We Proclaim Jesus.
VARIOUS ELEMENTS OF PRAYER!
The need to learn to pray effectively is one of the greatest needs in the Church of God today. The disciples of old saw this need in their lives as they observed the effectiveness of their Lord's and Master's prayer life. They asked Him to teach them to pray. "And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples" (Luke 11:1).
Please notice that the disciples did not request, "Lord, teach us to perform miracles." Even after hearing the greatest sermon ever preached by the Lord Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount, the disciples did not ask, "Lord, teach us to preach." Neither, they did ask Him, "Lord, teach us to prophecy." Our Lord's prayer life was what fascinated them the most. They knew that His preaching, performance of miracles, and prophetic utterances were effective and life transforming because of His praying. So they asked, "Lord, teach us to pray." Indeed, Jesus alone, by His Spirit, can teach us to pray.
The time has come for us to re-evaluate our personal and individual prayer life. We ought to ask ourselves the painful and searching questions. Do I have a need to learn to pray effectively? Am I learning to pray effectively?
A. Prayer is Learned
|1. Believers must enroll in the School of Effective Prayer.|
B. Characteristic Qualities of a Learner:
|1. A humble spirit and attitude.|
|2. A teachable spirit that recognizes its deep sense of not knowing how one should pray as he ought to.|
|3. Availability and willingness to be trained to pray effectively.|
|4. Faith in Christ and His Spirit as the perfect Teacher.|
C. Definition of Prayer
Prayer is a privileged spiritual communion which takes place in the context of relationship between the true and living God and the believer in Jesus Christ. It is inspired and directed by the Person Holy Spirit living in the believer. In this privileged communion, the believer expresses not only his hunger and thirst to know God more intimately and be changed into the image of Christ, but also his adoration, praise and worship to God, thankfully acknowledging His goodness, humbly and honestly confessing his sins and failures to Him, listening attentively to His voice in His written Word and the impression of His Spirit, and asking Him according to His promises in His Word to meet the needs in his own life and in the lives of fellow believers in the Church and others outside of the Church, as it is fit to bring glory and praise to His name and for the advancement of His kingdom.
"Self-indulgence is the enemy of gratitude, and self-discipline usually its friend and generator. That is why gluttony is a deadly sin. The early desert fathers believed that a person's appetite are linked: full stomachs and jaded palates takes the edge from our hunger and thirst for righteousness. They spoil the appetite for God." - Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.