The Practice Of Prayer

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The Practice Of Prayer

  1. 1. SESSION FIVE<br />The Practice of Prayer<br />
  2. 2. THE SECRET PLACE<br />Matthew 6:1-8 <br />Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. {…} But whenever 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. “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that 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.<br />
  3. 3. God’s Secret Place<br />Rediscovering the Practice of Prayer<br />QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE<br /><ul><li> What is the purpose of prayer?
  4. 4. Does God answer prayer?
  5. 5. Does prayer change external circumstances?
  6. 6. How do we develop a discipline of prayer?</li></li></ul><li>What is the purpose of prayer?<br />
  7. 7. The Purpose of Prayer<br /><ul><li> Relationship
  8. 8. Our Relationship with God
  9. 9. Our Relationship with Others
  10. 10. Supplication
  11. 11. Praise & Thanksgiving
  12. 12. Confession</li></li></ul><li>The Relational Purpose of Prayer<br />Matthew 7:7-12 <br />&quot;Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Therefore, in everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.<br />
  13. 13. The Relational Purpose of Prayer<br />How much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!<br />-Matthew 7:11<br />Therefore, in everything do to others as you would have them do to you. -Matthew 7:12<br />Our confidence in God is the only thing that makes it possible to treat others as they should be treated. - Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy<br />
  14. 14. Does God Answer Prayer?<br />
  15. 15. The request, while powerful, does not always get us what we have in mind as we make it. This is true when it is addressed to other human beings and true when it is addressed to God as prayer. And that is entirely appropriate. For human finitude means that we are all limited in knowledge, in power, in love, and in powers of communication. Yet we must act. We must go on. We do not know enough, and our desires are not perfect enough for us safely to be given everything we want and ask for.<br />Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy<br />
  16. 16. Does prayer change<br />external circumstances?<br />(Does prayer change God?)<br />
  17. 17. God’s “response” to our prayer is not a charade. He does not pretend that he is answering our prayers when he is only doing what he was going to do anyway. Our requests really do make a difference in what God does or does not do.<br />God is great enough that he can conduct his affairs in this way. His nature, identity, and overarching purposes are no doubt unchanging. But his intentions with regard to many particular matters that concern individual human beings are not. <br />Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy<br />
  18. 18. How do we develop a<br />discipline of prayer?<br />
  19. 19. The Discipline of Prayer<br /><ul><li>The Practice of Prayer
  20. 20. It’s called PRACTICE for a reason!
  21. 21. Developing spiritual HABITS
  22. 22. Setting realistic goals and expectations
  23. 23. Balancing spontaneous and structured prayer
  24. 24. Variety is the spice of the spiritual life!
  25. 25. Use the time and gifts God has given you.</li></li></ul><li>NEXT WEEK<br />Rediscovering the Power of the Spirit<br /><ul><li>Who is the Holy Spirit?
  26. 26. Why is the empowerment of the Spirit important?
  27. 27. What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
  28. 28. How do we live Spirit-empowered lives?</li>

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