If we do anything without prayer, we face the temptation to work out of our own flesh, not in the Spirit.
Even ministry, preaching the Gospel, and setting others free can be done with the wrong motivation if it is done out of the flesh or if it is not done in faith.
Romans 14:23 For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
1~ We pray because we are more concerned with being near our Father than we are with sacrifice.
Luke 10:41-42 “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Everything in Jesus' life flowed from his connection to his Father and the Spirit.
John 5:19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.”
Everything Jesus did was out of prayer, being intimately connected to the Father above in whom all good gifts come down.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
If you want to obey, you must first listen. Sacrifice without relationship is asceticism.
1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”
2~ We pray because we have faith that God not only hears our prayers, but that he answers and grants our requests even before we see the results.
Matthew 6:7-8 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
We often work out of our own strength, rarely relying on his strong arm to deliver us from sin and unrest.
Psalm 89:20-21 I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him.
God is our deliverer and provider who knows what we need before we ask and desires to give us good gifts.
Luke 11: 11-13 What father among you, if his son asks ford a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Holy Spirit is our intercessor and most precious gift.
John 14:26 But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
At any given time, we have troubles and worries, but Jesus said to take courage because he has overcome the world.
John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Peter tells us to cast our worries on him because he cares for us.
1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Jesus commanded us to pray for our daily bread.
Matthew 6:11 “Give us this day our daily bread.”
That means we rely on him every single day for our sustenance and life.
We can store up goods using wisdom (Proverbs), but we should never store up out of fear and doubt.
Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.
Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
David was rewarded for his faithfulness to Saul which was recompensed to him so that he was precious in God's sight and was delivered from trouble.
1 Samuel 26:22-24 And David answered and said, “Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the Lord's anointed. Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.”
We are people of prayer first before any of the programs, activities, outreaches, preaching, teaching, or discipleship.
Jesus modeled it.
Luke 6:12-13 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles.
Jesus commanded it.
Matthew 6:9 “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.””
Jesus blesses it.
Matthew 6:6 “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Don't pray just so you can receive something.
Pray to know Jesus and the Father and the Spirit, which is eternal life.
John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
Pray without ceasing. Abide in the Father's heart and in Jesus the vine.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Stop working out of the flesh. Live by faith.
Romans 8:6-8 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 1:17 “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Be a man of prayer. Demonstrate the Father's heart through your obedience to the secret place.
Matthew 6:6 “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.”
And when you pray, pray like this...
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.