Paraklesis. Vision for a praying life and church

Dear friends and fellow-workers, recently I spoke on prayer in Sydney, and would like to share with you some ideas from my talks.

SAYINGS ON PRAYER

Pray big prayers about God’s global gospel plan: ‘Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’.

Pray little prayers about your daily needs: ‘Give us this day our daily bread’.

You are never alone when you pray, because God hears your prayers from the lips of his Son, and hears your prayers he has prompted by his Spirit.

You are never alone when you pray, because God joins your prayers with the prayers of all your brothers and sisters in Christ. 

We only see the answers to a very small number of our prayers. We do not see the answers to most of our prayers.

When the Bible shapes our prayers, we are not only thinking God’s thoughts after him, but also praying God’s words after him

When we read the Bible, we should then meditate on it, turn to into prayer, believe and do it, and teach it to others

God wants us to listen to his words as we read the Bible, and God wants to listen to our words when we pray. God wants to speak and listen, and he wants us to listen and speak.

God loves you just the way you pray, but loves you so much that he wants to enrich and enlarge your prayers.

God is not far away when we pray through Jesus Christ his Son. God is in Christ, and we are in Christ, so we could not be closer to God than we are!

Prayer is one of the most useful things we do, not the least useful thing we do.

Tell God immediately when you are hurt, when you have a bad dream, an accident, a pain, a disappointment, or a tragedy. Tell God before you tell anyone else. Tell God immediately, and look to him for compassion, mercy, consolation, understanding and relief.

Pray 100  prayers before making 1 criticism or complaint

Pray 100 prayers before offering one correction to a brother or sister

Pray 1 prayer with every serious conversation

Pray to God before you talk to others about your questions, issues, problems, crises, bad dreams, frustrations.

Bring your deepest needs to God.

Turn to God for comfort before you turn to others.

Thank God for people before you pray for them.

Tell people that you pray for them.

Ask people what to pray for them.

Tell people what you are praying for them.

Mix your intercessory prayers with praise, thanksgiving, confession, lament, intercession, and worship.

A VISION FOR A PRAYING CHURCH:

Comes to God our Father in prayer through the atoning sacrifice of Christ our mediator and high priest, prompted and taught by the Holy Spirit and his Bible, and lives the same way.

Relates constantly to God our Father, in praise, thanksgiving, worship, intercession, confession of sins, lament, self-offering and trust, and casts all its cares on God

Prays for the church, for the community, for the nation, for the world, and for God’s great gospel plan.

Knows that all it does depends directly and constantly on the power of God, and so does not trust in good plans, gifted people, correct theology, hard work or busyness, but on God alone.

Lives and works and prays for God’s glory alone, not for its own happiness or success.

Is constantly alert to the danger of drawing close to God with their lips, but with hearts and lives far from him.

Shapes its prayers by God’s priorities, not its own needs and wants, while still being honest and open to God and  brings those needs and wants to him in prayer.

Trusts in our God who hears our prayers, and does not trust in our praying.

Does not think that God’s ‘no’, or ‘not yet’ is an unanswered prayer.

Prays with long-term gospel goals, and prays long-term for God to achieve those long-term goals. 

Is a church in which individuals pray, married couples pray together, families pray together, friends pray together, ministry teams pray together, and the church prays together.

Is a church in which people pray big prayers to our big God to achieve his big gospel plan, and also a church in which people know they can pray little prayers about the smallest details of their lives, trusting in their loving heavenly Father.

Is a church in which young people and new Christians learn to pray by watching the example of the church and its praying, and by taking part in that praying.

Is a church which repents of prayerlessness.

Is a church in which people plan to pray, make time to pray, and also pray spontaneously.

Is a church which knows that God is always more ready to hear our prayers than we are to pray, and that he is able to do far more than we ask or imagine, and to bring glory to himself in the church and in Christ Jesus.

With warmest good wishes for your own lives and ministries,

Yours,

Peter Adam | September 2018