Words Of Truth
"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).
God Is Not So Mysterious (Part 5)
(Understanding Miracles, Prayer, Providence, etc.)
Outline by Brian A. Yeager
A. Prayer is a privilege reserved for the faithful (I Peter 3:12).
1. The prayers of those who reject the truth are an abomination (Proverbs 28:9).
2. What is in the heart matters too (Psalms 66:18).
B. We can’t just pray however or for whatever we want (I John 5:14-15).
1. Remember who you are praying to (Matthew 6:9) and how you should approach Him (Psalms 89:7).
2. Understand that prayer in accordance with His will means we need to know His will concerning the things we are praying about (cf. I John 3:22).
C. Prayer is something Christians have to be taught to do properly (Luke 11:1).
1. We find through proper Bible study, the majority of our prayer life should be in the giving of thanks (Philippians 4:6-8, I Thessalonians 5:16-18, and II Thessalonians 1:3).
2. Consider how simple things play into prayer. For example, we are to be content (I Timothy 6:6-10); yet most people use prayer to ask, ask, ask… Be reasonable!
II. Body: You Can Certainly Pray Incorrectly (James 4:3).
A. Be careful, for what was taught regarding prayer in the N.T. doesn’t necessarily apply today (Luke 11:1-4).
1. Example: We don’t pray for the kingdom to come because it has come (Hebrews 12:28).
2. Example: The disciples then asking for their daily bread certainly was different then (Matthew 10:7-14).
3. Example: Lead us not into temptation (Acts 16:1-10).
4. Note also that the Holy Spirit aided Christians with most things, including prayer, in the first century during times of miraculous spiritual gifts (Romans 8:26 and I Corinthians 14:15). *We covered last week how miraculous spiritual gifts have ceased (I Corinthians 12:1-13:13)!
5. Also, whatever Jesus taught the twelve, has to be studied carefully. We are not guided as they were (John 14:26 and John 16:13).
B. As we have previously discussed, in other lessons, as you learn to pray, be sure the Scriptures you learn from are not miraculous references (II Timothy 2:15). *Again, the cessation of these things were covered last week!
1. James 5:13-18; cf. Mark 6:13 and Mark 16:15-20
2. Colossians 1:9-10 and James 1:5-6; cf. I Corinthians 12:3-11
3. I Thessalonians 3:11; cf. Again - Acts 16:1-10
4. I Corinthians 10:13; cf. Acts 27:1-44
5. We covered Romans 8:28 in lesson 2. So, pray for His providence, but realize in our lives and/or others is spiritual, not carnal.
a. God’s providing of physical things is by natural means [which He does provide (Hebrews 6:7)]. Thus, understand that if you’re asking for such provisions that you are asking for Him to continue what He has already put in place.
b. Some things God has already given provision or instructions as solutions to help us (i.e. I Corinthians 16:1-4, I Thessalonians 5:11-14, I Timothy 5:8, and II Thessalonians 3:10).
C. As with all things (Colossians 3:17), are we praying for/according to our will or His (Luke 22:42)?
1. With all that God has already provided (II Peter 1:3-4), what are we asking for?
2. He is not going to do something that makes Him a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35 and Romans 2:11).
3. God gave us freewill (Romans 6:16), so don’t pray for things that would remove it.
a. i.e. He WON’T make someone hear and obey the truth (Proverbs 1:24 and Matthew 23:37).
b. i.e. He WON’T make someone who is lost be restored (Revelation 2:14-16).
c. However, He will be longsuffering for a period of time (II Peter 3:9). If you are concerned about the salvation of others, pray for that!
4. Don’t ask God to do what you’re expected to do (Philippians 2:12).
5. Prayer, individually, can be used to ask for sins to be forgiven (Acts 8:22 and I John 1:9).
III. Conclusion: Let’s focus on the acceptable prayers we can offer today (Ephesians 5:20)!
*For more on this subject matter, please consider the following study as an addition to this series: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/PDFGivinganAnswerTheThingsWePrayForAnswers.pdf
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© 2016 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager