Grace Episcopal Church



                      Forty Days of Prayer

 


 

SESSION FOUR THE PUPOSE, PRACTICE AND POWER OF PRAYER

                10.14.18 - 10.20.18

HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED  A SPORT THAT REQUIRED  DAILY PRACTICE JUST TO BE PART OF THE TEAM? MAYBE YOU'VE TAKEN UP A FOREIGN LANGUAGE OR A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT THAT DEMANDED TIME AND ENERGY TO IMPROVE OR BECOME FLUENT. JUST LIKE ANY SKILL WE WANT

TO MASTER, OUR PRAYER LIFE REQUIRES PRACTICE TO DEVELOP A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOO. THIS SESSION WILL TEACH US THE PURPOSE, PRACTICE AND POWER OF PRAYER AND HOW IT CAN BRING ABOUT MIRACULOUS CHANGE. YOU WILL LEARN THE REACH AND INFLUENCE OF YOUR PRAYERS, ANO HOW TO PRACTICE THROUGH SCHEDULED PRAYERS AND DAILY REMINDERS. DISCOVER HOW TO PRAY EFFECTIVELY AND BE EMPOWERED THROUGH GOD'S WORD.

 

PURPOSE: WHY DO WE PRAY

 

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God,

so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:10-18

 

AEGIS: REALM OR REACH OF AUTHORITY, INFLUENCE, PROTECTION, RESPONSIBILITY, ADVOCACY

 

QUESTION: WHAT IS THE AEGIS OF MY PRAYER LIFE?

 

--FAMILY

 

--FRIENDS

 

--CHURCH

 

--COMMUNITY

 

--WORK OR SCHOOL

 

--PROJECTS OR EVENTS

 

"God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20

 

PRAYER INVITES THE MIRACULOUS

 

ACTION PLAN: Write down the aegis list from above (include other areas that may come to your mind). Keep this list somewhere visible as a reminder of the areas you should be praying for.

 

PRACTICE: HOW TO GET ORGANIZED

 

-SCHEDULE PRAYERS

 

--TURN DRIVE TIME INTO PRAYER TIME

 

--SET UP PRAYER REMINDERS

 

--PRAY FOR "DROP-IN VISITORS"

 

"I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers." Ephesians 1:16

 

ACTION PLAN: Think through your aegis list above and see how you can best remember to pray for those areas using practices list. Who can you have scheduled prayer for? What time of "monuments" can you establish to remember to pray for certain people?

 

POWER WHAT KIND OF PRAYER IS MOST EFFECTIVE?

"The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16b Righteous=dikaios:upright, observing divine laws,living according to the Wor d. Describes a person whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God.

Powerful= energo: energized by the power of God. Always refers to supernatural empowerment.

Effective=ischuo: to be a force capable of extraordinary deeds

THE PRAYER OF A MAN OR WOMAN OF THE WORD IS ENERGIZED BY THE POWER OF GOD, AND IS A GREAT FORCE CAPABLE OF EXTRAORDINARY DEEDS-James 5:16

 

--THE MORE YOU HONOR GOD'S WORD, THE MORE HE EMPOWERS YOUR

PRAYERS. "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." Hebrews 4:16


 



40 DAYS OF PRAYER - SESSION THREE: PRAYERS THAT WORK

10.7.18 - 10.13.18

HAVE YOU EVER INVESTED HOURS, OR EVEN DAYS ON A PROJECT THAT

NEVER PANNED OUT? MAYBE YOU EVEN THREW IN THE TOWEL ON A FAILED REPAIR JOB DESPITE CHANGING THE BATTERIES, READING THE INSTRUCTIONS, AND GETTING A SECOND OPINION. SOMETIMES OUR PRAYER LIFE CAN FEEL JUST LIKE THAT-WITH A LOT OF TIME ON OUR KNEES AND NOTHING QUITE WORKING. THIS SESSION TEACHES US ABOUT PRAYERS THAT WORK AND HOW TO PRAY FREQUENTLY, EARNESTLY AND SPECIFICALLY. YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO BOLDLY ASK GOD TO ACT, AND FIVE DIRECTIONS FOR SPECIFIC PRAYERS. DISCOVER HOW TO ALIGN YOUR PRAYERS WITH GOD'S WILL AND PRAY WITH GOD'S ULTIMATE PLAN IN MIND.

 

"Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill gaps in your faith." 1 Thessalonians 3:10

 

1. FREQUENTLY

 

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18

 

Action Plan: Practice the "First 2 Minutes" technique. Whenever you transition from one activity to another, set aside the first 2 minutes for prayer. Example: When you get into your car to begin your drive home, begin with a 2-minute prayer.

 

2. EARNESTLY

 

"Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us." Ephesians 3:20

PRAY SPECIFICALLY

 

"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."

Hebrews 4:16

 

Boldness is ASKING GOD TO ACT

 

5 Directions for Specific Prayers:

 

"May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen." 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13


1. REMOVE OBSTACLES

"When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia." Acts 20:1

 

2. PRAY FOR GOD TO INCREASE LOVE

"While knowledge may make us feel important, it is love that really builds up the church." 1Corinthians 8:1

"...If I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2

 

3. A CHANGE OF HEART

Action Plan: When you pray for your own needs or the needs of others, ask God to not only meet the need but also to develop your/their character and a heart that is more like God's.

 

4. GOD'S GREATEST WILL: THAT ALL HUMANITY MIGHT KNOW LOVE AND WORSHIP GOD, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.
 
5. ULTIMATE END IN MIND: STUDY THIS PRAYER AND REVISIT IT THIS WEEK: Lord - I want things to change - really change - in my prayer life.

-I pray from time to time, I want to learn to pray all of the time.

-Teach me to pray.

-I pray casually, I want to learn to pray earnestly.

-Teach me to pray.

-I pray for a change in my circumstances, but forget to pray for a change in my character.

-I pray for my needs to be met, but forget to pray for my love to increase.

-My prayers often stretch no further than tomorrow when I want them to reach towards eternity.
 



 

40 DAYS OF PRAYER SESSION TWO: A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO PRAYER

9.30.18 – 10.6.18

FROM CINDERELLA TO ALADDIN, THESE FAIRYTALE STORIES ARE BASED ON CHRACTERS WHOSE LIVES ARE CHANGED WITH THE GRANTING OF A WISH. WHEN IT COMES TO PRAYER, WE OFTEN TREAT IT LIKE A MAGICAL WAND THAT WE WAVE AT GOD WHEN WE WANT OUR DREAMS TO COME TRUE.

BUT THE BIBLE TEACHES US THAT PRAYER IS A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, AND NOT AN ENCHANTED TOOL. THIS SESSION SHARES FOUR FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS OF PRAYER AND HOW TO CONNECT WITH GOD

IN CONVERSATION. YOU WILL LEARN THE IMPORTANCE OF TALKING TO GOD ABOUT EVERYTHING IN SIMPLE AND SINCERE WAYS. FIND OUT HOW PRAYER WILL DRAW YOU CLOSER TO GOD AND WHY ANSWERED PRAYERS ARE HIS GIFT OF GRACE.

 

"One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of the disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray..."' Luke 11:1

 

Our frustrations with prayer are caused by: misconceptions

 

--not a magic wand

 

--not a fire extinguisher

 

--not a tug of war

 

--not a ritual to relieve guilt

 

FOUR (4) FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS ABOUT PRAYER

1. GOD LOVES FOR ME TO TALK WITH HIM ABOUT ANYTHING

"The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who reverence him." Psalm 103:13

 

"We can be confident in approaching God, knowing that he listens to us whenever we ask him for anything according to his will. And since we know that he hears us when we make our requests, then we can be sure that he will answer us." 1 John 5:14-15

 

PRAYER IS: A CONVERSATION, NOT A CEREMONY------- A RELATIONSHIP, NOT A RITUAL

 

"I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you." Jeremiah 29:11-12

 

ACTION PLAN: What do you tend to do more often, talk to God or post on social media? On the devices where you check social media, install Bible apps if you have not already. Place the apps physically next to your social media apps as

a visual reminder to check in with God first and often. Anything that you think about posting on social media, talk with God about first.


2. GOD LISTENS TO PRAYERS THAT ARE SINCERE AND SIMPLE

"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 men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Instead, 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. And when you pray do not keep babbling on and on like pagans, for they think they will be heard

because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Matthew 6:5-8

"let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith..." Hebrews 10:22 3.

3. GOD LIKES TO SHOW HIS GRACE BY ANSWERING PRAYERS

"Call to me and I will answer you. I will show you marvelous and wondrous

things that you could never figure out on your own." Jeremiah 33:3

"If you, being imperfect and sinful parents know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him?" Matthew 7:11

"You do not have, because you do not ask God." James 4:2

 

4. GOD LONGS TO BE CLOSE TO ME

"The Lord waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion." Isaiah 30:18

"I don't want your sacrifices I want your love! I don't want your offerings,

I want you to know me!" Hosea 6:6

"Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them God shares the secret of his covenant." Psalm 25:14

"Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you." James 4:8

ACTION PLAN : Write down Isaiah 30:18 (above) and keep it somewhere you will see it every day.

The Closer I am to God, THE LESS STRESSED AND MORE BLESSED I'll BE

 

 




40 DAYS OF PRAYER SESSION ONE: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO GROW UP?
9.23.18 - 9.29.18

AS CHILDREN WE'RE OFTEN EXCITED TO GROW UP AND EXPERIENCE THE

FREEDOM THAT COMES WITH GETTING TO BE" A BIG PERSON." AS WE REACH ADULTHOOD, WE WANT TO HANG ONTO OUR YOUTH AND LET GO OF RESPONSIBILITIES THAT COME WITH AGE. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO OUR FAITH, THE BIBLE SAYS WE ARE NOT MEANT TO REMAIN AS CHILDREN BUT INSTEAD ARE TO GROW UP IN CHRIST. THIS SESSION WILL GIVE YOU AN INSIDE LOOK INTO OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH CAMPAIGN, 40 DAYS OF PRAYER. YOU'LL LEARN SIX LAWS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND ACTION STEPS TOWARD A DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. DISCOVER THE IMPORTANCE OF FEEDING ON THE WORD, DEVELOPING SPIRITUAL HABITS, AND GROWING TOGETHER IN COMMUNITY. FIND OUT WHY NOW IS THE TIME TO GROW UP SPRITUALLY!

 

"We are not meant to remain as children at the mercy of every chance wind of teaching... Instead we are meant to hold firmly to the truth in love, and grow up in every way into Christ..." Ephesians 4:14

 

SIX LAWS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH

 

1) WE GROW WHEN WE FEED ON GOD'S WORD

 

Jesus: " People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every Word of God." Matthew 4:4

 

Paul: "...the Word of grace is able to build you up and give you all the blessings that God has for his People." Acts 20:32

 

Hear...Read... Study...Memorize... Meditate... Apply

 

Action Step: To help get in the habit of reading your Bible every day, set a reminder on your phone or put it in your calendar for the same time each day. You can also download the YourVersion Bible app and have the Bible with you wherever you go.

 

2) WE GROW WHEN WE LEARN IN DIFFERENT WAYS

 

"In many different ways John preached good news to the people." Luke 3:18

_-By Listening (Auditory)

_-By Watching/Reading (Visual)

_-By Talking (Verbal/Oral)

-By Doing it (Physical/Kinesthetic)

 

4) WE GROW WHEN WE DEVELOP SPITITUAL HABITS

 

"Now that you know these things you'll be blessed if you practice them!"

John 13:17

 

"Solid food is for mature people, whose minds have been trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil."

Hebrews 5:14

 

"All good athletes train hard and practice to get better. They do it to win a prize that won't last. But we practice to win a prize that will last forever." 1 Corinthians 9:25

 

-Habit of weekly large group worship

-Habit of small group fellowship

-Habit of a daily time alone with God (Bible & Prayer)
-Habit of memorizing God's Word