What prayer is for

1. Humility: Jas. 4:10 (You must humble yourself before God. How can you do that?) 2 Sam. 7:18 (David Humbled himself in prayer. Prayer makes you more humble because you admit faults, ask for needs, etc.. All these things make you more humble.)

2. Opportunity to Praise: Ps. 51:15 (David was anxious to speak praises to God.) Ps. 34:1-4, Ps. 63:5 (Verbally praising God is good for you. It will make you feel better. This is another benefit you should get from prayer.)

3. Mental Relief And Expression: I Pet. 5:7 (The Lord invites us to cast our cares on him.) Rom. 8:26 (The Holy Spirit helps us with this. When we cannot express ourselves to God he speaks to God on our behalf.) 1 Sam. 1:15-18 (Hannah obtained a sense of relief from pouring out her heart to God.)

4. Petitions: Ps. 69:3 (David spoke of the weariness of waiting for God's answer to his prayers. Does God answer prayers? Yes but the answer isn't always the same. Follows are three categories of answers.)

    A. Can't Procure: 2 Cor. 12:7-9, Deut. 3:23-26, Mt. 26:39 (As was the case with Paul and Moses, sometimes the answer is no. All the praying in the world wont change it. There are times you simply can't have what you want.)

    B. Might Procure: 1 Jn. 5:14 (Ask, and if it's God's will, perhaps your request will be granted.) 2 Sam. 12:21-23 (David prayed with the attitude of maybe God will do this or maybe he wont. This is real faith!)

    C. Will Procure: Mt. 6:13, Jas. 1:13 (Some things prayer will always procure because God has promised them. For example, Jesus taught us to pray that God would not tempt us. But God has already promised not to tempt us. Therefore this prayer is guaranteed to be answered. Other examples are things like forgiveness to the repentant, opportunity for basic needs, etc..)

5. Accept The Answer: Mt. 26:42 (You must be like Jesus and be willing to accept if your request is not answered.) Jn. 15:7 (Don't abuse promises like these. They are conditional on several things, such as "if it be God's will".)

6. Answered Prayer And Miracles: Jn. 20:30-31 (Some confuse the issue of answered prayer and miracles. The Bible says miracles were for an outward evidence. However, answered prayer is not for that purpose. Think of the contrast. "I believe because my prayer was answered." Or, "I believe because God said so." In addition to this, John the baptist did no miracle. Does that mean his prayers weren t answered?)