Posted: almost 3 years Ago

Lesson Six: Prayer  

What is the role of prayer in my fellowship with Jesus Christ? 
Clear and consistent communication is an essential part of any healthy relationship. This is certainly true of our
 relationship with God. This communication is two way. When we read the Bible, God speaks to us. When we pray, we 
speak to God. Prayer is simply our direct communication to God and it is an important part of spiritual growth. This lesson 
is intended to provide you with a basic understanding of the discipline of prayer so that you might maintain an open line 
of communication with God.  

    I. Prayer is Possible through the Lord Jesus Christ  
        A.   The Creator of the universe desires fellowship with you. He is willing to listen when you speak and answer you personally. 

        B.   This is only possible through what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross (Hebrews 10:19-22). 

                Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,
                let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling
               of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come
               boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16   
        C.   This means that you can go directly to God through Jesus Christ when you pray (1 Timothy 2:5).  

                You do not have to be in a particular place (like church), nor must you pray through an intermediary (like a priest or a saint).
                You can speak directly to God through Jesus Christ.  

II.       Four Different Types of Prayer 
      I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made
      for all men;
1 Timothy 2:1 
          A.   Supplication – This is an earnest, specific request; asking God to “supply” a need that you have 
                  (Phil 4:6, ex. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Matthew 26:36-44).  

          B.   Prayer – This is simply you talking to God. You don’t have to be asking for something to speak to the Lord.
                  He wants to hear from you all the time.  

          C.   Intercessions – This is when you pray for others. Don’t just focus on your own needs. Prayer is a ministry that every
                  believer should have. See Romans 1:9, Hebrews 13:18, 1 Samuel 12:23) 

          D.   Giving of Thanks – This is thanking God for who He is and what He has done for you (Psalm 100:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:18).  

III.     God Works in Our Lives Through Prayer 

          Prayer is not about changing God’s mind to conform to your will, but it has great power to change 
          our hearts to conform to His.  

          A.   Prayer admits a dependency upon God. It serves to draw us close to Him, so that He can prove His sufficiency
                  for every need (Matthew 6:8, Psalm 50:15).  

          B.   Prayer is the way that we cast all our care upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7).  

          C.   Prayer provides us with God’s peace in our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:6-7).  

IV.     Principles for Proper Prayer  
          A.   Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Luke 18:1, Romans 12:12).  

                  - We should develop a lifestyle of communicating with God. Our first reaction to any trial
                     or success should be to go to God in prayer.  

                  -  We should make time for extended seasons of prayer (Matthew 6:6), but God can hear our prayers
                        any time and in any place (Nehemiah 2:4) 

          B.   Don’t pray just to impress others (Matthew 6:5).  

                  - Public prayer can be a help to others (1 Corinthians 14:15, ex. John 17), but we must remember that prayer
                      is talking to God.  

          C.   Don’t use vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7).  

Your prayer doesn’t have to be wordy, eloquent, or rehearsed.  

                  - Prayer is not religious, it is relational.  

          D.   Talk to God as you would talk to a loving Father (Matthew 6:9, Galatians 4:6-7).  

          E.   Pray in Jesus’ name according to the will of God (John 14:13-14, 15:16, 16:23-24, 1 John 5:14). 

                    - This involves more than just tacking Christ’s name onto the end of a prayer. It has to   
                       do with praying consistently with His character and for His glory.  

                    - We know the will of God and the character of Christ from the word of God. 

                    - Therefore, we should pray consistently with the word of God.  

           F.    Be assured that even when you struggle in prayer, God knows your heart and the Holy Spirit is praying right
                   with you (Romans 8:26-27).  

    V.    Hindrances to Prayer 

            Prayer is one aspect of our fellowship with God. Oftentimes when some other area of our fellowship is damaged
             it will hinder our prayers. Below are some common hindrances to prayer.  

            A.   Not asking (James 4:2).  

            B.   Asking with selfish motives (James 4:3). 

            C.   Asking without faith (James 1:5-7).  

            D.   Unconfessed sin (Psalm 66:18, Isaiah 59:2).  

            E.   An unforgiving heart (Matthew 6:14-15).  

            F.    Bitterness toward your spouse (1 Peter 3:7).  

           G.   Insensitivity toward God’s word (Proverbs 28:9).  

VI.     God Answers Prayer 
        And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22   
        Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye
        receive them, and ye shall have them.
Mark 11:24   
        And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions
        that we desired of him.
1 John 5:15   
          God really does answer the prayers of His people. However, He doesn’t always answer them in the way or 
          the timing that we expect. Sometimes his answer is “No”. Time will often reveal why God has answered a 
          certain way, just as a child comes to understand why his parents did not give him everything he asked for.  

 VII.    Some Thoughts and Tips that Might Help 
          A.   Pray first. Begin everyday by talking to God.  

          B.   Listen carefully. While God will not speak to you in an audible voice we can experience two way
                  communication with God through prayer and Bible-reading if we’ll be attentive to the leadership and
                  direction of the Holy Spirit.  

          C.   Pray with others. There is something very special about corporate prayer (Matt 18:20). Praying with other
                  believers will be a great help to your prayer life.  

          D.   Keep a prayer list. It will help you to pray more consistently if you have a list (or multiple lists) that help you to
                  remember specific needs.  

          E.   Keep a journal. Sometimes it is helpful to record prayers and answers to prayer that can reinforce your faith that
                 God is listening.