Prayer is how we connect with God, experience his presence, and open ourselves up to his transforming work. As a spiritual discipline, it can become a habit — easy, automatic, almost second-nature. But new habits to take time to form. We have to learn the rudiments and practice them first before the patterns form in our minds, hearts, and spirits.
With that in mind, I want to encourage everyone to take steps toward establishing the habit of prayer in your life. A good place to begin is by setting aside some time each day to pray. Pick a time, pick a place, set an appointment with God, and don’t miss it! But what do you say during that time?
For the past two weeks, we have been looking at Jesus’ teaching on how to pray (and how not to pray!) in Matthew 6. The Lord’s Prayer provides Christians with an example of how God wants us to pray, so why not allow it to serve as the structure for your own prayers? As the Heidelberg Catechism explains each part of the Lord’s Prayer, it also gives us some good words to help us get started in our own prayer lives. You can find the catechism’s teaching on prayer in Q&A 116 through Q&A 129, and it is available online here!
I’ve made a video that demonstrates how you could use the catechism to structure your prayer time. You might even want to play this video and pray along in your own words.
I hope this helps! Let’s be a praying church! And let’s start the prayer habit in our prayer closets, but let’s not leave it there. Let’s let it overflow into every area of life so we can obey Paul’s command to “pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17).
Written by Bill Whitt, Lead Pastor