Spiritual Growth: Prayer

Last week, we started a series on spiritual maturity and the five components. As a refresher, they are:

  1. Commitment
  2. Prayer
  3. Study
  4. Mentoring/Fellowship
  5. Serving

Today, we’re continuing our series with a focus on prayer. There are a lot of different ways to define prayer but the simplest one is that prayer is a conversation with God. I want you to think about the best conversation you’ve had. Who was it with? What was it like? What was it about? Take a minute and think about it.

Now think about the best conversation you’ve had with God. What was it like? What was it about? Compare it to the first conversation I asked you to remember. What was different?

Did you know that Jesus prayed? It seems to me that if it’s good for Jesus, it’s good for us. There are many times that Jesus went to pray.

“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.” – Matthew 14:23

“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I go over there and pray.’” – Matthew 26:36

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.’” – Mark 1:35

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I am going to be transparent – prayer feels challenging to me because even though I am talking or writing, I feel like it’s one-sided. It’s more of a monologue than a dialogue. I have also wondered why I am talking to someone who knows everything. I don’t need to tell Him where my struggles are because He knows. And God does know – that isn’t the point of prayer. The point is to remember that we depend on God for everything and that the focus is our relationship with the Lord. He is supposed to be our best friend and Father but for that to be real, we need to communicate with Him. We can talk to Him about our lives but to hear from Him, we need to study His word and listen.

There are so many different methods that be utilized to pray. Some people pray out loud, some kneel, and some write. Personally, I utilize a prayer journal to write my prayers down. It’s been a great way to track some of the blessings and answered prayers He’s provided, as well as patterns of areas I struggle in. Do what works for you.

There are different ways to pray; for people just starting out it can be useful to use an outline, like the one below:

  • A.C.T.S. – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
  • Following an outline like The Lords Prayer (Matthew 6:5-13)
  • Praise and Thanksgiving, Confession, Others and Self

I recommend looking into different methods of prayer to determine what works for you. Prayer is your communication with God and is a highly personal decision. It is important to make sure that your prayer life is balanced. You need to make sure that you’re not treating God like a genie who exists to answer your every desire. God is the almighty creator of the universe and we exist for Him. It is important that you praise Him, confess your sins and pray for the needs of others.

Remember, prayer is partly our talking to the Lord and partly listening to His word. Our next post will focus on studying His word.

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Today’s challenge is to examine your prayer life and come up with a plan of action. Are you praying regularly? Is your prayer life on-track or could it use a revamp? Do you use a prayer journal – if so, we’d love to see a picture of it. Comment below or contact us through the contact page and let us know how you pray. ❤

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