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Bible Basics

For Smart People
Who Do Not Want To Be Dummies
About God and the Bible

(Parts I, II, III)
By J. George Cover

Lesson 8 - What About Prayer? Part I. (Text Version)

Scripture References: Luke 11:1; Matthew 6:5-15.

Forgiveness of Our Sins by God.

What Is Prayer?

It means to ask, intreat, beseech, intercede, make supplication, implore, call near, or invoke.
To many people, prayer is only asking God for something. It should be more than that. It should be something additional, both before and after asking. This is shown by the example as taught in the "Lord's Prayer."
The following accrostic can help us remember a proper order for prayer:

A    DORE This implies worship, fellowship, communion.
C    ONFESS. What right does anyone have to ask a favor, having unconfessed sin? An insult!
T    HANKSGIVING. Should we only ask and never say "Thank you"?
S    UPPLICATION. This means asking, beseeching.

When we pray, we should not do all the talking. We should wait and let God talk to us. He may have important instructions for us in the Scriptures or by the Holy Spirit. We should pray, "Lord, What would you have me do?" and really want to know and do it.
FAITH is important when we pray. "Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11: 6).
Many people get through praying long before they have PRAYED THROUGH. Their mind is cluttered and they never "wait for the train to go by." They have not waited until they have sensed God's presence by His Holy Spirit and until they have really had fellowship and communion with God before they blurt out their requests.
Some people pray, but they never "pray in the Spirit" or "pray in the Holy Ghost. See I Corinthians 14:15, Jude 20. Do you? Perhaps you have never been "baptized with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 1:4-5; 2:4). It is then that you can know better the depth of real prayer.

What About Memorized Prayers?

There may be a place for memorized prayers, such as the "Lord's Prayer," a child's bedtime prayer, a child's mealtime prayer or something that you have found that expresses what is really in your heart. However, would your intelligence be insulted if your closest friends or relatives only talked to you in memorized speeches? How about an all-intelligent God who wants a personal relationship with his people? He wants us to talk to him out of our heart and out of our intellect.

To Whom Should Prayer Be Addressed?

Jesus taught us to address our prayers to "Our Father, who is in Heaven". It might seem awkward if He has not really become OUR Heavenly Father and if we have not really become his child, through receiving Him (John 1:12) through the new spiritual birth as described in John 3:1-12.
Jesus said "How much more shall your Heavenly Father give good things to them that ask Him? In John 14:13-14, Jesus said that we should ask the Father "in my name" To ask in Jesus name means more than just saying those words. He means that we should ask and expect to receive the same as if it were Jesus asking. It is because of Jesus that the Heavenly Father will grant our requests. "In the name of" means in or by the authority of.

"Please tell me more."

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