A personal prayer habit is vitally important in the life of a disciple maker. Not only does it remind us of our dependence upon God for sanctification, but we must also model healthy prayer disciplines in our discipleship of others.
We learn how to pray by praying.
Download Handout – PD 07 – Prayer and Discipleship
Reasons We Fail to Pray
- Lack of Faith – We are doers by default. Relying on a God we cannot see with requests we cannot handle requires faith.
- Lack of Familiarity – We talk awkwardly if we don’t know the person to whom we are talking. God wants to hear our prayers because he is a good Father.
- Lack of Focus – Distractions can ruin our prayer life. Conflicts, concerns, and chores fill our minds and hinder us from persevering in prayer.
- Lack of Form – The problem of prayer is not the content or the recipient – its the method. Prayer isn’t boring – we are.
Reasons We Should Pray
- Jesus told us that prayer is important (Matt. 6:5-8; Matt. 7:7-8; Matt. 9:36-38; Matt. 21:22; Matt. 26:41). Through his teaching, Jesus emphasized the priority of prayer.
- Jesus showed us that prayer is important (Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12; Matt. 14:23; Luke. 22:39-41). Through his example, Jesus indicated our need to pray.
Ways We Can Pray
- Prepare prayer reminders. When I prioritize prayer at certain times, it becomes more habitual all the time. Setup prayer reminders throughout your day.
- Refresh prayer groups. If prayer time in your home or group is boring, then change it up. Get creative and keep prayer times fresh.
- Identify prayer triggers. Learn how to view the world through the lens of prayer. Look for triggers throughout the day that can serve as calls to prayer.
- Maintain prayer lists. Reinvigorate your faith as you keep track with how God answers prayer. Create a guide to make sure you pray for differing focuses.
- Establish prayer passages. The best words to use in prayer are God’s Words. When we pray Scripture, we are not led by our feelings but guided by truth.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7).
- Praying the Psalms – Take the calendar day of the month, and pray that psalm or an increment of 30.
- Praying the Lord’s Prayer – Pray through each line of Jesus’ prayer (Matt. 6:9-13) and expand on each focus.
- Praying the Reading Plan – Use your Bible reading plan to provide direction for your prayers.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.