In this first of a three-part series on prayer, Pastor Neil shows how we can grow in our relationship with God through prayer in our prayer life. Here are some excerpts:

Spiritual Growth

After coming to a personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, how do you grow in your relationship with God? How do you develop your friendship with God? One way is through the cultivation of your prayer life. How? Through:

  • Constant communication and conversation with God.
  • A regular daily “Quiet Time” appointment with God to read the Bible, to reflect on His Word, and to bring your cares and concerns, as well as your expressions of praise and thanks to Him, in prayer.
  • “Pray(ing) without ceasing,” as the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. This doesn’t mean that you do nothing but pray, or that you neglect the duties and responsibilities of daily life. What it means is that “you carry on a continuous, open-ended conversation with (God) throughout your day, talking with Him about whatever you are doing or thinking” or whatever or whomever God brings to your mind at any given moment. It means conversing with God while you shop, while you drive, while you work, while you walk, while you cook or carry out any other tasks in your daily routine (Warren, 87-88).

Not as Hard as You Think

Prayer is not as hard as some people may think. Anne Lamott’s book Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers makes this point. Sometimes, meaningful prayer is as simple and powerful as crying out for help, or saying thanks to God for some manifestation of Hismercy or grace, or seeing the hand of God at work in some way and saying “Wow!” If prayerseems hard or intimidating to you, perhaps these cries of the heart to God are a good place to begin.

A Relationship with God

But they are only a place to begin. God wants you to go deeper in the life of prayer. God wants you to have a much richer, fuller relationship with Him in prayer. Ultimately, this is what prayer is about: a relationship.

It is a relationship with a Father who loves you with an unconditional love and who will never stop loving you; a Father who desires to be known by you. It is a relationship with a Friend who always has your best interests at heart;  a relationship with Someone with whom you can be real, characterized by both intimacy and reverence (or respect).

August 18, 2019

Luke 11:1-4

Dr. Neil Smith

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