Prayer: Use it, don't abuse it
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A. God Desires To Have Communication with Us His Children
Rev 3:10 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.
Ro 10:12-13 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich
unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Mt 15:10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
B. Some Things That Interfere With Our Communication with God
1. Sin Puts Up Walls
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. Pro 1:24-33….28. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord
2. A Hurried and Distracted Prayer Time
Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted with much serving…
Matt 14:23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on a mountain by Himself to pray…
3. Lack Of Knowledge From Not Being In the Word
If we don’t know who God is, we won’t know what to pray for, or how to pray.
Matt 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
C. So What Can We Do to Have Pin-Drop Communication with the Almighty?
1. Learn to be Sensitive to His voice by Confessing Our sins, giving thanks in everything, obey and fearing Him.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us form all unrighteousness.
1Thess 5:17-18 Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1Jon 3:22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
Ps 145:18-19 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.
Adoration Praising God for who He is, which results in loving Him more and fearing Him more.
Confession Aligning our lives to match up with scripture. Results in clear communication lines.
Thanksgiving Praise God for what He has done, is doing, and will do. Results in Christlike perspective change.
2. Learn to Listen and Evaluate
Ps 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God.
Pro 8:34-35 Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord. 2Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith, Test yourselves.
3. Be In the Word
John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you
1John 5:14-15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to his will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him.
Jam 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on you pleasures
4. Remember That Prayer Changes Things
1Cor 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s building. Moses praying to God that he would quench his wrath. Num 14:19 “Pardon the iniquity of this people”… Num 11:1-2 James 5:16-18 The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
1. What are some interruptions that you may face this week? And how can you guard against them?
2. How does God communicate back to us? What does it mean to hear His voice?
3. What is the purpose of prayer? Why is prayer necessary?
4. What can help you be more “in the word” and cultivate a better prayer life this summer?
5. How does someone know if the “small voice” they “hear” is of God or of Satan?
6. Why do folks sometimes prefer to talk with others about their life than talk with God first?
7. Where are we most tempted to live independently of God? How does God respond to that?