What To Teach a New Disciple About Prayer

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We have already established that in discipleship, Jesus is our example. We also established that the end goal of discipleship is to become more like Jesus.

Jesus was a man of prayer. He prayed early in the morning. He prayed before big decisions. He prayed for his disciples. He prayed before going to the cross. He prayed before casting out demons and doing miracles.

Jesus prayed all the time.

We should as well.

Jesus discipled his followers in how to pray. That is how we got the Lord’s prayer – a direct response to his followers’ request to learn to pray as Jesus prayed.

Just as Jesus taught his disciples to pray, we learn to pray and we teach those we disciple to pray. Prayer is not just something you learn. It is something you experience. It is about more than technique. It is about connection and relationship.

Here are a few important aspects of prayer that disciples of Jesus need to experience and pass on to others:

1 – If there is any spiritual weapon at our disposal and disciples of Jesus it is prayer.

Paul wrote that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers of darkness (Eph 6:12). The next thing he teaches on is the armor of God. He mentions one weapon – the sword of the Spirit and he immediately follows that with instructions on prayer,

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” – Eph 6:18-20

Paul understood that prayer is a weapon that we wield against the powers of darkness. When we get to praying the powers of darkness get to moving because they know that when we pray, God will respond and that is bad news for them. The powers of darkness will do whatever it takes to prevent you from praying or make your prayers so routine that they are meaningless and powerless so that they don’t have to be challenged.

2 – You cannot pray enough.

Paul wrote to “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5. Again, we cannot pray enough. Pray about everything just like you would talk with a close friend about everything. Ask God about every decision you make – ask for His wisdom (James 1:5) and guidance to lead you in the right path.

3 – Pray specifically

When we pray broad, general prayers it can be harder to notice when God answers. Praying with specificity (and for God’s will to be done) allows us to notice His answer. Often we will hear the same specific verbiage we have been praying be said by someone who doesn’t know we are praying. It is a God nudge. Ask God even for the things that you know you can easily provide for yourself. And then see how He answers!

4 – Pray boldly

In James 1:6-8 James wrote this,

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

Rather than pray with doubts we pray with boldness to the God who is able. So pray big, bold prayers…prayers larger than our ability…prayers with outcomes larger than what we can produce on our own. Pray for that 100 times increase. God is bigger than any prayer we can pray so we can pray with great boldness!

5 – Pray as you go through your day.

This, again, is part of praying without ceasing…pray as you walk down the sidewalk. Ask God for an encounter with someone who needs the Lord. Watch God provide. Pray as you go in a restaurant for lunch. Ask God to seat you where you can have the most kingdom impact…then watch God work! Pray as you park your car, not for a spot closest to where you are going but for a spot closest to the person you need to encounter. God will provide that person! When you pray like this you literally watch God answer your prayers in real time and in ways that are undeniably God!

These are a few of the things we teach those we disciple about prayer. We model it. Teach it. And engage in it with people so that they can draw closer to God and teach this to others. We also teach a few other prayer tools like the ACTS prayer and the prayer wheel. We have also developed a prayer team that we send out requests to and a prayer zoom that meets every Saturday night at 8pm central for 15 minutes to pray for God to move mightily on Sunday!

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