Im thankful that over the years my prayer life has grown. One thing that i have started doing more recently in my prayer life has been going on prayer walks in my neighborhood. I find that walking around my neighborhood praying for our community to know Jesus and to keep our neighborhood safe has grown me in my walk with Christ. I also have noticeably become more reliant upon God before going into hard situations. If I have to have a hard conversation with a student or and individual I will pray 30 minutes before that meeting occurs. Prayer has also been a huge part of Rachel’s and I’s routine before we go to bed. Every night we go to bed at the same time so that we can talk not only to each other but it gives us a chance to pray every night together. Through this we have seen God work in some really cool ways and seen prayer answered. As of lately I have begun to at least make a mental checklist of all the prayers that God has answered in my life. I would eventually like to write them down so that I can see how God has been active in my prayer life.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
How can we equip kids to pray? Remind our kids they can pray at anytime for anything big or small. No matter if a child is dealing with his parents' divorce or is sad because he has to wait his turn to play on the swing, kids face battles both big and small. As parents and those who serve kids in the church, you can equip kids to fight those battles wisely through prayer. Teaching kids the spiritual discipline of prayer can feel daunting, and many parents do not feel capable of teaching their kids somethings that they also find to be a struggle.#1 Model Daily prayer.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Back in the 80's there was a brother who led a prayer movement based on a breakdown of the Lord's prayer which I have used ever since. It goes as follows.
"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name." In ancient cultures a name was a means by which they knew the character of a person. In a similar way, the names of God, as He has revealed them to us, let us know His nature and character. We begin our prayer by praising Him for His character as revealed in the names by which He introduces Himself to us.
We praise Him for His guidance because He is our Shepherd according to Psalm 23:1.
We praise Him for the peace we experience because He is our peace according to Judges 6:24.
We praise Him the protection He provides because, according to Exodus 17:15, He is our banner.
We praise Him because He is our healer, no matter the agency He chooses to employ according to Exodus 15:26.
We praise Him because He is simply THERE according to Exodus 48:35.
We praise Him because he is our righteousness according to Jeremiah 23:6.
We praise Him because he is our provider in Genesis 22:14.
And there are so many more attributes of God revealed by the Names He uses to describe Himself so we praise Him for those revealed attributes.
"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." It is under this clause I pray for 4 categories of need.
1) Father establish Your Kingdom, Your rule and governance, in my life. Bring those areas which are still in rebellion against You under Your complete sovereignty.
2) Father establish Your Kingdom in the lives of my family and friends. Under this category is when I pray for those nearest to me that God will establish His Kingdom and His reign in their lives.
3) Father establish Your Kingdom in the life of my church. God be glorified by the place where we belong and be glorified in our church.
4) Father establish Your Kingdom in our nation and in the government's which rule on every level of civil governance.
We always pray for His Kingdom in our lives first so we have moral authority to speak His Kingdom into other areas of our lives.
"Give us this day our daily bread." He said elsewhere, "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." In other words, I have enough to keep me busy today that I do not need to worry about tomorrow until it gets here. Praying for today's needs keeps me in the present tense with God. It also reminds me not to clutter my mind with things which are not needful in my immediate situation.
"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." Father, there is a chance that someone will be offensive to me today. Just as you provided me forgiveness of my sins before I knew I had committed one, I choose to forgive whatever is said or done to me today before it is done. And Father, for those offenses from the past I am already carrying, I bring that person to You to deal with as Your wisdom sees fit. They are no longer mine to demand punishment for. They are Yours. Punish them, or let them go. They are Yours to deal with.
"And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." Father please help me learn the easy way today rather than as the result of sin and foolishness. I want to listen to You so my steps are directed before I place them rather than corrected after I have stepped foolishly.
For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen. The prayer ends as it began, with praise. We go in with praise. We go out with praise.
One thing about this method of prayer I have most appreciated is I can jump into this prayer anywhere along the way any time through out the day and address an immediate need.
We have just started a very important sermon series entitled “Prayers of the Bible”. This is a strategic and timely series that challenges us to focus on our walk with God through prayer for the next few weeks. Let’s not miss this opportunity to take a step forward in our prayer life. God is inviting us to intimacy with him through a simple conversation with him called prayer. For some of you, you need to start praying regularly for the very first time. Others of you, need to draw closer to God by praying more consistently.
The Bible invites us to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17), to walk with closely with Him in all of life. I would offer one simple practice that has changed my life. Start each day with a prayer. When you wake up, offer the day to God. Ask him to fill you and use you for his kingdom’s sake. Quickly give each task, appointment and relationship to him. Then keep your eyes open for what God is doing in you and through you that day. Remember, we will accomplish nothing of eternal significance unless God powerfully works through us (Psalm 127:1). Let’s pray, draw near to our good and loving God, and look for Him to do great things through us in the days ahead.