I am challenged at the moment to pray. Melissa Hagan, who attends the International House of Prayer, has sent me some material to read about petition and intercession. Communication with God is an essential element of our relationship with him. Many of us think that we have a relationship because we know about God, but not because we know him with intimacy. In the passage listed above, God is presented as a friend who responds to constant communication. He is presented as a good Father who gives to his children good gifts. He gives us what we need (not always the trinkets or the relief that we want).
Scott Chapman, from the Chapel, gave me a book on prayer called ‘Prayer’. It was by Richard Foster, who is a little more charismatic than some of the professors at Moody Bible Institute, but the book was helpful. It started by describing ‘simple prayer’ and progressed through more and more involved ways of talking to God. Yancey has also published a book on prayer which I found helpful. It did not increase my prayer life, but it relieved some of the guilt that was leaving me frozen. It was descriptive of Christian prayer and the confusion and complications that lead to a lack of prayer.
We can all start by using the liturgy of scripture: “Our Father, who art in heaven …” Our small group studied the prayer in Matthew and then made liturgy for our families.
The Worrall Family Prayer reads:
Father God, You are love. Help us to love. You are peace. Help us to bring peace. You are faithful. Help us to be faithful. You are kind. Help us to be kind. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your grace. Bless our family. Lead us on your adventure. Amen.
- Write a prayer to God.
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”