If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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Prayer is our communication channel with God. While many people learn prayer through telling God their needs, a maturer place of prayer is to meet God in order to develop a relationship with Him. This page is about developing this type of relationship. If you are just starting out then it may be wiser to start with asking for needs.
When Jesus was asked by his disciples to teach them to pray he gave them what has become known as the Lord’s prayer. This prayer is not only a prayer in of itself, it is also a model for prayer where each phrase can be a launch pad for a whole session of prayer. This page covers the first half of the prayer asking for needs covers the second half.
We will look at each phrase and see what it can teach us about prayer. The text is from Luke 11:2-4
Names and titles are important, they define a relationship.
Our parents on earth provide an imperfect image of our Father in heaven. He is the original and true Father. Through Him we have a true understanding of what a father is. So, we come to Him as Father. For some, the name Father may be too painful, If this is too difficult then start going to God through Jesus, our brother and friend. In time and with healing you can move on to Father.
Consider how Jesus approached His Father in heaven at the time of the death of His good friend Lazarus in John 11:41-43 -
First some questions -
41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, "Father, thank you for hearing me.42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me."43 Then Jesus shouted, "Lazarus, come out!"
The word Father is a launch pad for questions and discoveries.
Celebrate with Him whom you have discovered as Father.
Situations enter life that question my understanding of who God is. I must bring these questions to Him asking for fresh understanding however unacceptable the questions seem. He is not embarrassed, He prefers a discussion to a cold shoulder.
These questions are not for curiosity, they are for prayer. Go to your Father with your questions, your fears, your feelings. Ask Him to illuminate you and help you understand more of what He is really like.
Now we move to the second phrase. The word Holy means set apart as sacred, morally and spiritually perfect, devoted to God.
may your name be kept holy.
Consider the impact of Holiness that meeting God had on Isaiah, one of the foremost and godly men of his generation Isaiah 6:1-7
1 It was in the year King Uzziah died* that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.3 They were calling out to each other,
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven's Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!"
4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said, "It's all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven's Armies."
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.7 He touched my lips with it and said, "See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven."
God is identified both as the approachable Father and the unapproachable Hallowed One, between the Accepting Father who receives me as I am and the Holy Father who exposes my sin as I come close to Him. Both are true.
This brings up some questions
The passages of the Bible I find helpful for engaging at a heart level are the Psalms. As you develop in prayer, a good way of is to use the Psalms to expand your view of who God is, and worship Him as He is revealed.
As we approach Him as Father and as the Holy One, we see the world from His point of view. So, we are able to pray this line. Your kingdom come instead of that which we normally pray - “My will be done.”
May your Kingdom come soon.
As we pray this from our hearts we gain a place of trust with our Father. As we learn His desires and pray for them as our own, then we start walking in fellowship with Him.
My response to seeing the world out of step with what God wants is not to act forcefully but to pray. Consider this passage in which Paul asks for prayers for people who were at that time very much enemies of God’s people - the government! 1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 Timothy 2:1-4 1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.3 This is good and pleases God our Savior,4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
One excellent way of meeting with God is to spend a day in prayer. Here is some material to guide you through such a day - How to spend a day in prayer.
The teaching of Jesus on prayer continues from here on the next page - Aspects of prayer 2, praying out of need.