- Prayer is expected; this is not so much a divine summons as it is a royal invitation! We pray as a child to the Father. (Matt 6:5-9; Col 4:2; I Thes 5:17; Heb 4:16)
- Prayer is learned; (Luke 11:1) It is encouraging to know prayer involves a learning process. It is like the new instruction packaging for electronics. They include the most simple instructions to simply set the new item up and begin using it. Then after some practice we are ready to learn more from the manual and further use.
- Prayer is answered by God; (John 16:24; Matt 7:7; Luke 18:1; James 4:1-3) God wants us to have a confidence that He will answer! God wants us to ask and not be selfish
" And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Focus on one of the times in your life where prayer is already a habit (like before meals, when you go to sleep, in the morning, etc.). At the beginning of the week sit alone for 10 minutes and come up with a plan to make that time more meaningful (not longer). Then practice it for 5 days & note any difference. Use our class discussion as a stimulus. (If you do not have any regular time of prayer in your life, simply start a regular prayer before meals or before going to sleep – then note any difference. Don’t take any more than 5 minutes a day to do this.)
- Where (and how) have we made prayer a discipline (i.e. where do we regularly do it)? Where can we apply “discipline” to our prayer life?
- How can we make it legalistic?
- What have your found very helpful in your own personal prayer life?
- What hinders you in your prayer?
- How can we make regular prayer times (like before meals) more meaningful?