The aims of prayer
What are our Prayer targets
What or whom should we pray for?
Usually we are preoccupied with our own interests when we pray
or we overlook many things because we hurry through it because we are in a hurry or we don’t make enough time
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Jesus is describing the methods of prayer
Those who pray with improper motives have their reward, like those who do charitable deeds in order to be seen by others or with improper motives at heart
The verb translated “have” was used in receipts and is similar to “paid in full”
Why one prays determines how one prays
(5) There are those who only pray when others are around for show
Nothing is wrong with repeating prayer but Jesus is focusing here on the empty repetition
(8) Your Father knows – You don’t have to worry about what others think
I Timothy 2:1-4
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Paul is saying to Timothy
“First of all before anything else – Pray for all men”
Why is Paul telling us to pray for all men in this passage?
He gives 5 aims of prayer for the believer
Why should we pray for all men?
1) That authority governs properly
(I Timothy 2:2) For kings, and all who are in authority
We need to have a clear and biblical understanding between our faith and the government under which we live. We might not agree with it but we are to pray. We are also called to obey government unless it comes between ourselves and God
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Paul is telling his readers through the divine authorship of the Holy Spirit of God to pray for all kings and all men in authority
Remember when Paul wrote these words, Nero was on the throne
Nero – Persecuted the Christians like no other
This tells us that God is saying that we should pray for all in authority regardless of who they are
Saved or unsaved
Christian or atheist
We are to pray for them because God, the Supreme Authority placed them where they are. We are to respect their office even if we don’t agree with them
God has ordained that every believer is subject to the governing authority even if that authority is evil
Nero was emperor of Rome
He cruelly persecuted the Christians, yet Paul exhorts those same Christians to subject to Nero’s authority because that authority came directly from God
(13:4) – Capital punishment
Authority is accountable to God whether good or bad
and we must remember that we are subject to God first before any other
15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?”
19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.”
20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.
We need to pray that government and civil authorities will be able to govern peaceably because the ministry of prayer reaches to the highest level
We need to pray that the Lord will give such an essence to His person in the situation and that the ruler will be open to God so they would be able to govern peaceably
2) That citizens live peaceably
I Kings 3:1-15
1 Now Solomon made a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh’s daughter; then he brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall all around Jerusalem. 2 Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the LORD until those days. 3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.
4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
(3) That we may lead a peaceful life
We should pray for one another
This earth will be terrible after the rapture because the mindset of prayer will be gone
because the restrainer (the Holy Spirit) will be gone
4) That sinners will be saved personally
(I Timothy 2:3-4)
We should not pray that God would force His will on someone but we should pray that God would send someone in that persons life to witness to them
17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”
20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Jesus did not force Himself on the rich young ruler
He didn’t force him to stay
He let him go
God forces Himself on no one
He gives man free will
He would be going against His word if He forced Himself on someone
God speaks to and prods the heart of man
He longs for us all to be saved but allows us to choose Heaven or hell
God would have all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4)
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
God wants all men to be saved – 2 Peter 3:8-9
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[b] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Jesus died for all on the cross – John 3:16-21
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Within the circle of His Omnipotence God determined that man will have a free will
He also established how far that free will could go
All have sinned (Romans 3:23)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Yet we are told in scripture that He died on the cross and bought all
The Lord bought even the false teachers when He died on the cross
(2 Peter 2:1)
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
Man has free will. He can either choose to accept or reject the gospel
God can’t forcibly save or damn a person and still allow them to have free will at the same time
Does God know everything and probably know in the end who will be saved and lost?
I do believe that but I also believe that God can allow things to happen in our lives before we are saved in order to just let us go and make the choice for ourselves and answer our own destiny
Our task as children of God is to pray that God will send a person into that unsaved person’s life who will show them the love of God and lead them toward Him
There is only one way for sinners to be saved and that is personally
Our task is to preach the word of God
We are to be filled with the Spirit of God and tell others about Him
God’s job is to pursue the heart of the unsaved
Evangelism – We need to be sensitive to Him so we can be used by Him in this world At our jobs
On the street
We are the ambassadors of God to the whole world
5) That our homes might interrelate profitably and love perpetually
I Peter 3:1-7
1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
Discord in the home can hinder prayer life
Our prayer lives could be haltered when we don’t fulfill our jobs at home
We need to respond to our God given roles
6) That Christians grow progressively
9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;
Praying always for you
We need to pray for one another
My task is to make the spiritual condition at home and around me so that the relationship to God is strengthened for my wife and my children and others around me and so that our spiritual outlook is stronger
We need to be sensitive to God
We need to know when He has a burden for us
We need to be ready and willing to listen
God always stirs someone else up when he is planning to do something in our lives and we need to be ready to pray and strengthen that other person when He calls us
7) That God might be glorified perpetually
My prayer life should glorify God
When I give my voice to God in prayer it should be to exalt the Savior
I should lift Him in my prayers
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
“Hallowed be Thy Name”
The Father should be glorified before anything else
Prayer is an address to the Father in the Name of the Son by the Holy Spirit
When we pray we are literally standing in the throne room of God
We are kneeling before His throne and we must remember that we are there in His will and not of our own
His wants, desires, and will should be before our own