Youth: Prayer

How important is it to pray? 
We can’t afford not to pray.
Quote from ‘Prayer’ by Timothy Keller
“If Christians do not base their lives on God’s steadfast love, then they will have “to accept as success what others warrant to be so, and to take their happiness, even their own selves, at the quotation of the day. They tremble with reason, before their fate.” “
If we want to survive this life, prayer has to be a big part of our lives. It’s our go to response when something happens, to family or yourself. It’s a gift we were all given, and given to use. We were born to pray.
Does prayer work? Does God answer our prayers? 
Yes, he always answers our prayers, but sometimes the answer might be different to what we expect, or in a way we don’t expect. We cannot put God in a box. He won’t fit in any anyway.
Why should He answer our prayers? 
We are his children. Romans 8
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co- heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Doesn’t it matter what words we use? 
No, but yes. When you start, or restart after a while it doesn’t, but as you get to know God more, you will change what words you use. As you get to know who you are talking to, you will slightly change how you talk, but it is still you talking, so be yourself.
Does it matter what we ask for? 
One thing I have noticed adapt when I have prayed, is that I have gone from asking for things just to help me get by, and more for things about what God might want. I have gone from saying, ‘Please God, let me get this job’ to ‘Please God, if you want me to have this job, then I pray I get it, if not, open the door to the place I need to be.’
Do selfish prayers get answered? Even if its not in our best interest? 
Yes, and sometimes we will be given what we ask just to show us that it is really what we wanted.
Remember: transformation. What is God’s big plan for us? For transformation. It’s not about what we do, it’s about who we become. Then our actions will adapt. So sometimes I think that happens to teach us, and correct us. But that’s not for me to say when and to who. Maybe if your desires change as time goes on you might see that God has been doing that.
But you have to know that it’s all for your own good.
He knows it all anyway. So tell him what’s on your heart. If you are struggling with someone, or something. Tell God. ask Him to help you.
Lets look at how Jesus teaches us to pray.
The Lord’s Prayer
11:9- 13 pp — Mt 7:7- 11
 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
 He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
 Give us each day our daily bread.
 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation. ’”
 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him. ’
 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything. ’
 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
 “So I say to you:Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
Matt 6:9-13
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us today our daily bread.
 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. ’
Prayer is meant to be joyful. That is the norm. 
And it is not about trying to get as much as we can from God, but it’s about getting more of God. Of course he gives us good things, and good gifts, but ultimately He wants to give us more of Him.
Good prayers comes from the heart. What is that one verse I always come back to when we talk about relationships, Guard your heart above all else…
The heart is the centre control point of our lives. It is where we keep our deepest commitments, loves, hopes in life, and this control our feeling, thinking and other behaviours.
We know that God is Holy but when the eyes of our hearts are enlightened to it, then we understand on an emotional level and it becomes a beautiful thing, and it affects us deeper.
Ephesians 1:15-19
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe
A few tools to help you pray!
Remember the ACTS way to pray…
Prayer Cards
What is going on in your life right now…
What are you happy about? Thank God for it
What are you worried about? Ask God for help and peace.
What might he say to you in how to respond?
What have you done recently that you probably shouldn’t have done? What have you put in the way of you and God? Say sorry and be forgiven for it.
What do you need from God? What do you family or friends need from God? Ask for it.
Be expectant of the answer.
How to pray for someone, in public or in private. 
Thank God for them
Thank God for loving them (because He does)
Ask God to be with them in what they are going through
Ask for His will to be done, (on earth as it is in heaven) in their lives.
Ask for God to (whatever they need).
Thank God for answering your prayer, in Jesus’ name.

 (written by Jason Kirk)

Loving God, Loving People