Prayer – Conversations with God
Prayer is a gift – a gift to be enjoyed. Jesus himself prayed because he enjoyed spending time with his Father. In his book “The Practice of the Presence of God” Brother Lawrence said, “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.”
According to the church Fathers prayer is “the breath of the soul”. Prayer is an intimate conversation between the created and the Creator, the sinner and the Redeemer, the disciple and the Helper, the child and the Father. Prayer is one of the greatest gifts God has given to humanity.
Prayer is a gift, and prayer is how God’s saints receive God’s power. In his book entitled “Prayer” Edward Bounds said; “The mightiest successes that come to God’s cause are created and carried on by prayer in God’s power … God’s conquering days are when the saints have given themselves to mightiest prayer.”
The start of a year is a unique time of energy and optimism. The new year is a fresh start, where we once again dream about our hopes and goals. To begin this year, we’re going to humble ourselves before God, and plead with him for His Spirit, His power, and His will to be done.
Prayer is the engine room of the church because unless the Lord builds the house the workers labour in vain. Plus our God is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine!
Join us as we begin the year with 21 days of dependant, expectant, persistent and bold prayer.
The goal of this season is not just to talk or think about prayer, but to actually get us praying!
Throughout January we will:
- Provide devotions and practises for personal prayer.
- Gather online and in person for weekly prayer meetings.
- Meet before our weekly services to pray for our time together.
- Spend extra time in our services praying for one another, the church , the lost and the world.
- Share specific prayer points for our church and mission to guide your prayers.
- Encourage people to spend time fasting as we seek to focus our hearts and minds on Jesus.
- Finish the series with a day of fasting, feasting and worship.
Week 1 – PRAYER AS INTIMACY
Week 2 – PRAYER AS FORMATION
Week 3 – HELP FOR PRAYER
Week 4 – PRAYER AS POWER
January 8 – Sunday Service – Sermon 1
January 9 – Devotion 1 (Matthew 6:5-15)
January 10 – Devotion 2 (Proverbs 15:29)
January 11 – Zoom Prayer 6:30am – coah.co/goldcoast-zoom
January 12 – Prayer House Party – Jimmy and Katie’s place
January 13 – Devotion 3 (Romans 8:26)
January 14 – Devotion 4 (2 Chronicles 7:14)
January 15 – Sunday Service – Sermon 2
Pre Service Prayer Meeting at 9:30am
January 16 – Devotion 5 (1 John 5:14-15)
January 17 – Devotion 6 (Luke 18:1)
January 18 – Zoom Prayer 6:30am – coah.co/goldcoast-zoom
January 19 – Prayer House Party – Location TBC
January 20 – Devotion 7 (2 Chronicles 20:12)
January 21 – Devotion 8 (1 John 1:8-9)
January 22 – Sunday Service – Sermon 3
Pre Service Prayer Meeting at 9:30am
January 23 – Devotion 9 (James 5:13-18)
January 24 – Devotion 10 (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
January 25 – Zoom Prayer 6:30am – coah.co/goldcoast-zoom
January 26 – Rest Day (Australia Day)
January 27 – Devotion 11 (Philippians 4:6-7)
January 28 – Devotion 12 (Matthew 5:44)
January 29 – Sunday Service – Sermon 4
Pre Service Prayer Meeting at 9:30am
January 30 – Devotion 13 (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
January 31 – Heartbeat 6pm – Fasting, Feasting & Worship (Location TBC)
Throughout our 21 days of prayer we are encouraging you to spend 4 days of each week reflecting on a few verses and working through the Lord’s prayer. For each day read the verses (listed in the calendar above) and think how they might shape the way that you pray, then take time to work through the Lord’s prayer slowly.
Martin Luther in his letter – A Simple Way to Pray encourages his dear friend Peter to pray the Lord’s Prayer daily by repeating each line word for word before pausing and expanding on that line in your own words, essentially using Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 6 as a guide for your own prayers.
9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,[c]
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Pray ‘Our Father in heaven’ Then continue… what a wonder it is that you welcome me as your child. You are a good Father who gives good gifts and who sent his son so that I might be adopted into your family. Or another example…
Pray ‘Give us today our daily bread’ then continue… please provide the money needed for this month’s bills, please provide us with a roof over our head, thank you for all that you have already given me even for air to breathe in this very moment.
The key is that the second part each time is your words spoken out of your heart and based on your circumstances. There are no right or wrong words, this prayer invites us to pray expansively for provision and forgiveness and protection as well as for God’s kingdom to come. If prayer is new to you, try writing your prayer down each day as a way of seeing how the Holy Spirit will use these verses to give voice to what is in your head and heart, while at the same time forming your prayers to align with God’s desire for you and for the world.
Tips on Prayer
TIP 1: RESIST BUSYNESS
“Busyness—which is essentially laziness—is the enemy of spirituality. A busy person is a lazy person because they are not doing what they are supposed to do”. Eugene Peterson
Most of us believe prayer is important, but don’t believe prayer is urgent. For this reason, we become distracted and deceived by other tasks in life, and become busy people who feel like we have no time to pray, which is just not the case. Prayer is powerful, prayer is important and prayer is a gift, but it’s a gift you will miss if you’re too busy.
TIP 2: NEVER RESIST PRAYER
Always respond to every impulse to pray…never resist, never postpone it, never push it aside because you are busy. Lloyd Jones
Many of us struggle to have a form a consistent time in the day to pray to the Lord. If that’s you, then I encourage you to pray whenever and wherever you can, and don’t resist the urge. When the Spirit prompts you, pray. Pray as you shower, as you make coffee, as you wait for your coffee, as you walk to work, as you drive your car. Never resist the Spirit’s urged to pray.
TIP 3: HABIT STACK
Allocating specific time to pray in your day is an important discipline, that will bring deep delight. And the best way to start a new habit is to habit stack – to create your new habit on the back of an old habit. Today, most Australian’s love and buy coffee, so can I suggest you pray for a new church in Wollongong whenever you buy a cup of coffee?
TIP 4: FIND A PLACE
All of us are creatures of our environment, who can also shape our environment. When you start a new habit or discipline, it’s also helpful to have a place in mind to associate the new habit with. To do this, you may allocate a chair, room or couch for praying. Or you may associate walking around your neighbourhood, or a park to be your prayer park where you walk to spend time with the Lord.
TIP 5: FIND INSPIRATION
Jesus calls us to persist in prayer because prayer is a gift but also a struggle. To motivate yourself, read Scripture, pray out Scripture, pray with someone else, read books on prayer, or read through the bible passages and quotes on prayer.
TIP 6: CELEBRATE PRAYER
If most Christians had to rank their prayer life out of 10, most would give a low ranking because most Christians wished they prayed more. However, a negative view of your prayer life, doesn’t help you pray more. As humans, we repeat what we enjoy, and we repeat what we think we’re good at. And therefore today, celebrate your prayer life, and know that God rejoices whenever you pray! Learn to enjoy it, like going to the gym, or other disciplines, and celebrate the wins!
Recommended Resources for Extra Study
- The possibility of Prayer – Starke
- Why revival Tarries – Ravenhill
- How to Pray – Grieg
- Praying with Paul – Carson
- Prayer – Richard Foster
- A praying Life – Miller
- Prayer – Yancey
- Prayer – Keller
- On Prayer – Bounds