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The Secret To Effective Prayer!

Good Morning Beloved,

I'm so thankful each of you here today.
Thank you all for joining us..

Heavenly Father,

I don't believe that I have ever met a Christian, that doesn't want an effective prayer life.
We pray because we want God to hear, intervene in our circumstances and actively answer our concerns and needs we've laid before Him.

Prayer isn’t a method…It’s a way of life!

When read the Scriptures, we can see the importance, and priority, the early church placed on prayer.
Prayer provided the basis for the spreading of the Gospel to the known world. The church began with prayer when about one hundred and twenty gathered together in the Upper Room to await, in prayer, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

This resulted in a ten-day prayer meeting yielding results that are still being seen two thousand years later. This prayer served as the launching pad for the birth and growth of the church.

Prayer was a way of life for the disciples and it was a priority in their Christian walk. Surprisingly, there is very little teaching on the “how to” of prayer in the Book of Acts; however, there are a whole lot of examples. Many books have been written on Prayer and I have even read some of them.

In all of my reading, guess what I have found out?
I have discovered that the best way to learn how to pray is to pray.
Like the Nike slogan says, “Just do it!!” 

When Jesus walked on this earth, he really spent a large portion of his ministry in prayer; sometimes whole nights. He also taught others how to pray; not by writing books, giving seminars or holding a conferences in a fancy hotel, but by being caught in the act of prayer. He took his disciples through the “School of Prayer” by giving them on-the-job training. He showed them by His own example and they then tried it on their own.

In order to have an effective prayer, we must learn to develop a prayer life!
A lifestyle of prayer, every day, several times a day... and sometimes, nearly all day!

"Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us."
1 John 3:24 

We must all ask ourselves, does God's Word, really dwell within us?
Are we more preoccupied with telling God what we want or need Him to do, that we are listening to what He has to say?

When we study and meditate on God's Word, it's like a mirror. It convicts us of our sin, so they we will acknowledge our sin, confess our sin to Him and repent. It cleanses us of the impurities in our lives. Sin and rebellion, hinders our prayers, our fellowship with the Lord, it keeps us from the wisdom we need to rightly pray for our needs.

Martin Luther, when he was a monk, had so many responsibilities that he became too busy to pray. He was supposed to quote from his prayer books every day. He would “stack up” his prayers for weeks and then he would set aside some days and get “prayed up.” In 1520 he ended up sick in bed for five days. He got further behind with quoting from his prayer book and soon he was three months behind with his prayers. Then, he simply gave up! 

Prayer is not a matter of quoting prayers from a book. It is not mere repetition of words that we recite three times a day. Some tend to force prayer into a place that it was never supposed to be. Prayer should never be a struggle. Prayer is not a chore; it's an honor, a privilege, something that is endured. God is in charge yet He responds to our prayers.

Beloved, Christians today, have made prayer difficult and painful.

It is not intended to a ritual but time we spend with a friend who hears, and answers our needs.   
It is unfortunate that we look to God as a last resort. We go to Him because we have nowhere left to turn. 

"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be hear for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."

Pray, then, in this way:
Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.

‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Matthew 6:9-15

Our Lord Jesus, gave us a model in which to pray. You cannot study this, the disciples' prayer, commonly known as the Lord's prayer, in a hurry. For many people, this prayer is simply something that they have recited. from memory no less and in limiting it to that. We miss the whole point because it is infinitely more than that.

In studying and understanding this remarkable prayer in depth, I believe, it will do for our prayer life what I believe the beatitudes do in the area of our commitment and consecration. It is monumental in terms of its instructive capability.

As a child of God we can come boldly to the father through the Son by the power of the Spirit.

When we're facing difficulties, the first and only thing, we should be doing, the only thing that will work is the last thing that we will try: PRAYER!

There is no short cut to an effective prayer life. It is cultivated over a lifetime of glorifying God, in obedience.  

So allow me read, if I may, through verse 9-13. "Pray, then, in this way:
Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."

This tremendous portion of Scripture one of the most vital subjects in all of the Christian life. The subject of prayer.

The subject of prayer is much discussed, much talked about, much taught about, and yet nonetheless life-sustaining for all that’s been said and it is also, perhaps much misunderstood. A believer must learn how to pray. In order the experience the fullness of fellowship and communion with God,
to know the fullness of blessing from God, in order to open up the flood gates, we must... know how to pray.

I think we all know, how important prayer is, am I right?

The apostle Paul instructs us to, “Pray without ceasing.”  Pray without ceasing....  Pray and never stop praying! 

Now, anything that is so consuming in Christian experience must be understood. It must be understood. For if we do not know how to pray, if we do not know for what to pray, then it does us very little good to keep on praying... we'll find ourselves aimlessly, pointlessly and repetitively just praying. Yielding little, if any, result.

However, if we do know for what to pray and how to pray, then praying without ceasing has tremendous importance and impact.

Matthew chapters 5-7:
The Jews of Jesus’ day had developed a system they thought was adequate to get them in the kingdom, but it wasn’t.  And particularly, Jesus is zeroing in chapter 6 on their religious activities. Chapter 5, He said their theology wasn’t adequate.  Later on in chapter 6, their view of the material world isn’t adequate. And here He says their religious life isn’t adequate either. And then He picks out three illustrations: their giving, their praying and their fasting. Your giving is not proper. Your praying is not proper. And your fasting is not proper. 

Jesus uses it as the backdrop to then reaffirm what is God’s true standard. These are the standards of the kingdom. These are the conditions of being a child of the King. This is the way a true son of the King lives, not like the Jews of that time, but as Jesus points out here, the affirming of God’s standard. Now, let me just say of the three that He uses here discussing their religious activity:  Giving, praying and fasting; the greater emphasis is placed on praying, because prayer is more important. 

Allow me to just explain, while giving is important, giving to others is important, but you're likely only going to give properly, when you're responding out of the living vitality of a personal communion with God, with the overwhelming heart felt gratitude that comes that communion with God. And fasting, well, fasting is meaningless apart from prayer. 

Praying, giving, and fasting; So when Jesus is discussing their religious life, He picks three very vital areas to talk about. So, He concentrates most of the things He says on the subject of praying. 

Why prayer? Because of all the things they were doing inadequately, prayer is the most essential.
Jesus was saying to them, your prayers, just like your giving and your fasting, are at best, substandard. They are, inadequate.

I have had a number of people say,  "Pastor, that's just Old Testament stuff! That was the Jews of Jesus’ day.  What message does this have to us?"  

Well, just listen.  

Today, our religion in many cases, very many cases actually, is just as substandard and inadequate as it was in of Jesus’ day.  There is plenty of giving going on, all for self glory.  There is plenty of fasting going on, just to call attention to our supposed holiness.  And there is more plenty of praying going on that is nothing more than a pretense, plenty of praying that doesn’t recognize the basic biblical, divine standards for true prayer! That is exactly what it has to do with us!

Romans 8:26-27, "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;  and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

And we have the same problem. There are a great many, who aren’t even Christians, that pray. That kind of praying is no different than that of the Pharisees and the Scribes, inadequate and substandard prayer! That may sound a bit harsh, but I'm just speaking frankly here.

So, in the Disciples Prayer, Jesus is saying, "Giving: Don't it this way, Fasting: Don't do it this way!
And Prayer, Don't do it this way!... Do it this way! And thus, He gives us the model for prayer.

If you'll just notice, there's not a lot in the chapter about giving, or fasting, though He does touch on it. However, most verses in this section are given to the theme of prayer.

It is an astonishing piece of work, a masterpiece of the infinite mind of an all-wise God who could somehow encompass the totality of every conceivable element in prayer and reduce it to one simple pattern for prayer. Everything generally, specifically and comprehensively covered in just sixty-six words! 

That's rich, absolutely rich! Wouldn't you agree?

And quite frankly, the more time I spend studying this prayer, I find it to be staggering. That something so simple, so brief, could be in totality, so positively comprehensive. It just staggers my mind... Only the infinite mind of God could have ever come up with such a model prayer.

I would just add something, if I may, it is an absolute calamity, that people in today's church, know this only as something tacked on the end of a prayer in a worship service!!

I would like to take that just a step further, beloved, I have more than a few people say, " I don't really read or study the Bible, but I do pray all the time." That's not virtuous folks. That's a travesty.
I could only respond to that by stating the truth, If you'd study the Bible, you could cut down that amount of time. It's not the length of our prayers, it praying effectively, by touching on the necessary elements. You don't need to pray all night, or for hours and hours, Jesus did it in just sixty-six words!

It is the study of the Word that gives birth to our prayers. How else are we to know the character of God, His will for our lives... and our trials. When we pray, correctly I might add, we're aligning our will with His will. 

Beloved, prayer is not intended to be just a spiritual wish list... Come on!

Our Lord, the One Who taught is how to pray in the first place by the way, addresses the Father, He addresses His holiness, His kingdom, and get this .... His will, before ever getting to our needs! Shouldn't that tell you what's important here?? It's not rocket science people. There's nothing complicated about that ... It's about God's will, not yours... and certainly mine... but God's!

In Closing...

Prayer is to impress you with God, much much more than it is to impress God with you!
Let that just sink in.. for a moment. 
The church today has forsaken real prayer for the routine and the ritual. 
Its no different really, that it was in Jesus' day. It really isn't. 
We have a little set prayers and formulas and don't mess with that... Well, beloved, Jesus did just that.

He basically said "Don't pray as the Pharisees, praying before men or the Pagans do, don't pray in vain repetition. Your not informing God of anything, He already knows. Go, commune with the Father in private. Look I’m here just to remind you of the purity of God requires when it comes to prayer, these are things you should have well known and should have been incorporating in your prayers." 

Here's a little Jewish FYI for you, the Jews of that day believed that they had a right to pray. It wasn't some great privilege, it wasn't an honor. 
News flash, it both an honor and a privilege to come into the presence of Almighty God. People raise more of a fuss, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite celebrity! Are you kidding me?

And some of you act as if you're doing come some huge favor, by taking five minutes out of your busy day, to ask Him for something you want!

Oh beloved, if I'm being honest here, its a good thing I'm not God... I'd be responding back to some of you with "Hey, just who do you think you are you that you're doing me a favor? Listen up kids, I'm doing you one!" And you're also completely honest, so would many of you..

But He doesn't! He wants yo commune with Him, That alone should be sufficient!
Think about that...

So the next time, you decide to pray, let's all give God the reverence, the honor and the glory He deserves! Amen?

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

Copyright © 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved
Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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