponder Points: Discuss (or ponder) why you think prayer is such a necessity to the spiritual growth of every believer. Why do you think the “road of prayer” is such a difficult journey for many believers?
Prayer Points: In prayer, tell the Lord some of your difficulties that have hindered your prayer times in the past. Ask Him to give you a victory in these areas so prayer can become a daily discipline for the rest of your life.