Friends, as we get ready to begin a bible study on prayer, we wanted to use today to check our heart. Let’s take a minute to ask God to really search us and know us – and to show us what keeps us from a prayer-saturated life.
Grab your Bible and journal and use the questions below to spend time getting honest with God. Be completely sincere and transparent – knowing that the Lord cannot be fooled or tricked (Galatians 6:7). He knows where you are (Psalm 139). Use this time to evaluate what’s truly in your heart.
- When was the last time you really prayed?
- What are some things that keep you from praying?
We often use being tired or busy as a reason not to pray. But what do we learn from Jesus in Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16 and Luke 6:12?
- Do you honestly want to pray more? If not, what keeps you from wanting to pray?
Take a minute to read Ephesians 6:10-20. The armor of God is listed in this passage, and you’ve probably heard it many times before. But notice what action Paul writes about in verse 18. Why is this important?
- Does prayer seem burdensome or tiring to you? If so, why?
- What excites you about prayer?
- What fears, worries or concerns do you have on your heart right now? Write them all down – laying every little thing down before the Lord.
Read 1 John 5:13-15, Philippians 4:4-9 and 1 John 1:5-10.
- What truths do you need to remember about Jesus right now in light of those fears or worries?
One of the most beautiful things about prayer is that we can pray all day, throughout the day, as we go, and while we drive, and as we cook dinner — He is constantly listening! But I would encourage you to pick a specific time and place to come and meet with the Lord, free of distraction. It’s in those moments, in the secret, when we draw near and get alone with Jesus, where the Lord is free to convict and challenge and correct. He restores and redeems and revives in the intimacy of our prayers.
If you can, go ahead and pick a specific place and time where you will meet with Jesus.
For me, it’s at the table in my craft room, first thing in the morning, with a cup of tea and worship music playing. I look forward to it every single morning because I know that time will be sweet with the Lord. Your time might look differently, but decide now and commit that time to the Lord.
Leave your Bible out the night before and set your coffee pot on a timer if it will help you get up and going in the morning! I’m a big fan of learning what works for you and doing whatever it takes to help us get into the rhythm of drawing near.
- Where and when will you meet with Jesus?
- Take time to pray about the days ahead as we begin this time in the Psalms.
- Admit anything you are nervous about.
Read James 4:1-10.
- Ask God for anything you are hoping to get out of these next few weeks as we come to His Word.
- Ask the Lord to meet with you as you dig into Scripture.
- Pray that this season will be one of encouragement, conviction, honesty and growth.
- End with praise – thanking God for the work He is already doing in you and all that He will do in the weeks to come!
You are such a good and gracious God. Thank You for the invitation you’ve given us to come and sit with you. Getting to know and walk with You is the only thing that matters in our lives. Lord, please forgive us when we wander away from You. Please call us back to You and remind us that we find our life and joy in You alone. And Father, we pray that these next few weeks in Your Word would be a time to grow and know You in a new way. Speak to us through Your Word. Show us the sin and fault in our hearts that needs to be confessed. Cover us in grace as we repent and believe that You are better than our sins. Grow us up in Your Spirit to love You more than anyone or anything. Be our strength and energy that we may tell others about how wonderful You are. Father, we are nothing apart from You. We need You every moment of every day. Be in us all that we cannot be, sweet Jesus. Help us to breathe in Your never- ending mercies and spend our lives breathing out Your praise!
We want more of You, Jesus, and less of us.
In Your name we pray,
Amen and Amen.