I.                   What is Prayer?

1.            Communion with God
2.            Submission to the Will of God  - A confession of utter dependence - It is an admission that healing / deliverance / answer is in God’s hands

Matthew 26:39 – “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

3.            Man’s permission for God’s interference in his life
4.            Prayer is all about asking God to do what He has planned to do – not to persuade God for fulfilling our desires
5.            Prayer is the expression of our desire to God not an insistence upon that desire

Luke 22:42 - Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

6.      An opportunity to praise and thank God and express our love to Him

Philippians 4:6 - “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7.            Entering into a partnership with God to fulfill a particular task
i.        Our desires reflect His plans

Matthew 6:10 -“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

ii.God does things – we stand along with Him

8.      An opportunity to express our love and concern for others – Praying for others

II.                Three Factors That Determine God’s Answer

1.                  Whether it is God’s Will to Answer?

1 John 5:14, 15
14 -   And this is the confidence that we have in him that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us
15 - And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

1.      If God answers all our prayers, it would be disastrous to us
2.      We are far from perfection
3.      Prayer conforms us to God’s will

2.                  Whether it is God’s Time to Answer?

1.                        Hanna’s Prayer for a son

1 Samuel 1: 10,11
10 - And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.
11 -       And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

i.              Hanna prayed for years
ii.            It was a long wait for Samuel’s parents
iii.          Samuel had to live at a certain time in order to accomplish a particular mission in Israel
2.                        Nehemiah’s prayer for rebuilding of Jerusalem

i.              He wept and mourned for certain days and fasted and prayed (Nehemiah 1:4)
ii.      Answer came in God’s Time
iii.    It occurred on a specific day
iv.    From the day, 69 weeks of years (483 years) would be completed to determine the very day that Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and hailed as Messiah (Daniel 9:25)

3.                  Relationship with God - Abide in Jesus

John 15:7 - “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Observe, in order to have influence with God, we must:

1.         Be united to Christ - if ye abide in me.
2.   That in order to be preserved in this union, we must have our lives regulated by the doctrine of Christ - and my words abide in you.
3.         That to profit by this union and doctrine, we must pray - ye shall ask.
4.   That every heavenly blessing shall be given to those who continue in this union, with a loving, obedient, praying spirit:-ye shall ask what ye will
If by communion and the study of the word we abide in Christ, our prayers will be of such a nature that it will fully accord with the divine counsel to answer them, for they will be prayers tending toward fruitfulness.

 III.             10 Conditions For Answering Prayer

1.                  Be Saved by the Blood of Christ  - Sin is a hindrance to answer

Psalms 66:18 – “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”

John 9:31 – “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.”

Proverb 15:29 - The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

Micah 3: 4 - Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

Luke 18 : 10 - 14
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

2.      Keep his commandments – Accept the Lordship of Jesus

1 John 3:22 - And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

3.      Un forgiveness is a hindrance – Forgive your brother if he has anything to you

Mathew 5:23, 24
23     Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24     Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

4.      Do not ask amiss

James 4:3 - “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

5.      The proper way - with Thanks giving

Philippians 4:6 - Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

6.      Diligently seek

                        No vain repetition

Matthew 6:7 - “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

Jeremiah 29:13 - “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

Hebrew 11:6 - “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Luke 11:5-10
5 -     And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 -     For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? {in...: or, out of his way}
7 -     And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8 -     I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
9 -     And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 - For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

7.      Believing

Matthew 21: 21, 22
21 - Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
22 - And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.            

James 5:15 - And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

      True faith is :

i.        A gift from God not something “worked up”
ii.      Total trust in God
iii.    Total submission to His Will
iv.    Complete assurance that God will answer
8.      Persist in Prayer – passionate persistence - no casual inquiry
Luke 18:1 - 8
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
9.      Two or Three shall agree

Matthew 18:19 - “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”

10.  Ask in Jesus’ Name

John 14:14 - “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
1.                  All our prayers must be stamped with the name of Jesus
2.                  The heart and life of the worshiper must bear the name of Jesus
3.                  “In the name of Jesus” is not a magic word to open all closed doors
4.                  It also means that prayer is for:
i.                    God’s glory
ii.                  According to His will

Professor Jacob Abraham

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