Thursday, July 5, 2012

Prayer

What is prayer?—Answer: Communication with God.  It is not just asking for what we need or want.  It is also loving communication and worship.  It is the venue in which we praise, repent, ask for help for ourselves and others.

How do we pray?

First— we must come before the Lord humbly and with respect

The Pharisee and the Publican— Luke 18:9-14

Second—We are not to use vain repetitious prayer—Matt. 6:7-8 (discuss what that means)

Third—Let’s see how Jesus taught his disciples to pray—Matt. 6:9-13

Discuss how Jesus taught the disciples to pray.   
He first addressed the father–letting God know he was being spoken to and showing how to do it in a respectful, humble manner.  (Not like the Pharisee)

He then stated that God (the father) is the one in control here no matter what I ask or say you are the one who’s will, will be done.

Asked for what he had need of.

Asked to be forgiven and at the same time forgave those who had wronged him.
(mind you Jesus needed not to ask forgiveness, he had never sinned, but this was to teach us how to pray)

Then he asked for guidance and protection from evil.  He asked for help for future knowing, stating and believing that the Father is in control of all things and that he has the power to do all that we have asked him.

He didn’t tell them to pray that particular prayer everyday, 3 times a day.  That would be vain and repetitious.  He gave a demonstration of how we are to approach God, how we ask for what we need, how to ask forgiveness and to give forgiveness, and to seek his guidance and safety in our daily lives.  He showed us that we must be aware that God is the one in control, that we are the ones that need him, that we need to be humble like the Publican was before the Lord. 

With all that said prayer is something that we must do everyday.  Most Christians start out their day with prayer and end their day with prayer.  This takes discipline.  It’s not easy to get out of bed in the morning and immediately begin praying.  Sometimes we get busy before bedtime planning for the next day and forget to pray and thank the Lord for the day we have had.

I too am human and I am not a very disciplined person, and I have to admit that just kneeling down and praying (especially in the morning) is boring and puts me right back to sleep.  After all praying to an invisible God is not like talking to someone that you see face to face and can hear them talking back.  

However, there are some ways that we can pray that makes prayer time more interesting.  Praying isn’t just getting on your knees in your room or at church.

You can go to places outdoors.  Maybe the park our just out in your yard.  A quite place that is special and serene.

Believe it or not you can pray by writing your prayers to the Lord.  That is the kind of prayer you can do maybe at school when you need to Lord’s help.  No one can hear you and you don’t have to close your eyes.  Maybe you are just not in the talkative mood.

You can pray when walking.  That’s a good way to get exercise too.  Take a walk and talk to God.  You can pray for those in your neighborhood with each house to pass, say a prayer for those that live inside those walls.  You never know what they might be going through.

You can make a prayer scrapbook.  Make a scrapbook page for each person of your family or some friends.  A page for people that need healing.  A page for people on the mission field.  A page for those who are lost.  A page for those who need deliverance from addictions.  You name it everyone needs prayer.   You can get that scrapbook out and say a prayer at every page for the person or issue on that page.

You can invent a prayer game.  Place a poster on your wall with six pockets.  Each pocket has a different thing to pray for, i.e. Missions, healing, addictions, family members, church growth, spiritual health and church members, lost friends, teachers and family, etc. You can make up sheets to go in the pockets to describe what that pocket is for, with pictures of the people or things you are praying for from that pocket.  Once you have made your poster board and filled the pockets with things to prayer for, roll a die and whatever number it lands on is the number of the pocket you select to pray for the things in it that day. 
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The most important thing to know about prayer is that it works.  God answers every single prayer.  Sometimes it’s no but he does answer.  Not only that prayer is communication between us and God and God does speak back to us.  He speaks to our hearts and our minds.  

There is an exercise you can do when praying and that is be a “scribe”.  A scribe would write down everything that God said.  While you are praying you may receive thoughts of assurance that God is going to do what you asked him for, you may hear him tell you how much he loves you and that he’s proud of you.  He may guide you to pray for someone, or something in particular.  After you are done praying write down the things he told you and reflect on them knowing that God has spoken to you and that he does hear you.  You also helps to refer back to your prayers because it helps you to see which ones God has answered positively.  Keep a “scribe journal”. 

Memory Verse:   1 Thess. 5:17— Pray without ceasing.
(You guys are sooooo lucky, I was going to have you memorize the Lord’s prayer!)

1 comment:

  1. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post.

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