Private and Public Prayer

Works of Piety: Private and Family Prayer
Psalm 105:1-4 March 7, 2010

God’s grace is available for all people. What then is the simplest way to make ourselves available for God’s grace? If you were thinking prayer, then you must have read the bulletin!

As we do works of piety, we are opening ourselves to God. Talking and listening to God is the easiest way to open ourselves to God.

What is piety? It is not the study of how pies are made! The American Dictionary says it is piousness. That would be reverential or sacred. So we are intentionally seeking God. There are three areas where we can seek God. These include private, family, and public prayer.

A. Private Prayer
1. Seek the Lord alone
2. Do it in secret – Matthew 6:6
3. Quotes from John Wesley found in Donald Demaray’s book
4. Our private prayers work when we open ourselves to God’s grace. That includes talking to the Lord about those people in your life who just aggravate you to no end! Then listening to God about them could help us change our attitudes. Susurrus is a man who knows what can happen when we pray. That is what our families see.

B. Family Prayer
1. Seek the Lord with the family
2. Who is your family serving? Joshua 24:15
3. Fathers pray – Demaray, p. 185
4. Dad, you are the one to instruct your kids in matters of faith
5. “Yea, and you should take care that they have some time every day for reading, meditation, and prayer; and you should inquire whether they do actually employ that time in the exercises for which it is allowed. Neither should any day pass without family prayer, seriously and solemnly performed.”
6. I admit that I don’t have my family pray other than at meal times. We have prayed together before trips. At bedtime, Maria will pray with Ben on occasion. But it is my job to teach him to pray. So, we pray together at least at bedtime. We may not be John Wesley, but our families surely can pray together. Wouldn’t our world be better if we did? What would our church be like if our families prayed together?

C. Public Prayer
1. Seek the Lord together – 2 or 3 (Matthew 18:20)
2. Many people are not trained to pray in public, but we can!
3. Many people won’t come to a prayer meeting, but we can!
4. Let us ask for wisdom (James 4:2)
5. You may be asked to pray. You would be asked before the time came for the prayer. You can write the prayer down. Your prayers count. We are together in worship. We might as well pray together, even if the prayer is in the bulletin! It is in seeking the Lord together that we are able to be the church.

Is prayer important? That is like asking if water is important for a fish! We can pray in private. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t need to pray.

Of course, we can teach our children to pray. We are the prime example for them when it comes to faith. They are looking at us for many things beyond money.

As we teach our children to pray, then we can also have public prayer in worship settings. We can grow in our faith when we lead prayer in public worship. We are able to accomplish much when we pray together.

May God’s grace be evident in our lives and for those whom we pray.

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