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Written by Louis Roth
In this session, we will cover four key passages about prayer. The first is Mt. 6:5–15. We covered part of this already, but it’s helpful to review. Paul defines a hypocrite as one who prays out in the open for show. Prayer is your communication with God; not to be a tool for promoting yourself. The best thing to do is to pray in private. Notice that for the “functional deist,” the whole idea of prayer has no value. Faith in a God that is present is key to answered prayer.
Let’s examine some examples of prayer that assume God present and able to answer prayers.
2 Chr. 7:14 — The way for the nation of Israel to restore itself to fellowship with God in prayer.
Ps. 5:1–3 — Notice the excitement of the writer to see how God will answer prayer.
Jer. 29:12–13 — Israel must seek the Father for the nation’s restoration into fellowship. 1 John 1:9 tells us how to do this in our age.
The Jews often prayed to the Father, and “The Christian is not an orphan.”
In an earlier session, we covered how Jesus prayed to the Father.
Should we begin prayers addressing the Father? Imagine you are in a crowd. You start talking to an individual listening to another person. You could start talking. The person should be addressed first before he knows he is the target. Now he or she knows you are speaking to them. This example is reasoning enough for me! But God is who he is, and we should revere Him as mighty and holy. Here is a list: Lk. 1:49, Lev. 10:3, 22:32, Nu. 20:12, 1 Kgs. 8:43, Ps. 57:11, 72:18–19, 108:5, Isa. 8:13, 29:23, 2 Kgs. 19:19, Ezk. 20:41, 28:22, 36:23, 38:16, 23, Hab. 2:14, 1 Pet. 3:15, Rev. 15:4. There should not be an issue addressing the Lord in prayer.
The second passage Lk. 18:1–8. We covered that in an earlier session about the frequency of prayer. We mentioned that Jews often prayed — this parable teaches that this continues in our times.
The third passage is Eph. 6:18–19. We covered using S.O.A.P. in two sessions. There also prayer before anything you do and in groups. This passage says to pray at all times in the Spirit. 1 Cor. 2 explains the relationship the Spirit has with believers.
The fourth is Philippians 4:6. Children’s ministries use this Scripture for memorizing and keeping it in their hearts. Why would you be anxious if you believe God is near. But you must discuss these requests in prayer.
As a bonus, we also look at James 5:15–18. Notice an example of Elijah from the Old Testament. The key is that Elijah was a righteous man, serving the Lord. God uses Elijah to punish Ahab (1 Kgs. 17:1) shutting off rains, then restoring it in chapter 18:1. All this to show king Ahab, who was in charge. The drought lasted three years and six months. We are called to pray for others. Paul uses himself as an example of a brother needing prayer.
1. Scofield, C. I. (1922). In Many Pulpits with Dr. C. I. Scofield (p. 121). New York; London; Toronto; Melbourne; Bombay: Oxford University Press.
2. Smith, J. H. (1992). The new treasury of scripture knowledge: The most complete listing of cross references available anywhere- every verse, every theme, every important word (p. 1150). Nashville TN: Thomas Nelson.