What is prayer for?
to “get God to do something”?
Does God answer our prayers? YES YES YES!
the Bible is clear - when we pray something happens
God calls us to pray as part of our cooperation with Him
Does God do a lot more than answer our prayers?? YES YES YES.
If God just gave us whatever we asked for we would not be better off!
God hears our requests and answers in the most loving way
to form us.
Prayer is never about changing God - Prayer is about being changed
God already knows what you are going to pray for - He knows better than you do what you need!
God is always present and at work!
God cares about this more than you do!
Prayer is never about convincing God - it is about moving into alignment with His will and His power - About learning to fully surrender to Him and fully RELY upon Him.
Prayer changes us - prayer FORMS us.
Prayer shuts down unhealthy thought patterns and opens up healthy ones.
Prayer quiets anxiety, prayer fosters hope,
prayer reminds us of the truth, prayer reveals the lies,
prayer opens us to hear the voice of God.
Pray reminds and enables us to forgive and to show grace.
Who Taught you to pray? - If prayer is so important who taught you to do it?
Most of us just stumble along and figure things out. We might have a little instruction but most of us were never taught HOW to pray
This is why prayer is so hard for so many people - if they have to make it all up themselves it is difficult! They pray for a few minutes and run out of things to say.
When we feel like we are constantly failing it will never become a pattern in our lives
How does one teach others to pray?
Luke 11:1It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 2And He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. 3Give us each day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'"
Why should I pray other people’s prayers?
to have something to say when you don’t know what to say - why isn’t tongues enough?
2 Cor 14:13Therefore, the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.15What then shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.
If prayer forms us and we are making up our own prayers then our formation is bound to be limited
making up your own prayers is still going to be good for you because God is in the midst
but it won’t change you as deeply because its just MORE of you.
Angry people pray angry prayers, violent people pray violent prayers, greedy people etc...
So What prayers should we pray
You need to pray the word of God!
Jesus gave us a prayer to pray - we should be praying it!
The book of Psalms has been the prayer book of God’s people for over 3000 years
You need a Wise liturgy given to you by the great tradition of 2000 years of lovers of Jesus.
Prayers that have stood the test of time
Prayers that have been helpful for generation of Jesus followers
You need a liturgy that is going to take you into encounter with Jesus but then also outward into encounter with the world
You need a liturgy that you can come back to over and over again.
that stays the same
the lattice, the skeleton
that makes room for change and variety
Gotherefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
- We always focus on the “go” and that’s good but what are we going to do?
- make disciples
- Baptizing them
- there is a life change a death and a new life
- Surrounding and penetrating them with the nature of Father Son and Holy Spirit
- Teaching them to observe all I commanded you
- This is not just to “do” or a list of tasks
- this is to watch over to guard to hold in one state of being - to focus or concentrate on without distraction
- Love the Lord
- Love your neighbor as I have loved you
- Behold I am with you
- being his disciple requires his presence
- Baptizing them