Watchman On The Wall Prayer Ministry:
2959 Prayer Study Notes:
Prayer Changes Me
I Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings (James 4:7).
The Scriptures command prayer
The Scriptures ring clear from beginning to end with prayer and you can be certain of this, whatever is clearly taught in the Word of God, ought to be clearly evident in the Christian's life. God's plan for our welfare is attached to our prayer lives. God speaks to us in Scripture and we speak to Him in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). From Genesis 4:26 to Revelation 22:20 men and women of God seek the Lord in prayer.
Jesus taught and practiced regular and fervent prayer
Jesus' habits of prayer are evident early in his ministry (Mark 1:35) and this habit is everywhere present in his ministry to the disciples (Luke 22:39); eleven times Luke mentions that Jesus went away to pray. This pattern continued until the last moments on the cross (Luke 23:46, Matthew 14:23, Matt 26:36). Luke 18: 1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up (Matt 5:44, 6:5, Private prayer Luke 21:36.
Prayer is primarily an expression
of the believer's relationship with God and a desire to be obedient to the known will of God. When we pray in that manner it often brings startling results (Elijah - James 5:17, Samuel prayed for Israel at Mizpah – 1 Sam7:3-11. We may think we are communicating with God only when we pray, but we are also communicating with God when we fail to pray as in the case of the Israelites in Num 11. When the people complained about their hardships the LORD of course heard and his anger was aroused. He punished them with a fire of judgment. The Israelites pled with Moses, "pray for us"; when he did, the fire ended.
Those who understand the power of prayer
regularly ask others to prayer for them and the work of the ministry with which they are involved (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5) Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one… Col 2:2
Prayer strengthens our relationship with God
In Luke 22:46 we read that while the disciples were sleeping in the garden Jesus was praying. When Jesus returned to the disciples He told them to get up and pray that they might not fall into temptation. Only just before, Jesus had spoken to Peter, Simon Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers (Luke 22:31) Jesus, when tested, was found faithful; Peter, when tested, failed! Jesus' preparation was prayer; Peter was exhausted and fell asleep (2 Cor13:5-9, John17:15)
Prayer is a means whereby we experience the providence of God
2 Corinthians 1:8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
Prayer is the foundation for evangelism
First, it is the means whereby we may attain favorable circumstances for the propagation of the gospel (1 Tim2:1). Second, it prepares the way for the gospel (Rom 10:1). Unless God discloses to us what it is He would have us do we can not know when to go nor with whom we should speak (Acts13:11; 16:6-7).
Prayer brings spiritual growth
2 Thes 1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:15-23; 2 Chronicles 16:9).
Prayer is a means of receiving guidance
There is a clear word of instruction that is given to us in the Word of God, however, there is an additional need to apply this word of Scripture to the heart which is done through prayer (James 1:5; Acts 9:11; 10:9).
Bibliography on Prayer
- E. M. Bounds, Purpose in Prayer………….A small and simple book on prayer. Bounds wrote about seven of these short devotional books. They are all motivational, filled with examples of the saints prevailing in prayer and seeing God move in tremendous ways. The books are all short and simple reading.
- Dick Eastman The Hour that Changes the World……..An eminently practical book on prayer. One hour in five minute segments.
- The 2959 plan by Peter Lord may be purchased through Park Avenue Baptist Church-Bookstore, 2600 S. Park Avenue, Titusville, FL 32780, phone 321.269.6702 or at www.parkavenue.org.