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A Simple Lesson on Prayer

Part #1
• Importance of Prayer – Why we Pray
1. Prayer keeps us on alert for War
 Ephesians 6:12-18 (NASB)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the
spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the
full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having
done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your
loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in
addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to
extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of
salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all
prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on
the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
2. Prayer is God’s way of our obtaining things
 James 4:2 (NASB)
You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and
cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not
 We do not have because of the Neglect of Prayer
3. Prayer was regarded by the Disciples as the most Important Business of their
 Romans 1:9 (NASB)
For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son,
is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,
 Ephesians 1:15-16 (NASB)
For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which
exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks
for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
 Colossians 1:9 (NASB)
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray
for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all
spiritual wisdom and understanding,
 1 Thessalonians 3:10 (NASB)
as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face,
and may complete what is lacking in your faith?
 2 Timothy 1:3 (NASB)
I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers
did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day,
 “All the mighty men of God…have been men of prayer. They have differed
from one another in many things, but in this they have been alike.” ~ R.A.
4. Prayer Played an Important Role in the Earthly Life of Christ

 Mark 1:35 (NASB)
In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and
went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.
 Luke 6:12 (NASB)
It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the
whole night in prayer to God.
5. Prayer is the Means that God has Appointed for us to Obtain Mercy and Grace
in our time of Need.
 Hebrews 4:16 (NASB)
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that
we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
 Luke 11:8 (NASB)
"I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he
is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as
much as he needs.
6. Prayer in the Name of Jesus is the way Jesus Appointed for His disciples to
Obtain fullness of Joy.
 John 16:24 (NASB)
"Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will
receive, so that your joy may be made full.
 Psalms 16:11 (NASB)
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of
joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
7. In Prayer we are freed of Anxiety and Obtain the Peace of God.
 Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God,
which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in
Christ Jesus.
8. Prayer Accomplishes Much.
 Prayer promotes our spiritual growth as almost nothing else, indeed as nothing
else but Bible study; and true prayer and true Bible study go hand in hand.
• Sin is brought to light.
○ Psalms 139:23-24 (NASB)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my
anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
• God washes and cleanses us from our sin.
○ Psalms 51:2 (NASB)
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from
my sin.

• It opens our eyes to the wondrous things in God’s Word.

○ Psalms 119:17-20 (NASB)
Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep
Your word. 18 Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful
things from Your law. 19 I am a stranger in the earth; Do not

hide Your commandments from me. 20 My soul is crushed with
longing After Your ordinances at all times.
• God gives us Wisdom through Prayer
○ James 1:5 (NASB)
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives
to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to
• As we meet God in Prayer and gaze into His face, we are transformed
into His image.
○ 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NASB)
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the
glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image
from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
 Prayer brings power to our work.
• Mark 9:28-29 (NASB)
When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him
privately, "Why could we not drive it out?" 29 And He said to them,
"This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer."
• Ephesians 6:19 (NASB)
and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the
opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the
 Prayer brings about the conversion of others.
• Romans 10:1 (NASB)
Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for
their salvation.
 Prayer brings healing.
• James 5:15 (NASB)
and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and
the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be
forgiven him.
 Prayer brings blessing.
• 2 Samuel 7:27-29 (NASB)
"For You, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made a revelation
to Your servant, saying, 'I will build you a house'; therefore Your
servant has found courage to pray this prayer to You. 28 "Now, O Lord
God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised
this good thing to Your servant. 29 "Now therefore, may it please You
to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before
You. For You, O Lord God, have spoken; and with Your blessing may
the house of Your servant be blessed forever."
• 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NASB)
and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and
pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will
hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
• “What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not
new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the
Holy Ghost can use -- men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy

Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not
come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men --
men of prayer.” ~ E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer.

Part #2
• Praying Correctly
1. Pray TO God
 Acts 12:5 (NASB)
So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently
by the church to God.
– Notice to whom the church was praying.
– There must be a conscious approach to God in prayer.
– In most of our prayers there is really but little thought of God. Our
mind is taken up with the thought of what we need, and is not
occupied with the thought of the mighty and loving Father of whom
we are seeking it. It is often the case that we are occupied neither with
the need nor with the One to whom we are praying, but our mind is
wandering here and there throughout the world.
2. Pray in the Name of Christ
 John 14:13-14 (NASB)
"Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be
glorified in the Son. 14 "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
 Hebrews 10:19 (NASB)
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the
blood of Jesus,
 We have no authority by ourselves to enter into the presence of God. We
must rely, therefore, on the authority of Jesus.
3. Pray with Earnest and Intense Fervor
 Luke 22:44 (NASB)
And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became
like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
– Fervently is the word: ἐκτενῶς (ektenōs) Very literally,
prayer was arising earnest.
 Hebrews 5:7 (NASB)
In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with
loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was
heard because of His piety.
– Praying with “loud crying and tears”
 Romans 15:30 (NASB)
Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the
Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,
– The word strive implies strenuous effort.
– These are not flippant, weak, oh-by-the-way prayers
4. Pray with Fasting .
 Daniel 9:3 (NASB)
So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and
supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.

 Acts 14:23 (NASB)
When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed
with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
 Acts 13:2 (NASB)
While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
"Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called
 “If we would pray with power, we should pray with fasting. This of course
does not mean that we should fast every time we pray; but there are times of
emergency or special crisis in work or in our individual lives, when men of
downright earnestness will withdraw themselves even from the gratification of
natural appetites that would be perfectly proper under other circumstances,
that they may give themselves up wholly to prayer. There is a peculiar power
in such prayer. Every great crisis in life and work should be met in that way.
There is nothing pleasing to God in our giving up in a purely Pharisaic and
legal way things which are pleasant, but there is power in that downright
earnestness and determination to obtain in prayer the things of which we
sorely feel our need, that leads us to put away everything, even the things in
themselves most right and necessary, that we may set our faces to find God,
and obtain blessings from Him.” – R.A. Torrey

5. Pray in the Spirit

 Romans 8:26 (NASB)
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how
to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings
too deep for words;
 Often, when you bring your deepest, direst needs to God, you will find that
you do not possess the words to express what needs to be said. This is when
the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and teaches us how to pray.
6. Pray United
 Matthew 18:19 (NASB)
"Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that
they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.
 The idea here is not that one decides what to pray for and the others agree to
pray with him, rather, all involved have the same desire independently and
come together as one to God.
 Acts 12:5 (NASB)
So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently
by the church to God.
 Look at this verse again. Prayer “was being made fervently by the church”
 What happened?
– Acts 12:6-11 (NASB)
On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter
was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards
in front of the door were watching over the prison. 7 And behold, an
angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and
he struck Peter's side and woke him up, saying, "Get up quickly." And
his chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, "Gird yourself

and put on your sandals." And he did so. And he said* to him, "Wrap
your cloak around you and follow me." 9 And he went out and
continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by
the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they
had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that
leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out
and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from
him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, "Now I know for sure that
the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of
Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting."
7. Pray in Obedience
 1 John 3:22 (NASB)
and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His
commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
 Is this verse true for you?
 We only receive what we ask from Him as long as we keep His
commandments AND do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
 This accounts for a lot of unanswered prayer. How can we expect God to hear
our petitions and grant them if we will not hear His and do what He asks?
 John 15:7 (NASB)
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and
it will be done for you.
 Prayer and Obedience go hand in hand, you cannot separate the two.
8. Pray in Faith
 Mark 11:24 (NASB)
"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that
you have received them, and they will be granted you.
 Simple Question: Why pray if you do not believe it will work?
 How then do we learn real faith?
 Romans 10:17 (NASB)
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
9. Pray with Thanksgiving
 Philippians 4:6 (NASB)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
 When coming to God in prayer, we should remember the blessings already
received and prayers already answered and give Him thanks for them.
 If you constantly helped someone and they never once said “thank you,” how
long would it take for you to get fed up with their ungrateful attitude and
refuse to help them further?
 How is that any different to God?

Part #3
• Hindrances in Prayer – Why Prayers are not heard
1. Praying with wrong Motives
 James 4:3 (NASB)
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you
may spend it on your pleasures.
 What should your motive for asking for something always be?
 Answer – to bring Glory to God
 Asking for a “good” thing with the wrong motive is evil.
2. Praying with an unforgiving Heart
 Mark 11:25-26 (NASB)
"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone,
so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your
transgressions. 26 ["But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is
in heaven forgive your transgressions."]
3. Praying without Giving
 Proverbs 21:13 (NASB)
He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be
 Luke 6:38 (NASB)
"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good
measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your
standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."
 We will receive from God by the standard of measure we set ourselves. If we
ignore the cry of those in need, can we not expect God to do the same?
4. Praying with Idols in our Heart
 Ezekiel 14:3 (NASB)
"Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put
right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity. Should I be
consulted by them at all?
 What is an Idol?
 Answer – Anything we put before God.
 If we are not careful, what can become Idols?
 Answer – Anything: Girls, Boys, Toys, Children, Money, Fame,
Power, Comfort, etc.
 The question that needs to be asked is: Is what I am praying for leading me to
God or leading me to something else other than Him?
5. Praying with a wrong relationship between Husband & Wife
 1 Peter 3:7 (NASB)
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding
way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a
fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
 Husbands (or future husbands) and Wives (or future Wives) that are unkind,
deceitful, brutal or dishonoring to their spouses will most certainly be
hindered in their prayer life.

 1 Corinthians 7:3 (NASB)
The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her
 Ephesians 5:22-29 (NASB)
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband
is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself
being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also
the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your
wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so
that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with
the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory,
having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and
blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own
bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his
own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
6. Praying with un-confessed Sin in your life
 Isaiah 59:2 (NASB)
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And
your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
 Psalms 66:18 (NASB)
If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;
 John 9:31 (NASB)
"We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and
does His will, He hears him.
 Sin is the biggest hindrance of prayer. Sin separates us from God in every
 Genesis 3:8-9 (NASB)
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the
cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the
presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the
Lord God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
 One of two things may be happening if your prayers are not being answered
due to sin.
 You are a BELIEVER with UN-CONFESSED SIN in your life
 You are an UNBELIEVER that has NEVER REPENTED and turned
to Jesus for payment of you sin.