Our church is an independent, non-denominational congregation focused on equipping believers to accomplish all God has for each individual. We emphasize growing to maturity through regular, relevant study of God’s Word, meaningful corporate worship, and fellowship. Del Rio Bible Church was established in 1997 by a … Read More »
A Master’s Class in Prayer (Part 2)
1. Why do we have trouble praying? Gordon MacDonald answers that question in his book, Ordering Your Private World in the following way. We have trouble praying because:
-Since the Fall “worship and intercession seem to be unnatural acts…From our earliest years we are subtly taught that the only way to achieve anything is through action. But prayer seems to be a form of inaction…it doesn’t seem to accomplish anything.”
-“Worship and intercession are tacit admissions of weakness.” (but see 1 Corinthians 12)
-“Prayer sometimes seems to be unrelated to actual result; answers do not always coincide with expectations.” They come in different times and different ways than we expect.
2. In Matthew 6:5-15 Jesus deals with the practice of prayer. In verses 5-8 He hones in on the wrong way to pray, focusing on two disorders in prayer.
3. The first disorder found in verses 5-6 is that of praying to be seen by others. The religious leaders prayed in the most conspicuous places (e.g. major street corners) to be seen as righteousness. Jesus said they received their reward…the attention and admiration of other people, but not God’s attention or admiration. They were to pray in private to the Father, with prayer directed toward the God the Father, not other people. There was and is nothing inherently wrong with public prayer (Jesus prayed publicly on many occasions) the issue is the intent.
4. Private prayer must be the basis for public prayer. “The person who prays more in public than in private reveals that he is less interested in God’s approval than in human praise. Not piety but a reputation for piety is his concern.” (D.A. Carson).
5. Suggestions for public prayer: pray loudly enough to be heard; keep it simple, to the point, brief; remember your audience is God; and keep it conversational. (Doris Salter)