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BASIC.PRAYER PERSONAL REFLECTION GUIDE Copyright 2011 by Flannel P.O. Box 3228 Grand Rapids, MI 49501-3228 U.S.A.

. Published by David C Cook 4050 Lee Vance View Colorado Springs, CO 80918 U.S.A. David C Cook Distribution Canada 55 Woodslee Avenue, Paris, Ontario, Canada N3L 3E5 David C Cook U.K., Kingsway Communications Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 6NT, England David C Cook and the graphic circle C logo are registered trademarks of Cook Communications Ministries. All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this book may be reproduced or used in any form without written permission from the publisher. All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version . NIV . Copyright 1973, 2011 by Biblica, IncTM. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com. ISBN 978-1-4347-0098-8 Series Packaging Design: Jim Elliston, The Regime Printed in the United States of America First Edition 2011



Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, My vow was a mistake. Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God. Ecclesiastes 5:17

This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:913

Have you ever prayed and then experienced an undeniably supernatural response?

Have you ever seen God respond specifically to your prayer in a supernatural way? If so, what was your prayer? How did God respond? What did that feel like?

They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

Is your church devoted to prayer? Are you? Have you ever been? Why? Whats the point of being devoted to prayer? What does it even mean to be devoted to prayer?

Jesus commands this small group of people, I want you to get this message to the ends of the earth. They have to be looking at each other, going, How in the world do we do that?

Why do you think the early church devoted itself to prayer? If you and your church arent devoted to prayer, what do you think is missing? What are you going to do about it?

When I look at the way they prayed, I see it as pretty different from the way I was taught to pray.

Do you pray like the early church prayed? How would you describe your prayer life? How is your method of praying working out for you?

Dont just go and start talking. Come silently. Come slowly. Be careful. And see, these are the things that no one ever told me. They didnt say, Hey, be careful what you say to God. Dont make all these empty promises. And yet, you have in Ecclesiastes 5 saying, You better be careful what you say; otherwise God will destroy the work of your hands if you make these promises you dont keep.

How do you typically approach your prayer time with God? Where does silence fit into your prayer life? Have you ever perceived danger in coming to God to make empty promises? How would that change the way you pray? How will it?

As I studied Scripture more and more, I realized very few people taught me how to pray in church, and very few people warned me, and they didnt even explain to me that God doesnt always listen.

How were you taught to pray in church? How were you taught to pray at home? Have you compared the way you were taught to pray with what Scripture says? Whats missing?

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3

What are some of the things youve asked God for? How does God typically answer your prayers when you pray for these things? What would James say about your prayers?

As I look at the way the disciples prayed back then, and as I look at the way Jesus taught us to pray, I realize its a lot different from what I was taught. Prayer to them was really different. They asked for things that were different from what I typically asked for. And so the last few years have been a process of really just understanding prayer again.

How are the disciples prayers different from your prayers or the prayers you typically hear in churches? Do you hear people praying as the disciples prayed? Where? What is it about their prayer lives that reminds you of the way the disciples prayed and the way Jesus taught us to pray? Do you understand prayer? Do you want to?

I still dont know. It was just this thing we memorized, and we said it, and we said the Lords Prayer, and no one knew what we were talking about, and I think, I still dont know what those words mean.

How many times have you said the Lords Prayer without thinking about what it means? What does it mean?


Is that really what God intended?

What did Jesus intend in giving us the Lords Prayer? Stop. Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand Jesus intent in giving us the Lords Prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what youre saying when you pray these sacred words.

Our Father in heaven Matthew 6:9

What is the significance of the word our in the Lords Prayer? Why does it say our and not my ? What is the significance of the word Father here? Do you think of prayer as something that you and your brothers and sisters do together in coming before your heavenly Father? What would your prayer life look like if you started to?

hallowed be your name Matthew 6:9

Do you see Gods name as sacred? Do you see it as an honor to be able to address Him? Do you approach God in such a posture? How do you typically approach God when you pray?

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven Matthew 6:10

Have you thought through the implications of these words? Is this what you really want, or do you pray these words and then live your life as if youre on the throne? In what ways does your life reflect what is expressed in these words? What would your life look like if you truly wanted Gods kingdom reign to come in its fullness?

Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

Have you ever meant these words? How would you respond to God if He visibly provided for you on a day-to-day basis? How do these words contrast with what our culture preaches we should expect? What would it take for you to be able to pray these words with sincerity?

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12

Does it scare you to pray these words to God? Have you prayed these words while holding onto anger and resentment toward another person? Do you want God to forgive you in the same way you forgive others? Are you hanging onto any anger and resentment toward anyone? What are you going to do about it?

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:13

Have you held onto areas of temptation while praying these words? What temptations are you holding onto now? Stop. Pray. Repent. Then pray these words again, but mean them.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:1314

How have you typically viewed what it means to pray in Jesus name? Do those words mean anything when you pray them, or are they simply a formulaic way to end all of your prayers? What is the significance of praying in Jesus name?


We have to check ourselves, and go, Am I concerned about the things of God? Because so often when we pray, its just about ourselves.

Do you believe you have a mission in this life? What is it? Does it line up with Jesus mission? Whose mission do your prayers reflect? Do your prayers line up with Jesus mission in the world?

Ive made a lot of mistakes in prayer.

What mistakes have you made in prayer? What do you need to do about your prayer life to avoid repeating those same mistakes? What are you going to do? Do you need to repent of the way you have prayed in the past?

What if you got together with a group of people, and you knew that this group of people they all loved God, they all feared Him, and they really were living for Gods kingdom and for His mission. And imagine if you came collectively with people that youve sacrificed with, youve sacrificed for. This is a family, and you come united and you all pray together and say, Our Father Youve seen our lives. You know that we care about Your kingdom. We want Your kingdom here. We want You to change us. We want You to change the people around us. Can you imagine praying with that type of unity?

Have you ever experienced this in your prayer life with others? What was it like?


For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

What is your heart fully committed to? Where do God and His mission fit into the commitments in your heart?


God wants to answer our prayers.

Do you believe that? Why or why not? What has your experience been? When you pray with other followers of Jesus, do you come before God believing He wants to answer your prayers? How would your prayer life change if you actually believed He wants to answer your prayers?

See, when we pray like that, and we really mean it, I really believe thats when well see the supernatural, just like the apostles did. And when we see those types of answers, prayer will no longer be a ritual, or a time of transition, a way to end a service, or a way to bless a meal. But it will be a way of life. It will be something were committed to. Because we love to see God work, and therefore, were going to love to pray.


Stop. Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a new understanding of prayer. Ask Him to give you a new passion for prayer. Ask Him to align your desires when you pray with Gods desires. Ask Him to help you take the focus of your prayers off yourself and put the focus on Gods mission instead. Ask God to lead you to others with whom you can pray together according to His will and His mission in the world.


What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? Deuteronomy 4:7 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:2728 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 Chronicles 7:1 The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him. Proverbs 15:8 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:56


Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will. Matthew 26:39 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. Sovereign Lord, they said, you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:2431 pray continually 1 Thessalonians 5:17