Let’s begin this study of prayer with some introductory principles: The most obvious one is the fact you cannot con or deceive God in prayer. Remember that He knows all of your thoughts and nothing is hidden from Him. As HEB 4:13 says, And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things lie open and exposed before the eyes of Him with whom we have to answer. Many believers use prayer to try to get their own way, not God's way. 1JO 5:14-15and this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. Notice that knowledge of God and confidence in Him are both very important in prayer. People lack knowledge because of ignorance of Bible doctrine, and they lack confidence because of not understanding grace. Prayer must always be compatible with God's will and God's way, not our will and our way. JAM 4:2-3You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. Prayer must recognize Who and What God is, not who and what we are. We are to draw near to God with adoration and thanksgiving because of Who and What He is. Additionally, prayer is not designed to get us out of trouble, but rather it is to express our helplessness, our humility, our total dependence on God, and our recognition of His grace and His mercy toward us. The Apostle Paul learned this in 2CO 12:8-9, when he prayed three times that the Lord would remove one of Satan's angels from troubling him, and the Lord would not answer the prayer. Instead, the Apostle Paul had to recall the doctrine he had previously learned to handle the situation. The answer is found in 2CO 12:9, And he had said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Prayer is also a part of Christian service, and as such, effective prayer is a result of spiritual growth, and must comply with other doctrinal principles of Christian service.
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