iPray Series Sermon Series
~Where do you pray?~
Tyson Graber, Herscher Christian Church
May 12, 2011
Some people pray in their car. Others pray in their homes. Some like to pray in their office, in the shower, or in their pajamas. Some people pray in their heads, others pray in spoken words, and some pray in languages they have never learned.
Most of us pray in times of need, sorrow, or desperation. Many of us pray in times of joy and celebration. Some pray in public and others pray in private. Many pray in our minds and others would say they pray from their hearts.
Where do you Pray?
Based on the Word we studied together last week, most of us would agree that we should pray wherever we are, about all things and no matter what happens we are to never give up praying but always being persistent in our prayers no matter where we are.
I have prayed in almost every environment you can image, and if you are prepared with the proper attitude those prayers can be very purposeful. At the same time, regardless of your location, if your heart is not in the right place when you pray there will be no blessing.
Ephesians 6:18 explains it this way.
Following the example of Jesus and His words, we see that Jesus Prayed in many places!
AT HIS WATER BAPTISM - Luke 3:21 NKJ
21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."
BEFORE CHOOSING APOSTLES ON A MOUNTAIN - Luke 6:11-13 NKJ
11 But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. 12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Him; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:...
ALONE - Luke 9:18 NKJ
18 And it happened, as He was alone praying.
IN SOLITUDE - Mark 1:35 NKJ
35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
Mark 6:46 NKJ
46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.
AT GETHSEMANE - Matthew 26:36 NKJ
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there."
AT THE TRANSFIGURATION - Luke 9:28-29 NKJ
28 And it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.
He prays FOR US even now - Romans 8:34 NKJ
34 Who is He who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
HE also INSPIRES us to pray in every way. - Luke 11:1 NKJ
1 And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."
Jesus is asked by His disciples as He is in this special place of prayer, “Lord teach us how to pray.”
Lay it out for us Jesus, we see that you do it so well, teach all about talking to God.
In Matthew 6:5-15 , before Jesus begins showing them how to pray and shares with them what we know as the Lord’s prayer He takes a moment and begins teaching about prayer by explaining the interesting aspect of where it should take place and where it should not.
Read Matthew 6:5-6
There is a blessing in prayer, our reward that comes from the proper prayer life. It begins when we realize that prayer is not a time of show off, prayer is not a time to hope that others see us being spiritual, prayer is not a time to use words that you don’t fully understand but prayer is our personal time of communication with God.
Prayer is not between you and your neighbors, its not between you and the church, its not even between you and your family. Prayer is communication between you and God.
With that said, more times than not, the best place to pray will be wherever you can be alone with God.
1. SELECT A PLACE FOR PRIVATE PRAYER.
Everyone needs a place to be alone with God. As long as we don’t have a place, we won’t be able to maintain private prayer.
Jesus gave us the example of private prayer. Wherever Jesus was, He always found a place to be alone with God. (Matthew 12:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42; Luke 5:16)
What is a place of private prayer?
• It is a place where we can pray without distractions.
• It is a place where we can pray openly about anything that you are led to
2. SET A TIME FOR PRIVATE PRAYER.
Private prayer should be done regularly. Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:16)
Hit-and-miss prayer time is ineffective.
We can be alone with God at any time. Jesus prayed early in the morning, while it was still dark, and he prayed late into the night, sometimes praying all night. However, for private prayer to become a habit, it is important that we designate a time each day in which we will spend time alone with God.
Once we decide we are going to spend time in private prayer and we have designated a time which will be our time alone with God, our private prayer time must have priority. The rest of our schedule needs to take a back seat to our prayer time. If we maintain the same schedule day after day and we say, “I just don’t have time to pray”, we’re lying, we just need to make it a priority.
3. SEE THE POWER OF PRIVATE PRAYER.
Once you activate your plan for private prayer, you will see the power of private prayer. Then your father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6) There will be a blessing.
How does God reward you? With his presence. There is nothing more comforting or empowering than His presence.
No matter what you are facing in the moments when you would be lead to fear, in the moments when you are alone and you would normally be tempted to fall away, that is exactly when you need to pray and flee from the Devil and pursue the presence of the Lord in Prayer.
This is called praying in the Spirit.
How do you Pray in the Spirit?
How do you get started in praying in His presence, as the Bible says, “in the Spirit”?
Let me give you some practical and tangible tips for beginning to practice prayer that is “in the Spirit”, rather than just time after time praying a prayer of repetition.
1. Start Privately: This way, there is no pressure, to need to perform, no fear of others’ expectations. In your own times of prayer, ask God to lead. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you some ideas of how to pray or what to pray about. If something is of concern, avoid just asking God to fix it or change it, instead ask the Holy Spirit to help you to pray about it. Then leave some quiet time. Try to listen. And pray about the things that come to your mind or to your heart through the Spirit. Pray that God would work in these things through the Spirit and according to God’s will and He will. Jesus gives us that promise.
2. Share with other Christians: The second step is to invite someone you trust to share your prayer thoughts with.
3. Stay Faithful to His Will: If you think God is leading you to pray about a certain thing or person then do it. Often, God waits for us to be faithfully obedient to the first things before leading us to deeper things.
In Luke 16:10 Jesus says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
4. Stay faithful to His Word. The Spirit will never lead you to pray for anything that does not agree with the Word and the message of Jesus Christ.
If you ever are encouraged to pray differently from what the Bible says or opposing to Jesus it is not of the Spirit but of Satan.
5. Stand with patience and persistence: In our “instant” society, we sometimes lose the ability to stick with something new long enough to develop a new skill or habit. Since prayer is about relationship and conversation, be patient and persistent in learning to listen and then pray “in the Spirit”.
So where should be pray?
Where you pray is not so much about location its really about relationship with the Spirit of God.
The ability to grow in your prayer life in the Spirit takes time and commitment, but it is worth it and it is essential.
We must be in the Spirit to survive. There is a spiritual battle going on for your soul. The Bible says, ‘in this battle cast all of your fears and anxiety on the Lord and resist the Devil.’ When you are attacked, pray in the name of Jesus that the Devil would leave you alone.
So as you go this week, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers as you are led in the Spirit.”
Maybe you have never been led in the Spirit. Maybe you don’t feel like you know what to pray. Maybe you have never slowed down long enough to listen to the Spirit. Maybe you want to pray but you don’t know where to start. Start by being quite today and listening to Him.
As we close today, be silent, be quite and allow the spirit to lead your prayers for the Glory of God’s will!