I was reading in the Psalms yesterday, and when I got to Psalm 5, I came across some important words... As you pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray, remember that you are praying to a God and King who is listening. Imagine if you could send an email to the President or the Governor and know for sure that they would read it and reply. Do you think you would be checking your email a bit more often than usual? Listen to what the Psalmist is writing here: "In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait EXPECTANTLY! The difference between praying because we are supposed to fulfill some spiritual routine or praying with the expectation that God is listening and expecting an answer is enormous. Practice the latter and not the former this morning and tonight!
Do you have the Lord's Prayer memorized yet? If not, I would encourage you to make that a goal this week. Repetition is the key to memorization. Write it out. Put it someplace where you see it. Keep it on a card in your pocket, purse, or wallet so that you can pull it out at random times during the day. If you have a smartphone, you can create reminders at various points in the day to read it and re-read it. If you do have it memorized, the significant danger is saying it automatically and not authentically. One way to get around inauthentic repetition is by taking portions of the prayer to pray throughout the day. Saying, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" is a great way to start and end your day, but what about at noon? How about you pray those words during the evening news? Or as you are scrolling through Facebook or Instagram? We'll explore this type of approach as we continue the series and look specifically at each section of the prayer but begin that process now. Is there a part of the prayer that you can carry with you [...]
Nowhere in the narratives about Jesus did anyone ask Him how to perform such astounding miracles. Nobody once asked Him how He developed His sermons or put together one of those intriguing parables. Of all the things that Jesus did during His bodily ministry on earth, the only item we have recorded that anyone else asked Him to teach them is this: "Lord, teach us to pray." They saw Him praying and probably heard Him pray, but they wanted to learn how to do it. So what does Jesus do? He gives them words. That shouldn't surprise us because He is the very Word of God, but it is powerful. Do you know how human beings learn to speak? We learn by hearing others speak and by having others talk to us. Eugene Peterson reminds us that “because we learned language so early in our lives we have no memory of the process” and would therefore imagine that it was we who took the initiative to learn how to speak. However, that is not the case. “Language is spoken into us; we learn language only as we are spoken to. We are plunged at birth into a sea of language. . . . Then [...]
As we continue to day three of our forty days fo prayer I hope you are starting to feel a different rhythm to your prayer time. If like me, you have a little trouble remind yourself to do something, you can either set a digital reminder (on your phone, digital watch, or computer). If you are a bit more low-tech in your approach to these things, consider putting a post-it note on your tv remote or door handle to remind yourself to pray twice today. I heard of one person who put a rock on their pillow that they would remove at night (as a reminder to pray before bed) and would put it in their shoe so they would be reminded to pray before they started their day. The rock would go back on the pillow and the cycle repeated itself. I'm not sure what you may want to do but do something so that you don't forget or get distracted from taking the time to pray twice-a-day. As you pray the Lord's Prayer each day, sometimes seeing it written differently can help keep your mind from wandering off. One of our amazing UpStreet volunteers once rewrote the prayer for [...]
Shameless Audacity! Our First day of this journey began on a Sunday which is not a typical day for most of us. Day Two is a Monday and for the vast majority of us, Mondays come with a routine, certain demands, and a typical pace. Although we started this journey on a Sunday, Monday is when it gets REAL! Yesterday I shared out of Luke 11, where Jesus teaches His disciples to pray and then adds a story for emphasis. 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 [...]
Day 1 Welcome to Day 1 of our 40 Days of Prayer. On this page, you are going to find daily helps and guides for your prayer time. We are asking that you set aside time in the morning and in the evening to pray. John Piper says that “Prayer is intentionally conveying a message to God.” It is actually that simple. So, if you are a prayer warrior or a prayer toddler, this is one thing all of us can do. To begin our 40 Days, we are going to keep things simple. I am simply asking you to think through the words of the Lord’s Prayer and then pray this prayer to our Heavenly Father. You can keep it pluralized by saying “Our” and “Us” or maybe even personalize it by saying “My” and “Me”. If you want to take things to another level, you can begin by expanding your prayer time and follow the pattern of prayer that is established by the prayer Jesus taught us to pray. Pattern For Prayer Recognize Who God Is Praise Him, Thank Him, Honor Him, Pray for His Kingdom & Will Pray for your needs (and wants) Pray to be forgiven and [...]