1st of 3-part prayer series: Prayer – God, Jesus, and You
Prayer is communication with God, and God’s responses involve listening and answering.
- God hears prayer (Psalm 65:2) and responds to the cry of those who reverence Him (Psalm 34:15, 145:19). Psalm 65:2, O You who hear prayer, to You all men (flesh) come. (explanation added)
Psalm 34:15, The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry.
Psalm 145:19, He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.
- He knows what you need before you ask (Matthew 6:7-8, Matthew 6:31-32).
Matthew 6:7-8, And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Matthew 6:31-32, [spoken by Jesus] “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” [text added]
- He delights to hear the prayer of the upright (Proverbs 15:8); it accomplishes much (James 5:16).
Proverbs 15:8, The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight
James 5:16, Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
- He is near to those who call upon Him in truth (Psalm 145:18).
Psalm 145:18, The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.
- He does not listen when you hold on to (harbor, regard) sin in your heart (Psalm 66:18).
Psalm 66:18, If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.
- He answers in response to your asking (Matthew 7:7).
Matthew 7:7, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
- He answers as you continue to obey Him (1 John 3:22).
1 John 3:22, and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
- He answers YES when you ask according to His will (1 John 5:14-15).
1 John 5:14-15, This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
- He answers in greater measure than you can ask (Ephesians 3:20).
Ephesians 3:20, Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us
- He will not give bad gifts as answers to your prayer (Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13).
Matthew 7:7-11 (spoken by Jesus), Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (insert added)
Luke 11:9-13 (spoken by Jesus), So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? (insert added)
- He does not answer when you ask in doubt (James 1:5-7).
James 1:5-7, 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 him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.
- God answers NO when your prayer is not according to His will (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (spoken by Apostle Paul), Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (insert added)
- God answers NO when His glory and grace are better revealed by your going through a trial instead of your being rescued from it (Matthew 26:39; 2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
Matthew 26:39 (spoken by Jesus), And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (insert added)
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (spoken by Apostle Paul), Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (insert added)
This study is used by permission and is from Self-Confrontation, a 480 page discipleship manual produced by the Biblical Counseling Foundation (http://www.bcfministries.org).
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