DAY 5: PRAYER

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Welcome to Day 5, today we will explore prayer and its importance. If you live in America, you probably heard the phrase "communication is key". It is no different within our relationship with God. It's imperative that we take hold of one of the most important tools that we have in building our relationship with God. Prayer can best be summarized as communication with God, and it should be a very familiar practice in your life. So let's start to understand the concept of prayer through scripture.

How do we pray?

Prayer is simply talking to God, just like you would talk or communicate to any human on earth. The difference is that He is God, but He is our father, and we are his sons and daughters, so we should approach Him within that mindset. I would dare to say that there is no special formula or structure to prayer. It's not as if you say a prayer a certain way God will hear you better, but I would tell you that James 5:16 says, "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." So if you are in Christ and are truly devoted to Him, I believe he hears us.
 
A part of Jesus's earthly ministry was to set an example for us, and He does this for us in many aspects including prayer. I don't think there is a better example for us to learn prayer from, than Jesus himself. The book of Matthew provides us with great insight into this concept.
 
Matthew 6:9-13 “This, then, is how you should pray:“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.11 Give us today our daily bread.12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
 
So what are a few things that we can pick up from Matthew 6?

  • Honor God -"Hallowed be your name" Hallow means to make or declare holy, meaning we should approach God with honor and reverence, understanding His Lordship in our lives.
  • Prioritizing God's Will -"Your kingdom come" This acknowledges God's will to be a priority within your life and understanding.
  • Provisions -"Give us today our daily bread" This acknowledges that everything that gives life comes from Him.
  • Repentance -"Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors" Acknowledging the sin in your life and forgiving those who have sinned against you.
  • Give Power To Resist & Provide Victory Over The Enemy -"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" This simply acknowledges that as the enemy will come at us, we ask for God's assistance to combat the sinful nature and satan.

How do we end prayer ?
The most common phrases to end a prayer are: "In Jesus Name" or "Amen"(which means to agree or affirm). Again, this is just a suggestion, but we have come up with these phrases because of verses like John 14:13-14 and Ephesians 3:21.

When do we pray?

Prayer should be the most common activity for the believer. The nice thing about it is God is with you wherever you go. You do not need to be in a church building or have a pastor with you to pray. This is both a private and sometimes public practice of the believer. So, when do we pray? Let's look at a few verses that will help shape our understanding.
(Please keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list.)

Continuously
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:17 - "Pray continually" 
  • Colossians 4:2 - "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful" 
  • Philippians 4:6 - "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
  • Luke 18:1 - "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up."

Battling Temptation
  • Matthew 26:41 - "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Difficult Times (Health/Sin/Trouble)
  • James 5:13-16"Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." 

Seeking God's Guidance & Will For Your Life
  • 1 John 5:14 - "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us" 

Group Prayer: 
When you pray in a group, don't worry about impressing anyone around you. God is not concerned with the elegance of how you pray' He is focused on your heart's attention. Matthew 6:7

Communication Is A Two Way Street

Lastly, I would just like to encourage you as you talk with God to reflect and take time on what God might be saying back to you. As you grow in your faith, the spirit of God communicates to us all the time, we just have to tune in to hear the voice of God. God speaks through scripture, in our thoughts, with internal impressions, and through our brothers and sisters in Christ.
 
Isaiah 30:21 - Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

VERSE OF THE DAY

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Today's Questions

Additional Resources

Book - Prayer - Timothy Keller : Click Here