Lord of Our Prayers

July 30, 2005

Read: Mt. 6:5-15; 1 Tm. 2:5; Jn 16:25-27; Jam 5:13-18

Lord of Our Prayers. If, as Jesus said, our heavenly Father already knows what we need before we ask him, why pray? Yet Jesus prayed and taught his disciples to pray. That is the focus of our lesson this week.

    1. Jesus’ teaching on prayer: Matthew 6:5-15. In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus had some pointed comments to make about prayer. These are his main points:
      1. Don’t show off. Why not? Shouldn’t we let our light shine before others as noted in the same sermon (5:16)?
      2. Let your words be few. Always, or only in public?.
      3. His will, our needs. To what extent can we be sure that our sense of need is his will?
  1. Jesus as mediator of our prayers? 1 Timothy 2:5. What is the purpose of having a mediator if the Father really loves us?
  2. When Jesus does not pray on our behalf: John 16:25-27. How is it possible to experience God in such a way that we don’t need a mediator, as promised in John 16?
  3. Praying for others: James 5:13-18. James suggests that if we pray earnestly, we will get what we ask. How does that relate to Jesus’ prayer in the Garden: “not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42)?
  4. Great prayers. Which of these prayers stand out as great prayers for you? Why?
    • Psalm 51: Individual penitence.
    • Daniel 9: Corporate penitence
    • Psalm 22: Godforsakenness
    • Psalm 98: Joy in judgment

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