Monday, March 16, 2009

A Guide to Praying the Lord's Prayer

I am teaching on prayer in membership this Sunday and wrote this guide for the class.

7 Presuppositions of Biblical Prayer:
1. Prayer is for the approval of God and not man. Is your prayer life as fervent privately as it is publicly? Matthew 6:5-6.
2. Prayer is continuous throughout the day and in concentrated periods. Is time set aside in your day for prayer? Are you constantly looking to him for help and intimacy? Matthew 6:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
3. Prayer is persistent while trusting God already knows what you need. Are you trusting the Lord’s promise to provide your needs enough to persistently come before him asking him to do so? Matthew 6:7-8; Luke 11:5-10.
4. Prayer trusts God is seeking your good. Do you believe the Lord really is seeking your good? Are you willing to trust he is providing for your good in every circumstance? Matthew 7:9-11; Romans 8:28.
5. Prayer understands that Jesus is always interceding for you. Does Jesus’ constant intercession for you spur you onto to increased confidence in prayer? Romans 8:34.
6. Prayer doesn’t always know what to ask for but trusts the Holy Spirit is praying in our weakness. Are you willing to come to God in prayer even when you don’t know what to ask for? Do you trust he is helping you in this weakness? Romans 8:26-27.
7. Prayer is in accordance with God’s Word and for his glory. Are you meditating on God’s Word and asking God to apply it to your heart? Are you growing in biblical knowledge you can have better informed prayers? John 14:13-14; 15:7; James 4:3; 1 John 5:14-15.

3 Principles for Addressing God in Prayer:
1. Prayer is addressed to the God who is imminent, near to us, and cares for our daily needs. Do you come to God desiring to be at the feet of your Father who loves you? Matthew 6:9; 6:25-32.
2. Prayer is addressed to the God who is transcendent, holy, glorious, and all-powerful. Do you come to pray with humility knowing you don’t deserve to be in the holy presence of God and can do nothing to convince him otherwise? Matthew 6:9; Isaiah 66:1-3; 1 Timothy 6:15-16.
3. Prayer is addressed to our Dad who has adopted us in Christ. Is the Gospel on the forefront of your mind every time you pray? Matthew 6:9; Galatians 4:4-6.

6 Petitions in Prayer:

1. Pray for God’s Name to be set apart as holy. Matthew 6:9.

a. Study the Word to know the God who reveals himself.
b. Meditate on God’s attributes every day.
c. Pray that the glorious God you know will be known as glorious among all peoples.

2. Pray for God’s Kingdom to come. Matthew 6:10

3 ways we should pray for God’s Kingdom to come:

a. Pray for God’s kingdom of grace to spread in our hearts.

i. Pray our self-righteousness is replaced by the realization that we are completely spiritually bankrupt. Matthew 5:3
ii. Pray our loathing of suffering is replaced by rejoicing in the fellowship of Christ's suffering. Matthew 5:10-12; Romans 5:3; Philippians 1:29, 3:10.
iii. Pray our pursuit of self-protection and comfort is traded for the pursuit of righteousness. Matthew 6:33
iv. Pray our deepest treasure is no longer found in the riches of this world, but in the riches of Christ. Matthew 13:44-46
v. Pray our half-hearted and weak devotion will be replaced by confident and thankful worship. Hebrews 12:28

b. Pray for God’s kingdom of grace to spread in the hearts of others.

i. We must pray for God to raise up people to send into the mission field. Matt. 9:37-38
ii. We must pray that God will open a door for the Gospel for our missionaries and our church, asking that they would make the Word clear. Col. 4:3
iii. We must pray that Word will be honored and that our missionaries and church will be delivered from evil men. 2 Thess. 3:1-2
iv. We must pray our missionaries and our church will remain strong in the spiritual battle they are in and that they will have boldness to speak the Word. Eph. 6:18-20

c. Pray for God’s kingdom of glory to come finally and fully. Luke 18:1-8

3. Pray for God’s Will to be done. Matthew 6:10

a. Study the God’s Word asking him to help you grow holy. Psalm 119:9-11
b. Meditate on God’s Word asking him to give you wisdom. James 1:5
c. Pray for God to regenerate others so they will obey him. Ezekiel 36:25-27

4. Pray for our physical needs to be met. Matthew 6:11

a. Ask God for what is necessary for each day. He knows what we need and promises to provide. Matthew 6:11, Matthew 7:7-11, Matthew 6:25-34, Phil. 4:19.
b. Ask God for what is necessary to keep us humble and bring him glory. He has provided us with abundance so we can enjoy it and be generous to others, not so we will trust in it and deny Him. Proverbs 30:7-9, Luke 12:13-21, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, James 4:2-3.
c. Ask God for the needs of others. Jesus did not teach us to pray, "Give me this day my daily bread," but "Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

5. Pray for our spiritual needs to be met. Matthew 6:12

a. Confess your sins and trust God to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
b. Confess the sins of the church and ask God to forgive us.
c. Forgive others as God in Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

6. Pray for our moral needs to be met. Matthew 6:13

9 truths we should recognize and pray in the area of temptation and tests:

a. We have a fundamental distrust of ourselves and we pray to God to not lead us into trials that Satan will use to bring us into sin. Matt. 6:13

b. We recognize we can’t stand against him alone and we pray for God to deliver us from evil! Matt. 6:13

c. We thank God for our trials recognizing they will make us more like Jesus. James 1:2-4

d. We ask God in faith for wisdom in the midst of trials, so that Satan cannot turn the trial into an occasion for sin. James 1:5

e. We trust the faithfulness of God amidst trials and temptation and pray he will show us the way of escape he promises to provide. 1 Cor. 10:13

f. We submit to God’s Word and ask him to help us to rightly apply it in all circumstances. James 4:7, Eph. 6:17, Matt. 4

g. We pray for one another to stand strong in temptation and never think we are unable to fall into the same sin our brother has. Gal. 6:1, Matt. 6:13

h. We pray for God’s will to be done in every circumstance and not our own, no matter the temptation to want our own way. Matt. 26:39

i. We thank God continually for the fact that Jesus was faithful under every trial and in every temptation. Heb. 4:15

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