| Prayer |

I want to talk about prayer because so many people have asked me how I got to this point in my relationship with God, where I can be so open with him.

First, I just need to say that I’m not perfect.  A relationship with God, just like any other relationship, requires a lot of work and time and effort.  I’m not always walking in complete obedience and I still have major struggles.

When I first started following Jesus, I talked to him about my needs.  I would sort of bargain with him, not understanding what prayer really was.  My church at the time, Passion City, began a series on digging into the Lord’s Prayer.  It is amazing to me to see that Jesus gave an example for literally every part of being in a relationship with God, even down to how to talk to him.

Matthew 5:6-13
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven,

Reveal who you are.

Set the world right;

Do what’s best—

    as above, so below.

Keep us alive with three square meals.

Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.

Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.

You’re in charge!

You can do anything you want!

You’re ablaze in beauty!

    Yes. Yes. Yes.”

1. Withdraw to a quiet place with no distractions.

2. Acknowledge God- look UP to our Creator.  He deserves awe and reverence.

3. Align ourselves with God’s will.  Alignment happens in joyful surrender.  Keep him on the throne!

4. Realize our dependence on God- HE is the Provider.

5. Forgive others and share what God has done in our lives.

6. He is our safety and protection.

This is the example of a corporate/community prayer, but also a very personal prayer with our Father- he is inviting us into an intimate relationship.  Praying honestly and humbly keeps a relationship with God in perspective.  Yes, he is our Father, but also he is the Lord.  

Praying to God like Jesus prayed is exchanging our wishes and desires for his.  He uses our hardships to glorify himself and he uses EVERYTHING for his good.

Praying like this has changed my relationship with God.  Sometimes I pray on my knees, other times I just talk to him while I’m getting ready.  At times I have yelled at him when I don’t understand what’s going on in my life.  There are no barriers when talking to God- he is so big he can handle anything.  He knows our thoughts before we think them.

I just felt like I needed to share this because he cares about you.  Don’t be afraid to be honest with God.  Don’t be afraid to be scared or upset before God.  When we come before him humbly, knowing who he is, he grows us into a deeper relationship with him and a greater knowledge of his character and power.

I promise you that your life will change and you will not only view yourself differently, but you will view this world differently.  

1 John 5:13-15

“My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.”

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