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Lesson 7: The Prayer-Filled Life (Part 1)


Written by: Biblical Studies Foundation    Posted on: 04/09/2003

Category: Sermons

Source: CCN

 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Lesson 7:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; The Prayer-Filled Life  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; (Part 1)  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Praying Biblically and Effectively  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Introduction  ;  ;  ; One of my favorite portions of the Bible is Psalm 119. One reason is that in these 176 verses, the Psalmist  ;  ;  ; points us to the irreducible. By this I mean he focuses on the two most basic elements of our spiritual lifeù;the  ;  ;  ; Word and prayer. Just a casual reading of this Psalm shows this, but note the following facts:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Except for verses 1-3 and 115, every other verse (172 verses) is a form of prayer addressed to the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Lord. It provides us with a marvelous illustration of how to pray.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; In addition, the Psalmist uses ten different terms for the Word of God and all but verses 90, 122, and  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; 132 mention at least one of these terms. The large number of terms is designed to call our attention to  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; the sufficiency of Godæ;s Word and the number of ways God has designed it to meet our needs. Most  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; study Bibles give a list of these with a basic explanation of each term in the footnotes to this Psalm.  ;  ;  ; Psalm 119 teaches us the truth that, regardless of what life brings, God has given us two sources that are  ;  ;  ; totally sufficient and contain everything we need: (a) We have Godæ;s holy Word that gives us wisdom from  ;  ;  ; God, and (b) we have the awesome privilege of prayer that brings the power of God into oneæ;s life for  ;  ;  ; strength, courage, endurance, and deliverance along with spiritual growth and change.  ;  ;  ; Further, the Psalmist teaches us that the Word and prayer are like inseparable twins because, as the Word  ;  ;  ; reveals God, His all-sufficiency, infinite goodness, love, mercy, and grace, it also reveals man in his  ;  ;  ; insufficiency and total need. But in the process of this, God also offers man the opportunity (through His  ;  ;  ; revealed plan of salvation in the Savior) to come humbly to Him in prayer for His direction and supply.  ;  ;  ; As I read this Psalm, I am further challenged by some other observations. First there is the way the Psalmist  ;  ;  ; consistently turned his focus on the Lord rather than the problem he was facing at any given time, regardless of  ;  ;  ; its nature. A second observation is his constant dependence on God to answer (lead, direct, sustain, deliver,  ;  ;  ; etc.), but never just according to his own personal desires or wants. His prayer was that God would answer  ;  ;  ; according to His Word. Let me illustrate:  ;  ;  ; First, in at least fifteen places we have a clear contrast where the Psalmist calls out to God regarding a  ;  ;  ; particular problem, but he always turns his gaze immediately to the Lord and His Word. He gets his eyes off  ;  ;  ; the problem by keeping his eyes on the Lord through the Word. Note the following illustrations from Psalm  ;  ;  ; 119:23-24, 51-52, 61, 59-70, 78, 141-143, 161.  ;  ;  ; Second, though the concept of praying according to the Word is implicit throughout this Psalm, some 15 or  ;  ;  ; more times the Psalmist specifically makes his requests dependent on the principles of Godæ;s Word with  ;  ;  ; phrases such as, ô;according to Thy Word.ö; Note the following examples in verses 25, 41, 58, 116, 145, 156.  ;  ;  ; What is the point? In view of the rest of this Psalm, the Psalmist was not simply praying, help me because you  ;  ;  ; have promised in the Word to do so. For the Psalmist, prayer wasnæ;t just a matter of ô;naming and claiming.ö;  ;  ;  ; Rather, he was praying that Godæ;s purposes and plan might be accomplished in his life. He wanted Godæ;s  ;  ;  ; deliverance, of course, but in ways that would honor the Lord and produce spiritual change and growth in his  ;  ;  ; own life. Psalm 119 is one prayer after another, but always according to the principles, purposes, and  ;  ;  ; directives of the Word. Note in verses 59, 67, 71, 75 and 133 how the Psalmist was committed to what God  ;  ;  ; was doing in his life and this commitment controlled and directed the way he prayed.  ;  ;  ; Third, repeatedly the Psalmist prayed for insight and ability to both understand and apply Godæ;s Word. He  ;  ;  ; recognized his complete inability to properly understand and respond in faithful obedience apart from the work  ;  ;  ; of God. Verses 17-19, 26, and 33-38 will illustrate the point.  ;  ;  ; Our last lesson was devoted to the Word-filled life and it is only fitting that we now focus on the prayer-filled  ;  ;  ; life as another key element of Godæ;s gracious provisions that are so vital for our spiritual journey. For the most  ;  ;  ; part, the first section of this study will be little more than an outline on some of the key principles of the Word  ;  ;  ; on prayer. The verse references are self-explanatory when read in connection with the content of the outline.  ;  ;  ; This will be followed by an exposition of a few key passages on prayer.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; The Nature of Prayer:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Worship and Service to God  ;  ;  ; The basic meaning of the English word ô;worshipö; (originally ô;worth + shipö;) is ô;to act in accord to the worth of  ;  ;  ; something or someone.ö; Worship is in essence anything we do which honors God, demonstrates devotion to  ;  ;  ; Him, and acts in accord with who and what God is. In John 4:21-24, the word for worship is proskunew  ;  ;  ; which means ô;to kiss the hand, do reverence to.ö; It referred to an act of obeisance or reverence whether to  ;  ;  ; express respect and devotion or make supplication.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her, ô;Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father. 22 You  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; and truth.ö;  ;  ;  ; When we go to God in prayer, we are doing honor to Him in that we recognize Him as the all-sufficient one  ;  ;  ; and ourselves as truly insufficient or inadequate. This is suggested in the primary and general words for prayer  ;  ;  ; in the New Testament. These are proseucomai, the verb found 85 times, and proseuch, the noun found 37  ;  ;  ; times. Pros means ô;toward,ö; and eucomai means ô;to make request, invoke.ö; These two words are only used  ;  ;  ; of God in the New Testament. The preposition pros adds the ideas of direction, closeness, or approaching  ;  ;  ; God to make requests. Certainly as the general and primary New Testament words, proseucomai and  ;  ;  ; eucomai contain the idea of worship in the sense mentioned.  ;  ;  ; However, prayer, as a further evidence of reverence and honor for God, must also be seen as service and  ;  ;  ; ministry. In Philippians 3:3 the word for worship is the Greek latreuw which basically means ô;to serve.ö;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Philippians 3:3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,  ;  ;  ; When Satan offered the Lord Jesus the kingdoms of the world if He would bow down and worship him, the  ;  ;  ; Lord Jesus responded by using both proskunew and latreuw. This should broaden and give us some interesting  ;  ;  ; insight into the concept of worship. True worship in spirit and truth, regardless of the nature, includes service to  ;  ;  ; God. Note Jesusæ; reply when Satan tempted Jesus to bow down and worship him in Matthew 4:10: ô;Then  ;  ;  ; Jesus said to him, æ;Begone, Satan! For it is written, ô;You shall worship (proskunew) the Lord your God, and  ;  ;  ; serve (latreuw) Him only.ö;æ;ö;  ;  ;  ; Worship is not simply something we do in religious ceremonies and rituals in which we are supposed to be  ;  ;  ; demonstrating devotion to God. Regarding several words in the New Testament which contain the idea of  ;  ;  ; worship, Vine writes:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; The worship of God is nowhere defined in Scripture. A consideration of the above  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; verbs shows that it is not confined to praise; broadly it may be regarded as the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; direct acknowledgment to God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims, whether  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deed done in such  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; acknowledgment.89  ;  ;  ; We might note how latreuw is used in the New Testament.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Latreuw was used of temple service in Hebrews 9:9, ô;which is a symbol for the present time.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper (literally, ô;the one  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; who did the serviceö;) perfect in conscience.ö;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Latreuw was used of any kind of service to the Lord in Hebrews 9:14, ô;how much more will the blood  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; conscience from dead works to serve (latreuw) the living God?ö;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Latreuw was used of the service of oneæ;s life accompanied by reverence and awe as in Hebrews 12:28,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ô;Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; may offer to God an acceptable service (latreuw) with reverence and awe.ö;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Latreuw was used of the preaching of the gospel, ô;For God, whom I serve (latreuw) in my spirit in the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of youö; (Rom.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; 1:9).  ;  ;  ; Though prayer may take on various forms and roles, all prayer is clearly an aspect of worship in which we  ;  ;  ; demonstrate both reverence and service to God as an expression of the believeræ;s priesthood and ministry as  ;  ;  ; an ambassador of Christ.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; The Types and Role of Prayer as Worship  ;  ;  ; (1) Confession of sin. We can immediately see how confession is a form of worship or reverential fear in that  ;  ;  ; it is a response to the holiness of God. It acknowledges not only that God is holy, but that unconfessed sin  ;  ;  ; forms a barrier to fellowship and hinders Godæ;s answer to prayer. Obviously, if our prayer is to be effective,  ;  ;  ; sin must be dealt with. Prayer, to be effective, needs to begin with confession where we acknowledge sin to  ;  ;  ; the Lord (cf. Isa. 59:1-3; Psa. 66:18).  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to Thee, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ô;I will confess my transgressions to the LORDö;; And Thou didst forgive the guilt of  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; my sin. Selah.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the Lordæ;s hand is not so short That it cannot save; Neither is  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; His ear so dull That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; He does not hear.  ;  ;  ; (2) Praise.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Hebrews 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.  ;  ;  ; (3) Thanksgiving.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Christ to God, even the Father;  ;  ;  ; (4) Intercession. Praying for others in specific requests in service to God as a ministry of the priesthood He  ;  ;  ; has given us.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; 1 Peter 2:5 and 9 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Jesus Christà; . 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; people for Godæ;s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heartæ;s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; salvation.  ;  ;  ; (5) Petition. Prayer for our own needs in acknowledgment of our inadequacy and His sufficiency.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; The Divine Order of Prayer  ;  ;  ; (1) We pray to the Fatherù;our PROVIDER.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; John 16:23-26 And in that day you will ask Me no question. Truly, truly, I say to  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name. 24  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; your joy may be made full. 25 These things I have spoken to you in figurative  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; language; an hour is coming when I will speak no more to you in figurative language,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; but will tell you plainly of the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; do not say to you that I will request the Father on your behalf;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; James 1:17 Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; shadow.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Ephesians 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.  ;  ;  ; (2) We pray in the name of the Sonù;our ACCESS. (Cf. also John 16:23-26 above.)  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Ephesians 2:18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.  ;  ;  ; (3) We pray in the power of the Holy Spiritù;our MEANS.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Jude 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; the Holy Spirit;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Categories of Prayer  ;  ;  ; Understanding that the Christian life is a spiritual warfare, the following, based upon praying according to  ;  ;  ; military objectives, is suggested.  ;  ;  ; (1) Strategicù;long-range goals.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Colossians 1:9-12 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may walk in a manner  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; saints in light.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, ô;The harvest is plentiful, but the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; workers are few.ö;  ;  ;  ; (2) Tacticalù;immediate goals and needs.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Colossians 4:2-4 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; thanksgiving; 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; have also been imprisoned; 4 in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; speak.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Ephesians 6:19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,  ;  ;  ; (3) Logisticù;physical and support needs (cf. also Jam. 5:13-20).  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Acts 12:5 So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; fervently by the church to God.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Acts 13:3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; they sent them away.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Philippians 1:19 For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance through your  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,  ;  ;  ; It has been my observation that most people and most prayer meetings focus primarily on logistical needs,  ;  ;  ; particularly as they relate to illnesses. Our prayers often lack in vision for the great strategic and tactical  ;  ;  ; objectives for which the Lord has left us here on earth. In fact, when we pray for the logistical needs of food,  ;  ;  ; clothing, jobs, health, etc., what is our motivation? Is it primarily our comfort and pleasure? Or is it for the  ;  ;  ; provision of God so we can fulfill His purposes for the body of Christ in the Great Commissionù;evangelism  ;  ;  ; and building people in Christ for ministry? The prayer life of the believer ought to revolve around: (a) who we  ;  ;  ; areù;ambassadors of Christ, (b) where we areù;on temporary assignment in the world, and (c) why we are  ;  ;  ; hereù;to represent the Lord Jesus to a dying world.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Times of Prayer  ;  ;  ; (1) Private  ;  ;  ; Scheduled:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O LORD, Thou wilt hear my voice; In the morning I will  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Psalm 88:13 But I, O LORD, have cried out to Thee for help, And in the morning  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; my prayer comes before Thee.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Psalm 119:147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Thy words.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; secret will repay you.  ;  ;  ; Spontaneous:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Nehemiah 2:1-4 And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 So the king said to me, ô;Why is  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.ö; Then I  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; was very much afraid. 3 And I said to the king, ô;Let the king live forever. Why  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathersæ; tombs, lies  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?&

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