Prayer is hard. And often in the church we talk about it as if you should immediately know how to do it upon coming into a relationship with God. People will tell you, “prayer is just a conversation with God, so talk to him like you would your friend.” There is some truth to that, but even that doesn’t make it simple. Come join us as we talk about why we pray, how we pray, what we should be praying, and break-down other myths and misunderstandings about what our prayer lives should be like. We will focus on 5 simple words or categories for prayer: Help, Thank you, Wow, Sorry, and Yes and on 5 Biblical Characters to help us learn to pray. If you’ve ever felt like you’re “not doing it right,” this is the sermon series for you!
This most basic prayer, in more theological terms is known as a prayer of petition. We pray prayers of help for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for the world. We pray these when we are at the end of our rope, when we need healing, when we need direction and discernment. The Psalms are full of prayers of petition, asking God to save Israel from its enemies, to surround them with peace and safety. Come join us as we hear about one of Moses’ prayers of petition on behalf of the people of Israel.
Prayers of thanksgiving are another basic prayer found in the Psalms. The Psalmist gives thanks for God’s intervention, for God’s creation, and for God’s provision. A life lived in a habit of thanksgiving is one of contentment and joy….even in the midst of doubt and fear. Join us as we hear about the Apostle Paul and his habit of thanksgiving to see how you might make this a habit in your own prayer life.
Prayers of Wow go a bit beyond thanksgiving. Growing this as a habit within our prayer lives help us to watch for those moments when God’s grace seems overflowing and abundant, so that we can name them before God with overwhelming joy, and let them sustain us for the harder moments in life. Hannah’s story is one of wow-an answered prayer that becomes for her a miracle, used to bless the whole nation of Israel. Join us as we look for these moments in our own lives!
Sorry is perhaps the hardest prayer to pray. Prayers of confession might come easy to our lips, but rarely come easy to our actions. This week we will focus on David, whose sin against his family, Bathsheba, Urriah, the people of Israel, and against God provide for us a great example of what it looks like to name our confession and to turn away from our own sin.