The wisdom of prayer
1) Learn the limits of prayer
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
The limit is God’s will. His will is reflected through His word
2) Learn the laws of prayer
A) The law of the clean heart Psalms – 66:18-19
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart,
The Lord will not hear.
19 But certainly God has heard me;
He has attended to the voice of my prayer.
B) The law of common harmony – Amos 3:3
3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
3) Trust the Lord of prayer
Genesis 18:16-33 – Abraham intercedes for Sodom
Scripture tells us when to start and stop praying
Abraham prayed when he learned the need of the city
This comes when I know and identify with the needs of others and I know what
God wants so that I move from praying generally (good) to specifically (better).
God’s burdens for others should become ours
A) Know when to start praying
B) Be steadfast in prayer
C) Know when to stop praying
2 Corinthians 5 – Paul’s thorn in the flesh
Paul prayed 3 times that the thorn in his side be removed
We learn more about God’s grace through the thorn than through deliverance
God’s steps are not designed to punish us but to teach us in each instance
If we go against God’s steps we go against His divine order