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A Crash Course on Prayer

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 13, 2020 4:00 am

A Crash Course on Prayer

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 13, 2020 4:00 am

In this Sunday morning message, Pastor Greg Laurie gives us “A Crash Course on Prayer.” Discover the different kinds of prayer and—most importantly—why every growing Christian should have a consistent prayer life. It’s the latest study in a series titled Faith 101.


1. To grow spiritually, you must read, study, and love the Word of God.

2. To be a growing Christian, you must share your faith.

3. You need to be an active part of the church.

4. To be a growing Christian, you must have a prayer life.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

We should pray always with all prayer.

God will hear your prayer whenever you are.

The word all speaks of the frequency of prayer.

1. Why should we pray? Because Jesus told us to!

2. We should pray because prayer is God’s appointed way to obtain things.

3. Prayer is the way by which God helps us to overcome our anxiety and worry.

Prayer is not an option; it’s a necessity!

Read: Luke 11:1–4

4. If you want God to say “yes” to your prayers, ask for His will to be done.

How do you discover God’s Will?

By the careful study of God’s Word.

Prayer is not about getting my will in Heaven but getting God’s Will on Earth.

Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the Will of God.

5. A secret to answered prayer: You must confess your personal sin.

6. A secret to answered prayer: You must forgive others.

Forgiveness is the key to all relationships that are healthy, strong and lasting.

7. A secret to answered prayer: Don’t give up!

Ask implies requesting assistance.

Seek denotes asking but adds action.

Knock includes asking, plus acting, plus persevering.

Scriptures Referenced

Ephesians 6:18

James 4:2

Philippians 4:6

Luke 11:1–4

1 John 5:14

Job 7:17

Luke 11:4

Ephesians 4:32

Luke 11:5–9

Acts 12:5


Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie podcasting. My objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events. From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry. Just go to our website so thanks for joining me for this podcast. Welcome back the harvested home a great glory. And I've a message for you with the title a crash course on prayer heard the story of a young man who was raised in a crazy way had a very chaotic childhood. He spent a great deal of his time living with his grandparents because his mother didn't really have much time for him and then that young men got older and he himself made some bad decisions and found himself in a drug lifestyle was. It turns out he would hang out with a little group of guys and they would walk around and they happen to walk past the home of a pastor and his wife. Every single day so the pastors wife would look out the window with these kids and she started praying for them and she prayed that one of those kids would come to Christ.

Even more than one, but she kept praying that that one of those kids went and ended up hearing the gospel on his high school campus and gave his life to Jesus Christ. By the way that kid was me and the pastor was Chuck Smith and his wife was Katie Smith and so I bring this up because every one of us probably had someone pray for us to believe in Jesus and might've been a mom or dad or grandparent or a son or a daughter or a spouse or a sibling or maybe a complete stranger, but I bring this up to point out to you.

There is power in prayer and it is one of the things that we failed to take advantage of as often as we should. So I wanted to talk to you about prayer just kind of a flyover on it.

Again, the time of my messages crash course on prayer.

Now you probably wonder why is it that God answers some prayers and he doesn't answer. Others I heard about a young man he was in college and he was taking a very important exam and he handed his exam paper into the professor as he was handing it in. The professor announcing the class he students hold on before you turn in your exam because I have a form I want you to sign to say to me that you did not have any outside assistance with this young man hesitated for a moment he went privately to the professor and he said Prof. actually maybe I shouldn't sign this. I did have some outside assistance. I prayed before and during the exam so the professor said let me see your paper, and he went over the boys exam in a given back to the point.

He said you can go ahead and sign the form because I can assure you God did not answer your prayer. So sometimes God says no to us. Sometimes God says yes to us and remember this is a series that were doing called faith 101 were going over the basics of what every Christian needs to know. Let me review what we have already seen together. Number one of you want to be a growing Christian by the way, you never outgrow this. What if you want to be a growing believer, you must love, read, study, meditate on and memorize the Bible that is absolutely essential. As I've said before failure or success in the Christian life depends on how much of the Bible you get your life on a regular basis how obedient you are to it. Number two. If you want to be a successful and growing Christian you must share your faith. Jesus is told us all to go to all the world and preach the gospel but not to set he's told us to make disciples of all nations. And remember, I pointed out to you that an older believer needs a younger believer in their life to energize them and a younger believer needs an older believer in their life to stabilize them using so when you will be younger Christian in your life. Learning these things for the first time. It's very exciting and remind you of things that maybe you will forgot that, on the other hand, if you're younger believer, you need someone that knows the word of God that can help you as you are growing in your faith. That's called discipling someone point number three. If you want to be a growing Christian then you never outgrow this either. You must be an active part of the church, a part of a local congregation of believers. The Bible says don't forsake the assembling of yourselves together as a matter of some is but exhort one another daily, and so much more. As we see the day of the Lord approaching. Listen, you need the church and the church needs you. I know the church is flawed. I know the church has its shortcomings but it's the only organization if you will that Jesus set up when he walked this earth and of the church. He said the gates of hell shall not prevail against it now. Point number four. If you want to be a growing Christian you must have a prayer life and I want to share with you seven things that you need to know about prayer what is prayer. Prayer is basically hearing from and communicating with God. There are different kinds of prayer identified for us in the Bible, I would have you turn to two passages. My message in this time of one is going to be. Ephesians 6 and the other is Luke chapter 11, so let's look at Ephesians 61 simple verse action-packed curate is Ephesians 618 says, praying always with all prayer and supplication in this spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. So there's my first point, we should pray always and says all prayer, we should pray publicly we should pray privately, we should pray verbally we should pray silently, we should pray.

Kneeling, we should pray standing we should pray lying down and sitting down. Those are all valid positions to take when you are praying by the way, you can pray with your eyes open you can pray with your eyes closed, you know, we read of Jesus lifting up his eyes and pray I think somehow we feel one size was always be closed in prayer have never been the gathering of Christians in maybe praying for a meal and summonses. Let's praise everyone closes horizon and you open your eyes and you see somebody else with their eyes open any make eye contact in your both embarrassed me closer height like that you can open your eyes and prayer.

It's okay. You can pray when you drive maybe you really should pray when you drive definitely keep your eyes open when you do that a while ago or our granddaughter Stella.

She was much younger than we were praying we were having a hamburger and fries and as we are praying I saw her eyes were closed, but she was eating a French fry with her eyes closed, so it's okay. Open your eyes close your eyes stand. Neil said doesn't matter. The main thing is you should just pray I think sometimes we think well God will hear our prayer more if we printed in a church building in a sanctuary, not necessarily think of some of the places people prayed in the Bible. Daniel prayed a lion's den. David prayed in the field. Simon Peter prayed on the water and under the water. Remember, he began to seek Jonah's prayer was heard in the belly of a great fish. Sometimes we say a whale, but his prayer was heard. God will hear your prayer wherever you are. The main thing is praying always and by the way, this phrase all prayer speaks of frequency frequency. So, such as a prayer here and a prayer there. You pray morning afternoon and evening. The Bible says pray without ceasing, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you think about Daniel the prophet, he was known to be a man of prayer are you know to be a man or woman of prayer.

We had some enemies that wanted to bring them down there were jealous of his power and influence on the king so they realize there were no scandals in his life. There were no skeletons in his closet affected study was praying in his closet so they decided that the only way they could bring them down with him.

It had something to do with human is God, and they knew that Daniel had this amazing habit every day he pray not just want not just twice, three times a day, she would pray that formalistic went down three times a day he would break he would get on his knees open up is Windows any would pray not to put on a performance, but this is just what the guy did.

So if you want by his house should notice a look Daniels and their prayed again.

Hey Daniel, pray for me, remember me when you talk to the man upstairs. Maybe someone might've said dog.

He was known as a man of prayer. So these wicked enemies of Daniel hatched a plot to get the king.

The final law, the know would you pray that any God except him for 40 days. So basically it was now illegal to pray. So what are Daniel Dickinson interesting time to pray. By the way you went home as he always did he go down and as these. Any prayed to God. But it's interesting what it says it says that when he went to operas prayer in Daniel chapter 6, he went home note on as usual, opened his windows for Jerusalem and pray three times a day, as he always it done giving things to God is that interesting giving thanks to God he would've understood of it. What is said and Daniel got in his knees and freaked out crying out to God for deliverance.

Note he gave thanks to God. That's an important thing to remember and prayers.

We can give thanks even before the answer is, because we know our God is in control and we know that our God loves us and is looking out for us so we should pray. Now let me make some points in this message and the pointer on the screen. If you want to write them down.

Why should we pray number one we should pray because Jesus told us to, we should pray because Jesus told us to Jesus in Luke 18 verse one. Men should always pray and not give up. If no other reason was given in the Bible that would be reason enough.

Pray because Jesus told us to not only did he tell us to pray marveled. It for us. Jesus was a man of prayer. He was constantly praying. Remember in the garden of Gethsemane.

As he contemplated the horrors of the cross, we read that Jesus prayed calling on the father saying father if it's possible let this cup pass from me on the cross himself. Jesus prayed father forgive them for they know not what they do and then he also cried out to God saying, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me. When Jesus fed the 5000, we read that he looked toward heaven and ask God's blessing on the food. We also read the mothers brought their children to Jesus so he would lay his hands on them. Praying for them.

Now consider this Jesus was God and of Jesus who was God felt it was necessary for him to pray, how much more important is it for us. You and me. Sinful human beings to pray as well so again.

Point number one we should pray because Jesus told us to know if it were extremely difficult to pray. Maybe one could understand why were reluctant friends in sudsy. Every time we pray the prayer it was the equivalent of getting a root canal that would be bad, but depending on what you are facing. It would probably be worth it all. Well this is going to be painful, but all pray because I really need God's intervention, but the fact is, it's not painful it's only getting a root canal and it's a wonderful delightful thing to have access to God's presence. So we should pray because Jesus told us to number two, we should pray because prayer is God's appointed way to give us things. Now I don't want you to misunderstand this. This is not the only reason we should pray when we fail to see this were missing out of the great blessing.

The Bible says in James 42 you have not because you ask not not think about this for a moment. Are you facing something right now we you need help. Maybe your thinking what is it that I always just have enough to get by. I never have more. I'm always in need. Did you ever think about praying the Bible says you have not because you ask, why is my marriage is struggling and it just seems to be getting worse. I don't know what to do when you have you prayed about it, you have not because you ask not all my children undergoing this trades are not interested in following Jesus. What can I do. Hey have you prayed about it, you have not because you ask not.

You ask why is it that I never know God's will for my life. I just stumble about trying that figured out he have you prayed about it. The Bible says you have not because you ask not.

So this is the way God provides for us. Ask and you shall receive. Jesus says point number three. Prayer is the way by which God helps us to overcome our fear, anxiety and worry.

Again, prayer is the way in which God helps us overcome our anxiety and our worry life is full of troubles is in it, so we need help in the Bible says cast all of your care upon him for he cares for you and the idea of casting the taking them something just throwing up again. I don't want this, you take it you give it over to the Lord.

Bible says in Philippians 4. Don't worry about anything. Pray about everything in the peace of God that passes all human understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus of the Bible is very clear and think. Don't worry. Instead, pray. So when you're tempted to worry, we often are churn your worries in the prayer turn it over to the Lord. So as you can see, prayer is not an option. It's a necessity. Well, afraid prayers that are not answered in the affirmative, and we wondered why listen to this. If the request is wrong, God says no.

If the timing is wrong, God says slow.

If you are wrong, God says, grow, but of the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says go, but we wonder, okay I get that but is there anything I can do to get the Lord to say yes more often. Are there secrets to having your prayers answered in the affirmative. Let me say I don't know that there secrets are plainly declared in the Bible they might be secret to some because they haven't read the Bible, so let me try to unlock some secrets if you will join answered prayers or wire prayers are not answered and will find those answers in what is often called the Lord's prayer in Luke chapter 11 love the Lord's prayer we most most of us know it by heart. It's a prayer that we usually pull out in case of emergencies or the bike behind glass break it out.

This is a big one.

Let's pray the Lord's prayer. There's nothing wrong with that.

It's a beautiful prayer to pray. But having said that, recognize that it's not just a great prayer to pray it's a template or a model for all prayer and infrastructure for prayer. If you will, let's look at it together. Luke chapter 11 and he came to pass as Jesus was praying in a certain place.

When he was done.

One of his disciples came to him and said, Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples. Notice the disabled and unsafe teaches a killer prayer know. Teach us to pray.

So again it's a template for prayer and Jesus said when you pray, say our father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive everyone who is sinned against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. The Lord's prayer know we could just as easily call it the disciples prayer. The Bible never calls up the Lord's prayer, Jesus never had to pray this prayer himself because he never had to save the father, forgive me my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against us. So it's really for us more.

But right out of the gate in the Lord's prayer will call it that we discover this that we need to acknowledge the greatness of God. It doesn't say our father who art in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. It says our father who art in heaven how it would be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So prayer should start if you have the luxury of time Say that you're out swimming in the great white shark is coming at you quickly. You can just pray help and cut to the chase okay but under normal circumstances when you have a little time contemplate the power awesomeness and greatness of God wife because when you see God in his greatness use either your problems in the relative smallness.

If you have a big God, you have small problems. If you are good problems. Is your God too small. I'm not in any way, not acknowledging that you might be facing a real crisis right now. I simply want to say this to you, God is bigger then your problem Christ is greater then your crisis so pray when you pray, take time to think about the power and awesomeness of God and then that brings me to my next point. If you want God to say yes to your prayers ask for his will to be done. Then repeat that for emphasis. If you want God to say yes to your prayers ask for his will to be done again. Jesus taught us to pray to the father.

Your kingdom come, your will be done again, our Lord modeled this in the garden of Gethsemane already mentioned that once he said to the father. If it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.

Listen to this. The objective of prayer is not to get God to do what I want him to do is to get knee into alignment with the will of God and how to why discover the will of God by reading the Bible back to one of those earlier principles. I mention if you want to be a growing Christian you must read study memorize and let God's word impact your life. So listen, prayer is not getting my will in heaven. It's getting God's will on earth. First John 514 says this is the confidence we have in him we have if we ask anything according to his will, he will care us and we will have the petitions we brought before him. Listen to this. Nothing lies outside of the reach of prayer, except that which lies outside of the will of God. Prayer is surrender if were I'm surrendering to God. Imagine if you're in a boat you're headed toward the dock and you throw your rock rope to the dock and you start pulling yourself in the are you pulling the dock to you.

Are you pulling yourself to the.the same is true prayer supplicant getting God to do what I want God to do going to get it.

Come over here no look toward what is your will show your will to me. I want to align myself with your will.

Having said that, now we come to personal petition verse three says give us this day our daily bread isn't an amazing thing that this Almighty, all powerful, all-knowing, loving God who created the universe as an interest in us personally. Why would you be concerned about that which concerns me.

I don't know the answer but Job 717 says what is man that you make so much of him that you give them so much attention I could come up with a lot of reasons.

But I did think the simplest answer is the reason God cares is because he loves you. Listen to this. Not only does he love you.

He loves to bless you. We think God's maybe sort of stingy with the blessings and holding them back. You have to earn them the very opposite of that God loves to lavish his blessings upon you poor them out upon you. Paul prayed in Ephesians.

My prayer is that God will do exceedingly above and beyond that which we could ask or think, has not happened for you. Hasn't God gone beyond that which you asked for an bless you in so many ways. So we say give me this day my daily bread, and we talked about bread.

What were talking about his provision. Now if you're on the keto diet is a won't give me this day my daily protein that I did just you're asking for God's provision.

Bread was a staple of the first century diet so the idea was born and provide me everything that I need food on the table provide me an income provide me a roof over my head, a provide the everything that I need and notice its daily bread.

So I come to him on a regular basis.

God loves to provide for you call out to him. Point number five.

To answer prayer. You must confess your personal sin in the Lord's prayer as we call it in this template for all prayer. Jesus said on a regular basis.

Just as surely as we ask God to provide our daily needs.

Our daily bread.

Ask him to forgive our sin, forgiveness, our sin, as we forgive those who sin against us. We all sin more often than we think we sent the Bible even says that we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not enough. So we need to repent of our sin on a regular basis and see Lord forgive me of my sins.

Have you done that recently I tell you this unconfessed sin can cut off your communication with God, not your relationship, because every one of his sins, but it can cut off communication. God says my year is not close that I can't hear you, my hands, not heavy, but I can't save you, but your sins of separated you from me. So sin is a barrier we must confess our sin, and in addition to that, we must forgive others. Remember, Jesus is here in Luke 11 for forgive us our sins and also forgive everyone who is indebted to us forgiven.

People should be forgiving people. God is forgiven you. Therefore you should forgive others listen. Forgiveness is the key to all relationships that are healthy and strong because were all going to hurt one another, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally were all going to fall short.

We need to learn to keep short accounts and to extend forgiveness. Ruth Graham, the wife of Billy Graham once said the secret of a good marriage is a boat. People need to learn how to be good for Gilbert's are you harboring a grudge against someone right now is able. Greg Dave hurt me okay when you're harboring the grudge who's been hurt more than ever you.

You're the one carrying that resentment. You're the one being eaten up by your bitterness and anger and it's time for you to forgive, not just for their sake. They don't deserve it. Do it again for your sake, and said when you forgive someone you set a prisoner free yourself and get out of that jail of anger and bitterness and be free is or someone you need to forget the Bible says in Ephesians 432 be kind tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven you. Okay, one last principle. This is number seven.

If you want to see your prayers answered in the affirmative, told give up. Don't give up when we read a few more verses to you. Luke chapter 11 starting in verse five Jesus said which of you. If you have a friend who comes the mid-midnight and says to him, friend, let me three loaves for a friend of mine has come to me on a journey in abducting the simple forum and he will answer from within the city. Don't trouble me. The door shut and my children are with me in bed. I can't rise and give it to you I say to you, though he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend because of his persistence, he will rise and give him as much as he needs.

So Jesus concludes and says so I say ask and it shall be given you seek and you will find knock and the door shall be open to you. Be persistent in your prayer. Often the prayer will pray for something once we don't get it answered in the affirmative, super forget that no Jesus is telling us to keep asking. It's interesting this phrase that he uses your ask and then seek and then not there is an ascending intensity in these words as seek not ask implies just requesting attention, sort of like when you're in a restaurant in the rear notice that you can find the server. When you want to order them when you're not ready right in the middle of conversation mechanic I take your order. Oh what will were not sure will have nice teeth okay and then the leave you for one month or something like that.

So you need their attentions of the welcome excuse me, I seriously unceasing. Could you help me that's asking for is polite but then the next word is seek, that means asking plus action like I really need you to come over here and help me right now you're taking it to the next level and finally there's not that speaks of persevering the stacking of these words is extremely forceful. It could better be translated. Keep asking, keep seeking keep knocking so become the Lord and prayed about this by but I want to keep right under the pre-again in a pre-again I'm in a break and listen to this. If we put so little part in our prayer should we expect God to put much hard in answering our prayers. We can just offer some flippant save the world Lord and move on. We have to pray with passion. The book of acts chapter 12. There's a story of when Jean's was put to death by King Herod and then he arrested Peter without question. Peter was next to be the next martyr of the church in the next 12 one we read this powerful verse constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church love that constant prayer, not just a one-off prayer.

They prayed over and over and over they they kept asking the Seeking the Knocking constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church so they prayed together there's power when we prayed together, so don't give up. I know some of you have been praying about something for a long time. Don't give up. Maybe your single and your wonder of the Lord's ever going to provide that husband or wife. Don't give up on that maybe human trying to have children and you feel like it will never happen will don't give up on that dream may view of a hard to start a ministry someday and you think will it will never have and keep praying about it. Don't give up may view of a prodigal son or daughter is 100 away and they just seem to get harder with each year that passes, don't give up keep seeking keep asking keep knocking. Be persistent. Keep praying. Only a Christian can have a prayer life.

Anybody can pray, even an atheist can pray, but only a Christian can have what we would call this prayer life God wants us all to have.

But the reality is well separated from God by our sin, but the good news is is 2000 years ago God sent his son Jesus Christ to this earth to be born in a manger, then deliver perfect life then to die for us on the cross and rise again from the dead, so we could have a relationship with God, and that communication we have with him is through prayer. Jesus told the story not close with this of two men that went to pray.

One was described as a Pharisee that would be someone who is very religious.

Someone who knew the Bible very well and also a person who seem to be pretty self righteous and then a tax collector or a publican went to pray with them to met one outwardly perceived as a religious do the other perceived does the lowlife non-believer and the religious man. The Pharisee prayed this got I think you that I'm not like other men men you know, your prayers are messed up when you say some like that anyone on the both of all that he did I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I possess. Blah blah blah. Just what this prayer was not heard by God. Meanwhile, that sooner. Who knew he was a sinner simply said this to God. God be merciful to me a sinner and a better translation would be, God be merciful to me, the center, he knew he was the worst of the lot. He would even lift his eyes up, you just beat his chest. He was so ashamed. Jesus said that man speaking of the sinner went away justified, not the other men because his heart was in the right place. Listen God jurist center and you know you're a sinner and God has a solution for your sin and its forgiveness through his son Jesus Christ.

If you will turn from your sin and put your faith in Jesus. He will come and take residence in your heart. I told you that this last weekend through our outreach film called a rush of hope. We saw 17,000 people make a profession of faith to follow Jesus Christ.

Now it can happen for you right here right now Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again from the dead stands at the door of your life and Enoch, and he says if you hear his voice and open the door will come in.

Would you like Jesus to come in your life right now.

Would you like him to forgive you of your sin. Would you like this relationship with God where you can start having a prayer life can happen through prayer and in a moment. I like to lead you in the simplest of prayers and I would ask you to pray it after me.

You could print out loud if you like you can pray quietly but just pray this prayer to God. If you want Christ to come and live inside of you. If you want this relationship with the Lord, bow your head with the right now and pray these words. If you would just pray Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. Jesus come into my life now I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and Lord is my God and my friend in Jesus name I pray that everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast and the learn more about harvest ministries. Please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to By the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God.

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