Effective Prayer

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Matthew 7:7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”

In his book The Good & Beautiful Life, James Bryan Smith notes that we need to be very specific in our prayers. “Why? Most of our prayers are so vague that we would not even know if God had answered them.” 

Yet there’s another layer to this as well. Yes, our prayers need to be specific, but they also need to specifically be open-handed to God’s will and us living in His Kingdom. 

The interesting thing about prayer is that it ought not be a one-sided conversation. A contemplative prayer life is one in which an individual listens to God, prays, then listens to God some more, and then listens to God even more. We may lose sight of exactly how God has answered our prayers because we’re listening to other voices in the world. Today, take some time to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking. Also take time to keep on listening, and keep on listening, and keep on listening some more. 

READING & PRAYERS:

     MATTHEW 7:7-11, MARK 1:35 (also read the commentary notes in your Study Bible of choice.)

QUESTION: Jesus often went to a solitary place to pray. Where is a solitary place in which you can escape the demands of pressures of life so you can explore daily times of intimate prayer with Jesus? 

QUESTION: Can you structure your life in such a way that you’re able to go to this solitary place four to five days a week (or more)? If not, why not? 

Take a Step: Remember to continue utilizing the One Minute Pause app throughout the week. If possible, begin to explore and practice the 3, 5 or 10 minute pause to more deeply root yourself in Christ.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, while I believe I’m growing in my prayer life, I recognize that I still pray a lot more about my own life circumstances than I pray about Your will being done. Similarly, I struggle to slow down and really listen to You. Today, may my prayer life reflect more of your desires than my own wants. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

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