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Prayer and Worship lesson 6: Becoming Prayer Warriors: The Habit of Prayer Lesson Notes

A habit is a recurrent, often unconscious, pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.

What are the benefits of having good habits in one’s life?

Learning how to pray is like riding a bicycle

  1. Developing a prayer life that is productive and powerful is based on conscious choices we make on a daily basis

  2. Our ability to pray effectively depends to a great extent on the quality of habits we develop

  3. Those who want to improve their prayer lives will choose to replace their bad habits with good ones

Developing a solid prayer life

  1. Recognizing our need for change

    1. Are we satisfied with our prayer life?

    2. What is motivating us to improve our prayer life

  2. Realize that change does not happen without struggle or effort

    1. Why is developing a deeper prayer life a struggle?

    2. Developing a deeper prayer life requires work

    3. The greatest struggle is often our life style and our schedule

  3. Must turn good intentions into action

    1. It is wonderful to desire a deeper prayer life

    2. But we must take the steps needed to make it happen

  4. We must pray on a consistent basis

    1. Why does consistent prayer lead to deeper prayer?

    2. Our flesh will fight against this

    3. Most people would rather be comfortable, be entertained, and hang out

    4. But God wants to take us to a deeper place

  5. Remember this process is progressive

    1. Why doesn’t change happen overnight?

    2. Why is this important to remember in our growth with God in any area?

    3. Change happens one day and step at a time

    4. Once you begin to pray on a consistent basis you will begin to develop momentum

7 Habits of highly effective pray-ers

  1. Effective pray-ers have their hearts in order

    1. Why are righteousness and humility necessary for effectiveness in prayer?

    2. Righteousness

      1. Their life is committed to living for God on a daily basis

    3. Humility

      1. They understand that without Him they can do nothing

      2. Prayer is not something they simply do, it becomes life itself

      3. Read Luke 18:9-14

      4. James 4:7-10

      5. The key to overcoming the devil is humility

  1. Effective pray-ers have their house in order

    1. How do personal relationships affect our prayer lives?

    2. Good relationships

      1. Healthy personal relationships

        1. 1 Peter 3:7:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

        2. Matthew 5:23-24: 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

      2. Corporate unity

        1. Matthew 18:19-20:23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

  1. Effective pray-ers are persistent

    1. What does it mean to be persistent in prayer?

    2. We live in an instant culture

    3. Perseverance in prayer reveals great faith in God

    4. Persevering prayer requires continual exercise of faith

    5. Luke 18:1-8

    6. James 5:17-18

      1. Our faith grows

      2. Our perseverance leads to patience

        1. Patience is needed to accomplish anything for God and His kingdom

      3. Determine the extent of our need

      4. Our dependence on God increases leading to greater strength and intimacy

      5. Our response becomes genuine gratitude

        1. When we have to wait for anything we truly appreciate it more

      6. We realize our role

        1. Anything accomplished through prayer is by God’s power and grace

      7. We gain a deeper experience with God

      8. Text book 133 story of George Mueller and the orphans

  1. Effect pray-ers maintain an eternal perspective

    1. What does it mean to have eternal perspective in prayer?

    2. Understand we live in one reality but two dimensions

      1. The seen and unseen realms

      2. What happens in the unseen realm impacts the seen realm

      3. Called to view all things from a heavenly perspective

    3. What does it mean to be nearsighted in our prayer life?

      1. Nearsightedness focuses on the temporal, the here and now

      2. We are called to be kingdom minded because we are kingdom people

      3. Maintaining a heavenly perspective changes our entire prayer life

      4. In prayer we shift from focusing our own selfishness and instead placing God and His kingdom above our own wants and desires

      5. In prayer we are truly changed

  2. Effective pray-ers have an expectancy that results in boldness

    1. What can give us boldness in prayer?

      1. James 5:16: 16 [a]Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, [b]fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

      2. We pray with fervency because we truly believe God will accomplish what He has said in His word

      3. It takes the eyes of faith to see what God is doing

      4. The more time we spend in prayer with the Lord, the more bold we will become

      5. We have been given authority to use the name of Jesus when transacting business on His behalf for the kingdom on this earth

      6. Many Christians simply fail to understand the authority they have

      7. They also fail to understand that God not only hears our prayers, but works through them to accomplish His will

  1. Effective Pray-ers pray according to the Will of God

    1. When we pray according to God’s will He not only hears us, He answers

      1. 1 John 5:14-15: 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

      2. We must strive to align ourselves with the will of God

    2. If something is already God’s will, then why should we bother praying about it?

      1. God is sovereign but He chooses to move through the prayers of His people

      2. He reveals His will to those who walk closely with Him

    3. The Holy Spirit will lead us to pray according to the Father’s will

      1. Romans 8:27: 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

      2. John 16:13: 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

  1. Effective pray-ers recognize the seasons of the soul

    1. Spiritual life is a living thing with different seasons

      1. There are dry seasons we go through where it feels our prayers go no higher than the ceiling

      2. Also seasons of incredible intimacy with God

    2. What does it mean when a person is said to be experiencing a dry season of the soul?

    3. A dry season can feel as if God is silent, distant, unresponsive

      1. But the dry season actual does a very deep work inside of us

      2. They can come as a result of sustained seasons of demanding duty, unrelenting temptation, personal tragedy, trying to do it in our own strength, attacks of antagonism and criticism, unresolved doubts, neglect of basic disciplines, and known disobedience

      3. But it usually points to God birthing something in us and through us

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