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Village Church of Lincolnshire

Spiritual Disciplines – Prayer

A Personal Guide to Prayer

Pastor Casey Dwyer

Remember Jesus’ guidance

  • Prayer is not a performance for God, others, or us.
  • Prayer is personal connection with God our Father
  • Prayer is prioritizing God’s kingdom in our lives

Reset your mind

  • When you sit down to pray, ask yourself some questions. Respond to each answer with a short prayer as listed below:
    • Why is my soul downcast?
      Lord have mercy
    • Why is my heart heavy?
      Lord, have mercy
    • Where in my life have I forgotten God’s kingdom?
      Lord have mercy
    • What is causing me to be distracted?
      Lord have mercy
    • What do I feel like I need for my life to be full?
      Lord have mercy
    • What would it look like for me to focus on God right now?
      Lord have mercy

Rest in God’s love

  • “Our Father…”
  • Tell God what it means to you be connected with him by faith. Thank him for his presence. Take a moment to bask in his mercy and grace. Talk to him as you would talk to a friend
  • Scripture: Exodus 33:11; Psalm 63:1-4; Romans 5:1-11

Recognize his holiness

  • “…who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
  • Tell God what is true about him: that he is all perfection, goodness, and beauty, that in him there is no darkness at all but only holy light. Reflect on how wonderful it is that God, who is all holy, was decided to be your Father in Christ Jesus, to draw near to you in love.
  • Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-7; Matthew 11: 25-30; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Re-orient your desires around his kingdom and will

  • “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
  • Ask God to form your thoughts, intentions, and desires around his kingdom work. Ask him to give you a heart for his service. Pray for the church local and universal. Pray for your heart and those places where your desires run contrary to (or seem more important than) God’s will. Commit to him in prayer to hear his word more faithfully and to use your time, resources, and gifts for the good of the kingdom.
  • Scripture: Psalm 37:4; 119:17-24; Matthew 6:33; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Request his protection against need and sin

  • “Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
  • Tell God honestly what your needs are. Confess those places and times that you have forgotten his presence, fell to temptation, or missed the mark. Express to God the struggles you have to follow him, and ask him to strengthen you. Read these words of Jesus prayer as a promise, that he will give you what you need (even if that’s not always what you want), that he will forgive you as you forgive others, and that he will never lead you into temptation but deliver you from evil.

Refuse to live in bitterness

  • “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
  • Reflect to God the struggles you’ve had to forgive specific people. Name them by name. Tell God your complaint against them. Then, reflect on God’s mercy. Let God remind you of the Spirit’s power, the love of Jesus, and the depth of the cross. Reflect on Jesus words to the Father, while suffering death, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Ask God to reveal how bitterness might have crept up in your life, and ask him to fill you with the Spirit of forgiveness, to move you one step closer to blessing those who curse you, to loving your enemies, to living the kind of Jesus-life to which you are called.
  • Exodus 34:6-8; Luke 23:32-34; Acts 7:54-60

Re-engage in the world with new eyes

  • Exit your prayer time committed to giving this day as a living sacrifice to God. Be open to the Spirit’s work in everything you do. Feel God’s closeness and breathe in his Spirit. In Christ, all things are made new!
Pastor Casey is the Associate Pastor at Village Church of Lincolnshire. He graduated from Trinity International University with a B.A. In pre-seminary studies in 2018, and from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Mdiv) in 2019. You can read Casey's thoughts on his blog, https://revivalrenewal.wordpress.com/.