Change your prayer life!

Be encouraged from the Bible to pray

City at Prayer

Many Christians find praying a very difficult thing to do. However, the Bible gives us much encouragement to commit to prayer both showing us what a joy it is and teaching us how to go about it. Christians in the City spent the summer of 2014 looking together at some of what the Bible teaches on prayer and we hope that it will encourage you to pray on your own and with other Christians in the City. You can follow the summer series below. 

Matthew 6.9 / Praying the Lord’s prayer (part 1)

The first four words of the Lord’s prayer are some of the sweetest in the bible. More than that, they are perhaps the most powerful key to unlocking a healthy, guilt-free, grace-driven, expectant, joyful prayer life. We pray to a loving Father, and we pray to a mighty God.

Matthew 6.10-13 / Praying the Lord’s prayer (part 2)

The things Jesus wants us to pray for as a matter of priority are not burdensome but liberating. He tells us to pray for his return bringing his kingdom in all its fullness; he tells us to pray that God’s wonderful will would be done; and he tells us to pray that we would be provided for, pardoned and protected while we trudge this ‘barren land’.

2 Samuel 7 / Putting God's plans first in Prayer

Many of us, if and when we do pray, often focus on ourselves or on those around us in prayer. On top of that, if we are honest, we often pray according to our own desires and plans. Not so with King David. In this famous prayer, we see that David prays in response to God's revelation of His plan. He starts by giving thanks to God, he asks that God's plan will be fulfilled and then prays for Himself in light of God's plan. Wonderfully, we now have a fuller revelation of God's plan than David ever had. Let's let God's plan dominate the way that we pray. 

Psalm 51 / Confession and Repentance in Prayer

Notice the two main characters in this Psalm:
1. The sinner - David the sinner openly pours out his soul in confession. We do well to imitate him, it is surely the expression of a contrite heart.
2. The Saviour - God is David's Saviour. Consider his saving character and, like David, appeal to it in prayer: 'Lord have mercy on me….according to your steadfast love.'

Ephesians 1.15-20 / Praying for spiritual knowledge

As well as things we’d expect, like love, joy, and peace, Paul often also prays for knowledge – which may not often feature in our prayers. But Ephesians 1 shows us why true biblical knowledge isn’t a dry, academic, unspiritual thing – but is instead vital, exciting, life shaping – and something for which we can pray earnestly.

Colossians 1.3-14 & 4.2-4 / Praying persistently for other Christians 

We have the privilege and responsibility to pray big prayers for other believers to be mature and fruitful through the sufficiency of Jesus Christ.  But how will we keep going in prayer- it’s really hard work!?  Through being watchful – letting the return of Jesus and Gospel priorities shape our prayers; and through being thankful – remembering what God has done through Christ spurs you to keep going inprayer.

Acts 4.23-31 / Praying in the face of opposition

From the negative reactions we get from friends or colleagues, to the violent persecution facing Christians around the world, opposition to God’s people is a reality, even if it takes many forms. One massive thing we can do in the face of opposition is to pray, and the believers’ prayer in Acts chapter 4 shows us what this looks like.

1 Timothy 2.1-6 / Praying for all people because God desires all people to be saved 

How can we behave as people who have the awesome privilege of being part of the household of God, holding out the truth to the world.  (1 Timothy 3.14-16)?  Paul says, “First of all, then, I urge…” What does he urge? Prayer.  Prayers for all people including kings and all in authority.  This is a massive part of how we’ll be godly and how we’ll see people saved. 

Tips for praying in groups

  • It’s ok to stutter and correct yourself as you go. Don’t be discouraged from praying out of a desire to get it word perfect first time. The Lord knows we sometimes struggle to express what we mean.
  • It’s normal to have pauses between prayers for people to think what to pray next. Just because someone hasn’t prayed anything for 30 seconds doesn’t mean you need to stop praying!
  • It’s ok to pray the same thing twice if you’ve zoned out and missed someone else’s prayer!
  • Spend time giving thanks for big Gospel truths and answered prayer.
  • Pray for people’s specific circumstances but have the big eternal end goal in mind, of maturity in Christ through knowledge of Christ rather than just resolution of difficult circumstances.
  • Try to increase the proportion of your prayers that are prayers asking for things God has promised in the Scriptures.  It’s good to pray for all things and God hears all our prayers but it is very encouraging to pray for what God has definitely promised.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t know the people you are praying for you can still pray big Gospel truths for them.
  • Pray so others can understand and join in with your prayers be audible, specific, short enough.
    Find a convenient time for everyone.  Be realistic.  It’s probably better to pray for 15 mins than aim to get everyone together for an hour and then find most people don’t make it.

For more resources on prayer please visit our 'What does the Bible say about Prayer?' page. 

Does your office have a workplace prayer group? Click here to find a contact list of prayer groups known to the Christians in the City team. 

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