Lesson 09: Praying with the Right Attitude and Motives
Objective: Understand the purpose of prayer and the importance of having a proper attitude and motive.
Prayer is a conversation between you and God. When we pray, it isn’t just about saying words. It’s about connecting WITH God.
Prayer is also more than about asking God for stuff. It’s about approaching the holy throne of God with our requests, thanks, and praise.
Something to consider: Prayer isn’t just about 1-way communication either. Are you doing all the talking?
Or are you also listening with the ears of the Spirit to what God says in response?
Let’s talk about your attitude/heart/motives toward prayer and God.
When we approach God’s throne in prayer, we must be mindful of His holiness, and our utter lack of holiness. God knows our hearts and motives. We can’t fool God or fake it with Him. He is all-knowing. So, let’s come before God with a spirit of humility and transparency.
1: What is your current perspective or attitude toward prayer? Or share any difficulties you’ve had praying.
Having the Right Motives:
God is not a puppet. We can’t manipulate Him into action. God is God and so we must first acknowledge His role in prayer. He alone decides what is worthy of answering and He alone decides on the timing of answering, and how and to what extent he will answer.
This can be very frustrating to people who want a fast answer or an answer on OUR terms. However, to have a fruitful prayer life, you must submit to God’s sovereignty in this area.
Read James 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures“.
Just because you ask, does not mean he must grant it. “No” is still an answer to prayer. You must believe that God knows what is best for you in all situations. You must believe that if God allows you to continue suffering through some situation, that He has a higher plan and purpose for that suffering.
This again can be very frustrating. People often ask for an increase in happiness or a decrease of suffering and pain. But our eternal God is concerned with eternal things…things which are more important than our temporary pleasures or pain.
However, don’t let that stop you from praying for such things. God wants you to come to him in prayer for all of your needs, and be joyful and thankful regardless of the outcome.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
2: What do you typically pray for?
Lets discuss HOW to pray.
Although it’s inappropriate to reduce prayer down to a systematic or ritualistic list of do’s and don’ts, we CAN learn from the Master. Jesus teaches us HOW to pray in Matthew 6:5-13 (Lord’s prayer).
Read Matthew 6:5-13.
3: What part of the Lord’s Prayer is the most impactful to you, and why?
Action: Pray each day this week. Focus on connecting with God, and be mindful of your motives. So pray in an area that will be free of distractions. When you pray, think first about God’s holiness and be reverent and humble as you come before Him. Not sure what to pray about? Just talk with God about whatever is on your mind.