I. We often sing the song "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
A. Obviously, the main point of that song is to emphasize the comfort and help we can have through prayer.
B. I'm convinced that many times we (Christians) tend to minimize the importance and effectiveness of prayer.
II. Prayer should play an extremely important role in our lives as Christians.
III. The Bible is very clear in regard to how and what we are to pray.
A. Proper prayer is something that people need to be taught how to do.
1. This does not mean that young children or new Christians can't pray to God but it does mean that as one matures, he should learn how to pray properly.
2. If one of our children were going to go to the White House and meet the President, we would probably make sure that that child did not say something improper. Like, "Don't tell him about all the bad things I've said about him."
IV. With this in mind let us now look at:
A. Who can pray?
B. The proper attitude for prayer.
C. The basic components of a prayer.
D. Answer to prayer.
A. In general, God does not hear the prayers of the wicked.
5. Can you imagine living in a condition where you could not pray to God.
B. The exception.
1. The unrighteous person who desires to know the will of the Lord will be heard.
2. Cornelius (Acts).
3. I believe that God, through his providence, brings about an opportunity for such people to hear the truth.
C. The righteous can pray to God.
1. 1 John 3:22; this verse clearly shows that those who keep the word of God will have their prayers answered.
2. 1 John 5:14.
3. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
4. We, mere human beings, have the ability to talk to the creator of the universe!
1. We are talking to God.
2. Luke 18:9-14.
1. We are talking to God.
2. Matthew; Jesus was reverent.
3. With this thought is the idea of thoughtfulness.
a. Our prayers should not be vain repetitions (Matthew).
b. Don't just recite the same old prayer all the time.
c. What if you talked to your spouse with the same phrases all of the time? This shows a lack of interest or respect.
A. There are definite components or parts of a prayer. This is not to say that if you're lacking one of these components, you are sinning.
B. Prayers should start out with praise.
2. God is worthy of our praise.
1. Paul was one who continually thanked God.
a. Romans; for the brethren.
b. Romans; for salvation.
c. 1 Corinthians 15:57; for victory.
2. We should always give thanks for our food (John).
1. We should pray for others.
2. For our brethren (2 Timothy 1:3-4); consequently for the church.
3. For the sick (James).
4. For the lost. Not that they will be saved as they are but that they might hear the gospel.
6. For the world leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
1. This is where we ask God for what WE need.
2. We must ask according to God's will (1 John 5:14).
3. God has promised that he will provide the things that we really need (Matthew).
A. God WILL answer our prayers.
2. The answer may be Yes, No, or wait a while.
B. We must remember that God is not on the same time-table that we are on.
C. We must persevere in our prayers (Luke). Keep asking.
I. What a privilege prayer is. Nothing can separate us from God. No matter where we are, we can still pray to God. Therefore, we're never alone.
II. If you're not a Christian, you can not pray to God. He won't hear you.
III. Don't wait until it is too late to turn to God.
IV. God won't accept a last minute prayer on your death bed (Proverbs).
V. Salvation comes only through obedience to God's Gospel. Please see Plan of Salvation.
-- Ralph Price, 1998 --