New believers are often told that to “grow in the Christian life” they must participate in certain basic disciplines, such as Bible reading, prayer, witnessing, and of course, giving. With the exception of giving, we receive very little instruction on these concepts in our churches. This eventually leaves the immature Christ-follower discouraged or stunted in their growth.
In response to this lean instruction, this post – and the next three – are intentionally focused on an exploration of the discipline of prayer. The 2nd post will be a working definition for prayer; the 3rd will address how to recognize answers to prayer; and finally, there will be an exploration of some practical and lively suggestions for praying consistently and creatively.
The questions listed in this 1st post are meant to ignite your thinking on prayer as we launch our pursuit:
- What is the essence of prayer? Is prayer a learned activity?
- Is it necessary to pray, especially when it seems so difficult?
- How is God to be envisioned during prayer? Where do we picture His location?
- Are there different kinds of prayer?
- What takes place within and around the person who is praying?
- Does prayer really change things?
- Are there hindrances, obstacles, and/or distractions to praying?
- Are all answers to prayer recognizable?
- Is prayer intimate communion with God or a wrestling match with Him?
- How are we to effectively pray for others?
Evening, morning, and at noon will I pray, and He hears my voice.” Psalm 55:17