Prayer is the one thing that the Gospels record the disciples asking Jesus to teach them: ‘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.” (Luke 11.1). His response is to give them what we know as the Lord’s Prayer which can be a lesson in how to pray as well as something we can use as a prayer.
We all know that prayer is important but it is something that we all find difficult. The encouraging thing is that we can learn how to pray more effectively and more consistently. This sermon series is aimed to build on the one we did last summer (Prayer: Keeping Company with God) and will be very practical. We will use some psalms to help us think about six different types of prayer and finish our series reflecting on how we should pray when God seems not to be answering. There will be an opportunity to meet together at the Vicarage on Thursdays 25th July, and 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th August (2pm-4pm or 8pm-10pm) to explore prayer further.
We are never too young or too old to grow as people of prayer so why not spend some of your summer learning about prayer?
With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven…(Matthew 6.9, The Message)
7th July Teach us to pray
Readings: Luke 11.1-4; Romans 8.26-27
Prayer is a big part of our lives as followers of Jesus. It is something we can learn how to do and how to be better at.
14th July Teach us to pray: praise
Readings: Psalm 146; Luke 1.46-55
Like the Lord’s Prayer, our prayers should begin and end with praise so that we keep our focus on God and who he is.
21st July Teach us to pray: lament
Readings: Psalm 102; 1 Samuel 1.9-17
Our Father in heaven wants us to be honest with him and bring our sorrows to him as well as our joys.
27th July Teach us to pray: confession
Readings: Psalm 32; Daniel 9.4-19
We need to keep short accounts with God and ensure that we regularly turn back to him by saying sorry for our sins.
4th August Teach us to pray: intercession
Readings: Psalm 122; 1 Timothy 2.1-7
Give us this day our daily bread: Jesus teaches us to regularly bring everything before God in prayer, both our needs and the needs of the whole world.
11th August Teach us to pray: listen
Readings: Psalm 46.10; John 10.1-10
Prayer is intended as a conversation with God, so we need to learn to listen to God as well as to speak to him.
18th August Teach us to pray: healing
Readings: Psalm 30; Isaiah 38.1-8
The Bible encourages us to pray for healing for ourselves and for others. This is more than asking for cures for illness; it is praying that we would become more wholly the people we were created to be, more like Jesus.
25th August Teach us to pray: when God seems silent
Readings: Psalm 13; Luke 11.5-13
We need to learn how to remain faithful in prayer even when God seems to be silent and not answering our prayers.
If you would like to explore prayer further, why not read ‘How to pray: a simple guide for normal people’ by Peter Greig which is very readable and full of wisdom from the founder of the 24/7 Prayer movement.