In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. …
EPHESIANS 6:18 MSG
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! MATTHEW 7:7-11 NIV
Prayer is about love
“How much more will your Father in heaven…”
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name…’” LUKE 11:1-2 NIV
Prayer is about everyday simplicity
Pray continually, 1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 NIV
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ROMANS 12:12 NIV
He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, “My temple will be called a house of prayer; but you have turned into a den of thieves!” MATTHEW 21:13 NLT
How can we embrace this practice of prayer?
Structure your day around a three-part daily prayer rhythm
As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. PSALM 55:16-17 NIV
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. ACTS 3:1 NIV
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. ACTS 10:9 NIV
Free spontaneous prayer can be born out of rhythmically structured prayer
Morning: Pray scripture
Midday: Pray for the lost
Evening: Pray a prayer of gratitude
Personal Reflection Guide
Find a quiet place where you can be alone with God. You may want to go for a walk or find a quiet place to sit. Gently clear your mind and calm your heart. If it helps, consider practicing some deep breathing or imagine releasing the things you are carrying to God.
When you are ready, begin a conversation with God about your practice of prayer. Ask God to reveal any obstacles that stand in your way of engaging with Him more deeply in prayer. When you consider praying prayers of surrender to God, what emotions come to the surface for you? Practice release and surrender by giving these emotions to God now. Lastly, ask God to grow your trust in His love for you and that your experiences in prayer would deepen that trust. Close your time with gratitude, thanking God for as many things as you can right now.
- If you could ask God to do one thing in the world, knowing that He would absolutely say yes, what would you ask?
- What is it about prayer that keeps people from integrating it into their daily life’s rhythms/habits?
- How have unanswered prayers from your past affected your current prayer life?
- Praying is about learning to let God love you. In what ways can this perspective transform your prayer life?
- Read JAMES 4:2 NLT. What things—if any—in your life are you carrying right now that you are struggling to surrender to God in prayer?
- NEXT STEPS: Prayer helps us release our idol of control. Spend some quiet time in group right now, taking this opportunity to pray prayers of surrender. Visualize laying your burdens, concerns, wants, and needs at His feet and replace these with the words “God, I entrust myself to You now.” Have someone close this time by praying over the group, asking that we would be blessed with knowing the full love of God as we practice deeper prayer this week.