Prayer review, Part 2: introduction; John 15:16.

Class Outline:

Title: Prayer review, Part 2: introduction; John 15:16.


Review doctrine of prayer: Point 1 - Introductory principles.


It is doubtless that unsaved persons attempt to pray or at least say that they will or plan to.


a. However, the unbeliever is without the ground to access God, which ground is Christ.


b. It would be incredible that the One who lived by prayer when here on earth should not impel the one in whom He lives to exercise his right to the potentialities of prayer.


c. Prayer is an extension of the faith-rest technique, though it is not a problem solving device, 1PE 5:7.


d. We need to know and use promises related to prayer because prayer is based in faith and therefore on the character of the One who promised.


e. In order to truly believe that I have already received what I have asked I must be very confident in the will of God, my mechanics in prayer, and my motivation for asking.


So it’s not actually a matter of increasing your faith in what God can do, but rather increasing your understanding of God’s will and purpose. If I understand that I am asking something that is fully in accordance with God’s perfect, directive will then I will have tremendous confidence that it will be done.


f. The basis for access to the throne of God is the believer’s position in Christ, who is the Mediator and Advocate that sits at the right hand of God.


Prayer then becomes a ministry of the believer’s priestly office. Therefore, the act of prayer is not a matter of your condition other than being filled with the Spirit. So no matter if you’re in spiritual childhood or spiritual adulthood, you’ve had a terrible day or a great day, none of that bears on your position in Christ. Rebound if necessary and communicate to your Father. It doesn’t have to be a particular request. It can be thankfulness or just a conversation (as long as you don’t hear voices).


We are called into partnership with Christ, 1Cor 1:9.


1 Cor 1:9

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


All partnerships go two ways. We abide in Him and He does His works through us. In fulfillment of this partnership, Christ through His word and His Spirit accomplishes even more work throughout the CA then He did during His first advent.


John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.


John 14:13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.


John 14:14 "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.


Here we see again the parallel purposes of fruit production and prayer being side by side and mutually effective in the life of the believer who has realized his election in Christ.


In this instance and in John 15:16 and in John 16:23-26, the asking is always “in His name.”


g. The privilege given to abide in Him, the work done by Him through the believer, and the fulfillment of prayer all go back to the same source - our position in Him. “in My name.”


Praying in His name is the new grace ground of prayer. This is never commanded or even hinted at in the OT. His name refers to His title and His title is a reflection of what He has done, so when you pray in Christ’s name you are basing your petition on His work.


Petition is a blanket word for humble prayer and as a term it includes supplication and intercession.


h. When the believer petitions the Father in the name of Christ he is asking Christ to sign the petition along with Himself.


If the prayer fails to follow the mechanics set forth by God, to the Father, in the name of the Son, and under the power of the HS then Christ does not sign off on it. Yet the believer never loses his ground of being in Christ, therefore the mistakes may be corrected and the petition offered again.


The mechanics of prayer are not set arbitrarily. The Son is the mediator, therefore to pray to Him would ignore His ministry. The Spirit is the power or help in prayer. To pray to Him would be to ignore His ministry, as if you didn’t need Him. Both the Son and the Spirit pray to the Father who is the planner and we are instructed to pray accordingly.


If the prayer is foolish and does not agree with the will of God then Christ does not sign the petition.


Yet again, correction through continued learning of God’s will for the Church, for human history, for the unbeliever, and for you in particular come more into focus and then the petition may be offered again, with certain changes, from the same solid ground of position in Christ, i.e. in His name.


i. The basis for successful prayer is wisdom of the will of God as well as cognizance of God’s mechanics in prayer.


j. What legitimate and illegitimate prayer?


God’s program for victory in the lives of His creatures does not depend on prayer, for that would make Him dependent on us. The victory of any creature depends ultimately on his positive volition towards what God has done on his behalf.


Matt 20:20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons, bowing down, and making a request of Him.


Matt 20:21 And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said to Him, "Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left."


Matt 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They said to Him, "We are able."


Matt 20:23 He said to them, "My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father." 


Matt 20:24 And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers.


Matt 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself, and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.


Matt 20:26 "It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant [not by praying for it],


Matt 20:27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;


Matt 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. "  


The believer is not to pray for someone’s salvation, spiritual promotion, or spiritual maturity as if these things depend upon the request of a particular believer. These requests violate the free-will of believers and even worse, they make the requestor the author of the plan of God.


So, what do we pray for? We must go to the Scriptures for examples.

Matt 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you


Matt 6:5 "And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.


Matt 6:6 "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.


Matt 6:7 "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.


Matt 6:8 "Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.


Matt 6:9a "Pray, then, in this way [not word for word, but in following this example]:


 “in this way:” - ou[twj[houtos] = in this manner. This doesn’t mean to use these exact words, but rather after this pattern.


Matt 6:9b 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.


 “Hallowed” - aorist passive imperative of a`gia,zw[hagiazo] = to be sanctified or set apart as holy. Aorist points to the time that you pray and you set God apart in fellowship and concentration.