A Summary Lesson on How to Pray

The Most Important Ingredients for A Believer’s Walk With God

Psalm 63

September 25th  2011 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction


A.    Prayer is boring to most people! Far too stale, and ritualistic, and empty, and dry, to excite most people. They would rather watch paint dry than spend time in prayer

B.     And those that do pray, usually pray out of duty, or obligation

C.     But few people grasp how vital, AND how powerful believing prayer is

1.      They risk everything to know the God who hears our smallest cry

2.      They learn the hard lesson’s of Scripture, because they know deep down in their heart of hearts that they MUST pray

D.    A Christian does not pray because they HAVE to, or because they are commanded to, or because it is expected, but because they MUST!


1.      They are driven to their knees!

2.      They find that they cannot survive, much less thrive without a walk with God, a life of yielded, dependence upon the Lord of their life!


II.    Background (2Samuel 15:12-14)


A.    In 2 Samuel 15, David loses just about everything!


1.      David is reaping from his sin with Bathsheba

2.      His son Absalom has taken over the kingdom, and David is running for his life

3.      David’s own oldest son has turned against him and is seeking to kill him

4.      It was then that David wrote Psalm 63


B.     Psalm 63 is written by David NOT when things were going well, and blessings were being poured out upon David’s life and home, but rather, when he was running from his son Absalom. David was back out in the field and caves where he had had to hide from king Saul some 30 years earlier


C.     And it was in that time of sorry and defeat, that he remembers how to pray

D.    And God recorded his words so that we too, can be reminded how to pray


III. Message


A.    Pray Directly (Psalm 63:1)


1.      Talk directly to God


a.       God the Father

b.      Jehovah – God Almighty

c.       Talk to HIM


2.      There is no one else to talk to in prayer!


a.       Psalm 62:5

b.      Psalm 73:25

c.       Jesus said in Matthew 6, Pray after this manner, to our Father, which art in heaven…  Not to “Our Mother” or to “Our lady” or to saint so and so, or anyone else!

d.      It is God alone who seeks and deserves our worship and prayers! John 4:21-23  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.


3.      So, How are your supposed to pray?


a.       First of all, By talking to God. Straight to the top!

b.      Don’t try and get anybody else’s attention – because they are too busy to hear and answer you!


B.     Pray Intimately (Psalm 63:1) – “My God”


1.      This is where I am going to lose most of you

2.      Some of you CAN’T pray this way, because the God of this Bible is NOT your God


a.       Your god is your girlfriend, or boyfriend – they control you!

b.      Your god is your wallet – you live to serve your love of money

c.       Your god is your car, or your house, or your entertainment centre!

d.      Your god is your family – your whole life is wrapped up in only people – no matter how important – they are only people!

e.       Your god may be locked up in a box down at your church – only meet with him once or twice a week

f.       Your god usually is yourself! YOU are your ultimate authority!


3.      YOUR God is what you trust in, and lean upon, and rely on for your needs!!!

4.      David however cries unto someone that he calls “MY God!”

5.      Learn to pray like the God of the universe is YOUR God


a.       Not that you possess HIM – He is not residing in your back pocket, for you to just pull out and command to do your will like a Genie

b.      But that HE possesses you!

c.       Quit letting the God of the Bible be David’s God, and Abraham’s God, and Moses’ God, and Mary’s God, and Paul’s God

d.      Make Him YOUR God


6.       “Intimate” is a word that has been so abused today


a.       It means, Familiar, Close, Mixed (as in mixing two different substances, that are no longer separate like oil and vinegar)

b.      To pray intimately is to

c.       Mix the God of the Bible throughout your life – throughout your day

d.      He seeks to be a part of every one of your struggles and successes

e.       THAT’S intimate prayer – where God is not separate, and distant, but close, and heart changing!

f.       In other words, you should never be able to come away from a time of prayer the same!!! It should always and only change you for the better!


7.      Did you know that God has a heart? (Gen 6:5,6)


a.       He created us for HIS pleasure

b.      He actually waits for us to WANT to spend time with Him

c.       God already knows you

d.      But He waits to see if anyone wants to know HIM (Philp 3:10)!!!


8.      He deserves all our efforts to discover HIS heart, to want to bless and please HIM. To open up to Him when we pray

9.      You haven’t prayed unless you have been honest, and real, and open, and allowed yourself to mix with the heart of God in prayer!


C.     Pray Passionately (63:1)


1.      Passion simply means the moving of the heart – pray with your heart in action!

2.      Without passion, prayer is dead!

3.      To pray passionately, you just have to pray with your heart in motion! Getting all your emotions and feelings, wants and needs, mixed together with God and His supply!

4.      Listen to the words David uses to describe his interest in just the presence and power of God


a.       Thirsting like a thirsty man


1)      Prayer to David was not a man-made ritual, but a natural reaction to need

2)      You go through a desert, and you are naturally going to thirst

3)      It’s like he is in the middle of the Sahara desert, dying!

4)      There is no corner shop to turn to for a bottle of water

5)      There is no well, or river, or lake nearby

6)      So ought it to be with believing prayer


b.      Longing


1)      This is when you MISS God

2)      To long for something is to crave it

3)      Believe me, it is NOT prayer that a Christian craves, but GOD

4)      We do not yearn and long for the act of prayer, or the effort of reading our Bible…

5)      Whenever we do something spiritual, that is not the end…

6)      It is the Author of that Book that we seek to know and understand

7)      It is the answerer of our needs, that we seek to talk to in prayer!


c.       EARLY!


1)      BEFORE the heat of the day – that’s when you should get water

2)      BEFORE the trial comes – that’s when you should obtain the strength that you need

3)      Pray before you get too busy

4)      Pray early

5)      Pray BEFORE the day starts


a)      David did (Ps 5:1-3)

b)      Jesus did (Mark 1:35)  And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.


5.      THAT’S how much David needed God!

6.      Oh that THIS generation knew just how much they needed the God of heaven!


a.       That they will NEVER know Him without passion – without heart in their prayer time

b.      Anybody thirsting in a desert will put out the effort to find water

c.       Anybody longing for companionship, will make the effort to find a friend


7.      That’s how much you and “I” need God! If only we would admit it!

8.      Start to pray with passion!


D.    Pray Desperately (63:2)


1.      Now we get to the second great purpose of prayer:


a.       The first is to walk with God – to know Him, to tell Him what we need, and to cast all our cares and burdens upon Him, to let Him hold us and strengthen us, and carry us

b.      But the second great purpose of prayer is to get answers to our needs – to see the power of God – to watch God do the impossible!


2.      So many times we want to just see something big, something powerful


a.       Like a big blockbuster movie

b.      Like a massive crowd of people

c.       Like a big rocket going into space

d.      Like a big house and big kitchen


3.      The believer wants to see God as big!


a.       Moses needed God to show Himself powerful on dozens of occasions!


1)      At the Red Sea

2)      When faced with hunger and thirst – 1 ½ million people in a desert

3)      When facing armies and enemies


b.      He also needed God to let Moses see just a taste of God’s glory (Ex 33:18,19)

c.       There is nothing wrong with asking God to show off!


1)      Quit asking for tiny little things

2)      Whatever is your need, that you can ask for (James 4:2)

3)      Ask that ye may receive (Mt 21:22) – you can ask for anything – no limits! Look at 21:21 and see that if you need to move a mountain, then just go ahead and ask God to move that mountain! Ask God to do the impossible!

4)      Isaiah 7:10-14

5)      Luke 1:37


d.      We waste far too much time in prayer beating around the bush, and not believing God for the impossible things


1)      God ONLY does great things (Ps 72:18)!!!

2)      We only pray about things we think will already come to pass – we are fatalists by nature!


4.      We need to yearn to see GOD’S power


a.       In saving the unsavable

b.      In humbling the hardest heart

c.       In providing food in a desert

d.      In restoring the ruined and hopeless marriage

e.       In raising back up those who are ill and dying

f.       We don’t need faith healers – we need faith to just believe God, and expect great things from Him


5.      Oh that we prayed desperately!


a.       That we would pray like life depended upon GOD

b.      If God only did what you asked Him to do, then nothing would get done!!!


E.     Pray Gratefully (63:3-5)


1.      This is where PRAISE becomes part of prayer


a.       For too many people, prayer is only a gripe session – a barrage of needs and burdens – which is okay! God told you that you could come unto Him with all your burdens

b.      But we need to balance all those sorrows and burdens with praise and thanksgiving!


2.      If God is there,


a.       And is our only hope, and hears our smallest cry…

b.      If God can do wondrous things…

c.       And HAS done marvellous things…


3.      Then we need to praise Him! Not because of what He has done, but because of who He is


a.       Praise Him because of His lovingkindness – He is treating you and me BETTER than any of us deserve!

b.      Praise Him because of His supply

c.       Are you even aware of just how much God does for you?

d.      Are you even aware of how many times he has answered your half-hearted, unbelieving requests?


4.      To David, God’s lovingkindness, His gentle care of him was better than life!


a.       All the world’s wealth and riches cannot compare with God’s care

b.      Not that David always had it easy

c.       Remember, David was hiding from his own son’s bitter revenge. He had lost nearly everything because of his own sin, and because of an angry son

d.      And yet, when David remembered God’s lovingkindness, it caused him to pray more! To praise God MORE!

e.       Usually we think we should praise God when things are going well!


5.      Look at how David praises


a.       With his lips (Ps 34:1) – not in silence

b.      With his hands – like the shout of victory (i.e., at football match)

c.       With his contentment – that is amazing! Knowing that no matter what happens in his life, his soul is going to be satisfied!


6.      Praise, thankfulness, gratefulness HAS to be a part of prayer, or it isn’t prayer at all!


F.      Pray Thoughtfully (Psalm 63:6,7)


1.      You are ONLY going to praise God when you take the time to remember God’s work in your life

2.      Take time to review how good God has been to you


a.       Maybe a trial and time of troubles was the only way to get you right with God

b.      Maybe that time of sorrow was meant to soften your heart, not harden it

c.       Maybe you needed to be reminded just who God is, and how much you still need Him!


3.      When you can’t sleep, remember God’s goodness towards you


a.       In saving your soul from an eternal devil’s hell

b.      In giving you your wife, your husband, your children

c.       In giving you health

d.      In providing you this church

e.       In giving you a perfect Bible

f.       Remember answers to your prayers

g.      Remember God speaking just to you, and comforting YOU in the past

h.      Remember all the times that God stepped in and helped you, and protected you – driving, doctors, doing stupid things


4.      Don’t just say words when you pray… think about all the amazing things that God has done

5.      And decide to get closer to Him and trust Him more!


G.    Pray Aggressively (Psalm 63:8)


1.      God does not stand still!


a.       We always want God to follow us, and to go with us

b.      But we need to realise that it is US who need to find out what God is doing, where HE is leading, and then follow after HIM

c.       Part of praying is seeking to do God’s will


2.      Pursue God in your prayer!


a.       We know how to pursue opportunities

b.      We know how to pursue riches

c.       We know how to pursue revenge

d.      Use that talent to pursue after GOD

e.       Ask God where is He?

f.       Ask Him to draw you close to Him

g.      Ask Him to help you through your valley

h.      Don’t be timid


3.      Follow HARD after Him


a.       Run after Him

b.      RUN HARD to keep up with Him

c.       Ask according to HIS will

d.      Work hard at staying very close to Him – no matter where he is leading

e.       Because it is when we are close to Him that we are protected and safest

f.       2Tim 2:3,4


4.      The Christian life IS hard. So pray hard! Be straight up.


a.       If you are upset, get it all out – He can handle it

b.      If you are down, tell Him you are down, but look up when you are doing it!

c.       Be persistent in your requests

d.      By-the-way, make a prayer list, and pray hard for each and every one of them until God answers!!!


H.    Pray Confidently (Psalm 63:9-11)


1.      What good is prayer that is not confident?

2.      David knows God was going to turn things around – work everything out for good


a.       God would bring Absalom down, and all his plans to ruin

b.      God would bring David back into Jerusalem, and restore him as king

c.       So, when you are praying, pray believing

d.      Pray, believing that God will act on your behalf!


3.      You can confidently pray against every enemy – against every problem


a.       Those that seek my soul – Satan – shall lose!

b.      Those that seek to hurt and kill me, shall be ruined themselves – they will end up as fox-food!!!

c.       Pray against the dark times, against the oppression, the depression, the feelings, the defeats!


4.      As for ME… (David concludes)


a.       I trust that I will rejoice at the end

b.      I firmly believe that I will glory and shout and sing while my enemies cry


IV. Conclusion


A.    Few people grasp how vital, AND how powerful believing prayer is

B.     Few risk everything to know the God who hears our smallest cry

C.     A Christian does not pray because they HAVE to, or because they are commanded to, or because it is expected, but because they MUST! They are driven to their knees! They find that they cannot survive, much less thrive without a walk with God, a life of yielded, dependence upon the Lord of their life!

D.    Psalm 63 teaches the believer how to pray


1.      Pray Directly Talk directly to God

2.      Pray Intimately Make Him YOUR God

3.      Pray Passionately Pray with your heart in motion, not just your lips!

4.      Pray Desperately Ask God to show just how big He is! Because that is the kind of God you need!

5.      Pray Gratefully Pray with a lot of praising, not pouting!

6.      Pray Thoughtfully Remember who you are talking to, and what he has already done

7.      Pray Aggressively Pursue God in your prayer!

8.      Pray Confidently Pray believing