Sermon Notes: Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church, December 11, 2011
Pastor Milton Vincent
And 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… Rom 8:26
“Lord, teach us to pray”… Luke 11:1
FIVE THINGS WE MUST DO IF WE WISH TO SUCCEED IN PRAYING AS WE SHOULD
1. Realize that prayer is necessary.
-Rom 8:26 infers that (continuous, present tense) prayer is necessary.
-Paul thinks that prayer is necessary. (Rom 8:26)
-Jesus thinks prayer is necessary. (Luke 18:1)
Do we live as if prayer is necessary? Or are our lives too full of things that are optional?
Many things are optional. Prayer is necessary.
2. Realize that there is a particular manner of praying that is necessary.
-Yes, the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14 prayed, but his prayer was an abomination to God.
-James 1:6 states that we must ask in faith.
-We must ask with right motives. (James 4:3)
-We must ask according to God’s will. (1 John 5:14)
If you really examine yourself, do all of your prayers measure up to how the above verses would instruct us to pray? You could end up being paralyzed in trying to pray or asking the question, “Why even pray?”
BUT(In consideration of point 2):
3. Confess that we don’t know how to pray as is necessary.
In Rom 8:26, Paul gives us the answer to how to pray as we should. Start by going into God’s presence and humbly confessing that we don’t know how to pray.
4. Ask and allow God to teach us how to pray as is necessary.
“Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1)
-The disciples had been spending time with Jesus and came to the realization that they needed Him to teach them to pray.
-In Luke 11, Rather than beginning with the words, “Our Father”, the Lord’s prayer (perhaps more rightly called the disciples’ prayer as it is Jesus teaching the disciples to pray in response to their plea for help) could start with the words, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
-Approach prayer as being led by God. Then we can know that something of the heart of God is being revealed in our prayers.
-Prayer originates from God and our prayer is in response to His leading.
-In this way we pray God’s will.
-This only happens if we posture ourselves in humility and ask God to help us, teach us how to pray.
–Prayer gives expression to the will of God.
“Prayer prompted by the Holy Spirit is the footfall* of the Divine decree.”
5. Savor the help of the Holy Spirit who prays on our behalf as is necessary.
-The Holy Spirit perfectly expresses our imperfect prayers to the Father.
-The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.
*footfall: approaching footsteps
Note from Terrie: This sermon was a paradigm shifter for me (especially Point 4, above). Thinking about this teaching on prayer helps me to see that my prayers should be less a list of things that I ask from God than an expression of humbly seeking God’s will and aligning my prayers with His good pleasure. I’m grateful to the Lord for using our pastor to help me bring my understanding of prayer into focus. Each year, our church devotes the whole month of December as a seminar on a particular subject. This year, the subject is prayer. I’m very excited to see what else I can learn this month.
By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel