Sunday School Lesson Outlines
Why Do We Pray?
If God has a perfect will how does our praying change any of that? What does it mean when we say God answered our prayer? Wasn't He going to do that which we were praying for any how? Can we really influence the hand of God? Yes you can!
1. Why would Jesus give the disciples an example of how a prayer should be if God did not want us to pray?
- Matthew 6:9 "This then is how you should pray"
Then he gave us a guideline:
- Acknowledging the awesomeness of God
- Praise for acknowledge His plans, provisions, relationships and His promise of protection
In praying this anything asked in His name will be granted.
Matthew 6:14 "If you forgive men when they sin against you, Your Heavenly Father will also forgive you."
At times we need to come to the Lord in prayer as part of the forgiving process to heal us from being wronged.
Chronicles 30:27 "God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven ..."
God listens and hears the cries of his people
Phillipians 4:6 "... with thanksgiving, by prayer and petition, present your requests known to God"
You see answered prayer has to come from the heart --- A heart that has a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
2. Jesus, who is our example for everything in daily living, prayed.
Matthew 26:36b "Sit here while I go over there and pray".
Jesus knew the need to communicate with God His Father. We also should should know this need for communication with our Creator and Heavenly Father. As we pray we need to allow time for God to speak to us through His Holy Spirit. Jesus can't answer your why's, explain why there is a wait and no answers if you don't give him the quiet time to do so. For our good sometimes His answer is no. At times our petitions are not in His will, will hurt the growing of His kingdom or change a plan He set for you. He may say no. Jesus received this as His answer. In Mark 14:36 we read how Jesus asked the Father if there was any other way, so that this cup (His crucifixion) could be taken from Him. God said no. This is the only way for people to be saved. Jesus then responded in obedience.
3. Sometimes the answer is yes when we have prayed for the plan He has for us. In Mark 11:24 we see He God wants our fellowship. As we petition God and talk to Him we mature as His followers. Our faith grows from a mustard seed and we begin to believe in God as our source and for the needs we become aware of.
Psalm 6:9 "The Lord heard my cry for mercy, the Lord accepts my prayer."
He wants to hear your heart!
Proverbs 15:8b "The prayer of the upright pleases Him"
Our Heavenly Father loves to talk to you. He wants to communicate to you and through you to His body!
James 5:15 "And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up."
I know many of you have an experience where He didn't save your daughter, son or yourself from sickness. We need to remember sometimes the answer is no for the sake of His Kingdom. We don't always know why He answered this way. The promise of Romans 8:28 assures us that our God remains in control. We haven't read the last chapter of our existence like He has. He is all knowing and we are challenged by faith to trust that He knows what is best for us. I would not have taken on studying His word, enjoying His presence and help working on articles if I would have been healed from multiple sclerosis. In my weakness the Lord receives the glory for my teaching.
4. In I Thessalonians 5:17 after Paul tells us to be joyful always he tells us to be a person of prayer. Do you know what happens if you were to accomplish this? we would be in a constant relationship with God. This is our motivation to be a person dedicated to prayer. It would be much easier to turn from temptation and forgive, to love unconditionally and follow other things Jesus modelled for us.
5. There are so many things to cover in one lesson of prayer. Jesus talked about prayer frequently because it's important. Don't just make it a daily ritual. Instead make it continually with reverence, praise, thanksgiving and faith. In being a person of prayer we are challenged to accept whatever the answer our Lord gives. This is to shape and train us into being the servant God wants us to be.
An old missionary adage:
"Some can't go, Some can't give, But all may pray!
Created By Julie Robinson
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