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Gene Cunningham - April 8, 2000
Simplicity in Christ #10
Simplicity from Prayer
Prayer is a major part of simplifying life. Genuine prayer cannot be separated from the Word of God (Eph 1:15-23, Eph 3:14-20, Eph 6:18). The Lord was compelled to go out and pray (Mar 1:35-38, Isa 50:4, Psa 90:15). God calls us to pray and we don't (Jam 4:2). Prayer is the most often recorded discipline of the Lord in scripture. Jesus exemplified that pray is a necessity for spiritual power and dynamics. The disciples asked why their exorcism wasn't effective; Jesus told them they needed to pray and fast (Mar 9:29).
Jesus and others in scripture set a chosen time in the morning (Mar 1:35, Psa 5:3, Dan 6:10, Lam 3:23). It was a matter of self discipline to the Lord. Jesus found a suitable place. Why did Jesus have to pray? He put a tremendous emphasis on it. The discipline of the Master became the desire of the disciples. Luke 11:1-13 shows the disciples were impressed that prayer was important to Jesus. He taught them to pray by praying after they asked about it.
His prayer had these characteristics:
- Relationship: "Our Father" gives us the right to address Him.
- Fellowship: "Your will be done" acknowledges His rightful role in our lives. God's name is only "hallowed" if we allow His will to be done in our lives.
- Surrender: "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". Obedience is necessary, even when we don't like what is happening.
- Dependence: "Give us day by day or daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us." We depend on Him for food, but also forgiveness and grace to forgive others (Mat 6:14-15).
- Deliverence: "And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one". Only being led by the Lord can we be delivered (Rom 8:14).
- Unity: True prayer is not self-centered, but communal.
- Boldness: "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves'" (Luk 11:5-8, Heb 4:16).
- Expectency: Prayer is determined to get answers (Luk 11:9-13). Jesus says all prayers are answered. It is God's nature to give (Psa 103:13, Jam 1:17).
- Biblical Priorities: "...how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luk 11:13, Eze 36:27, Joe 2:28, Joh 9:37-39). Holy Spirit gave gifts to men (Eph 4:8, 1Co 12:11, Isa 53:12, Eph 1:3). Holy Spirit translates our prayers into what is good for us (Rom 8:26-27).
What kind of impact did the Lord's teaching have on the disciples? "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers" (Mar 1:35, Act 1:14). We are all in equal standing with the Lord (e.g. women and men). Their prayers were focused (Luk 11:13, Act 1:5-8). The early church was effective in sharing and giving (Act 2:42-47). They devoted themselves to prayer and study (Act 6:1-7). God will not move in a mighty way among unbelievers until we give Him the freedom to move in a mighty way among us believers.
How can prayer make life more simple?
- Prayer fosters harmony among believers;
- Prayer facilitates giving and receiving forgiveness;
- Prayer lifts worry and anxiety off our souls;
- In prayer we find the sustaining power for greater fellowship, guidance from His Spirit, and supply from His Grace.
Life gets complex when we stop living it according to the owner's manual.
Scripture References: Acts 1:5-8, Psalms 103:13, Psalms 90:15, Ephesians 4:8, Lamentations 3:23, Luke 11:13, Luke 11:9-13, Isaiah 50:4, John 9:37-39, Daniel 6:10, Acts 1:14, Hebrews 4:16, Mark 1:35-38, Joel 2:28, Psalms 5:3, Mark 1:35, Luke 11:5-8, Ephesians 6:18, Ezekiel 36:27, Mark 1:35, Romans 8:26-27, Romans 8:14, Acts 6:1-7, Ephesians 3:14-20, Luke 11:13, Mark 9:29, Ephesians 1:3, Matthew 6:14-15, Acts 2:42-47, Ephesians 1:15-23, James 1:17, James 4:2, Isaiah 53:12, Luke 11:1-13
From Series: "2018 AYC Ladies Classes"
Nan Cunningham spoke to the ladies at the 2018 AYC Camp.