session 14: prayer

Ask:

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your prayer life? Explain.


Teaching Time:

“Prayer does not change God, but changes him who prays.” -Soren Kierkegaard

The most basic definition of prayer is “talking to God.” Prayer is not meditation or passive reflection; it is the direct addressing to God. It is the communication of the human soul with the Lord who created the soul. Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God. Prayer is spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him. Praying to God is like a child’s conversation with his father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs or wants. Think of a young child asking their father for something. There is no shame or worry about being looked down upon. There is safety and security in the relationship. It’s the same with God and His children. When we come to faith in Christ, we have direct access to God. When you come to Christ, you become a child of God and have the privilege of talking to Him in prayer at any time about anything. The Christian life is a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ. And best of all, it is a relationship that will last for all eternity. We can tell Him whatever we want and we know that He hears us! One thing that I’ve run into time and time again is that many people don’t know how to get started when it comes to prayer. To help get you started in a consistent prayer life use this acronym as a starting point for “how to pray”:


A.C.T.S:

  • Adoration: appreciating God for who he is apart from what he has done for us.

  • Confession: acknowledging to God our specific sin and seeking his pardon.

  • Thanksgiving: appreciating God for his benefit to us.

  • Supplication: interceding for ourselves or others according to God’s will. (basically asking Him for things)

Application:

Read Exodus 33:7-11

  • In Christ, who else has this type of access to God? 
  • What is the purpose of prayer? What are God’s promises when it comes to prayer?

Read John 14:13-14Philippians 4:6-71 Peter 5:6-7James 5:16-18, and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

  • How did Jesus teach us to pray?

Read Matthew 6:5-8

  • What does this tell us about the reason we pray?
  • Is this passage saying we should only pray in private?
  • What does Acts 12:12-17 and Matthew 18:20 tell us about private prayer?

Read Matthew 6:9-15

  • Use ACTS acrostic: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. (Using the ACTS method to pray)
  • Hallowed… Adoration
  • Your kingdom come… continued adoration and acknowledgement of God's holiness
  • Give us this… Supplication
  • Forgive our...repentance and intercession
  • Lead us not...guidance, protection, and deliverance

Read Colossians 1:3-14

  • What can we learn about prayer from Paul?

Read Psalms 86

  • What can we learn about prayer from David? 
  • What has the power to hinder our prayers? 

Read Psalm 66:18,  James 4:3 James 1:5-8,  John 15:7,  Isaiah 59:1-2,  Proverbs 21:13, and 1 Peter 3:7

  • How can we help each other grow when it comes to prayer?

Types of Prayer

  • Worship/Adoration
  • Thanksgiving
  • Guidance
  • Petition/Supplication
  • Petition/Intercession
  • Lamentation/Difficulties
  • Deliverance…. ie from something
  • Protection
  • Repentance/Forgiveness/Confession
  • Contemplative
When we pray, we are both inwardly and outwardly speaking to God.  When we are done, are we giving God time to respond?
  • How long should we wait to hear a response from God?
  • If God is not speaking to you in moments of intentional prayer, why do you think that is?


Where do we get it wrong?

  • My prayers must be long and elaborate.
  • Prayer must follow a certain pattern.
  • Prayer must contain certain phrases to work.
  • A preacher’s prayers are more powerful than mine.
  • Prayer is all about me and what I want or need.
  • Prayer is just for tough times.


BACK TO SESSION 13: HUMILITY


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