What is prayer?

Prayer is a gift from God that He gives so that His children may enter the Holy of Holies.  Prayer is communicating with God.  Communication includes talking to God and listening to God.  God speaks through His Words.  He teaches the meaning of the Words through His Holy Spirit.  Communication is a two way conversation, not just a list of my needs.Let me ask you some questions about prayer…When do you pray?   When is your appointment to meet with God each day?  Find 10 minutes, at a minimum, for your spiritual nourishment..  Morning, noon, evening… What are some proper titles to use to address God? Heavenly Father… Holy Father… Righteous Father… What are some kinds of prayer?  Blessings and intercessory… There are many… Some formats that might be helpful include:

Worship- Focus on the attributes of God… Compassion, Grace, Patience, Faithful, Loving, Forgiving, Just, Wrath…. Goodness…
Thanksgiving- Gratitude for the things God has done in your life and around you.
Petition- Your needs and the needs of others.

ACTS
Acrostic for private prayers…
Adoration
Confession
Thanksgiving
Supplication

Postures of prayer:
Standing, sitting, walking, kneeling, flat on your face… eyes closed, eyes covered, eyes lifted up to heaven… eyes open

Is prayer always only you talking out loud? No… it can be many things… such as: Reading through Scripture and writing down your thoughts while reading.
You can be prepared for your prayer time with pre-written prayers, using Scripture, and/or a hymnal. Sometimes reading through other Christians prayers such as medieval mystics like Thomas’a Kempis or Saint Teresa of Avila. The mystics became pietists after the Enlightenment and continued to write down their prayers…. What a lovely legacy to leave behind.

Do you use a prayer list and journal? (I have found the following structure helpful in organizing my prayers.) I use a three ring binder and five divided tabs with notebook paper. You can decorate the cover if you would like. On each tab write Praise, Daily Petitions (Permanent), Daily Petitions (Temporary), Weekly Petitions, and Thoughts to Ponder.

My Journal

Praise– Write out special Bible verses, names of God and why they are important to you, God’s attributes that He has taught you recently, etc…

Daily Petitions (Permanent)– Give each family member a page and write out your prayers for them here.

Daily Petitions (Temporary)- Write out prayers that are given to you by someone who asks you to pray for them.

Weekly Petitions– Have one sheet of paper for each day. Pray accordingly.
Sunday: Your local church and the Universal church.
Monday: Relatives
Tuesday: Bible Study Fellowship or a Bible study you attend
Wednesday: Those in authority: City, County, State, and National Government
Thursday: Missionaries
Friday: Friends
Saturday: Your Pastor and His family

Thoughts to Ponder– Write down what God teaches you when you pray or things you want to remember.

Don’t forget to record God’s answers to your prayers!

How can we discipline ourselves to pray?

If you consider prayer to be the key to entering God’s presence, then you will make it a point to rely on this gift more and more… The more you are in His presence the better your part of the relationship will be… You will be ready to face what ever comes up in life… and you will face it with a supernatural peace knowing that God is in complete control…
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