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Let's Pray

09.10.18 | Prayer, Updates, Revival | by Matt Shantz

    Prayer is speaking with God. It’s so incredible that it’s almost unfathomable. And yet if you struggle with prayer you are not alone. The majority of Jesus-followers struggle with prayer. 

    Yet giving ourselves to prayer is so vital because we value and believe in the power of prayer. Not only that, we believe that God answers prayer and uses it as a means of achieving His purposes in the Church and world.

    “We must not think that Christians are wasting time when they pray and praise.”
    C.H. Spurgeon

    Prayer in the Christian life is as integral as breathing to the human being. It is the difference between learning about God and walking with God in relationship. You can learn some facts about a person in your life but you can only have relationship with them through time spent together in communication.

    God has spoken and continues to speak to us primarily through His word and we speak to Him in prayer.

    “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”
    Oswald Chambers

    Find any great move of the Spirit of God in history and you can trace it back to faithful servants of Christ, desperate and fervent in prayer.

    Jesus: The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into the harvest field. Luke 10:02

    Growing as a person and a people of prayer starts with creating space in your daily life to pray. Start small, with just a few minutes each day set aside for prayer. Then grow it from there, by extending the duration and frequency of your prayer times each day.

    My hope is that the prayer templates in this post help you grow in your prayerfully-dependent walk with Jesus:

    PRAY THE PSALMS

    In his book, Praying the Bible, Donald Whitney advocates for just that: When you pray, pray through a passage of Scripture, particularly a psalm.

    “The Psalms: they are designed to be prayed.”
    Gordon Wenham

    The best place to learn how to pray the Bible is to start in the Psalms. Give it a try.

    THE LORD’S PRAYER

    When the disciples of Jesus asked Him to teach them to pray He offered them what is now our model for prayer. We refer to it as The Lord’s Prayer but it would fit better to call it The Disciples’ Prayer.

    When Darrell Johnson wrote a book on the Lord’s Prayer he entitled it, 57 Words That Change The World (the prayer is 57 words in the original language), because when while it is short, it is rich, powerful, and makes a difference!

    There are 7 petitions in the prayer: the first three are about God’s honour, kingdom, and will, and the last four are about human needs. This is the right perspective because when we fix our eyes on God and see Him rightly, everything’s put into its proper perspective.

    Jesus isn’t giving us a prayer to pray as a mantra but as a model for our own prayer. We may choose to pray these exact words reflectively or use it as a model to direct our own words towards similar concerns.

    Try to recite The Lord’s Prayer from the heart at least once a day as a way of growing a life of prayer and praying the prayer Jesus taught us to pray:

    Our Father in Heaven

    That Jesus invites and enables us to call God, “Father” reveals His goodness and grace. That He is our “Father in Heaven” reveals His greatness and glory.

    Hallowed be Your Name

    Pray that God would be honoured and set apart as holy.
    Move toward praise and thanksgiving as you dwell on His attributes and character.

    Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done

    Commit yourself to His will.
    Pray Kingdom prayers. Pray that what is true in heaven would be true here. Invite God to reveal any ways in which you are not seeking His Kingdom first.

    Give us our Daily Bread

    Ask God to meet your basic needs today. Bring your petitions before your loving heavenly Father.
    Intercede on behalf of others by bringing their needs before Him.

    Forgive us our Debts as we forgive those who sin against us

    Acknowledge and repent of your sin. Forgive others.
    Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal unbelief and rebellion.

    Lead us not into Temptation

    Ask God to reveal areas of temptation, weakness, and vulnerability to the evil one.
    Ask for grace and power to overcome sin and to experience deliverance from the evil one.

    PERSONAL PRAYER GUIDE

    In his book, The Hour That Changes The World, Dick Eastman outlines how you can spend an hour in prayer by spending 5 minutes on each of the following 12 aspects of prayer (or spend 2-3 minutes on each section for half-an-hour of prayer):

    1

    Praise & Worship Psalm 115:1
    Begin this time of prayer by praising. Take this time to praise and worship Him for who He is.

    2

    Waiting on the Lord Psalm 46:11 | Romans 12:1
    Waiting on the Lord means a silent soul surrender to God and His will. Ask Him to give you the strength to surrender your whole life to Him.

    3

    Confession of Guilt and Sin Psalm 139:23-24 | 1 John 1:9 Ask Him to search you, know you, and cleanse you. This is the time to confess sins by name, admit that you are wrong, turn from your sins, and accept God’s forgiveness.

    4

    Praying Scripture Psalm 119:9-16
    The Bible is our prayer manual. The Bible is a book that needs to be believed and obeyed. The nature and character of God are revealed in Scripture and so are His promises. Thank God for His promises. Ask God for wisdom and strength to apply Scripture to your life.

    5

    Watching Colossians 4:2
    Be alert! Pray for God to keep you aware and ready while praying. The enemy wants to hinder and distract you, but Jesus wants us to stand firm against those attacks.
    Be alert of any promptings of God and mindful of any revelation from God.

    6

    Intercession 1 Timothy 2:12
    Pray for God’s purposes in the lives of others. To intercede is to stand between God and others and pray for their needs and ask for grace.
    Pray for the lost, perhaps someone you know specifically or the people group you are trying to reach.

    7

    Petitions Philippians 4:6 | Matthew 7:7
    Bring your needs to God in prayer. Come to Him in humility and meekness, yet with boldness as His dearly loved child.

    8

    Thanksgiving 1 Thessalonians 5:18
    Thank God for His provision for you and others. Thank God for something you’re particularly thankful for today. Thank Him for the gospel.

    9

    Singing Psalm 100:1-2
    Singing is one way of expressing your worship to God. Don’t be ashamed to sing to the God who loved you enough to purchase you with His own life. You can use and existing song, sing Scripture, or sing your own song to Him of His greatness, love and kindness.

    10

    Contemplation/Meditation Joshua 1:8
    “What we take in by the Word we digest by meditation and let out by prayer.” (Thomas Manton). Take a few moments to meditate on the Truths and Promises of God found in His word.

    11

    Faith Matthew 21:22 | Hebrews 11:6
    Place your faith in God. Seek Him. Believe who He says He is and in His power to deliver on His promises and your requests.

    12

    Praise Matthew 6:13 | Psalm 52:9
    End this prayer time in praise. How incredible is it that you get to come before the God of the Universe directly in prayer? Your access is made by possible through Jesus.
    Conclude with the belief that He has heard you and will answer you.

    “To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.”
    Billy Graham

     24-HOUR PRAYER SCHEDULE

    If prayer matters (which it does) and makes a difference (which it does) and no great feat in the history of the church has happened apart from faithful, fervent prayer (which it hasn’t) then we believe that key times in our ministry year should be marked by prayer: significant moments marked by significant commitment to fervent, dependent, expectant prayer.

    We see the kick off to the Fall, the lead up to Christmas, the ushering in of a new year, the lead up to Easter, and the launching of new campuses as momentous events in the life of our church.

    As dates like these approach we will invite members of our congregation to sign up to pray for one hour, filling a 24-hour timeframe with prayer.

    PRAYER WALKS

    A common practice in our prayer lives is to close our eyes and maybe even fold our hands. But what if you spent some of your prayer time with your eyes open while walking through your neighbourhood? What would you see? Would it change what you prayed about?

    Adam and Eve used to walk and talk with God in the garden and Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee when He came across Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and invited them to follow Him.

    To prayer walk is to be fully aware of your surroundings and to pray about what you see and experience. It’s praying for the good of the community, that God would be honoured and glorified in the community, and that your neighbours would hear the message of the gospel and receive it with joy.

    A number of our pastors have committed to prayer walk in the neighbourhoods of our campuses each week and we invite you to prayer walk in the neighbourhoods where you live, work, and worship as well.

    LET'S PRAY

    What would it look like if we were a church constant in prayer for the Kingdom of God to break into our communities, for His rule and reign to invade the lives of the lost, broken, and disenfranchised?

    Let's pray...and find out.