Prayer Letter September 2012: How To Pray
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! - Psalm 105:4
Father, teach us to be a praying church. That is my prayer today. Nothing more and nothing less. Please make Redeemer a praying church.
Prayer is one of the greatest privileges that we has followers of Jesus get to enjoy. Yet it is also a struggle for many of us. We live in a culture filled with distractions, and to get alone with God and focus on Him, does not come naturally. To learn how to pray may begin as a discipline, but it will over time be transformed into a joy. The elders of Redeemer church want more than anything for Jesus Christ to be glorified in His bride, and we believe that this will not happen without us first and foremost becoming a praying church. We hope you will commit to spending time daily with the God who loves you, who desires time with you, and who adopted you as His son or daughter. Below are a few practical tools to strengthen your prayer life.
- Identify your “best time” of the day to be alone with God. For most of us this is early in the morning, before work, before the kids wake up, before you log onto your computer. Commit this time to Lord. This may mean disciplining yourself to go to bed earlier than you normally do, to ensure that you wake up early enough to pray.
- Find a “prayer closet”. This does not have to be a literal closet, but find a place where you will be alone with God, and where you are not surrounded by the distractions that may take your eyes off of Jesus.
- Make sure that you are not just asking God for things, but include in your prayer time adoration, confession, thanksgiving AND supplication (remember the pneumonic “ACTS”). Remember that prayer is an act of worship.
- Use scripture to pray. Start by reading over a portion of scripture and use that as a springboard for adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. The psalms lend themselves especially to prayer, but each and every verse of the bible can be incorporated into prayer.
- Use the Lord’s prayer to guide you (see Matthew 6:9-15).
- Pray alone and with others. Pray daily with your spouse and your children. Pray with your gospel community. Prayer with your church family.
- Ask your brothers and sisters in Christ what they need prayer for. And don’t just tell them that you will pray for them, but pray for them right then and there.
- Keep a prayer journal.
- Pray big prayers and pray specific prayers. God is real, He hears every prayer, and He has invited us to ask Him for anything, so do that!
- Pray for people to be saved, and for God to be glorified, and for Him to use You for His ultimate purpose.
Here are a few resources and books to help you grow in your prayer life:
- http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/scottysmith/ - This is a daily prayer blog by Scotty Smith. This will help to model prayer for you by praying daily through scripture.
- A God Sized Vision, Colin Hansen
- With Christ In The School Of Prayer, Andrew Murray
- A Praying Life, Paul Miller
- Prayer And The Knowledge Of God, Graeme Goldsworthy
- 57 Words That Change The World, Darrell Johnson