40 Days of Prayer - A Beginner’s Guide to Prayer
We’re glad you’re joining us on the next venture - into the meaning, use, and purpose of prayer! This week Pastor Mike unpacks the scripture regarding some truths about prayer, and what the disciples were asking in Luke 11:1 when they said, ‘Lord teach us to pray.’
Our frustration with prayer can be caused by misconceptions: prayer isn’t a magic wand to get the stuff we want; prayer is not a fire extinguisher to be used only in emergencies; prayer isn’t a tug of war with God, convincing Him of what we want; prayer isn’t a ritual to relieve our guilt, in saying exact words etc.
So we know what prayer isn’t, what does the scripture say that it is? Here are some (not all of course!) of the truths the scriptures tell us about prayer.
God loves for me to talk to Him, about anything. Psalm 103:13 tells us that ‘The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate, to those who reverence Him.’ 1 John 5:14-15 tells us that we can have confidence in talking to Him. Prayer is a conversation - not a ceremony. Prayer is a relationship - not a ritual!
God listens to prayers that are sincere and simple. read Matthew 6:5-8, and notice the difference between those with seemingly grand prayers proclamation style, and those that go into a quiet and private place and get honest in conversation with their Father in heaven.
God likes to show His grace by answering our prayers. Matthew 7:11 says that God will give us good gifts, and James 4:2 encourages us that ‘you have not because you do not ask God.’ It gives God joy to answer the prayers of His children (even if those answers are no’s…sometimes those unanswered prayers are because God’s best is something else we haven’t seen yet).
God longs to be close to me. The whole idea in the beginning - way back in the garden - was that we could walk with Him and talk with Him, have relationship and communion forever! In Hosea 6:6, the Lord says to His people ‘I want you to know Me more than I want burnt offerings.’ He wanted relationship more than rituals! James 4:8 gives us an incredible and divine invitation, ‘draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’ Think about that - the God who breathed galaxies into existence, whose home is heaven - says that He will draw near. Wow!
The closer we draw to the Lord, the less stressed and more blessed we will be! Knowing the One we were made for, will change our lives the more we grasp and realize it.