­Pray without Ceasing

To prayer, then, are we indebted for penetrating to those riches which are treasured up for us with our heavenly Father. For there is a kind of intercourse between God and men, by which, having entered the upper sanctuary, they appear before Him and appeal to his promises, that when necessity requires they may learn by experiences that what they believed merely on the authority of his word was not in vain.
John Calvin –The Institutes 3.20.2

Pray with Conviction because You Have Access
to the Father through Christ!

Read Hebrews 10:19-22. This is a powerful passage about access to God through Christ’s atonement (i.e., “man’s reconciliation with God through the sacrificial death of Christ.”). It’s loaded with imagery from the Old Testament and the Jewish temple. Meditate on the passage and record some observations.

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Earlier in Hebrews, the author encourages his Christian friends to seek God. Read Hebrews 4:16. What does the writer say about God’s throne and how we are to approach God? Is this the way you find yourself approaching God? Why? Why not?

Offer Sacrifices of Praise – The Fruit of Lips that Confess His Name

Read through Psalm 145. What are some of things the Psalmist praises God for? What do you praise God for in your life?

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Continually Give Thanks – The Heartbeat of Love for God

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are filled with reasons and exhortations to give thanks to God when we pray. Read the following passages and record your findings: Psalm 100:4; Psalm 107:8-9; 2 Corinthians 9:11-12; Ephesians 5:19-20; Colossians 2:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.

Pray with Confession & Joy

Read 1 John 1:8-9 and Psalm 51:8. Confession and joy form an integral part of a fruitful, growing prayer life. What two things does John say God will do if we confess our sins to him (see James 5:16 as well)?

Pray with Understanding – Understand God’s
Conditions for Answered Prayer

God delights to answer our prayers! And though He is free to answer any prayer He likes, in any way He likes, He desires that His children learn about Him and themselves as they pray. For this reason, He has often attached specific conditions for answered prayer. Read the following passages and note some of these conditions: Psalm 66:18, John 15:7-8; James 4:3; Proverbs 15:29; 1Peter 3:12; 1 John 5:14-15; Colossians 4:2; Romans 12:12. How does knowing this help you in your prayer life?

Pray All Sorts of Requests!

Paul says we should pray about everything! See Ephesians 6:18-20 and the following verses. What do they teach you about prayer? How will they help or change how you pray?

  1. Ephesians 6:18-20
  2. Matthew 6:9-13
  3. Matthew 7:7-12
  4. Colossians 4:12 (also 1:6-8) –
  5. James 1:5

Develop a Prayer Journal

A prayer journal is a written record of your praise, thanksgiving, and confession to God, as well as a record of the requests you’ve brought to God – especially in your Quiet Time. These requests often revolve around people, circumstances, challenges and opportunities, i.e., the areas of your life you want to see God move in. (In short, this is what the Psalms are).

Keeping a record of your prayer life is very encouraging for at least two reasons: (1) it will help you stay focused during your prayer times each day, and (2) when time has passed, you can use your journal to reflect on all the ways God has answered your prayers (Remember, “no” and “wait” really are answers. ) over longer periods of time. To recognize God’s faithfulness in this manner is an honor to Him and an encouragement to us! Go pick out a Journal and let’s discuss “prayer journaling” when we meet next.