Purpose and Promise of Prayer
Based roughly on “The Promise of Prayer” audio discussion – pine knoll – March 3, 2012
“The promise of prayer” implies an answer to prayer – when not all prayer is answered.
The problem with seeking a promise to prayer is manipulating God to get an answer you want, not submitting, listening, learning, and following God.
It is our responsibility to seek the will of God and to work in harmony with what the Spirit reveals.
We must not fall into the trap of making plans and then seeking divine approval.
You don’t go around to your friends and demand that they do something for you.
Promise to keep communication open regardless of what happened, He is always available for contact
Distrust breaks our contact with God, God’s presence to sinful people is painful, (Adam and Eve hiding in the bushes) He must have our permission to change us so we can communicate with them more directly
Prayer should be “without ceasing” – we threaten to degrade it by making it into a formal act. We should pray with a few words all throughout the day.
Enoch continue to walk with the Lord, and being in tune with Him
The promise of prayer is that God promises to be with us until the end of the age. We are the ones who must break communication
Distrust this delay always breaks down the amount of communication
If we always heard God’s voice audibly that would stunt our growth, limit our desire to seek Him out, could be abused, make us into blind followers instead of friends.
“How do you know that God hears us? Who’s listening?”
If I have a dialogue with God throughout my devotional time, why should I have a formal prayer at the end?
God is anti-manipulative. Anyone saying “God told me” destroys communication. We must be extremely careful about us using mmanipulative phrases such as that.
Sometimes we ramble to God and don’t listen for a response. We need to be open and listen at the end of our conversation with God.
God lets us open doors. He waits for us to ask before acting many times.
Our goal in life should be to stay close to God and always feel his presence at all times. This is the real meaning of the First Commandment.
“If we feel far away from God, guess who moved?” – bumper sticker
Why did Jesus pray? He was depending upon His Father for everything, not his own power.
The goal of prayer is influence – letting the influence of God transform us.
Luke 6, 22, John 5:17-20 – Jesus extremely reliant on prayer and connection to the Father
– This message is that We should have this relationship as well
Our tradition in our prayers is to pray to the Father, sometimes switch to the Son, usually not to the Holy Spirit, but all three are working tirelessly for the salvation of everyone.
A longing for God is evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in that person.
God reveals His thinking and His actions to His people
We must be in a humble relationship with God – or we are shutting God out
With a close relationship, we can be much more productive with that person
Do we still have prayer groups? Intimate circles praying for others? Why don’t we have intentional actions to reach out to God more than we do today?
– Parable of the unjust judge and the widow
– Why did Jesus compare His Father with this judge? Comparison by contrast, “I assure you that God will not drag his feet”
We treat God as someone who is slow to act, but He usually has a reason for being slow. Teaching us, growing our character, teaching someone else by our example, making things work out in the proper way, etc.
The way that we think of God has considerable implication on how we approach Him in prayer. We should not be looking upon God as stubborn, but be looking for the reason for the delay.
Ellen White prayed earnestly for the healing of someone who turned away from God. When she asked why God healed that person, she was told that because she prayed so earnestly, it would have had a negative impact on her ministry if He had not answered her prayer. Just like Baalem, God sometimes grants prayer based on persistence and not wisdom.
– Children of Israel, asking for a king, asking for meat
Prayer is a promise that he wants to get involved in our life at every moment, after we walk away from Him for a few minutes, for a hour, or for a day or more. The importance of prayer is never what we say, but what God wants say to us.