5 Habits - Prayer #1

Welcome to Everyday Devotions. These daily Bible readings and Prayer Pathways are designed to help you go deeper with God each day in response to what you are hearing at the Everyday Church services and Life Group gatherings.

Monday 13th January

Last week, we looked at the spiritual growth habit of Bible Meditation. This week we are going to add a second element to these devotions. We are going to learn some Prayer Pathways. Prayer is the native language of a Christian, but we have to learn to speak it. This week’s Prayer Pathways will help you learn.

Bible Meditation

Matthew 6:5-13

5 “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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 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. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.9 “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. [For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’
1) Jesus doesn’t say that The Lord’s Prayer is what we should pray. He says that it is how we should pray. It’s not so much a prayer to be recited as a structure to be followed. Why do you think Jesus gave us a flexible Prayer Pathway, instead of giving us a prayer or a collection of prayers for us to quote back to him off rote?

2) Jesus encourages each of us in verse 6 to have a time and a place in our lives for prayer. Where is your time and your place? What does it mean for you to live out verse 6 in your own daily life?

3) Why is it significant that Jesus encourages us to begin our prayers by worshipping God as our Father long before we get to confession of sin? Is this how you normally pray?

Psalm 100

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2  Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

4) In verse 4, how does the psalmist tell us that we are to enter God’s presence when we pray?

5) This is very different from the evangelical tendency to begin our prayer times berating ourselves for our sin and failure. It’s full of joy! How does this different approach bring more glory to the God whose “love endures forever”? (verse 5) How does it step-change our relationship with him?

Prayer Pathway

The first of our prayer pathways is The Lord’s Prayer. We will teach you to pray through the whole of it, but that’s enough for today. For now, we would encourage you to spend your entire prayer time today worshipping God as your all-forgiving Father. Take some proper time to enter his gates with thanksgiving and to enter his courts with praise.

OUR FATHER: Thank God that he has become your Father through your faith in his Son Jesus. Thank him that you don’t have to come trembling and cringing into his presence. Through the blood of Jesus, you can run freely into his arms as your Dad.
OUR FATHER: Thank God that he has not left you to follow him on your own. He has made you part of his church family. He has given you many brilliant brothers and sisters in Christ. Be specific about some of the people at church for whom you are particularly grateful. It’s great to be able to call him Father, but even better to be able to call him Our Father.

IN HEAVEN: Thank God that he is on the throne of Heaven and that he rules over it as the control-room of everything that happens on the earth. Thank him for the truth of Psalm 115:3 ”God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.”

HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME: Thank God for his Name, as it is revealed to us throughout the Bible. Think of specific names for God and praise him for those names mean to you. Now pray that the whole world will acknowledge that his Name is holy. Pray particularly for yourself, for your family, for your Life Group, for your work colleagues, and for your friends and neighbours.
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These Everyday Devotions have been produced and edited by Phil and Ruth Moore on behalf of the Everyday Church Elders

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