Thoughts on prayer – Dan Gatland
In the pre coronavirus world, I attended a younger leaders’ weekend. At the conference Guy Miller spoke to us about prayer. So, I thought in this time of having both lots of need and opportunity for prayer, I would share my notes from that talk, I found them really helpful and hopefully you will too.
Guy started by talking about how essential prayer is for a follower of Jesus and the need to get red hot for God, in order to reach our generation. He said something really powerful about whether people knew what ‘the church’ is offering when they walk past. The key is prayer and he shared a quote (apologies I didn’t catch who it was by) “If prayer isn’t the most important thing your life, God isn’t”. He then red from John 14:5-14 and highlighted that verse 14 is the key:
“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Prayer isn’t a second-rate experience or venture for a follower of Jesus – its about advancing his mission. The key is to pray in the rhythm of our lives and a great way to do this is to use the three daily meals.
So, Guy and his wife, Heather took us through the three daily meals and how they could be used to anchor our prayer life.
Breakfast – Go to another place and get up early
Guy gave us the 5 R’s for our breakfast prayer time.
- Retire – Get out of bed, don’t pray in bed or sleep will win. Find a place to go and pray every day, can you think of a place to go and pray?
- Read – Get your bible open (don’t use a phone it can distract us), read your passage 2 or 3 times to make sure you really have read it.
- Reflect – Ask yourself, what did the disciples understand as they read it? Or think about what was Jesus or the author trying to tell his audience?
- Respond – What’s the relevance to me today? Or what do I need to do now as a result?
- Regurgitate – meditate on the scripture, remember it by writing it down or write a few thoughts on the passage. Pray through the scripture and what it said, let that lead you into praying for everything else.
Lunch – Base it off the Lord’s prayer
Then Heather took us through lunch and the 5 P’s which go through the Lord’s prayer.
- Praise – Expand as little or as much as you’d like, you could tell God who is and what he’s like. Something as simple as “thank you God that you are a loving God, who forgives us” would be great.
- Purpose – We each have a role in ushering in the Kingdom of God, pray for God’s Kingdom to come.
- Provision – Thankfulness and gratitude for what we have.
- Penitence – Ask for forgiveness, a clean break for the rest of the day.
- Protection – We need God to protect us – we are in a battle each and every day, so no matter how the morning has gone, pray that God would protect you through the rest of the day.
Dinner – The Holy Spirit will guide us and is our councillor
Then finally, Guy took us through how to pray at the end of the day with another 5 R’s.
- Replay – think back about the day, consider your actions and responses.
- Recall – Recall the moments where you lost it and the good moments – tell God about it
- Rejoice – High 5 with God about the things that were good about your day.
- Repent – keep a short account, repent again
- Resolve – Thank God that there’s Grace to be different tomorrow – it doesn’t have to be the same as today
Or a shortened version to do in bed, as the last thing you do, is say to yourself “where did I miss God and where did I meet God?”. At the end of the day look back over the day that you’ve had.
I think the key to starting a new habit is not to go too big on day 1, so I’ve been working on breakfast. Getting up each day and sitting with my bible and praying and its been going really well. My plan is to have a go at the lunchtime one next, why don’t you join in picking a mealtime and having a go at embedding prayer into your life.