• Ericca Dunn

Prayer Series - Part 1



PRAYER SERIES

Part 1


POEM

Got up early ONE morning,

rushed right into the day,

Had so much to accomplish,

didn’t have time to pray.

Troubles just seemed to find me,

And heavier with each task.

Why doesn’t God help me I wondered?

He said, “You didn’t ask.”


I tried to come into God’s presence,

I used all my keys to the lock.

Then God gently and lovingly asked me,

“My child, why didn’t you knock?”

I wanted to see joy and beauty,

But the day was just grey and bleak.

I asked the Lord for the reason,

He said, “It’s because you didn’t seek.”


I woke up early THIS morning, and paused before entering the day.

I have so much to accomplish,

I have to take time to pray.

Trying to define something like “Prayer” in the Bible is not easy.

Even breaking it down into categories can be difficult because there is so much overlap of the categories.


I will none-the-less, try teaching about prayer in general, and then the “Lord’s Prayer” in detail, breaking it down word-by-word.

The categories will be in the format; Why, How, Where, What, When (how often) and Who.


Today we begin with WHAT prayer is.

Prayer can be defined or categorized in a number of different ways.

SOME EXAMPLES OF DEFINING PRAYER


1. Prayer can be defined as, “Communicating or talking to God”.

2. Prayer is often defined as serving two purposes, “Praise and Protection”.

3. My favorite is seeing prayer as including;

Confession, Adoration, Thanksgiving, and Supplication/Stuff.

A HELPFUL OUTLINE FOR PRAYER

C.A.T.S.

C onfession, A doration,

T hanksgiving, and Supplication/Stuff.

THE IMPORTANCE OF “BALANCE” AND EVALUATING YOUR COMMUNICATION HABITS

1. Big things (most people have this habit when talking to GOD, but not necessarily when talking to OTHERS)

2. Small things (most people do not have this habit when talking to GOD)

3. Same old things (most people have this habit when talking to GOD as well as when talking to OTHERS)

BALANCE IS CRUCIAL


First of all, we are all imbalanced.

It can be very helpful to evaluate what our life would look like if we placed most of our prayer emphasis on any one of the four;

(Confession, Adoration, Thanksgiving, or Supplication/Stuff.)

THE IMBALANCE OF “CONFESSION”

Our communication and relationships could easily become based on apologizing all the time.

Pros:

1. It is good and healthy to apologize.

  1. We will model to others how to express confessing.


Cons:

1. We will be tempted to think ourselves ALWAYS WRONG (to the one extreme) or NEVER WRONG (to the other extreme).

2. This may affect our communication with God and others by our perceived need to defend ourselves all the time.

3. We May avoid talking to God or Others all together because they remind us of how bad we think we are.

4. If we do not live in the Grace that confession is supposed to point us to, then we can easily become oppressed by negative things.

THE IMBALANCE OF “ADORATION”

Our communication and relationships are based on complimenting others all the time.

Pros:

1. Everyone loves and needs a little encouragement.

  1. We will model to others how to express compliments and adoration.

Cons:

1. It can get draining.

2. When we have to address or confront things, others might think that we are mean since we are usually so adoring, positive and encouraging.

3. We can be so adoring that we get type casted. Others may want us to always “play our role”.

4. It can also tempt us to selfishly elevate adoration to the level of “flattery”, which is defined as, “Excessive and insincere praise, given especially to further one's own interests”.

THE IMBALANCE OF “THANKSGIVING”

Our communication and relationships are based on Thanking all the time.


Pros:

1. It is always good and right to be thankful.

2. The more we do it the more it becomes a part of us.

3. We will increasingly become more content in life, because we are always in the process of counting our blessings.

4. We will model to others how to express thankfulness.

Cons:

1. Like the “Boy who cried wolf”, if we express thankfulness for everything, people may not believe that we are truly thankful for sacrifices that they may make to help you.

2. We may lose our credibility and appear phony.

THE IMBALANCE OF “SUPPLICATION or ASKING FOR STUFF”

Our communication and relationships are based on “asking” for Stuff all the time.


Pros:

1. How do we know if we don’t ask?

2. We have not because we ask not.

3. It causes us to think more about what we

want or really need when we have to form

a sentence to ask for it.

4. We will model to others how to ask for things for ourselves and others.

Cons:

1. We can easily become a “Taker” rather than

a “Giver”.

2. We can easily become angered when we

don’t get what we want.

3. We can easily become lazy and maybe even

feel entitled.

HOW JESUS PRAYED

JESUS AND CONFESSION

He did not personally confess because

he did not sin.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” -2 Corinthians 5:21

“’He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. ‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” -1 Peter 2:22-24

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” -Hebrews 4:15

“You know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.” -1 John 3:5

JESUS AND ADORATION


“At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure’” -Luke 10:21

JESUS AND THANKSGIVING

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body’” -Mark 14:22

JESUS AND SUPPLICATION/STUFF

“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” -Matthew 26:39


CONCLUSION

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18



Word of Life Church

17525 W. Bell Rd.

Surprise, AZ 85374

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