We begin this episode with a quick discussion on how we each prefer our coffee. This is a super important question guys... how do you all prefer yours!? All fun aside, let's get into the good stuff...
"Our prayers reveal a lot about us. Our requests show us what we treasure, and our tone reveals our opinion of Him."- Francis Chan
What is prayer and why is it important?
Prayer is simply a conversation with God. It's an expression of the heart. We always have access to God through prayer, but we don't always "pick up the phone unless there's an emergency"(How You Can Pray with Confidence by Bill Bright).
What are vital elements of prayer?
Prayer isn't solely about us; it's about Him and His Kingdom.
We should have the attitude that prayer is simply about communing with God and spending time with Him. It's not a formula, it's all about the connection. We can open our hearts and mind to God and engage in adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and requests.
Just show up. Romans 8:26-27 reminds us that even if we don't know what to pray for, God knows what we (and His Kingdom) need. "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God."
We can also learn a lot about prayer by observing how Jesus prayed to the Father:
1. Jesus prayed for the will of God and for the Kingdom. Mark 14:36 says "'Abba,Father,' he said, 'everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'”
2. Before the sun would rise, Jesus woke to be with God.
Does God always answer prayers?
As Alli mentions, Garth Brooks sings: "one of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers". Often times we can get so caught up in receiving the answer, but we forget who we're talking to. God may be at work molding you into the steward who will be better equipped to handle His gifts. Keep on seeking, asking, knocking. Trust in who you're talking to. While for the time they may seem unanswered, our prayers don't go unheard.
Implement some new prayer styles. Try prayer walks, getting on your knees, join a prayer group or team, journal with pen and paper, or start praying openly with others.
How You Can Pray with Confidence by Bill Bright/Cru.org
A Little Longer by Jenn Johnson
Speak by Bethany Music
Say the Word by Hillsong United
Thy Will by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family
King of the World by Natalie Grant
Sails by Pat Barrett