Do you ever need to be encouraged to pray?
I mean, I pray all the time. I talk to God all through my day, but I must confess, I do have days when I don’t feel my prayers worthy or that they make much difference. And at one time in my life, after a great disappointment in prayer, I questioned why we do it. Why in the heck do we pray if it doesn’t change the outcome?
I couldn’t stay away long. After much wrestling and studying, I finally came to the conclusion that we pray first and foremost because we are told to. It’s obedience.
This kind of obedience draws us closer to the throne everyday.#Prayer draws us close to the throne everyday. Click To Tweet
How to Pray
Do you ever wonder if there is a special formula?
The people in the Bible wanted to know the formula too. Jesus gave them one in the Lord’s Prayer, but then He told them a parable that got to the heart of prayer. It was the story of a friend who knocked on his friend’s door in the middle of the night asking for bread. Finally, after much knocking, the man inside got out of bed and gave his friend what he needed. (Luke 11:5-8)
Jesus taught that we need to be persistent. How do we do that when we are discouraged in prayer. Understanding the Lord’s Prayer with fresh eyes can help us find our prayer perseverance.
Bible Reading Plan BoB
Scriptures and Prompts (Printable available!)
Monday: Luke 11:2: He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.”
Prompt: There are two things Jesus tells us to focus on as we begin our prayer: God’s name, and His Kingdom. God has many wonderful names, but let’s meditate on His covenant name YHWH. This is the name God gave Moses when he asked who He was. I Am. The God who never breaks His covenant even when we do. The One who rescues and delivers out of bondage. The One who walks with us through the desert to the Promised Land. His name is Holy. As you meditate on all that YHWH is, do some soul searching. Have you allowed Him to be your king in every area of your life? That’s what it means to pray for His kingdom to come. We want it to come into this earth, but it comes to this earth as it is manifested in us.
Tuesday: Luke 11:3: “Give us each day our daily bread.”
Bread. Not “Give us today all our hearts desires.” Bread. The most basic need of man. Substance. Food. Provision. Why would Jesus tell us to pray this when He tells us not to worry about what to eat or drink? Perhaps this too has to do with God’s place in our hearts. Do we recognize that all we have is from Him? List the ways God has provided for you.
Wednesday: Luke 11:4: Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'”
Prompt: “Temptation” is the second part of this prayer. It may also be translated as “testing.” I wonder if forgiveness is the context of the testing. With every offense, every hurt, we are tested to forgive or harbor unforgiveness. This is a biggie. Until we choose to forgive people who’ve hurt us, we can’t receive all God has for us. Honestly, I don’t think we can receive His forgiveness until we’ve released others. I’ve written a post on how to forgive and forget. You might want to read this today if you are struggling with forgiveness. God wants us to be set free. One way God helps me forgive is I pray for Him to show me that person as He sees them. Pray this prayer today for those you need to forgive.
Thursday: Luke 11:9-10: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Prompt: Layer this verse over the Lord’s prayer. What does he tell us to ask for in Luke 11:2-3? His kingdom come, His will be done in us, daily provision, forgiveness of sins, and no testing. Now read verse 9 again with this perspective. What does He promise will be given, found, and open to us?
Friday: Luke 11: 11-13: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[a] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Prompt: Game changer. God is good. This must be the foundation in our prayers. God is good and only gives good gifts. What is His gift? How does this gift relate to God’s kingdom in us, forgiveness, His daily provision and testing? Write it down and pray for His Holy Spirit to fill you.
Virtual Bible Study
Many of us have recited these verses Sunday after Sunday. And I know that repetition, though good, can also cause a passage to lose it’s punch, but I’m hoping we can come to these words with fresh minds and hearts. I pray Jesus’s instructions on prayer will fall like manna every morning feeding our souls, just enough for each day. And I pray you can join me during the weekly broadcast as we unpack each verse. Come on over to my living room via Facebook Live! 7:30 PM Wednesday night. Just follow me on Facebook and choose to receive notifications. Hope you can join us!
Bring your coffee/tea and Bible and put on ya stretchy pants!
Digging Deep to Live Fully,