Prayer Matters

Notes from a sermon presented by Dr. Greg Sloop at the Kannapolis Church of God on Sunday, April 22 & 29, 2018 in the 10:30 am services.  For video of services, go to the church website, http://www.kcog.org, and click on the livestream link for a replay of the services.  For audio of the services, go the the website and click on the media page.

We are a church that emphasizes the spiritual disciplines of Scripture reading and prayer.  It is part of our mission statement and our spiritual DNA.

However, saying it is not enough.  We must do it. 

The prayers of the saints over the years for this church, our children, our finances, etc., have brought healing, salvation, deliverance, and provision to this church family over and over again.

Today, I want to walk through a familiar passage of Scripture which talks about prayer and take the time to break down the components in order to show how God intends for us to pray

Matthew 6:5–13 (NKJV)

5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

The Private Nature of Prayer

  • Conversation between you and God
  • Personal, intimate sharing and listening

The Corporate Nature of Prayer

  • Still personal, but shared
  • Power of agreement, not the power of performance
  • Still to God, but with others

7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

Not a Chant; Not a Mantra

God is not deaf; God is not dense or unable to understand; God hears the first time.

After that, it may be better to begin thanking God for His answer rather than repeating the question.

Besides, God already knows your need, He just loves to hear your voice. 

Matthew 7:7–8 (NKJV)

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

The Model of the Lord’s Prayer

9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Identification & Worship

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 

Prayer should always begin with an understanding and recognition of Who God is.  Until we know Him, we cannot relate to or with Him.

Submission & Obedience

10 Your kingdom come.Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 

Once you understand Who God is, by worshipping and identifying Him and who you are in Him, you will be moved to submit to and obey the Lord!  When your will is submitted to His will, you will find the blessings of obedience overwhelm the pitfalls of rebellion and you will begin to live in the favor of the Lord!

Provision

11 Give us this day our daily bread. 

The asking part of prayer must never precede the worship of God.  We are not in a position to request of or petition God unless we have recognized Him for Who He is, and then submitted our lives unto His will.  But once we do, we can enter the throne room boldly and seek His help.

Psalm 37:4–6 (NKJV)

4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass.

Provision – What we need from God

Forgiveness & Reconciliation

12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 

Forgiveness – What God wants from us, contrition, repentance, etc.

Reconciliation – What God requires of us (Verses 14 & 15 tell us that if we do not forgive others, God cannot or will not forgive us!)

Protection & Deliverance

13 And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one. 

Protection – God protects those who know Him and obey Him

Deliverance – God has all power, and will stop the hand of the enemy if we walk with Him.  Walking alone is unprotected.  Walking with God is the path of protection and blessing.  (Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh)

More Worship

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 

MORE WORSHIP – Begin and end your time in prayer with worship. 

Takeaway Thoughts

  • Prayer is not a pattern or a show
  • Prayer begins with worship
  • Prayer involves intercession
  • Prayer ends with worship

 

Praying for Pentecost

  • Those wishing to participate in Praying for Pentecost are asked to sign up through the form located on this page:  http://www.churchofgod.org/prayingforpentecost
  • A daily (Monday through Friday) five-minute prayer time. Starting promptly at 12:00 noon EST, church leaders will appear on the Church of God Facebook page (COGHQ) to offer a five-minute time of prayer, broadcast via Facebook Live. The live events will begin on Monday, April 23 and continue every weekday until Thursday, May 31

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