One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1
Christians practice spiritual disciplines in concert with the Holy Spirit to train ourselves to be godly and mold us into Jesus’s character. This month’s spiritual discipline is PRAYER. Prayer is a conversation with God. We see throughout the examples and teachings of Jesus, the Apostles and the early church that it is God’s will for his people to pray. Prayer is a privilege and an invitation to a deeper relationship with God.
Jesus’s disciples see him regularly withdrawing to pray. After one such time, they ask Jesus to teach them to pray too. Jesus responds with what we know as the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gives some concrete illustrations to help his followers understand prayer. He teaches that if people help their friends who ask and if fathers give their kids good gifts, then how much more the Heavenly Father responds to his children. The Apostle John, who heard Jesus’s teaching on prayer, assures believers that “if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
We may struggle in prayer because we often don’t make time to pray. We may not pray because we doubt much will happen or haven’t seen God answer our prayers. When we don’t sense God’s nearness, we can often become discouraged and give up. One way to grow in prayer is to start simply. Our words don’t need to be eloquent or many. It can be as simple as telling God we desire to grow in prayer. And we can trust that when we come to God wanting to pray, the Holy Spirit will teach and help us (Romans 8:26-27). We will spend the rest of our lives learning and growing in prayer—our conversation with God.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Ask God to grow your desire to pray throughout this month. Begin by looking at your calendar and marking specific times to pray. Set an alarm or calendar reminder on your mobile device or share your commitment with a friend to help hold you accountable.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
August is PRAYER. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.