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Giving Prayer Another Chance

07/04/2024 - Jody Destry

What is prayer to you?

What is your earliest memory of prayer?

How would you describe your own experiences of prayer?

 

Questions to reflect on:

  • What is prayer to you?
  • What are the things you tend to pray about when you pray?
  • When do you pray?
  • How often do you pray?
  • Where do you pray?
  • When you pray what do you experience?
  • When you pray what don’t you experience?
  • When you pray, what would you like to experience?
  • Does God answer your prayers?
  • If you don’t pray – why not?
  • Does your prayer life bring you life and joy or has it become stale?

 

Do you think the average Australian prays?

 

What is prayer?

In its simplest form: Prayer is a conversation with God.

 

What Prayer Is NOT:

Rubbing the lamp to get 3 wishes from the genie

A self-help strategy

A test of eloquence

Not magic (but it is supernatural!)

One size fits all

Prayer IS:

A way of being with God (the God of the Bible)

Talking and listening to God

A practice of devotion and worship to God

A gateway to God’s peace and power

Both a private and communal experience

 

‘Then the man and his wife heard the sound of God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day’ (Gen 3:8)

 

6 INVITATIONS OF PRAYER:

 

1/ Prayer is a gateway to Connection

Psalm 139: 23 

‘Search me, God, and know my heart’

 

2/ Prayer is a gateway to Compassion

Lam 3:22-24

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

23 

They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

24 

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

 

3/ Prayer is a gateway to Comfort

Phil 4:6-7

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. “

(NLT)

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.”

(MSG)

 

4/ Prayer is a gateway to Clarity

Rom 12:2

 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

5/ Prayer is a gateway to Celebration

Psalm 100:4-5

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

 

6/ Prayer is a gateway to Communion (with God and others)

Matt 18:20 

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

 

Invitations:

1/ Ask God to refresh and reinvigorate your prayer life.

2/ Think about how you might commit to giving prayer another chance over the coming weeks.

3/ Be intentional about creating time each day to pray.

4/ Be honest before God in the knowledge that you are seen, known and deeply loved.