Sweet Hour of Prayer - July 18 Sermon
Updated: Aug 8, 2021
We need to learn more about prayer. The disciples of Jesus asked Him how to pray because they saw how He lived and realized the secret to Jesus is His prayer life. We should live a life like Jesus so we would provoke others to ask what we are doing, and we can teach them the same secret that Jesus taught His disciples.
If we want to see a change in our prayer life, we need to change the value of prayer before changing the method of praying. Jesus prayed in the mountain, prayed while fasting, prayed in the morning and in the evening, and He prayed in the Spirit. The Lord's Prayer is only a portion of what Jesus wanted to teach His disciples. To be exact, Jesus didn't pray this prayer. Rather, He taught us how to pray using what we now know as the Lord's Prayer. The reason why He did not pray this way was that Jesus never sinned, so He did not need to seek forgiveness.
We need to learn the contents and the attitude of the Lord's Prayer.
First, it starts with God, our Heavenly Father. It is all about God. Then we pray for ourselves. The format of the prayer goes God, us, and then God.
When we begin, focus on God, because without having the right relationship, we cannot connect with Him in prayer.
Afterward, address our physical needs, relational needs, and lastly, our spiritual warfare needs. This captures the content of the Lord's Prayer. Next, we need to take a look at the attitude of the prayer.
Right motive is important as the parable Jesus mentions after the Lord's Prayer illustrates a man adamantly knocking on his neighbor's door to get some bread for his friend. What is our motivation for prayer? Is it for others or ourselves? God wants us to check our motivation.
If we need to pray, we need to overcome shame first. Shame is the first stumbling block of prayer, but successful prayer comes from overcoming shame. To overcome it, the first checkpoint we need to reach is checking our motive. Going back to the parable, the man's motive was more important than his reputation. The man wanted to care for his friend more than what others thought of him. Shameless audacity, therefore, is a requirement of answered prayer. Let go of people's opinions, and God will reveal our true identity so we can be free from shame.
The second hindrance to prayer is disobedience. The key to overcoming this is to obey in faith. It's that simple.
Once we get going with prayer, it feels good. It's like working out, where once we build the momentum, we like what we are doing and the same goes for prayer. Once we notice the change prayer brings then we will be drawn to it even more.
The third hindrance to prayer is misconceptions about who God is and His characteristics. We are ignorant of God's presence and just how good He is. To overcome this, we need to reflect on the good things in us and realize that He is so much better than our best virtues and strengths. We need to see God through our reflection and see that He is a good good Father.