Role One: Men Who Are Christians – Personal Disciplines
Session Two: Christian Men and Prayer
Discussed at Men to Men, January 28
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2)
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7, ESV)
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:16, NASB)
Why is prayer important? Some reasons include:
- Prayer is commanded by God in His Word.
- Prayer is modeled by Jesus for all His followers.
- Prayer continues the relationship between God and His children.
- Prayer raises our perspective to better match God’s perspective.
- Prayer provides a record of reasons to give God thanks.
Why is prayer hard? Some reasons include:
- Pride. We may think to ourselves, “I don’t need any help.”
- We can’t see God; there is no immediate, tangible feedback when we pray.
- Intimidation. We may think that we can’t pray like a more mature pray-er or that we will use the wrong formula.
- Ignorance. We may not know what to pray for.
- Unbelief. We may not believe that God cares and/or that God will do anything anyway.
- Fatigue. We may be physically tired or we may be tired of asking repeatedly.
- God is sovereign and will do what He wants to do whether we ask Him or not.
- We fail to plan or to prioritize.
- We lack of mental/spiritual focus while praying; multitude of distractions.
- We are overwhelmed with how many needs there are to pray for.
Developing a habit of prayer
- Schedule it.
- Have a plan.
- Repent from not praying.
Watch Where You’re Going
Keeping your focus in prayer
Use a scripted format.
- A.C.T.S. (Adoration / Confession / Thanksgiving / Supplication)
- C.A.T.S. (Confession / Adoration / Thanksgiving / Supplication)
Take a walk.
- Pray out loud. (Or sing!)
- Use a list.
- Use cards and a ring.
- Write it out.
- Pray with a partner.
Staying the course in prayer
- Get a partner.
- Keep it simple.
- Keep it sustainable.
- Pray for help to pray.
The following recommendations are not the only resources of value on the subject but are those that the elders found most useful in their own personal pursuit of discipline and delight in prayer.
- George Müller – Man of Faith and Miracles by Basil Miller (Amazon) and/or George Müller: Delighted in God by Roger Steer (Amazon)
- “The Focus of Prayer in the Fight for Joy,” and “The Practice of Prayer in the Fight for Joy” (Chapters 9 and 10 from When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper; pp. 136-173) (PDF download; sermon audio; Amazon)
- “Man’s Most Difficult Struggle” (sermon audio and notes)
- “Devoted to Prayer” (a six session seminar on personal prayer, audio and notes)
- Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions (Amazon)
- A Call To Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson (Amazon)
- Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds (Amazon)
- A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer by John Piper (PDF download; Amazon)
- “Brothers, Let Us Pray” (Chapter 10 from Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper) (Amazon)
- “Pray Without Ceasing” by John Piper (sermon notes and audio)
- A Praying Life by Paul Miller (Amazon)
- Confessions by Augustine (Amazon)
- The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life by Charles Spurgeon (Amazon)
- Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer (Amazon)
- Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation (Amazon)
“As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.” (Martin Luther)
“Learning to pray doesn’t offer us a less busy life; it offers us a less busy heart.” (Paul Miller, A Praying Life, 23)