What drives people to pray? Is it superstitious beliefs, religious rituals, or spiritual needs? Are they searching for some mystical experience, or do they simply expect God to grant their wishes?
Sadly, it’s not just nonbelievers who approach prayer in such subjective and selfish ways. Plenty of people who claim to love the Lord have prayer lives that strongly contradict those claims. They speak to the Lord as though He exists only to fulfill their desires, fix their problems, and heal their hurts. Others believe there is something meritorious about the act of praying itself—they do it so they can say they’ve done it.
And as we saw yesterday, some people even try to use prayer as a means for making mystical contact with the Lord and receiving personal, subjective messages from Him.
If you truly belong to the Lord, you cannot afford to have a skewed, unbiblical view of prayer. You must guard against false teachers and false methods of devotion to God. Our prayer life is a vital part of our spiritual growth, so rather than scuffling through or making it up as we go along, believers must follow the biblical patterns the Lord has given us in His Word.
And when it comes to prayer, you’d have a hard time finding a more consistent, trustworthy example than the prophet Daniel.
In his sermon “A Pattern of Prayer from a Man of Prayer,” John MacArthur examines the life of Daniel and his faithful devotion to prayer. He also highlights several principles that guide and define a biblical prayer life, and how you can put those principles to work. Here’s a short excerpt:
In this powerful, encouraging message, John MacArthur will show you how true, biblical prayer is: