A. ONE OF OUR GREATEST BLESSINGS IS PRAYER.
1. Through prayer, the we find FORGIVENESS( 1 John 1:9 ).
2. Through prayer, the we find PEACE and strength( Phil. 4:6-7 )
B. SO WE SHOULD BE DILIGENT IN PRAYER( 1 Thess. 5:17 ).
C. JESUS KNEW PEOPLE WOULD BECOME SLACK( Luke 18:1 ).
A. IT MUST BE OFFERED "IN FAITH"( Matt. 21:22 ).
1. We must have faith in God, and in His ability to answer( James 1:5-8 ).
2. Is faith weak? God's Word will increase it( Rom. 10:17 ).
B. IT MUST BE OFFERED "IN THE SPIRIT OF HUMILITY."
1. Notice the example of the Pharisee and the publican( Luke 18:9-14 ).
2. Remember, ( Psa. 34:18; James 4:6).
C. IT MUST BE OFFERED "IN HARMONY WITH GOD'S WILL."
1. God answers prayer that is offered "according to His will"( 1 John 5:14 ).
2. Jesus provided the example in His prayers at Gethsemane( Luke 22:42 ).
3. Too often, prayers are unanswered because they are more concerned with
OUR will, rather than GOD'S will!( James 4:3 ).
D. IT MUST BE "BY THOSE RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD."( 1 Pet. 3:12 )
1. The prayers of the righteous person are effective( James 5:16-18 ).
2. But those continuing in sin He will not hear!( Prov. 28:9; Isa. 59:1-2 ).
E. IT MUST BE OFFERED "IN THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING"
( Eph. 5:20; Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess 5:17-18).
F. IT MUST BE OFFERED "WITH PERSISTENCE"
1. Jesus illustrated this through two parables( Luke 11:5-10; Luke 18:1-8 )
2. The virtue of persistence is demonstrated in the prayers of:
a. Jesus at Gethsemane( Matt. 26:44 ).
b. Paul, pertaining to his "thorn in the flesh"( 2 Cor. 12:7-8 ).
c. The early church( Acts 2:42 ).
G. IT MUST BE OFFERED "IN THE NAME OF JESUS."( Eph. 5:20 ).
1. This means much more than simply adding a little phrase "in Jesus' name" at
the end of our prayers!
a. Jesus is the only way by which we can approach God( John 14:6 ).
b. Jesus is our "high priest" who intercedes for us( Heb. 7:24-25 ).
2. Through Jesus we may boldly approach God!( Heb. 4:14-16 ).
A. UNCONFESSED, UNREPENTED SIN.
1. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear"( Psa. 66:18 ).
2. The BASIS for prayer rests upon our being in fellowship with Him; such
fellowship is broken if we continue in sin!( 1 John 1:6-7 ).
B. IMPROPER TREATMENT OF OTHERS.
1. How we treat others has a bearing upon whether God will hear our prayers!
a. How we treat the poor( Psa. 41:1-3 ).
b. How one treats his friend( Matt. 5:23-24 ).
c. How a husband treats his wife( 1 Pet. 3:7 ).
2. Especially if we desire to receive forgiveness!( Matt. 6:14-15; 18:21-23 ).
A. "REQUEST GRANTED"(1 John 3:22 ).
B. "REQUEST GRANTED, BUT NOT YET"( Ecc. 3:1 ).
C. "REQUEST GRANTED, BUT NOT AS YOU MIGHT EXPECT"( Isa. 55:8,9 ).
D. "REQUEST DENIED"( Matt. 7:7-11 ).
1. What if the son asks for a stone or a serpent?
2. We may not fully understand, but we can still fully trust Him!( Hab 3:17-19 ).