Worship Series #4:  Prayer
Purpose:  To encourage Christians to better prayers

1.   Is perhaps one of the least talked about subjects
2.  WHAT IS PRAYER?  Communication with God  (both public and private)
3.  Some principles of prayer

I.  In Jesus name, Amen  (To be said in Jesus' name)
      A.  Usually this is tacked on the end of a prayer
      B.  Should we pray in Jesus' name?  WHY?
            1.  Eph 2:18
            2.  Col. 3:17
      C.  How do we pray in Jesus' name?
            1.  Does it mean saying "in Jesus' name, Amen", or is there
                 more to it?
                  a.  Attitude of Faith (I Tim 2:5 - "one mediator also between
                      God & men, the man Christ Jesus")
                  b.  Dependence on God's Faithfulness (I Cor. 1:9, 30) - By
                       God's doing
                  c.  Attitude of Surrender (I John 2:1 - "writing that may not
                       sin, BUT...) This shows we can't be perfect
                  d.  Attitude of Submission (Jn 14:6 - "I am the way...) 
                   e.  Cannot approach God without Jesus
      D.  The Word "Amen" followed by In Jesus Name,
             1.  Context to determine meaning ---- Think it means, "the end"
             2.  It is a statement of rock solid faith
                   a.  It is not a translated word (means "verily, surely, truly")
                   b.  Was a cultural expression: "You can bet on it, bank on it"

II.  (According to His Will) 
      A.  Like to think about faith that moves moutains
             1.  Joshua's long day (Joshua 10:12-15)
             2.  Hezekiah and time  (2 Kings 20:1-11)   
      B.  Is there any unanswered prayer in the Bible?  No.  BUT...
             1.  2  Cor. 12:7-10 - Prayed for healing, got grace (did he ask for
                  a fish and get a stone?)
             2.  I John 5:14 - "if we ask anything according to his will, He
                  hears us"
      C.  Can only ask
according to his will with an attitude of submission
            to his will
             1.  Need to be ready for grace when we ask for healing
             2.  What would happen, "
                  TAKE IT AWAY!"
3.  Ask for little, he will give much, may not understand it at
             4.  What is his will?  To be worshipped properly / That none
                   should perish

III.  Persistence
      A.  I Thess 5:17 - "Pray without ceasing"
      B.  Luke 11:5-10 - Parable of the persistent friend  "Ask and it shall
            be given"  (How much more so)
      C.  How challenging is this?
            1.  Pray at meals, church, special occasions
            2.  What about at other times

3.  Jesus Prayed at crucial times in his life
                 -at his baptism (Luk 3:21)
                 -before choosing the 12 apostles to be with him (Luk 6:12-13)
                 -at the transfiguration (Luk 9:28-29)
(Luk 22:39) "proceeded to the mt of olives to pray as was his
                 -Garden of Gethsemane
                 -Prayed so much, that his disciples asked him how to pray
      D.  Think about the effect a praying Jesus had on them
             1.  "Unless you believe that
I am, you will die in your sins", HE
                  WAS GOD
             2.  Yet he prayed
             3.  How much more do we need to have a LIFE OF PRAYER

IV.  Sincerity  (Matt. 6:5-8)
      A.  Not pray as hypocrites - origin of the word hypocrite:  Ancient word
           for an actor in a play
             1.  Their motivation - To be seen on the stage by people
             2.  They have their reward already
      B.  Instead, go into your inner room
             1.  Your motivation - To be seen by God (prayer is a relationship
                  to God)
             2.  God will answer you
      C.  Meaningless Repetition
             1.  One empty word in prayer is just as good as many empty
            2.  Can't "impress"  God, he knows what we need before we ask
            3.  Not an excuse for poor preparation in prayer
                 -Prayer does NOT have to be spontaneous to be good
                -Writing them down ahead of time, from deep in the heart, time
                  to think
      D.  In early church and synagogue, corporate prayers were
            usually said in unison
            1.  However, those leading in public prayer need to prepare to go
                 to God on behalf of us all
            2.  If we go to ask for a raise, care about preparation, what about
                 when we go to God?

1.  Prayer is
  -In Jesus' name
  -According to God's will
  -Persistent/ Consistent
2.  Must be accompanied by these things if going to pray this way
  -Submission to the will of Jesus - Obedience in life
  -Actively trusting God (His will is being done)
  -Dependence on God (especially at crucial times in life - DO WE DO THIS?)
  -God the center of your life
3.  Have you been submitting to God's will, have you trusted him as the center of life?

4.  Has it lead to you a habit of prayer?