How to Pray

We talk a lot about prayer. We say it’s really important, that it’s at the heart of all we do; we pray together, we pray alone, we pray in church, we pray at work. We pray long prayers and short prayers and hurried prayers and desperate prayers. Everybody prays sometime. It’s simple right? So why do we find it so hard? Why is it the thing we struggle to get out of bed for? Why is it the thing we feel guilty for not turning to sooner? Prayer was never meant to just be a popular activity that belongs in times of crisis or at cultural watershed moments, it doesn’t just come in handy in a hospital or an exam or a crammed car park. Prayer is the beating heart of the believer. It is the thing that sustains us, forms us, draws us close to God, shows us the Father’s love, unites us with Holy Spirit, makes us more like Jesus. So again, as we have done before we’re asking the Lord, ‘teach us to pray’.

1. Stillness

 Psalm 46:10

Crystal Cryer - 12 Jul 2020

‘The best way to start praying is actually to stop praying. To pause. To be still’ – Pete Greig. Too often and too easily we see prayer as an activity of busy-ness and action, in many way, a means to an end. Perhaps that is because we too are people of busyness and activity! Stillness does not come naturally to us, we find the change of pace jarring, we stumble into prayer and wonder why we find it so hard. Our desire over this series is to learn that prayer is not something we say, or something we do, rather it is something we become and it starts by being still.

To download, right click here and use 'Save Link As...'

2. Adoration

 Psalm 103

Mae Moore - 19 Jul 2020

‘Prayer is more than you can ever imagine, because God is so much beyond what you can conceive’ – David G. Benner. Why is worship a necessary part of prayer? What does adoration of God begin to form in us? How are we changed, and how is our view of God changed by it? Praising God can help us more than we know, not because it stops us from thinking about our problems but because as we ‘hallow’ God’s name, all our stuff is bathed in the light of his presence. Praise, worship, adoration is a necessary part of the joyful formation of our prayer lives.

To download, right click here and use 'Save Link As...'

3. Petition

 Luke 11: 5-13

Naomi Black - 26 Jul 2020

‘Our primary privilege as God’s children is to ask audaciously and repeatedly for everything we need, expecting him to answer, naturally or supernaturally’ – Pete Greig. Asking is probably the thing we associate most with prayer, it’s often how we first come to prayer, it’s the thing we do in the moments of panic, it’s basically prayer 101. Prayer is many things and it is incredible to explore all the depths of it through contemplation, through worship, through many other facets. But prayer, even in the very formation of the word, is simply to ask. What would it look like to live more audaciously into this privilege we have of asking?

To download, right click here and use 'Save Link As...'

4. Intercession

 Acts 12:1-17

Andy Harding - 2 Aug 2020

‘To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world’ – Karl Barth. The greatest revivals in the world all stem back to a small number of faithful, prayerful people. Sometimes it can seem like our words are small in the face of the world’s vast problems, but the Bible teaches us that our prayers are powerful! To intercede is to ‘stand before God in the gap on behalf of the land’. How can we grow, and what does it mean to be people who stand in the gap and intercede for those in our lives, for our city and for our world?

To download, right click here and use 'Save Link As...'

5. Unanswered Prayer

 Luke 22:39-44

Alain Emerson - 9 Aug 2020

‘The Bible is way more honest about unanswered prayer than the Church’ – Pete Greig. One of the great pains of many of our lives is when we have prayed and it has seemed that God has remained silent. When we learn about prayer we don’t just want to deal with its wonders and its invitations, we want to travel to the painful places of prayer that have remained unanswered. Jesus himself dealt with unanswered prayer, no more so than in Gethsemane out of which there was no simple or easy way. We want to learn how to both lament those places of unanswered prayer while also moving towards a place of relinquishing all that we cannot understand or control into God’s hands.

To download, right click here and use 'Save Link As...'

6. Listening

 Romans 5:11, Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 1:2-3, Romans 12:2, Matthew 6:6

Eddie Backler - 16 Aug 2020

‘A man prayed and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until he realised that prayer is listening’ – Søren Kierkegaard. Everyone can learn to recognise the voice of the Lord because prayer is a ‘living conversation with a loving God’ - it’s all about relationship! God loves to listen to us and he also loves to speak to us. As we pray, how can we learn to recognise and listen to the voice of God? What helps us and what hinders us? Through faith let’s discover how Father God would have us develop in our ability to hear from Him.

To download, right click here and use 'Save Link As...'

7. Confession

 Luke 18:9-14

Zak Robb - 23 Aug 2020

‘It doesn’t matter what you’ve said or done; what you’ve thought about saying or doing; where you’ve been or who you’ve been there with – there is more grace in God than sin in you’ – Pete Greig . Besides asking, one of the things we often associate with prayer is saying sorry. Sometimes we get lost amidst the magnitude of our own sin that we fail to engage with the greater magnitude of God’s grace. He always forgives. What is necessary for us is to confess – to actually say the thing, both ‘vertically’ to God and ‘horizontally’ to one another through mutual accountability. But also to seek reconciliation and see how the choice to forgive can bring radical healing to a broken world.

To download, right click here and use 'Save Link As...'

8. Spiritual Warfare

 Ephesians 6:10-18

Odele Harding - 30 Aug 2020

‘…the best thing we can do is put our fists together and pray’ – Martin Luther. The Bible is clear that we are in a battle. Spiritual Warfare has often been reserved for a certain type of person but, as C.S. Lewis says, there is no neutral ground in the universe and so therefore there can be no neutral people. As Christians, we are all called to stand up to the darkness with the name of Jesus. What is Spiritual Warfare then? What do we need to know about our enemy, about our authority and about how to ‘fight’ as we live in the now and not yet of the Kingdom?

To download, right click here and use 'Save Link As...'