Pop’s Lessons– Part Fifty

Pop’s Lessons– Part Fifty July 13, 2022

9/7/1975— On Prayer

Prayer is as old as humankind, as universal as religion, and as instinctive as breathing.  It is practiced in some form by people of all faiths. prayer springs from the heart with a need, a need greater than human ability to cope with.  Prayer is our acknowledgment of a being higher than ourselves. Most people try to pray, yet so few know how.  There are two kinds of prayer, the prayer that does not reach God and the prayer that does.  This is illustrated by our Lord in the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. 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 of being heard.  He informed God of his own goodness, that he was better than others . He boasted of his good works. He said ‘I fast, I give….’ This is the kind of prayer that does not reach God. it is self-righteous prayer.  Now look at the tax collector. He came to God in great humility, conscious of his unworthiness, confessing himself a sinner and begging God for mercy.  This is the kind of prayer that does reach God This is righteous prayer.

It is a privilege to pray because it brings you into close fellowship with God, admitting your need for Him and your utter dependence upon Him.  What is prayer? It is asking and receiving, it is talking with God. ‘Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you. Prayer is making your request known to God in faith. Ask, seek, and knock covers the whole spectrum of prayer when you know the will of God regarding a need.  Whether it be spiritual or material you can ask and receive through faith, the mountain moving sort of faith.

One of Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them to pray, and Jesus said ‘pray our Father who art in heaven…’ We are also instructed to pray in the name of Jesus. We are to pray thy will be done, thy kingdom come.   We are to pray for our daily needs and for forgiveness while we forgive others.  We ask God to lead us and to deliver us from evil. All of this must be done in faith.  The prayer life of the disciples changed after the resurrection of Jesus and again after Pentecost. After the death and resurrection the disciples assembled in the upper room to await the Holy Spirit to come, and they prayed. They prayed wherever they were at home, at church. Peter prayed in prison and so did Paul and Silas. We are taught that when we feel the need to pray, we should pray. It should always be great joy to be able to talk with God, anytime, any place under all conditions, and know he will hear and answer.  When prayers are not answered we should examine ourselves in the light of God’s Word. If home relationships are not right it hinders prayer. An unforgiving spirit harbors unbelief or sin. There are many things that can keep our prayers from being answered.  Prayer must be in all humility, in simplicity, and in earnestness believing and God will hear and answer. The Bible is full of prayers God answered from Genesis to Revelation. We can learn what sort God responds to by examining these prayers.

 


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