WHY DO WE NEED TO PRAY? Many people assume that because God knows what we need even before we ask (Matthew 6:8), that prayer is irrelevant; but prayer is our way of communicating with God and getting to know him on a personal level. It’s the central avenue that God uses to lead and transform us. To build an authentic relationship with someone you need to talk to them. Prayer is just that—a genuine conversation with God. It can be formal with your eyes closed and hands folded; it can be casual while you are driving in your car or on a walk. You can pray out loud, silently to yourself, or by writing your prayers down. The important thing is that you are talking and listening to God. HOW SHOULD I PRAY?
PLAN (Matthew 6:5-6)
• Pick a time and a place Luke 5:16 Daniel 6:10
PREPARE (Matthew 6:7-8)
• Our Prayer life needs to include: 1. Honesty Matthew 6:7-8 2. Boldness Ephesians 3:20 3. Humility Matthew 6:7-10
• P.R.A.Y. P—Praise. Begin by praising God for all that he is and thanking him for what he’s done for you. R—Repent. Tell God about the sins you committed (be specific) and ask for forgiveness. Ask God for strength not to do the sin again. A—Ask. Ask God for the things you or others need (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.). Y—Yield. Spend time submitting to God that His will be done in your life. Spend time quietly listening to God.
A KEY COMPONENT TO EVERY CONVERSATION IS LISTENING:
• There might be something that God wants to tell or show you, so don’t be afraid to ask God “is there anything you want to say to me?”
• And then take time to listen. God doesn’t necessarily speak in an audible voice, but he may speak through scripture, people, or other promptings.
• Respond to promptings. If you are out and about and someone randomly comes to mind, or you feel a strong urge to call someone or help someone out, those are promptings. Respond and see how God works in your life!
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: • The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg • Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels