God speaks to us through the Bible. We speak to Him through prayer. In prayer, we make our thoughts known to the mind of God. No matter how much good we do, or how much we study God’s Word, we still need His care and protection. This is the reason Paul told us to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians ). It is important that we know the answer to some basic questions about prayer.
Who can pray? Only God’s children have the privilege of prayer (1 Peter ; James ). The privilege of prayer is for those who are “in Christ.” Does God hear the prayers of sinners? Yes, He hears them, but He does not answer them. However, God does help those who are seeking the truth (John ). For example, Cornelius was not a Christian. He was a good man who believed in God. He wanted to be saved. God sent Peter to teach him what to do to be saved (Acts 10:1-11:18).
Why do we pray? Prayer is a way for us to enjoy fellowship with God (Acts ). We pray for God’s help when we need it (Hebrews ). We pray because God has commanded us to pray (1 Timothy 2:8; Luke 18:1). We also pray to thank God for the blessings we receive from Him (James ).
Where do we pray? Can we pray only in the church building during worship? No, we can pray anywhere and everywhere. Two children were late for school. One said, “Let’s stop and pray.” The other said, “Let’s run while we pray.” We can pray whenever we need to. It does not matter where we are. Paul prayed while he was in prison (Acts ). Jonah prayed while he was in the stomach of the great fish (Jonah 2:1). Daniel prayed in front of an open window in his room (Daniel ). Hannah prayed at the tabernacle (I Samuel 1:9-18). Jesus prayed in a garden (Luke -41). When the church assembled to worship, they prayed. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayer” (Acts ). “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (Acts12:5).
To Whom do we pray? Roman Catholics pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Sometimes they pray to dead “saints.” Other people pray to the spirits of their dead ancestors. But Jesus taught His disciples to pray to God, the Father (Matthew 6:9). We pray to the Father through (in the name of ) Jesus Christ our Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).
How should we pray? Must we kneel when we pray? No. The Bible records a number of different positions for prayer. We must pray in faith (James 1:6). We must pray to God with “clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3, 4). Our prayers must be in keeping with God’s Will (Luke ).
Does God answer prayer?
Yes! He answered Elijah’s prayer
Five areas of prayer.
(1) Praise (Luke 11:2). We praise God for His power, wisdom, glory, holiness, righteousness, mercy, and longsuffering. We show our respect and reverence in this way.
(2) Thanksgiving (1 Timothy 2:1). We thank God for salvation, the joy of life, and for all the blessings He gives us. We must be thankful from our heart (Hebrews ).
(3) Confession (Luke 11:4; Psalm 66:18). Christians ask forgiveness for every sin they commit (1 John 1:7-9; Acts ).
(4) Petition (Philippians 4:6). We ask for the things we need, subject to God’s will (James 4:3). If we ask for help to be better Christians, then we need to work to be better Christians.
(5) Intercession (Colossians 1:9). We pray for others (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
We pray to God because He wants us to speak to Him. Prayer is an important part of a Christian’s life. It is one of the blessings of being “in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Does God hear your prayers? If you are not a Christian, you do not have the privilege of prayer. If you are living in disobedience to God, He will not hear your prayers. All spiritual blessings are in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). In order to get into Christ, we must believe and be baptized (Mark , 16; Galatians , 27). Why not obey the gospel today so you can have God’s assurance that He will hear your prayers?
God’s Plan of Salvation for Man
1. We must hear the truth. Romans 10:14; Romans 10:17.
2. We must believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Mark ;
3. We must repent of our sins. Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38.
4. We must confess Christ before men. Matthew 10:32,33;
5. We must be baptized into Christ. Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21;
6. We must continue to live for Christ Revelation 2:10;
2 Peter 1:10; 2 Peter 3:18.
Gift of churches of Christ – Not to be sold
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