A Beginner’s Guide to Prayer

Today starts the actual 40 Days
Workbooks available for the campaign
Small groups will be meeting starting this week

Two key facts about prayer

We are wired for prayer
We aren’t very good at prayer
Our frustrations about prayer flow out of our misconceptions of prayer

Prayer Misconceptions

Prayer is not a magic wand
Prayer is not a fire extinguisher
Prayer is not a tug of war
Prayer is not a ritual to relieve guilt

Four Pillars of Prayer

God loves for me to talk to Him

God gave us the desire to pray
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.

– 1 John 5:14-15

Prayer is a conversation not a ceremony
Prayer is about a relationship not a ritual

God listens to prayers that are simple and sincere

“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.

– Matthew 6:5-8

Don’t use prayer to show off
Be sincere
Don’t use clichés
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
– Hebrews 10:22

God likes to show His grace by answering prayer
God longs to be close to us
God wants for us to have a close and personal relationship with Him.
Jesus told the disciples that they would not be servants but friends.