Pray: Week 1


Pray
1 – Necessity of Prayer
11/4/15

Podcast

“Prayer is the only entry way into genuine self-knowledge. It is also the main way we experience deep change—the reordering of our loves. Prayer is how God gives us so many of the unimaginable things he has for us. Indeed, prayer makes it safe for God to give us many of the things we most desire. It is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God. Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life.” – Tim Keller

Prayer is personal conversation and encounter with God.

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16

1.  Prayer isn’t just talking to God, but communicating with Him.

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” – Matthew 6:8

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” – Psalm 139:1-4 

2.  Prayer isn’t merely a way to get things from God, but to get more of God Himself.

“have the eyes of your hearts enlightened…” – Ephesians 1:18

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” – Psalm 42:1

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:5-6

3.  Prayer isn’t a practice as much as it is a posture.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.” – John 15:5-8

4.  Prayer isn’t the goal, the mission of God is the goal

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” – John 14:12-14

ACTION STEPS:

1.  Pray all the time.

“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

2.  Pray at a regular time. 

“But I, O LORD, cry to You; in the morning my prayer comes before You.” – Psalm 88:13

3.  Pray for extended times.

“But now even more the report about Him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their infirmities.  But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” – Luke 5:15-16

Discussion Questions:

  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you “rate” your prayer life?  Why did you choose the number you chose?
  • Describe how you communicate with God.  What has been effective or meaningful for you?
  • Do you tend to view prayer as simply getting things from God?  How can that change?
  • What did you hear tonight that will change how you view and practice prayer?
  • Take some time to pray together.  Talk about ways you can encourage and help keep accountability for prayer with each other this week.