Pray in This Way
January 18, 2015
At the beginning of a new year, we often engage in self-evaluation —
- Perhaps you have an annual physical like I did this week.
- You may evaluate the state of your marriage and home — “how are the children or grandchildren doing and how effective are we being in helping and guiding them?…”
- You may make some goals for what you want to accomplish this year — books to read, weight to lose, trips to take, ministries to accomplish…
- You may set some long-range goals for what you’d like to do in the next 5 or 10 years.
- And you may do some spiritual self-evaluation.
But spiritual self-evaluation is a little harder, isn’t it? How do you determine the spiritual health of your soul? Don Whitney has written an excellent resource to help us evaluate ourselves, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health. But instead of talking about 10 necessities for the spiritual life, it has been my observation that there are really two primary indicators of our spiritual health. If these two are in order, then virtually every other measurement of spiritual life will also be healthy. The two areas of our life that are most essential are Bible intake and prayer; and as we begin the new year, I’d like to talk about both of them again. Last week we talked about what we should do with Scripture and what it should do in us. This morning we are talking about prayer.
Prayer is essentially just talking to God and while talking is not particularly difficult for most of us, prayer — talking to God — often is. And even when Bible intake is healthy, prayer often lags behind. I have rarely met anyone who has said, “My prayer life is exactly what I would like it to be.” And since that is true for most of us, perhaps we need a remedial course in prayer. So I would like us to look this morning at Jesus’ instructions about prayer in Matthew 6:9-15. What did Jesus teach about prayer?
Our prayers will become effective when we pray Christ’s way.
Here are two primary components to prayer (prayer is not particularly complicated):
- Pray to Know God (vv. 9-10)
- Pray to the Father (v. 9a)
- Pray to the Father’s glory (v. 9b)
- Pray for the Father’s will (v. 10)
- Pray for Our Needs (vv. 11-15)
- Pray for provision (v. 11)
- Pray for pardon (vv. 12, 14-15)
- Pray for protection (v. 13)
Download the rest of this sermon on Matthew 6:9-15.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.