Chapter 1: Understanding Prayer
Prayer gives peace, John16:33
God’s pursuit of man.
Genesis chapters 1, 2, and 3 show the first interaction between God and man. In each of these encounters, God took the initiative. Let’s look at each of these events: blessing (1:28-29), warning (2:16-17), and redemption (3:9-19). How do these encounters form the foundation of our experience with God, show that to have an effective prayer life we must appropriate God’s blessings, listen to His warnings, and renew our relationship with Him.
Categories of Prayer
Prayer can be most simply understood in three categories: communion, petition, and intercession. All these are wrapped in a fourth – thanksgiving.
Communication: The heart of prayer is communication with God.
Petition: Asking things of God, making requests-is possible only because of the communal relationship we have with the Father, through Jesus (John 14:13; 15:16; 16:23, 26).
Intercession: Is the position in the middle. It involves our duty as believers to pray for others, particularly for those who lack a vital saving relationship with Christ. But this is possible only because we ourselves are in such a redeemed relationship.
Thanksgiving: Is the overflow of a heart that recognizes what gifts God has given us through Christ. We tell Him we are grateful.
God loves company
Prayer is a privilege
Heaven’s way of blessing
Prayer taps the bounty in the estate of Christ
Our basis of appeal for covenant promises
Prayer invites the Kingdom of God
Hindrances to Prayer
R.A. Torrey list seven hindrances to prayer:
1. Selfishness. The prayer may be for things otherwise appropriate, but the motive may be wrong. Praying with self at the center is praying amiss (James 4:3).
2. Sin. “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isa. 59:2). Sin hinders prayer. Tears do not aid such prayers (Mal.2:13). Only repentance...