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Series Contents
Series Theme:  Prayer

Title:   1. Introduction to Prayer


Each of these pages about prayer form part of a series of Prayer Seminars. To that end we hope that they will be used to stimulate prayer and not merely provide information.



1. What exactly is prayer ?

  •   very simply prayer is talking to God
  •   there are different intensities e.g. 1 Tim 2:1 speaks of:
    • requests or supplications
      •   asking for the fulfilment of specific needs
    • prayers
      •   general requests for needs that are always present
    • intercessions
      •  pleading on behalf of others
    • thanksgivings
      •  expressions of gratitude
  •   but essentially it is still all just speaking to God




2. Praying out of a Relationship

To avoid harsh striving and self destructive effort, we need to remember that prayer, first and foremost in the Christian life, is a child of God talking to its loving heavenly Father.

Thinking about “how to talk” almost seems unnecessary, for it is something we do without thinking, when we are grown up.   However, in the early years of a child's life, the child is striving to master the art of communication. So it is with the young Christian, and perhaps, in this realm at least, many of us remain young Christians!

In what is often referred to as “the Lord's Prayer” in Mt 6:9-13, Jesus instructed his followers to pray “Our Father in heaven”.   In that same chapter of Matthew, God is referred to by Jesus as “YOUR Father” no less than 12 times.

For some,  the term “Father” conjures up bad childhood memories, but God, our “heavenly Father”, is not like that. HE is full of love, mercy, justice, kindness and goodness. He doesn't turn against us; He isn't self-centred, He is constantly looking to bless us. Everything that comes from God is for our good.

Perhaps before we go any deeper into the subject of prayer, we need to be convinced that that is so. Perhaps a little meditation on Scripture and a determination to believe God's word rather than our fluctuating feelings would be helpful:


  Jn 3:16      God sending Jesus is the ultimate proof of His love

  Rom 8:31   tells us He is for us - yes He really is!

  Rom 8:32   tells us that Jesus dying for us is the proof of that

  Acts 20:28 says that Jesus purchased us with His blood

  • if you pay a lot for something, how do you feel about it?

  Rom 5:8     reminds us that Jesus died for us while we were still sinners

  1 Jn 2:1     tells us that Jesus speaks for us when we fail

  1 Tim 1:15  reminds us Jesus came to save sinners

  • remember that is an ongoing process!



3. Children of God

 It sometimes helps to remember the facts of our spiritual parenthood

3.1 We are born of God   Jn 1:13

  •   we are what we are because God made us so
  •   we cannot be more a child of God; we just are!
  •   we are just to receive from our Father, not strive for it

3.2 We have the Holy Spirit within us   Rom 8:15,16

  •   He cries out to God through us
  •   as we allow Him to lead us, He will lead us to Father
  •   He is to be an inner resource

3.3 We are to come as small children Gal 4:6

  •   “Abba” is best translated, “Daddy”, the cry of a small child
  •   Father understands our immaturity and still loves us



4. But what about?

4.1 But surely God knows ?

  •   even before we speak God knows it, so why pray? Psa 139:4
  •   yes but He still tells us to pray (see later)
  •   it seems it is often as much for our benefit (see later) as His

4.2 But hasn't God foreordained everything?

  •   if He is sovereign (e.g. Eph 1:5,11) what's the point of praying?
  •   the point is that we flow in harmony with Him when we pray
  •   somehow He has ordained that our praying does affect the outcome

4.3 But I've seen so few answers to prayer?

  •   that simply says you have much to learn
  •   don't give up, but learn and push on



5. Doing the Stuff

To end this first Part, why not find someone to pray with and pray simply over the things covered in this Part:

  • thank the Lord you are His child, & He's your loving Father
  • ask Him to help you develop your prayer experience with Him
  • praise Him for what He has made you
  • thank Him for giving you His Holy Spirit
  • ask Him to help you be more sensitive to the Spirit's leading
  • praise Him for the wonder of what He has given you
  • thank Him for giving us communication with Him
  • ask Him to develop in you even though you may not understand it
  • praise Him for what He is going to do in you