Day One. Why We Pray. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it John 14:14

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2 Day One Why We Pray Prayer is an act of partnership with God. The scriptures tell us God is love (1 John 4:16), this means that even without humanity the Father, Son and Holy Spirit exist as a perfect loving relationship, yet we as humans are invited into this relationship. We pray to commune with God, but we also pray so that things will change, we pray so that God s blessings will be released in us and through us. Effective prayer accomplishes much and leads to real results. This is why Jesus taught his disciples, saying, If you ask anything in my name, I will do it (John 14:14). We are called as followers of Jesus to be channels of blessing and healing to others, so it is important that we come to him and ask things in prayer. Many believers know the Bible verse that teaches us that we have not because we ask not (James 4:2). God wants us to do more than simply think about needs; He wants us to ask Him to meet them. God desires for us to verbalize these needs, He wants us to bring them to Him in prayer. TO DO Think about your prayer life. Do you pray? Why do you pray? Is prayer something that you want to see grow in your life? Start by asking God that he would help you to pray. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it John 14:14

3 DAY TWO Developing a Prayer Life Do you want to pray more? Many people say that they want to develop a consistent prayer life yet find they are too distracted and can never get consistency due to their busy life. Three practical tools can help you go deeper in prayer: 1. Set a schedule for regular prayer times this establishes when you pray. Even Jesus did not simply pray on the run. He set aside time in the schedule and we should do likewise. If we do not set this time aside, chances are we will not pray nearly as much. It almost seems too simple, but it makes a real difference. TO DO Open your calendar and mark it with the times you are committing to pray. 2. Make a prayer list this will help you focus on what to pray. Often when we come to our prayer times our minds are blank or distracted. Prayer lists can be an invaluable jump start. Try creating three prayer lists: one for your personal life, one for people and places and one for justice issues. In all these areas, pray that God would release gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-10), fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23) and wisdom of the Spirit (Col 1:9-10). You will never be limited to these lists, but they will be an invaluable help. TO DO Use a notebook or a digital device to start building your prayer lists. 3. Cultivating a right view of God If we think that God is an angry taskmaster and He is always disappointed with us we will never want to pray, but if we come to understand God s love for us as a tender Father and the desire that He has for us to come and commune with him we will want to pray much more. TO DO As you read the scriptures start to recognize the emotions that God has towards His sons and daughters.

4 Day THREE Types of Prayer Intercessory Prayer Intercession is prayer for others, for people, places and organizations. It takes on several expressions; we pray for the sick (Matt 10:8, Mark 16:17, James 5:14-15), for friends facing difficulties and families in crisis, we pray for spiritual awakening in the church, for justice and social transformation, we pray for salvation for those who do not know the Lord. TO DO Identify some friends, family, churches or ministries who you are committed to pray for on a regular basis. Personal Petition This is prayer for the release of God s blessing and favor for our personal lives our families, finances, ministries, relationships, health and circumstance. We see this type of prayer when Jesus taught the disciples to pray for their daily bread. We pray that God s power and blessing will be released to us and through us. TO DO Think about how you can be a blessing to others and identify areas of your life that are stopping you from doing this. As you pray today for your daily needs ask specifically for these areas. Devotional Prayer This type of prayer is related to our own spiritual renewal, growth and communion with God. It includes connecting with God in worship and thanksgiving, meditating on scripture and responding with a spirit of obedience. Maintaining this heart connection with Jesus is the lifeline that enables us to sustain our vitality as believers over the course of our life. TO DO Prayerfully read through a biblical prayer (see Day Five) or a Psalm.

5 DAY FOUR Why Does God Delay in Answering? Examples of delayed answers to prayers are common, even in the lives of ones we might consider heroes of the faith. For example, why is our loved one not healed when we pray for them? There are several factors that might lead to a delay in prayer including God s timing, God s plan may be different (and even better) than what we plan for ourselves, spiritual resistance and many other things, however one factor we can never discount is the need for perseverance in prayer. God does not immediately answer our every request and one reason is because He is looking for faithful perseverance in those who call on His name. TO DO Read the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8 and ask whether there are any areas of your prayer life where God is calling you to greater perseverance. Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1

6 Day FIVE The Value of Using the Bible to Pray The scriptures have many prayers written down, prayers of Jesus, of Peter, of Paul and many others. These prayers can be very beneficial both to our intercessory prayer life and to our devotional life. As believers we want to know we are praying the will of God and we can know this more certainly if we pray the prayers that are recorded in the Bible. Specifically, a few prayers from the New Testament are listed below that are perfect for praying alone and with others. They re positive, God-centered and typically focused on building up others in the community of believers. TO DO The next time you pray for others open a Bible and look up one of these prayers and use the prayer to pray for the other person. Ephesians 1:17-19 (A prayer to receive the revelation of Jesus s beauty, to see how greatly He values His people as His inheritance, and to walk in a greater measure of the power of God) Ephesians 3:16-19 (A prayer for the supernatural strengthening of the heart and a deeper experience of God s love) Philippians 1:9-11 (A prayer for God s love to abound in our hearts, resulting in discernment and a deep commitment to righteousness) Colossians 1:9-12 (A prayer to know God s will, to be fruitful in ministry, and to be strengthened by intimacy with God, as we do the work of the Kingdom) 1 Thessalonians 3: 9-13 (A prayer for the release of effective ministry to strengthen believers so they will abound in love and holiness)

7 DAY SIX How to Pray-Read Scripture One of the most valuable aspects of Bible study is to create an active dialogue in our hearts with God and scripture gives us the conversational material for our prayer lives. Talking to God as we read the Word makes prayer more enjoyable. We speak the truths of the Bible back to God as we read. Jesus says If you abide in Me, and My words abide [live] in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (Jn. 15:7). Pray-reading the Word using the Bible as the conversational material in our prayer lives is one of the single most significant activities we can use to strengthen our spiritual lives. This really is the key to Abiding in Christ. TO DO As you read through the scriptures ask yourself whether the verses are giving you a promise to believe or an exhortation (encouragement) to obey. In either case thank God for giving the verse, set your heart to agree with it and ask God for the grace needed to apply it in your life. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it will be done... John 15:7

8 Day SEVEN The Most Famous Prayer of All If you are going to pray the scriptures, there is one prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. Many know this prayer by heart, yet I encourage you to look at it as if it were a menu. Each line is full of meaning, so as you prayer through it, pause after each line and personalize it for the person you are praying for, yourself or another. TO DO Pray this prayer Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matt 6:9-13) Content for this prayer guide was taken from Mike Bickle's new book Growing in Prayer. To learn more about Mike Bickle and the International House of Prayer, please visit ihopkc.org.

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