JESUS SAYS, PRAYER IS...

READ: Matthew 6:1-18

Is any of you good at prayer? Are you a good prayer? Any prayer warriors?

I am not a great prayer. I have tried lots of different prayer forms and practices over the years. My prayer life is pretty hot and cold —and by hot and cold, I mean at times I’ve used an orthodox Jewish prayer rope, praying with repetition...ACTS prayer, open- ended prayers, guided prayer-books, etc.

And with each of these, I fizzle out and end up going on for periods without good communication with God... I go weeks without intentionally praying to God.

2 Major reasons people don’t pray:

-Not knowing what to do in prayer -Not have a sound theology of prayer

Often when we pray, we focus on praying instead of focusing on God. Is this familiar? “God, I’m here today to avoid the guilt of not praying today.” Maybe not the words...but at least the sentiment...

The syntax of prayer has less to do (not nothing...) with its forms (posture, what, how, when) and more to do with your relationship with God. AND SO: Love, honesty, and relationship is the true syntax of prayer because it is speaking and listening to the God who is love.

Why should we have confidence that God hears our prayers? Christ was the true Son of God...perfect in relationship, perfect in Image...And at the point in which He raised Lazarus from the dead, He prayed: “Father, I thank You that You have heard me. I knew

that You always hear me,”. Christology is the vital basis of our confidence that God is “UP THERE” listening. What belongs to Christ, now belongs to all who trust in Him. If the Father always hears the Son, then He always hears those who, in Christ, are sons. Galatians 4:6 agrees: “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba Father! ”

PRAY:

God, I’m here. [Spend a moment communicating to God what you appreciate and love about Him.

Offer Him your praises of His character and activity.]

[Now, spend a moment talking with God about the condition of your heart and mind on this day.

What worries you? What do you care about?]

[Close your prayer with 3-5 minutes (or more) of silence. When you feel distracted, say: “I’m listening God.]