Gene Cunningham - April 8, 2000
Simplicity in Christ #11
Everyone can have a powerful prayer life like Elijah (Jam 5:16-18). Among the 100 days which are recorded of Jesus Christ, there's a great emphasis on prayer (Luk 11:1). Early church expanded by prayer (Joh 13:34-35). We need the right motive, method, and model for prayer.
Motive: prayer is not selfish (Mat 5:43-48). Rabbis took Lev 19:18 and perverted the commands by adding to them. Jesus railed against this religious teaching (Mar 7:8). "do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" (Mat 5:44). When you love your enemies, bless them, do good to them and pray for them (Rom 12:14-21). "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven" means that you are starting to exhibit His characteristics, namely Grace and Mercy (Mat 5:45, Mat 5:8-9, Mat 5:16). "For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust". His Love is unconditional; we show His character to those around us (Mat 5:45, Rom 6:13). "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?" (Mat 5:46). God rewards us for exhibiting His character (Mat 5:12, Heb 11:6, Psa 27:8).
Spiritual power behind prayer:
- Prayer is not asking to get, it is seeking God's face, and invitation to presence with the King.
- Obedience is not done out of fear, but a seeking of the presence of God.
- The greatest reward on this earth having sought God's face is to see it (Mat 5:8).
- Those who see His face in Mat 5:8, reflect His image in Mat 5:9
- Moses did not know the Glory of God was shining from his face (Exo 34:29)
Method: prayer is not for display; when people notice you have your reward. God doesn't listen to prayers of pretense (Mat 6:5-6). Prayer is a private issue. God rewards prayer (Psa 19:11, Psa 58:11). What is the motive? the Love of God. What's the method? planned, deliberate and secret Mat 6:6). What's the danger? making a show of your prayer life. What's the promise? God will greatly reward you. Jesus warns of making it repititious (Mat 6:7-8)
Manner: No prayer is a magic formula (Mat 6:9-13). Unique prayer: heavenly focus "Our Father in heaven". "Hallowed be Your name" is a command among three requests with heavenly focus to also include "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 forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation (Luk 21:36). When you ask for God's name to be "Hallowed" you are praying His will (Isa 45:11, Eze 36:22-28).
Scripture References: Matthew 5:8, Leviticus 19:18, Psalms 58:11, Matthew 5:16, Ezekiel 36:22-28, Psalms 27:8, Matthew 5:43-48, Psalms 19:11, Matthew 5:8-9, Isaiah 45:11, Hebrews 11:6, John 13:34-35, Matthew 6:5-6, Matthew 5:45, Luke 21:36, Matthew 5:12, Luke 11:1, Exodus 34:29, Romans 12:14-21, Matthew 6:9-13, Matthew 6:13, James 5:16-18, Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:44, Matthew 6:7-8, Romans 6:13, Matthew 5:8, Mark 7:8, Matthew 6:6, Matthew 5:45
From Series: "2018 AYC Ladies Classes"
Nan Cunningham spoke to the ladies at the 2018 AYC Camp.