Prayer: What is Prayer

Phil 4:16 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

WHAT IS “PRAYER”? Prayer is the unnatural link of communication between our Creator and ourselves. Prayer…

  • is the invisible, immeasurable “energy” able to transcend time, events, space and distance
  • requires a “mind with heart connection” to be energize
  • is able to reach the ears of God
  • and often like the requests of a child with childlike expectations

WHERE DOES THE WORD “PRAY” FIRST APPEAR IN SCRIPTURE?

Genesis 20:7

1 Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”
4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”
6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die.”

WHAT ARE SOME INTERESTING FACTS THAT WE DISCOVER FROM THIS VERSE 20:7?

  1. Spoken by the Lord
  2. Spoken to a “transgressor” (Abimelech).

WHAT’S THE PENALTY FOR THE TRANSGRESSIONBut if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die.”

  1. Word introduced within the context of intercession

WHAT’S THE INTENT OF THE PRAYER?

  1. Intent of prayer is to ‘SAVE

TO WHOM IS GOD DELEGATING PRAYING FOR ABIMELECH? But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night…

  1. Power and authority of this first prayer is delegated to a prophet (Abram)

 

WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT GOD REQUIRES ABRAM TO PRAY FOR SOMETHING THAT GOD HAS, IN A SENSE, ALREADY DETERMINED TO DO (save Abimelech)?

WHO IS ABIMELECH RELATIVE TO THE “FAMILY OF GOD”?

  1. Abimelech is a Philistine king
  2. Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham after the “intercession” (Gen. 21:22-34)

EXERPTS FROM COMMENTARY

 Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister–Fear of the people among whom he was, tempted him to equivocate. His conduct was highly culpable. It was deceit, deliberate and premeditated–there was no sudden pressure upon him–it was the second offense of the kind [see on Ge 12:13] –it was a distrust of God every way surprising, and it was calculated to produce injurious effects on the heathen around. Its mischievous tendency was not long in being developed.
Abimelech . . . sent and took Sarah–to be one of his wives, in the exercise of a privilege claimed by Eastern sovereigns. (Eastern kings have for ages claimed the privilege of taking to their harem an unmarried woman whom they like. The father or brother may deplore the removal as a calamity, but the royal right is never resisted nor questioned.)

But God came to Abimelech in a dream–In early times a dream was often made the medium of communicating important truths; and this method was adopted for the preservation of Sarah.

 

WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME OF ABRAM’S INTERCESSORY PRAYER?

                Genesis 20:17-18
Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, for the Lord had closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.

Some thoughts. Notice that there is….

  1. No “pre-Flood” intercession…
  2. No “during-Flood” intercession
  3. Abram seems to be the first man called to ministry of intercession
  4. It’s interesting that, despite this incident of sin and unfaithfulness on the part of Abram, that God nevertheless calls him to intercede for Abimelech’s life

 

EXPLORING THE ULTIMATE INTERCESSORY PRAYER (Read JOHN 17)

                WHO IS JESUS PRAYING FOR?

  • Jesus prays first for God to protect the disciples (v 11). NKJV uses the word “KEEP”.
    • Define “KEEP” = conserve, defend, guard, maintain, preserve, protect, save, secure, sustain, tend, uphold, restrain, suppress, honor
  • Jesus prays for us (vs20 – 26)
    • 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

      24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am,and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

      25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you[a] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”


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Also see Discipleship 13: Prayer 

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