The Purposes and Blessings of Prayer

Introduction:

  1. Prayer is the Christian’s avenue of communicating unto God; and the Bible is His way of communicating unto us.  (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
  2. However, prayer cannot be substituted by the alien sinner to obeying the gospel of Christ.  (Luke 6:46).
  3. There are those who doubt the power of prayer (James 1:5-8).
  4. We now ask the question:  “What can prayer do?”

Discussion

The essential purposes & blessings of prayer are: 

I.                   TO PRAISE AND HONOR THE HEAVENLY FATHER.

A.     Jesus taught His disciples how to pray unto the Heavenly Father.   

Matt. 6:9, “After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

               1.  The term “Hallowed” means reverend, holy. 

B.     In writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul expressed genuine praise and honor to God. 

1 Tim. 1:17, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever.  Amen.” 

C.     We honor God by acknowledging that He provides all of our physical and spiritual blessings. 

Eph. 5:20, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”  

II.                TO GAIN FORGIVENESS OF OUR SINS.

A.     There are two avenues of pardon in gaining fellowship with God, one for those who have not obeyed the gospel of Christ and one for the erring child of God.

1.      The alien sinner is to obey the gospel by:  hearing the inspired Word of God that produces faith (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31), believing that Christ is the Son of God (Mark 16:16), repenting of his sins (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Acts 8:37), and being baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:37-38).

2.      The erring child of God must repent (Acts 8:22), confess our sins (1 John 1:9), and pray to God, asking for forgiveness. 

B.     Initially, when we were baptized, our sins were spiritually washed away by the blood of Christ (Acts 22:16).   

Acts 22:16, “And now why tarriest thou?  Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” 

C.     Later, as a child of God who has sinned, we are to pray for forgiveness in order that the blood of Christ will spiritually wash away our sins 

Acts 8:22, “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” 

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

III.             TO RECEIVE OUR DAILY BREAD AND THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE.

A.     Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ taught His disciples to pray unto God for our daily necessities of life. 

Matt. 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.” 

B.     The Heavenly Father is able to provide all our needs. 

Phil. 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 

C.     Daily bread and the necessities of life are provided by our Heavenly Father. 

James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” 

Matt. 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” 

Matt. 6:25-34, (Read!) 

Psalm 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” 

IV.              TO SEEK THE LORD’S PROVIDENTIAL HELP IN SPREADING THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.

A.     The purpose of the Son of God coming into this world was to seek and to save the lost.

Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” 

B.     The reason that Jesus Christ has not returned is because mankind is being provided adequate time to repent. 

2 Pet. 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 

1 Tim. 2:1-6, (Read!) 

C.     We should pray for laborers as soul winners. 

Matt. 9:35-38, (Read!) 

D.    We should pray that we will have the courage to faithfully proclaim the gospel and that there will be honest and receptive hearts to hear God’s inspired Word. 

Eph. 5:19, “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.” 

V.                 PRAYER CAN HAVE A POSITIVE EFFECT UPON GOD.

A.     In the book of James, he informs us that prayer can have an effect upon our Heavenly Father. 

James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” 

B.   Some examples of God responding to prayers. 

James 5:17-18, “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain:  and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”   

1 Kings 18:41-46, (Read!) 

2 Kings 20:1-6, (Read!)  Hezekiah 

Closing

   Let us continue to trust our Lord to hear and answer our prayers. 

--Dub Mowery

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