MorningStar Ranch Ministries

Lesson Nine

Prayer

 

Prayer is as old as man, as universal as religion, and as instinctive as breathing (Gen. 4:26 OT).  It is practiced m some form by all men of all faiths.  Prayer springs from the heart with a need, a need greater than man's ability to encounter.  Prayer is man's acknowledgment of a being higher than himself.

Most men try to pray, yet so few know how. There are two kinds of prayers: the prayer that does not reach God and the prayer that does reach God. This is illustrated by our Lord in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9-14). Both men went to the same place, at the same time, for the same purpose, to pray.

The Pharisee prayed in his religious pride, expecting God to answer because he thought himself worthy. He informed God of his own goodness, that he was better than others.  He boasted of his good works. He said, "I fast; I pay. "This is the kind of prayer that does not reach God.  It is self-righteous prayer.

Now look at the publican and his prayer. He came to God in great humility, conscious of his unworthiness, confessing himself a sinner, and begging for mercy. This is the kind of prayer that does reach God. This is righteous prayer.

It is a rare privelege to pray; because it brings you into close fellowship with God, admitting your need for Him and your utter dependence upon Him!

I

What is Prayer?

Read: Matt. 7:7-11

Prayer is asking and receiving; it is talking with God.  It is making your request known to Him in faith. The above Scripture is so simple on the surface, that we are in danger of failing to recognize its immensity.  Our Lord instructs the believer to ask, seek, and knock; because these three words cover the whole spectrum of prayer.

II

Why Pray?

Read: Luke 18:1

Pray:

III

How to Pray.

Read: Matt. 6:9-13

"Pray, then, this way."  Our Lord gave this as a model prayer after one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples" (Luke 11:1).

This model prayer is brief, to the point, and not repetitious. It is the perfect prayer.

 

IV

Where to Pray.

Read: Acts 12:5

There was a remarkable change in the prayer life of the disciples after the resurrection of Jesus, and it is noted again after Pentecost.  Before the death of Jesus, the disciples slept while Jesus prayed in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46).  But, after His death and resurrection:

It is a great joy to be able to talk with God, any time, any place, under any condition or circumstances, and to know that He will hear  and answer!

 

 

V

Hindrances to Prayer.

Read: 1 Peter 3:7

When prayers are not answered you should examine yourself in the light of God's Word.  If you find anything not pleasing to God, confess it, believing God for forgiveness that your prayers may be answered (1 John 1:9).

When you pray, go to God in all humility.  Ask Him to reveal anything in your life that is not pleasing to Him. Then judge it; confess it, calling it by name and forsake it. Pray in all simplicity and earnestness, believing, and God will hear and answer!

VI

Does God Answer All Prayer?

Read: John 15:7

The Bible is filled with answered prayers from Genesis to Revelation.  You are commanded to pray, and God has promised to answer (Jeremiah 33:3 OT). In (John 15:7), there are two requirements for answer to prayer. First: You are to abide in Him; that is, to continue in Him. It means to remain in His perfect will at all cost (Romans 12:1, 2). Second: His words are to abide in you; they are to become a vital part of your life. You are to be filled with, and guided by, His words (Colossians 3 16, 17). Meet these two requirements, and your prayers will be answered.

Now Proceed to Lesson 10