Class 7: Let God Hear From You (Part 3)
Allow me to begin with a word from Mary Slessor. She said, “Prayer is the greatest power God has put into our hands for service — praying is harder than doing, at least I find it so, but the dynamic lies that way to advance the Kingdom.”
Leslie Ludy said: “It has been said by many great Christians that prayer is our secret weapon. If we desire to be free from every enemy stronghold over our lives and fully fortified to live the superhuman existences God intended us to live, then we must learn how to pray.”
Let’s begin by reviewing what we covered in our last class:
You might recall from our last class that we discussed two more reasons why God wants to hear from you. First, God wants you to have wisdom and obtain favor in the sight of God and man. Second, God wants to bless your life with the things you need and the good things you desire. James 1:5 showed us that to obtain wisdom, we must ask God for it. Matthew 21:22 showed us that if we ask anything in faith believing, God will answer our requests.
Now, please pull out your text and your digital study guide or follow along on the screen. First, I will read the corresponding letter in the book, Letters to Young Black Women. I am not going to read the entire chapter. I am just going to read the portion we will be dealing with today.
If you have a hard time praying as well, here’s how to get started:
How To Pray: In praying, follow the example our Lord Jesus Christ laid down in Matthew 6:9-13:
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
From this prayer, we get the following example of how to pray:
- Thank the Lord (verse 9)
- Ask God’s will for your life (verse 10)
- Ask for your daily needs (verse 11)
- Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness (verse 12)
- Ask God to deliver you from temptation, evil, and sin (verse 13a)
- Praise the Lord (verse 13b)
Now, please follow along as we continue our study:
1. Thank the Lord
Verse 9 says, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
In our prayers, we ought to praise and recognize God. When we acknowledge God as our Father, we are acknowledging Him as our “nourisher, protector, and upholder.” Many of us struggle with self-reliance, thinking we can do things without God. But by acknowledging the Father in this prayer, we show humility and demonstration of childlike trust in God. When we acknowledge God as our Father in our prayers, we are not only admitting that He is the One whom we are looking to for the answer to our prayers, but we are making the decision to put the things that concern God first. In our prayers, we ought to put His will and His purposes before our own temporal concerns. God’s name is holy; therefore, when we come to Him we want to make sure that we have no unconfessed sin in our lives and we are striving to live holy by His power. If we live holy lives, we can be confident in prayer, knowing that our Heavenly Father is pleased with us and truly wants to hear and answer our prayers.
2. Ask God’s will for your life
Verse 10 says, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
When we pray, our first request for the Kingdom of God ought to be for the establishing of God’s rule in our hearts. We ought to let Him be front and center and let Him have His way in our lives. We cannot pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,” without truly desiring that God’s will be done in our hearts first. If we are truly to follow the model prayer, we must not pray in a way that puts our own needs and desires first. We must pray in a way that seeks the extension of God’s kingdom and the accomplishment of God’s will on earth first. If it is truly our desire to see God’s will done in our lives and in the earth, we can begin demonstrating it by being obedient to God’s will. Whatever God tells us to do in response to our prayers, we ought to do it. When we pray, “thy will be done,” we are surrendering our will to God like Jesus Christ did in the Garden of Gethsemane. We are acknowledging Him as Lord of our lives and demonstrating our commitment to His will by doing what He says. Prayer is not just a way to get what we want, but the way to be and to do what God wants.
3. Ask for your daily needs
Verse 11 says, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
We may think it strange to have to ask God for our daily bread. Shouldn’t we have some control over that, just get up and go to the store whenever we want and get whatever we want? In our human nature, that makes sense. But that is not how God wants us to be. We are depended upon God for our very lives and therefore we are depended upon Him for everything that we need to make it in life, including simple things like food. Knowing that we are dependent on God should help us grow closer to Him and increase our loyalty and faithfulness to Him. We see a great example of dependence on God in the animal kingdom. Most animals do not store up food for themselves. The fact that we must ask God for our daily bread — our basic, everyday needs — ought not to discourage us. Rather, it ought to encourage us to pray because we know that we serve a God who cares about and who wants to provide for even the so called small things of life.
Each day this week, take a few minutes to genuinely pray the Lord’s Prayer — not just as a prayer that Jesus prayed, but as a prayer that all of us should pray as well.
In our next class, we will continue our study “LET GOD HEAR FROM YOU”.
Agnes Sanford said: “Prayer is not a matter of getting what we want the most. Prayer is a matter of giving ourselves to God and learning His laws, so that He can do through us what He wants the most.”
I want to give you the opportunity right now to make the decision to give your life to Jesus Christ. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
God bless you and keep you until we meet for our next class/