The Greatest Story Ever Told About
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived
Prayer is conversation with God.  Many times it seems like a one sided conversation, but God has
promised that he does hear our prayers and will answer them.  It`s just that we are here and he is
there that it seems like it.   Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer, and he was the Son of God.  Yet he
knew the importance of prayer, in fact sometimes he would spend all night in prayer.  One of my
Bible School teachers once said "Prayer does not change God, prayer changes us."  He was right.

                                                                                    Matthew 6:5-13
                                                                                  "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
                                                                                   for they love to pray standing in the synagogues
                                                                                  and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell
                                                                                  you the truth, they have received their reward in
                                                                                  full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close
                                                                                 the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.
                                                                                 Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret,
                                                                                 will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep
                                                                                 on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be
                                                                                 heard because of their many words.  Do not be like
                                                                                 them, for your Father knows what you need before
                                                                                 you ask him.  "This, then, is how you should pray:
                                                                                "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your
kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive
us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us
from the evil one. "

Jesus taught his disciples how they should pray.  The Pharisees used to stand on street corners
and pray to show the people how "holy" they were.  Jesus called them hypocrites because they
were just doing it to get recognition not because they were really praying to God.  Jesus gave us
the Lords Prayer which is still used a lot today.  

Luke 18:9-14
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus
told this parable:  "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax
collector.  The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other
men; robbers, evildoers, adulterers  or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a
tenth of all I get.'  "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but
beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'  "I tell you that this man, rather than the
other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who
humbles himself will be exalted."  

The reason we pray is not to tell God what to do, but to ask God to do something.  The Pharisee in
this scripture was so "self-righteous" that he thought he was better than everyone else and began
bragging to God about how good a person he was.  That kind of attitude doesn't work with our boss,
parents, teachers, or spouse, so how could it possible work with God.  Jesus teaches in many
places in the Bible that we should always be humble.  Lack of humbleness towards God shows a
great disrespect for God.

Luke 6:28 & 31
..."bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." unto others as you would
have them do to you.

The hardest thing Jesus tells us to do is to "turn the other cheek".  Our human nature would rather
strike out at those that curse or mistreat us....Jesus says pray for them.  The reason he does this is
not only so that we don't store up anger, but because as he said on the cross
 "forgive them Father
for they know not what they do".
  Those that curse or mistreat us don't do so because we have
done some great wrong to them, they simply don't like us or what we stand for.  When you pray for
them, you will release your anger and not have to carry it in you.  You will also be asking God to
help them to overcome theirs.

1 Timothy 2:1-3
I urge then first of all that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone,
for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and

Timothy says we should give thanks for, and pray for, our leaders so that they would make good
decisions.  Too many people complain about our governments and leaders, Timothy says we
would be better off to pray for them.  

James 5:13-15
Is any one of you in trouble?  He should pray.  Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.  Is
any one of you sick?  He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil
in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well, the Lord will
raise him up.

Some churches don't practice this because they don't really believe in it.  They will agree that it is
God's word, they just don't practice it.  If you go to a church like this you can ask them if they will
do it for you, or you may have to go somewhere else if you want the elders to pray over you
because it does say that "the prayer offered in faith" will make the sick person well.  It's hard to
pray in faith if you don't practice or believe in this.

Luke 18:1-8
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  
He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.  And
there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my
adversary.'  "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God
or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so
that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'"  And the Lord said, "Listen to what the
unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day
and night? Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.
However, when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth?"

Jesus told this parable and also told us why he told it: "that they should always pray and not give
 Sometimes when we don't see results right away, we stop praying about something thinking
God said No.  It's not that we can eventually change God's mind if we keep praying like we can if
we keep bugging someone, but it sometimes takes time to move things around to get your prayers
answered.  God will not "put you off" but he cannot deliver instantly every time we pray either.  We
need to be patient.  Some people pray for years before their prayers are finally answered.  We just
have to have the faith that God has heard our prayers and will answer whenever he feels it is the
right time to do so.   Jesus makes a good point at the end of that passage when he asks "when the
Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth?"  What he is asking is "will people still be
praying?" or will they give up on prayer and look for human answers and solutions.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.

This is one of those "easy to understand, but hard to do" type of scriptures.  To pray continually of
course does not mean 24/7 as we do have other things to do, but what it means is that we should
always pray about situations instead of always trying to solve everything ourselves.  God really
does want to help us, but if we don't ask him to, how can he help us?  Prayer is trusting in God.

Mark 11:24
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be

Jesus says that when we pray, we should have the faith that God not only heard our prayer, but
that he has already put the wheels in motion for us to receive that for which we have prayed.  It`s
just a matter of time now before it arrives.

Prayer is the basis of every Christians life.  To believe in Jesus is to trust in and rely on him.  
Therefore if we learn to rely on him, they we need to continually pray for things that we need.  This
of course does not mean we quit our jobs tomorrow and just sit at home and pray, it does mean
though that we don`t try to solve all our issues by ourselves.  We are not alone, God is always with
us.  And God is more than happy to help us.  That is why he gave us the Holy Spirit and Guardian
Angels.  They are there to help.  But if we don`t pray, then we don`t ask God for his help, and the
best we will ever have is what we can do for ourselves.  It`s so much easier if we only pray.
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