How to approach God in prayer

Topics: prayer

I. Request God's attention

  1. Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my groaning. Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch (Psalm 5:1-3).
  2. In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there (Mark 1:35).

II. Rehearse God's character

  1. For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit. But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness, I will enter Your house, at Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You (Psalm 5:4-7).
  2. If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear; but certainly, God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His lovingkindness from me (Psalm 66:18-20).

III. Respect God's judgment

  1. Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes; make Your way straight before me. There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Hold them guilty, O God; by their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, for they are rebellious against You (Psalm 5:8-10).
  2. But the Lord of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness (Isaiah 5:16).

IV. Rejoice in God's favor

  1. But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You. For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield (Psalm 5:11, 12).
  2. The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His lovingkindness(Psalm 147:11).

Sermon by Pastor Rod Akins, October 9th, 2022

Life group flow and discussion questions

"How to approach God in prayer"

An important Guideline of Life Groups: Drawing close to God in prayer must be a daily personal practice as well as the joyful habit of your Life Group with one another. Keep each other accountable to be devoted to earnest prayer.

Getting Started:

  1. What spiritual disciplines are helpful to you in starting each day seeking the Lord? Why does David make his earnest prayers "in the morning" (Psalm 5:3)?
  2. Do you believe that what you have to say matters to God? Do you realize that our gracious heavenly Father longs to hear us pray (Psalm 116:1, 2; James 4:5)?

Discussing Truths:

  1. According to Psalm 5:4, why must we be purified by faith in Jesus to enter God's holy presence (Titus 3:4-7; Hebrews 9:24-28)?
  2. What are some healthy attitudes toward prayer that we need to cultivate and what are some unhealthy attitudes about prayer that we need to change?
  3. How do you express thanks for God's character and attributes in your prayers?
  4. Why is it important to realize that it's only by the Lord's "abundant lovingkindness" (Psalm 5:7) that we can enter His presence?
  5. How does David's imprecatory prayer of Psalm 5:9, 10 show respect and honor for God's righteous judgment? How does this type of prayer fit with Jesus's teaching in Matthew 5:43-48?
  6. Do you ever have a good belly laugh with God in your conversations with Him?
  7. David understood how to rejoice in the Lord even in the struggles of life; list David's expressions that reflect joy in Psalm 5:11, 12.
  8. Do you feel God's favor over your life today? How does Psalm 147:11 guide us in experiencing the Lord's favor?

Now What? Application:

  1. Will you commit to seeking the Lord every morning in earnest prayer (Mark 1:35)?
  2. Ask God to search you and lead you with humble confession (Psalm 139:23, 24).