I had the privilege of producing several Christian radio programs during the 1970s. God saved me from atheism when I worked in radio, so it was a wonderful opportunity to be involved in Christian radio for several years.
I began producing programs within months of becoming a Christian, so my work in Christian radio was primarily as a producer and announcer. I worked with several excellent Bible teachers and evangelists to produce their radio programs and schedule airplay on a network of stations in both North and South America.
I also had the opportunity to teach on the radio programs from time to time and these notes are from one of those programs.
[This transcript is from a radio program broadcast more than 40 years ago.]
Prayer is the most powerful force known to man. It can move mountains, change lives, heal the sick, save the lost.
Prayer in its simplest form is “talking with God.”
The power of prayer comes not from the one who prays, but the One who hears and answers prayer…the Almighty God.
Therefore, we must be sure to pray according to His wishes and desires.
What is the secret to powerful prayer? Where do we go to find the divine example and teaching? Turn with me to Matt. 6:5-8 –
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
In these four verses, Jesus Christ presents the enter-rest dynamic of prayer. Here we have unveiled to us the deep mystery of talking with God. The enter-rest dynamic is a very positive principle concerning prayer, but before we can see the positive “do’s,” we must first learn the negative “don’ts.”
I. Don’t be like the hypocrites – verse 5
A. What is a hypocrite? “A person who pretends to be better than he really is…pretending to be pious or virtuous without really being so.”
B. What then is a hypocritical prayer? “A prayer offered by a person who pretends to be something he isn’t.”
C. What are some of the characteristics of a hypocrite in prayer?
- “They love to pray standing.”
- “That they may be seen.”
D. What is the danger of this kind of praying? “Interest in self.”
II. Don’t use vain repetitions – verse 7
A. What are rain repetitious prayers? “Prayers with empty words, void of results.”
B. What are some of the characteristics of vain repetitious prayers?
- They’re formal, just like heathens pray.
- “They think that they shall be heard.”
C. What is the danger of this kind of praying? “Dependence in self.”
Now let’s look at the two positive principles in the enter-rest dynamic of prayer.
I. Enter into God’s presence – verse 6
A. “Enter” into the presence of Almighty God.
- Enter with thanksgiving and praise.
- Enter with clean hands and a pure heart.
- Enter with a broken and contrite heart.
B. “Shut” out the material things of this world.
- Shut out personal ambitions and desires (lust)
- Shut out the devil.
C. “Pray” for others and the glory of God.
- Pray specifically
- Pray honestly
- Pray sincerely
- Pray humbly
D. Your reward for this type of prayer? “… thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
II. Rest in God’s Sovereignty – verse 8
A. Rest in His Love
B. Rest in His Mercy
C. Rest in His Kindness
D. Rest in His Goodness
E. Rest in His Knowledge – “… your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 40 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you, your family and your ministry.]