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  • Zack DeBruyne

Why Pray?



/ W H Y P R A Y? /

What even is the point of prayer?


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What have you been taught about prayer? What do you think about it?


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What has prayer looked like in your life?


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/ R E A D /

  1. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation,” Mark 14:38.

  2. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” Hebrews 4:16

  3. “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…”, Matt. 6:9-11

  4. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you,” John 15:7

  5. “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray,” James 5:13

  6. One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God,” Luke 6:12

  7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” -Philippians 4:6

  8. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” -Colossians 4:2

  9. “Pray continually” -1 Thessalonians 5:17


Name some of the purposes of prayer that we see in these texts. Are some of these new to you?

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/ P R A Y /


Most of our struggles in the Christian life circle around the same two things:

  1. Why God doesn’t act the way we want God to

  2. Why I don’t act the way God wants me to.

Prayer is the precise point where those two things come together.

  • We come to realize, that God is far outside of our control or command.

  • We come to realize that we cannot be the people we want to be without God's power and direction.

  • In prayer, we let go of our desires to control God and control our lives and welcome Him and His will to be done in every moment of our days.

  • The good, the bad, the dark, and the light.


/ E X E R C I S E O F F A I T H /

  • It is an act of faith, we are putting our lives into the hands of God!

Prayer reverses our selfish selves, rather than thinking of all of the ways that we need God to serve us -- it orients us to be reminded of ways we are called to serve God.

It is an active act of trust.

  • We don’t impose our will on God but learn, through prayer, to trust in his perfect will.

  • We let go of our tightly grasped plans, ideas, and hopes.

Without prayer, you are ignoring your relationship with God.

  • When God appears silent or gives a clear ‘no’, we must trust his will is being done.

  • Our faith is most tested when we receive a no from Him.

  • But a “no” still remains to be an answer to prayer.

  • Prayer is more than empty words; it establishes communion between us and the Creator, thereby empowering us for belief and faithful, effective service (James 5:16b–18).



/ J E S U S P R A Y E D /

  • Jesus valued prayer enough to spend many hours at the task. If I had to answer the question, “Why pray?” in one sentence, it would be, “Because Jesus did.”

  • He bridged the vast gulf between God and human beings.

  • While on Earth he became vulnerable, as we are vulnerable; rejected, as we are rejected; and tested, as we are tested. In every case, His response was prayer.

/ R E A D /

  1. Mark 1:35 - Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

  2. Luke 6:12 - One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

  3. Luke 22:39-46 - Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Jesus knows better than anyone how the universe works. Yet, while he was on earth, the Gospels tell us that he prayed. In the following verses, why do you think prayer was important to Jesus? Why might they be important for us today?

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/ R E L A T I O N S H I P /

  • Prayer as relationship. It is our conversation with God the Father. How else do we build relationships with others unless we talk with them? Unless we bring our hurts to them? Unless we confess the issues that we are facing?

  • These moments build deep, lasting, human relationships. Imagine what might happen with God!

  • God desires an ongoing relationship with us, and prayer closes the gap between infinity and us.

  • It is a way of keeping company with God, who is already present, and responding to His presence.

/ W H E R E W E M E E T G O D /

  • Prayer is where God and human beings meet.

  • Where we get to talk with the Creator of the Universe, who knows us deeply.

  • Prayer connects our heart to the heart of God. Our selfish perspective to His self-ess perspective. Our broken will to His faithful, perfect will.


/ P R A C T I C E /

  • Spend the next 5-10 minutes journaling a prayer. Writing out the words of a prayer to God.

  • This can include what you are thankful for, what you are stressing out about, the difficult things that you are facing in your life, and the list goes on.

  • Understanding that prayer is more than trying to stay awake, while you sit upright in a chair in a dark room, allows us to best connect with God relationally.

  • Reflect on all of the different prayers that we discussed today, and write down one way that you might try to pray this next week.

  • Example: Prayer walking, prayer journaling, visio divina, and the list goes on.


/ P R A Y E R /

Someone please volunteer to pray their own prayer this week.

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zdebruyne@brocku.ca

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