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Christ-Centered Prayer

How to Pray Part 4 "While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God's Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do. Then, having arrived at the full stature of his maturity and having been announced by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him."Â - Hebrews 5:7-10

Review from last week What are some hindrances to prayer? Psalm 66:18 How do we get rid of hindrances in our prayers? 1 John 1:9 Knowing that God does whatever He wants with (despite) our prayers, how should we pray? Matthew 6, 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 What is intercessory prayer? Isaiah 62:6 For whom do we intercede? James 5:16

What's the difference between giving thanks, praise and worship in relation to prayer? Â 1 Chronicles 16:34, Ephesians 1:5-6, John 4:23-24

These (as well as other subjects) are all spokes on the "prayer wheel"; at the center of the wheel is _____? 

"Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.'" - John 14:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

Back to Basics (yet again). If you go to any christian bookstore, you'll find hundreds of all sorts of books on the subject of prayer. Do you have any books at home written on prayer? How many?  Are there any that you'd recommend?  Are there any that are just "fluff"? Rather than trying to read all of these books (and by all means try), why not just go back to what Jesus did and said?

1. 2. 3. 4.

So what did Jesus do? So what did Jesus say? What did Jesus not do or say? What is Jesus saying to do now?

So what did Jesus do? He prayed alone. - Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, Luke 9:18 He prayed corporately. - Luke 3:21 He prayed by a mountainside. - Luke 6:12, 9:28 He prayed in a garden. - Matthew 26:36, Mark 14:32 He prayed during a storm & rebuked it. - Matthew 8:26, Mark 4:39, Luke 8:24-25 He prayed for children. - Matthew 19:13 He prayed to be glorified. - John 17:1-5 He prayed for his disciples. - John 17:6-19 He prayed for all believers. - John 17:20-25 He prayed as he died. - Matthew 27:46

So what did Jesus say? It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples." And He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'" Then He said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and from inside he answers and says, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.' "I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs." "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." "For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened." "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?" - Luke 11:1-11

So what did Jesus say? "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full." "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you." "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." "So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." "Pray, then, in this way:         'Our Father who is 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 do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.               Amen.]' "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." - Matthew 6:5-15

What did Jesus not do or say? “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get." - Matthew 6:5 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!" - Matthew 6:7-8

What is Jesus saying to do now? To: Ephesus From: Jesus Re: Go back to your first love! “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do." - Revelation 2:2-6

What is Jesus saying to do now? To: Smyrna From: Jesus Re: Don't be afraid, remain faithful. “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan. Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life." - Revelation 2:9-10

What is Jesus saying to do now? To: Pergamum From: Jesus Re: You've been faithful; but don't follow the Nicolaitans teachings. “I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city. But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth." - Revelation 2:13-16

What is Jesus saying to do now? To: Thyatira From: Jesus Re: Don't follow Jezebel's teachings. Hold tightly to what you have! “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things. But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman— that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.  Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.  But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end,    To them I will give authority over all the nations.    They will rule the nations with an iron rod       and smash them like clay pots. They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!" Revelation 2:19-28

What is Jesus saying to do now? To: Sardis From: Jesus Re: Stone cold dead. Wake up! “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.  Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine." - Revelation 3:1-5

What is Jesus saying to do now? To: Philadelphia From: Jesus Re: Persevere and hold on to what you have. "I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love. Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name." - Revelation 3:8-12

What is Jesus saying to do now? To: Laodicea From: Jesus Re: Buy gold from me. “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne." - Revelation 3:15-21

So what were some of the overall themes of those "emails" from Jesus?

Go back to your first love. Don't be afraid, remain FAITHFUL, hold on, persevere. Don't follow false teachings. Wake up! Buy gold... from Jesus.

"Accept those whose faith is weak. Don't judge them where you have differences of opinion." - Romans 14:1 Can you think of any examples where Christians have differing viewpoints (NOT false teachings)?

Who is your First Love? "Jesus declared, 'I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.'" - John 3:3 "Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish.'" - John 11:25-26 "Jesus said, 'I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.'" - John 5:24Â "I see what you've done. Now see what I've done. I've opened a door before you that no one can slam shut. You don't have much strength, I know that; you used what you had to keep my Word. You didn't deny me when times were rough." - Revelation 3:8

Christ Centered Prayer  

How to Pray Part 4

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