Today’s Focus: Prayer & Fasting
Today the goal is to continue to develop the spiritual discipline of prayer. As you learn how to communicate with the Lord, the challenge is to spend a lifetime building a deep and meaningful prayer life. Learning to connect with God is a critical step to being a follower of Christ. Focused prayer produces tremendous results in your life. Communicating with God will impact your circumstances, guide your steps, and strengthen your life. Think through the blessing about coming close to the very One who spoke words and the world was created. He has power and He invites you to an interactive and personal relationship with Him. Your assignment is to spend the next 20 minutes communicating with God by praying but before you begin, look at John 15:7
“If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” John 15:7
This verse clearly says that if you ask God for something, He will give it to you. But, before you go and ask God for a brand new SUV with extra large tires and a sunroof, you must be able to recognize authentic prayer. Authentic prayer is not manipulating God or getting Him to line up with your wants and desires. When you connect with God, your plans and desires will line up with His plans and desires. In addition to this, authentic prayer will lead you to real action and real change in your life. For example, if you are praying correctly, you will begin to think thoughts that God thinks. You will begin to love the things that God loves. You will begin to desire the things that God desires. When we pray correctly, the time you spend will be some of the most significant moments that God uses to transform your life to be more like Him.
As you continue to develop this discipline, remember that prayer is a learned discipline. For example, a tee-ball player does not walk out on a major league baseball field and experience instant success against the greatest pitchers in the game of baseball. Becoming a major league hitter is something that takes time, effort, discipline, work, determination, and desire. In the same way, when you take the time to consistently practice adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication, you can expect to pray much more effectively one year from now. The key for you is to consistently come to God with a focused heart and a willing attitude to respond to Him. You can learn how to pray just like the disciples learned. You can learn how to pray so that God’s Spirit will flow through you into the lives of people all around you. It is an amazing thing to consider that you really have the opportunity to join God where He is at work in the world. This discipline of prayer is one of the most powerful and effective things that you can do in your life. You must learn to do it well.
As you prepare to pray, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Choose a place where you will not be interrupted by any one or anything.
Step 2: Bring the following items with you:
- A watch so you can monitor your time
Step 3: Use the following plan as a guide.
Adoration – “the act of worshiping or paying the greatest honor.” 5 minutes
- Remember, adoration is different from thanksgiving. Adoration is praising God for who He is and the character qualities He has.
- Read Psalms 19.
- Write down statements of adoration about God.
Confession – “the admission or acknowledgment of a secret, fault, etc.” 5 minutes
- Be honest here. It is impossible to hide anything from God. Don’t worry, He loves you and will help you through all of your weaknesses.
- Psalms 51 is a good example of confession. Read it and pray certain parts to God.
- Write out sins you need to confess to God.
Thanksgiving – “the act of giving thanks.” 5 minutes
- Remember, thanksgiving is thanking God for what He has done for you.
- Psalms 100 is a good example of thanksgiving.
- Write out why you are thankful.
Supplication – “the act of asking, begging or imploring urgently” 5 minutes
- Supplication is praying for other people.
- Proverbs 15:8/Proverbs 15:29
- Below, write out a prayer list of things or people in your life.
- Write specific requests because specific requests get specific answers.