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Ignite Cell Lesson 5

Prayer

What is Prayer?

Prayer is a personal communication from us to God.


It helps us to know about God and truly know God.
Through prayer, we can communicate our requests to God, confess our sins
to God, and give adoration, praise and thanksgiving to God.

Why Do We Pray?
We pray as a means to discern Gods will upon our lives, and also a means
of getting Gods will done on earth (not to fulfill our own wants but rather
what God desires)
So that our dependence and trust in God may increase (Matt 21:22).
So that our relationship with God will deepen and grow.
To ask God for His strength and power to overcome temptations and sin.
So that we become part of Gods kingdom advancement as His will is done
on earth (Matt 6:10).

How do we approach God in prayer?


In humility as we recognize God as the source of our salvation, without
Christ reconciling us to God the Father, we have no right to ask God boldly
for anything. Let us regularly remember that as a non-believer our personal
sins disqualify us from requesting anything from a holy God.
We must remember that we pray not simply for what we desire but instead
for what God desires.
In faith believing we have already received what we ask for (Hebrews 11:1).
We should approach Him in confidence believing that He is faithful and
sovereign to accomplish what He has promised us through His Word (His
word is final).

Why do we say in Jesus name?


Because by doing so, we are acknowledging that Jesus is the only true
mediator between a holy God and sinful men (John 16:23). We pray with His
authority and ask God to act upon our prayer as we pray for things that will
honor and glorify His name.
Our prayer should be prayed based on his authority as our mediator and in
accordance with his character; it is not a magic formula where you just
attach those words to a prayer. It is meaningless if what we ask for in
prayer is not for Gods glory and according to His will.

Hindrances to Prayer

1. Unconfessed Sins
It forms a barrier between us and God, for we cannot come to God with a
clear conscience knowing that God is holy and He detests sin. (Psalm 66:18,
Proverbs 15:29, 1 Pet 3:12))
2. Unforgiveness
Unforgiveness is linked with the bitterness and hatred that we keep in our
hearts. Similar to allowing sin to take root in your life.

Matthew 6:14-15
14
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also
forgive you,
15
but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father
forgive your trespasses.

We have been called to forgive others just as we have been forgiven by


Christ.

3. Wrong Motives
Selfishness: When our prayers are selfishly motivated, we begin asking God
for what we want rather than what He wants to accomplish in our lives.

1 John 5:14
If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Our requests to God must not contradict His will but must be in agreement
with it. We should not ask for anything contrary to His will or for selfish
things on our part.

James 4:3
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your
(worldly) passions.

4. Unbelief
We pray when we have a secure belief and understanding of Gods
character, nature and motives, having a confidence that our life is in Christ.
But when we have unbelief, well see no point in approaching God because
wed rely on our own intellect, knowledge or ways in handling matters of
life.

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw
near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who
seek him.

So let's not have any hindrance between God and us!

That does not mean that we have to be completely free from sin in order for
God to hear our prayers. If only God answered the prayers of the perfect,
sinless people, then he would only answer the prayers of Jesus. And, as was
mentioned earlier, it is only because of Jesus work on our behalf that God will
hear our prayers. We do need to seek and pursue holiness in our lives. The
pursuit of holiness is often the path to greater blessing.

Coming to God in Confession and Repentance (1 John 1:8-9)


8
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We can come before God in confession and repentance if we recognize that we
have allowed something to come between us and God.

God will forgive us of our sins because of what Christ has done on the cross.
He is faithful and just to His children to give us the strength and power to
persevere or overcome them. It is through Jesus death and resurrection that
we can receive pardon and be cleansed from our sins.

Questions:

1. Why does God want us to pray?


2. Is God required to give us what we ask for in prayer? Why or
why not?
3. Is there anything in your life right now that might be hindering
your prayers?

*Optional (you can think of one your own)

E.g. Take a moment to pray, thanking God for what he has done
through His Son Jesus Christ, asking God to forgive you for
those things that hinders your prayers.

Glossary
Discern To perceive the truth with the Lords wisdom
Gods will Gods absolute plan
Sovereign Gods absolute right to do all things according to his own
good pleasure and will
Honor An internal attitude of respect and reverence,
accompanied by appropriate attention or even
obedience towards God
Glorify To worship and give reverence to God
Conscience The inner sense of what is right or wrong in ones
conduct or motives
Root To implant or establish deeply
Trespasses The violation of the law of Christ; sin
Unrighteousness Wickedness; wrong-doings
Repentance Turning from sin, resulting in change of actions that
please the Lord.
Confession To acknowledge ones faith in the existence and
authority of God, or in the sins of which one has been
guilty
God is just Righteous in justice
Meditation To engage in thought or contemplation; reflect
Godly counsels A spiritual authority that is