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"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." John 3:16



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Reasons and Motives for Prayer

 

Because of Our Need

(1) The problem of our inadequacy:

  • There is the need of prayer because of our great inadequacy versus God's perfect sufficiency and ability to meet our needs and provide for our lives.
  • He is the all-sufficient one with whom nothing is impossible, while we are just the opposite.
  • With man many things are impossible but with God nothing is impossible. (cf. also Luke 1:37; 19:26; Mark 9:23; 10:27; 14:36; Luke 18:27)
2 Corinthians 2:16b

And who is adequate for these things?



2 Corinthians 3:4-6

And such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.



Matthew 17:20

And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you."



(2) The problem of demonic powers:

  • There is the need of prayer because of the battle with demonic forces and powers who are many times stronger than we are.
  • Prayer is needed to employ our armor and experience God's super-abundant power against the enemy (cf. Dan. 10:1f).
Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,



(3) Our inability to bear fruit apart from God:

  • Prayer is needed for fruit bearing.
  • Without the Lord we can do nothing.
  • Prayer is one of the ways we bring the power of Christ to bear on our ministries and service.
John 15:5-9

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.



(4) The issues of our total dependency on God:

  • We need prayer because of our needs in general in the many details of life for which man is dependent upon God whether he realizes it or not.
  • The earth is the Lord's and all it contains belongs to Him.
  • It is He who gives to the sons of men (cf. Ps. 24:1 with 23:1; 50:10; 89:11; Acts 14:17; and 1 Tim. 6:17).
  • Everything comes from Him-food, clothing, housing, travel, sickness, ministry, open doors for the Word, prepared hearts, laborers for the harvest, and on the list goes touching and encompassing every area of life-spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, everything (Eph. 6:18f; Luke 10:1f).
Colossians 4:2-4

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 4 in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.



Because of What Prayer Accomplishes

  • The prayer of faith accomplishes much and moves mountains.
James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.



Matthew 17:20

And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you."



Because of What Happens Without Prayer
  • Without prayer we faint and we fail.
Luke 18:1

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,



Because It Is Part of Our Service to God and Others

  • Prayer is a privilege and responsibility God has given us as believer priests to serve or minister to and on behalf of others in displaying the loving concern and care of God.
1 Peter 2:5-9

you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." 7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone," 8 and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;



Hebrews 13:15-16

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased.



Because It Glorifies the Lord

  • As stressed above, when we go to God in prayer, we are acknowledging things about God that glorify Him.
  • We are acknowledging our insufficiency, and His all-sufficiency, love, fatherly care, and gracious provision.
John 14:13

And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.



John 15:7-8

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.



Romans 15:6

that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.



Objects of Prayer:
Things for Which We Should Pray

(1) Needs in general.

Hebrews 4:16

Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.



1 Peter 5:7

casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.



(2) Deliverance from temptation.

1 Peter 5:8

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.



(3) Leaders in government

1 Timothy 2:1-4

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 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.



(4) Our enemies

Matthew 5:44

But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you



(5) The sick

Matthew 14:36

and they began to entreat Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.



James 5:13-15

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.



(6) A sinning believer

1 John 5:16

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.



James 5:14-15

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.



(7) Effectiveness in fulfilling the great commission:

  1. for laborers in the harvest;
  2. for open doors for the Word;
  3. for clarity in giving the Gospel; and
  4. for boldness and courage to speak.
Luke 10:2

And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."



Colossians 4:3

praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;



Ephesians 6:18-19

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,



Ephesians 6:20

for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.



(8) The edification and growth of believers in the Word and in Christlike character (cf. also Eph. 3:14-19; Phil. 1:9-11; Col. 1:9-14).

Ephesians 1:15-18

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

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