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The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines prayer as “an address (as in a petition) to God.” Prayer is the manner in which one communicates with God. Jesus prayed many times during His earthly ministry. John 17 records one of the longest prayers of Jesus. Other times, scripture mentions that He would go off off to a quiet place to pray, without giving the specifics of what He said. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prays several times, and  when He finds His disciples sleeping, He asks: “Could you not pray with Me for an hour?”
 
In this module we will explore  passages of scripture  which references Jesus and prayer. The prayers of Jesus should adequately  illustrate the value of prayer in the life of a believer. As the Son of God He is One with the Father, yet He felt it necessary to pray, and He did so regularly. If Jesus did it and we are His Disciples then we must develop the habit as well.
 
One essential aspect of effective prayer is in ‘relationship,’ and in every relationship, communication is a vital component. Jesus had a unique relationship with the Father, and He communicated with Him frequently. One simple reason why people find it hard to pray consistently is due to relationship issues; estrangement from the heavenly Father. Jesus made the first step in helping people to overcome the fractured relationship that existed between God and man.
 
 
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VERSE OF THE DAY
 
 
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)
Most people look for a positive answer to their prayers. No one wants to hear “no” as an answer. In fact most preachers and Bible teachers propagate the idea that God answers favorably, all the time. Scriptures used in preaching and teaching to illustrate God’s faithfulness are usually verses that demonstrate a positive outcome. For example it is quite common for someone teaching about prayer to remind listeners that Jesus said: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24), or other verses that are contextually the similar.
While it is not my intention to dispute the veracity of God’s word, it is also important to understand that God does not always answer “yes,” and that there are occasions when He will answer with a resounding “no!” Problem is, no one wants to hear such an answer! Let’s look at this logically. Parents who gives their children everything they ask for would be guilty of bad parenting. There are times, more often than not, when parents must say “no”  to children. Why should God, our heavenly Father be any different?
 
On the night of His betrayal, Jesus took some of His disciples and went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. He asked Peter, James and John to watch and pray with Him but they fell asleep. All alone symbolically, Jesus withdrew from them and prayed: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me…”  Luke records that and angel came from heaven to give Him strength but “being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
 
There is no doubt that this moment in Jesus’ life, apart from the cross, was the most painful. In His prayer He would have used the term “Abba” (daddy) to address His Father, yet there seems to be silence form God; a silence which seems to say, “no.” In obedience, Jesus said:“nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
 
Jesus’ prayer in the garden was a heart-wrenching appeal of a child to a father but because the answer that He sought was not in the will of God, He had to satisfy Himself that  God’s will took preeminence in His life. The presence of the angel, however, was a sign that though the answer is no, the grace of God is sufficient in any situation.
Lord, give me wisdom to ask in prayer for that which is in your will to grant, and give me grace  to accept “no” as an answer and to be yielded to Your will. Amen
1. Was there ever a time when the answer to your prayer was “no”? When and how? What was your feeling at the time?
2. Though Paul did not say that God answered “no” to His request, it is clear that the different to what he wanted. What did God say to him?
3.  What was Paul’s response to the answer he received?
4. What was Jesus’ response to God’s silence during His prayer in the garden?
 
READ MORE
Luke 22:39-46; Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
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VERSE OF THE DAY:
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
The Apostle John writes: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 john 1:9-10) By God’s standard, all men are sinners and have committed sin. Therefore it is necessary to confess our sins before God to seek forgiveness from Him.  There is however, one thing that will make it hard for God to grant forgiveness, and that is our inability to forgive those who have wronged us.
When Peter came up to Jesus and asked: “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21) Jesus responded with: “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Then He told a parable of a King who wanted to settle accounts with his servants so he called them and began to settle accounts. There was however, one who owed a considerable sum and who was unable to pay. The king commanded that everything that the man owned should be sold – including his wife and children – and that he should be thrown in prison.
 
The servant begged and pleaded, and requested time to work and pay off his debts. When the king saw his pleading, he had compassion on the man, and forgave him of all that he owed. The man left the king’s presence but he went off and found another fellow who owed him some money. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded that he pay what was owed. The man begged and pleaded to no avail. The wicked servant threw the man into debtor’s prison.
 
When the other servants saw what the man had done they were very upset. They went to the king and related what had happened. The king called the servant and said to him: “You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.  Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” Then the servant was handed over to the torturers until he could pay the original debt. Jesus concluded His parable with the grim warning: “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (Matthew 18:21-35)
 
These ominous words of Jesus should make every disciple examine his or her own heart for any bit of un-forgivingness, and should prompt an immediate
Dear Lord, I thank you for forgiving me of my sins which are many. I pray now that I will be able to forgive those who have wronged me just as you have forgiven me. Amen
1.Jesus presents being unable to forgive as a huge hindrance to prayer. Do you think there is the inability to forgive in your heart toward someone that has wronged you?
2. If you do, make it a point to contact that person as soon as possible, and offer them your forgiveness.
3. It may also be that you have wronged someone; are you willing to say “I’m sorry?”
4. Consider the gravity of Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:35: “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” Then read the story again to see what Jesus was talking about. (Pay close attention to verse 34).
5. In relation to verse 35, what do you think Jesus means by His words in verse 34?
 
READ MORE
For further study: Matthew 18:21-35; 1 John 1:9-10
 

“DON’T BE A HYPOCRITE!”

 
VERSE OF THE DAY
 
 
 
 
“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray…” (Matthew 6:9)
In teaching His disciples to pray, Jesus cautioned them about hypocrisy in their prayers. Jesus’ reference to hypocrites was a clear jab at the religious leaders of His day, men who “love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men” (Matthew 6:5). He reminded them that such men have their reward. He also told them they were not to pray like the heathens who liked to use “vain repetitions.” The hypocrites and the heathens think God will hear them by virtue of their many words.
 
Maybe you have been in a situation where you saw someone about to pray and suddenly there is a change in posture; the voice takes on a different tone, and the words used are lofty and impressive.  Do you think that get’s God’s attention quicker?  An important point that Jesus makes is that, “your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” No one surprises God with their requests; no one makes Him go, Oh, I did not know that! This however, does not mean that we should not ask; in fact, Jesus specifies that asking is integral to prayer.
So, how should one pray? Jesus said: “when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place…” This is not a condemnation of public prayer but it is an endorsement of a private time with God.
 
There is certainly a time or public prayer. In times of corporate worship, someone may be called to lead in prayer, but whether it is public or private, sincerity is the key. Jesus told a parable (Luke 18) about two men who went to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector (a sinner). The Pharisee prayed like this: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’  The tax collector on the other hand would not even look to heaven but he bowed his head and said: ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ Jesus concluded by saying that the tax collector was justified before God because he was humble, while the Pharisee exalted himself and therefore found no justification before God

 

There is no fooling God in any place and at any time. He knows the heart of man, better than man himself. The right attitude in private prayer is brokenness and contrition. The Psalmist said: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.” A person who is humble and penitent will not be rejected by God

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lord, give me a tender heart. May I come before You in brokenness and humility, with a willingness to confess my sins before You. Amen

1. Have you started  your prayer journal yet? If no go back to the section on how to create one and start doing so, today!
2. Read 1 John 1:9-10. What does verse 10 about sin?
3. Confessing sin is a key component in effective prayer. Do you make a habit of actively confessing your sins before God?
4. What does verse 9 say that we should do?
5. What does the verse say that God is faithful and just, to do?
6. Compare and contrast the two men who went to pray in Jesus’ parable in Luke 18:9-14.

READ MORE
For further study: Luke 18:9-14; Psalm 51:17 and 1 John 1:9-10

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THE FRIEND AT MIDNIGHT

VERSE OF THE DAY:
 
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)
The disciples had come to Jesus asking Him to teach them how to pray. They had observed Him praying, and they knew that John had taught his followers how to pray. To them individual prayer was a novel idea. The Jews were generally a religious people, but going to God for themselves, in the manner of Jesus, was not a common practice. Petitions were brought to the priest – who was the mediator between God and man – along with the necessary sacrifices, and he would go to God on their behalf. Seeing Jesus pray regularly, peaked their interest.
In response to their request, Jesus offered them a model prayer (Matthew 7 and Luke 11). However, to emphasize the need for persistence in prayer, Jesus  presented to them the scenario of the ‘friend at midnight’ (Luke 11:5-8). He said to them,  if you go to your friend in the middle of the night asking for bread because you have a visitor, your friend will most likely refuse on the basis of having already gone to bed. But even though he will not fulfill your request on the basis of your friendship, he will give it to you if you are persistent enough (see Luke 18).
 
Jesus continued by saying: “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Three very simple concepts that encapsulate and illustrate the entire spectrum of prayer – Ask, seek and knock!
 
First, Jesus said to ASK. What can be simpler? To illustrate asking Jesus said, if a son asks his father for a bread, a fish or an egg, which father will give him a stone, a serpent or a scorpion? “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” All one has to do is ask!
 
Secondly, He says to SEEK. You may not always know what is God’s will for your life; you may not always know what you want God to do for you!  This is where you seek the will of God for your life. God says, if you seek Me, you will find Me.
 
Thirdly, He says to KNOCK. This is persistence in action. Keep on knocking! There is a need, you know that God has promised to take care of your need, but you do not see it happening, keep knocking; keep praying till the answer comes.
Dear Lord give me the boldness to ask, seek and to knock because I know now that as my heavenly Father, You will meet my needs. Thank you Lord for Your manifold blessings. Amen
1. Write three things that  you will be praying for this week
2. Do you know what is God’s purpose (or His will) for your life?
3. If you are not sure of God’s purpose for your life, determine that you will “seek” to find it. (Read Romans 12:1-2)
4. According to Romans 12:1, what is your “reasonable service?”

5. Many people have a limit on how much time they can spend in prayer. Use a clock to time the duration of your prayers, then try to increase the amount of time spent with God each time you pray.

READ MORE

Re-read Day 13’s lesson on persistence in prayer. Read Luke 11:1-13
 

SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER

VERSE OF THE DAY
Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” (Matthew 26:40-41)

Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
That calls us from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne

Make all my wants and wishes known.

 

In seasons of distress and grief;
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

This moving and thoughtful hymn was written by William W. Walford in the 1800’s and set to music by famed musician William Bradbury in 1861. It is not necessarily a congregational hymn, as it calls to mind  a very private time of devotion in the presence of the Lord, a sweet hour of prayer.

In a previous lesson (Day 12) we read about Jesus getting up early in the morning while it was still dark and going off to a solitary place for His ‘sweet hour’ of prayer. In Judaism there were fixed hours for praying. In scripture we read about the third hour (9:00 AM); the sixth hour (12 noon), and the ninth hour (3:00 PM) of prayer. The day for an observant Jew started at 6:00 AM (the first hour) and ended at the twelfth hour (6:00 PM).

What time of the day, or night is your hour of prayer? Establishing a fixed time of prayer is a good discipline to help develop a person’s prayer life. We are told the Old Testament prophet Daniel prayed three times a day. He went by the hour of prayer schedule his faith required. Some may think that having a fixed prayer schedule might reduce the act to  a meaningless ritual. However if one is sincere and one follows the advice of Jesus on how to pray, prayer can never be meaningless. Prayer is a discipline but it is also a discipline based on a relationship with God. When Jesus chided His disciples for not being able to pray with Him for an hour (Matthew 26:40-41), they had not yet developed the discipline to pray so they fell asleep.

The first stanza of Walford’s hymn says: Sweet hour of prayer! That calls us from a world of care, and bids me at my Father’s throne, make all my wants and wishes known. That, in essence is what prayer is about; leaving the  ‘world of care’ and coming boldly to the throne of grace to make all one’s “wants and wishes known.” Though the hymn references an “hour” it is really a space in time when everything else is forgotten and the pious spends time alone with God.   

 
 
 Dear Lord, teach me to pray. Give me the grace to becoming consistent in my life of prayer. Teach me O, Lord the value of a ‘sweet hour of prayer’ and the discipline to commit to it on a daily basis. Amen

 1. According to Matthew 6:6, where does Jesus say you should pray?
2. Matthew 6:6 implies a private place where you can communicate with your heavenly Father secretly. Do you have a private place of prayer?
3. The right attitude is essential in prayer. In Matthew 6:5-7, Jesus talks a bout the wrong attitude in prayer. List two things that Jesus said which constitutes a wrong attitude:
4. Why should we not pray like the “hypocrites”? (Matthew 6:8)
5. Memorize the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)

READ MORE
For further study read Jesus’ instructions on how to pray in Matthew 6:5-8

 

A HOUSE OF PRAYER

VERSE OF THE DAY
And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves’” (Matthew 21:13).

It was Passover and all Jews were expected to come to Jerusalem for the feast. As he had done every year since  childhood (Luke 2:41), Jesus also came to Jerusalem for the Passover. While in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple. This temple was  a marvel of ancient engineering and a beauty to behold. It was built by King Herod meant to replace the ancient one erected by  King Solomon many years earlier.  During the feasts, the temple courtyards erupted in a flurry of activity. A brisk trade in money changing, for those who did not have the right currency, and the sale of animals and items needed for the required sacrifices.
 
Jesus must have stood for a while observing what was going on. In John’s account of this event (John 2) the apostle records that He “made a whip of cords.” It was one time when the loving Jesus that we know and worship, turned into a radical. Using His whip, Jesus lashed out at the sellers and the money changers. He overturned their tables, threw the money on the ground and forcefully ejected them from the temple grounds. Once again Jesus used scripture to justify His actions. He said:  “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”
 
The house of God (in our case,the church), first and foremost should be a place of prayer. It is the place where people come to worship God, bring their needs before Him, and fellowship with other believers. The church (the building) is not a social club, though there may be some social events held there; it is not a business place, though the church may have to be run using some business principles; it is not a community center, though the community is welcome to gather there; it is a house of prayer!
Jesus said to the people: “You have made it into a den of thieves!”  Though these people were providing what may have seemed like a valuable and needed public service, their dealings corrupted the primary purpose of the temple. The elders tolerated it because they may have rationalized that it was easier for people to come and buy their stuff rather than bring from home. However, the commerce became profit driven rather than needs based. And as often happens when money is involved there are those who will take advantage of others.
Lord, I pray for Your House, and what it represents. May it always be filled with prayer, and the praise of  Your people. Incline Your ear, O Lord, for prayers made in Your House. May those who cry out to You in faith, find sustenance and Your grace.Bless the appointed leaders in Your House O Lord that they may always do what is pleasing in Your sight. Amen
1. Write in your prayer journal.
2. Pray that people of all nationalities will find a place of worship in the church that you attend.
3. Pray for the pastors and leaders of your church.
4. Look for ways to become involved in the spiritual life of your church.
5. Become a vital part of the support of your church, through prayer, finances and maintenance of your church.
6. Church attendance is a Biblical command, seek to enhance your attendance ( Hebrews 10:24-25)
 
READ MORE
For further study, read Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19;45-48; John 21:13-22; Isaiah 56:7

DON’T GIVE UP

VERSE OF THE DAY
 
 
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart…” (Luke 18:1)
Jesus told a parable about a widow who comes to a certain judge seeking justice. This judge had a reputation of fearing neither God nor man and  he would not give the woman the attention that she sought. The woman on the other hand, was not the sort to give up easily. She kept on insisting on justice for her complaints.
Eventually, the judge thought to himself: “Though I do not fear God nor regard man,  yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me” (Luke 18:4-5). The judge made a decision to address the woman’s problem based solely on her persistence. He decided that rather than have this woman clamoring for attention, and becoming a complete nuisance, he would give her the solution to her problem. Jesus said: “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily” (Luke 18:7-8)
 
The idea presented in this parable is persistence in prayer; never giving up; praying through until the answer comes. In the Old Testament book of Daniel, the prophet fasted and prayed for twenty-one days concerning  a certain matter. At the end of the three week period, Daniel saw a vision of an angel who told him that “from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words” (Daniel 10:12). The angel explained to Daniel that he was delayed by the “prince of Persia” (a demonic entity) “who withstood me twenty-one days.” The angel said he was eventually helped by the Michael an arch angel), and was there finally to help Daniel understand certain things about the end of days. The Angel was very specific in letting Daniel know that “from the  first day” his prayer was answered.
 
We do not know why some prayers take longer to answer than some, but we do know that God has promised to hear and to answer. So if the answer is taking a bit longer than it is supposed to, don’t give up! Keep  pressing on; keep praying until the breakthrough comes. Many people’s needs are not met simply because they do not know how to persist in prayer.
 
Another Old Testament story that vividly illustrates persistence in prayer is the story of Hannah (1 Samuel 1). This woman had a need that she brought before the Lord. She did not offer a five minute prayer and hope for the best, rather, she ‘continued praying,” in travail of soul until the answer was forthcoming. Jesus explained prayer this way: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Persistent prayer is the type that keeps on knocking.exchange: the yoke of oppression and tyranny; of unfulfilled lives for one of rest in the gentle presence of God.
 
Lord, I accept your offer of rest in your presence. When I feel worn out by the care of this world I will lay my burden on you because I know
1. Jesus ended His parable (Luke 18:1-9) by saying: “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” What do you think He meant by that?
2. Faith is an essential component to prayer. What does Hebrews 11:6 say about faith?
3. Give an example of one of your prayers that God answered. 

THE SECRET PLACE

VERSE OF THE DAY
 
“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.“ (Mark 1:35-36)
The United States Post Office seems to be losing business. It is rapidly becoming one of the many casualties of the digital age. No one is willing to wait longer than they have to,  to get their mail. E-mail and the digital transfer of documents is so much faster, and the world is loving it. The USPS isn’t! And even though the cost of sending a post card from New York to Los Angeles at under fifty-cents is still a bargain to me, in the time it takes to get there. In the time it takes to send my postcard through the post, I can send hundreds of e-cards. No wonder it’s being called ‘snail-mail.’
The world is  moving at a terrifying pace. The need for speed is evident in everything. From automobiles  on our streets to how  meals  are prepared, there is a need for speed. The internet is fast and its getting faster still. Information transmittal is changing how the world works; we have news at our fingertips.
 
In Jesus’ day life wasn’t nearly as fast. People traveled mostly by foot, and there were not quite as many distractions as there are today. The ministry of Jesus, though a mere three and a half years long, He managed to accomplish much in that time. Though the pace of Jesus’ life may not have been as frenetic as some of us are accustomed to, He did have a busy life.
 
A quick reading of the first chapter of Mark shows Jesus engaged in a flurry of activity on His arrival at a small village called Capernaum (Mark 1:21-34). First Jesus teaches in the local synagogue, and while there, encounters a young man with an unclean spirit. Jesus rebukes the spirit causing much amazement among the people present. Mark lets us know that this incident caused His fame to be spread abroad.
 
Immediately after leaving the synagogue, Jesus enters the home of Peter, who lived right across the street. Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever and Jesus healed her. But it did not stop there. Soon everyone was hearing about it, and a number of sick and demon possessed people were brought to Jesus. This went on till late in the night. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35-36).
 
Even Jesus, the Son of God, saw the need to stop and re-charge before going on again! Why do we feel the need to keep  ‘going going, and going,’ like the energizer bunny? Why can’t we stop for awhile, retreat to a solitary place and spend some time with the Father? The Psalmist once said: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High; Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1)
 
Every one should consider the value of spending some alone time with God. Jesus did this often because of His relationship with the Father. You too can build a relationship with God by staying in His presence.
    
 

1. Consider spending some alone time with the Lord. Whether it is early in the morning or late at night, make a commitment to do so. Write in your prayer journal.

2. Read Psalm 91 and list the benefit of dwelling “in the secret place of the Most High.” (Verse 1)
 

3. What will the one who dwells in such a place say of the Lord?

4.In Psalm 91:14-16 The Lord says: “Because he has set his love upon Me…I will…”
Dear Lord, may I find myself in that Secret Place, with you. When my life is moving at a dizzying pace, I want to be able to slow down and spend time with you. Amen

TEACH US TO PRAY

VERSE OF THE DAY

 
“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples..” (Luke 11:1)
It was a very simple and heart felt request: “Lord, teach us to pray…” As the gospel writer Luke records it, the request comes after the disciples had seen Jesus in the act of praying. They had an opportunity to see Him as He conversed with His heavenly Father, and it must have struck a chord with them. In addition, the disciples knew that John (the Baptist, and forerunner of Jesus), had taught his disciples the art of praying. So they asked: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught His disciples.”
 
In response to the disciples request, Jesus offered a model prayer which is quite possibly the most famous prayer in the world. It is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer,” a misnomer since it is really the Disciples’ Prayer. In both gospel accounts of the prayer (Luke 11 & Matthew 6) Jesus prefaces it with these words : “When you pray…”
 

Prayer is an essential component in the life of a disciple. Disciples must know how to pray, and how to do so effectively. In Luke 18 Jesus offered the parable of the persistent widow to illustrate that “men ought to always pray, and not lose heart.”  While there is no real formulaic prayer, Jesus’ model does offer some guidelines into the structure of a prayer. For the uninitiated in prayer, it presents  a good place to start. When the Disciples, after watching Him pray, asked: Lord teach us to pray, Jesus said: When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.

THINGS TO DO:
 

Create a Prayer Journal

 
 
Since prayer  is communicating with God, and since conversation is a two-way street, God will speak back to you. One way of  keeping track is by creating a prayer journal. A prayer journal is a good way to keep a written record of the prayers that you offer unto God and  the answers that you get from Him. It is also similar to the one you are doing in this study, except that it is exclusively yours. Some of what you write in this devotional can be transferred to your own personal prayer journal that you can keep for as long as you wish.
 
A prayer journal is not a public document. In it you will record your private conversations with God and though you may want to share testimonies from time to time, your prayer journal should be between you and God. So get started right away and develop good praying habits. God is waiting to hear from you.
Steps to Creating a Prayer Journal
 
1. Get a blank notebook with good binding.  
Most stationary stores sell beautiful journals but a simple notebook will do just fine.
2. Customize it
– Make it yours. Decorate it however you want, or leave it plain.
3. Start writing.
– If you read a verse of scripture, write the text and record your thoughts and impressions.
– Listen for what God is saying to you from the verse, write it down.
– Don’t edit or change anything. Remember these are your private thoughts.
– If something sounds foolish still write it.  
4. Write your prayer requests.  
– Leave some blank space after each request (date it).
– When you know that God has answered that prayer, write the answer in the blank space.
– Be specific. Write dates, names, details.
5. Keep your journal in a secret place.
Write often but don’t spend too much time reading over what you have written.
– When the journal is filled you may want to go back to specific dates to refresh your memory on what  God said to you at a particular moment in time