Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Learning to Talk to God...and Teaching How! And, Announcing our "He IS Able Card of the Week" Winner!

Hi Friends~

I'm so sorry this didn't get to be the early post I wanted this to be!  It was storming from before I woke up until just recently.  And, I am trying to hurry before the next storm.  This is traditional Florida weather with a twist.  It doesn't usually storm in the morning...it usually is in the late afternoon only! 

OK-- I read a wonderful article in the Discipleship Journal, Nov./Dec. 2003.
It shares about teaching children to pray, especially using Scripture in their prayer.  Something that I have really gone back to doing.  I find a different depth in my time with Him.  The article is about teaching children to pray in this manner.  I hope you will look at it as a tool that you can use to teach anyone to pray with Scripture.  And, if you don't pray in this way, I hope you will be convinced to give it a try.  I am not going to quote the article...the author, however is Lee Braes.

Prayer is learned the same way a child is taught to talk and learn as they grow.  They learn by listening.  As we all do.  The children then add the next step...they listen and then they imitate the sounds they hear.  They may not get it just right...it's a process.  That is how they learn to speak...and that is how we learn to pray.  Jesus knew that the Disciples would need to be shown how to pray. 

 "And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
And He said unto them, When ye pray, say,
 Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so in earth.
 Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation;
 but deliver us from evil."(Luke 11:1-4 KJV)

Samuel Chadwick said, "The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray."

In the Bible there are prayers for many different occasions.  There are prayers for: praise, pain, warfare, thanks, grief, frustrations, joy and many other reasons.   As I said, this article teaches how to teach someone to pray using Scripture. 

If someone has the burden of stress for example, the author would lead them to one of David's prayers.  He would take them to Psalm 57:2-4 or perhaps Psalm 63.  Mr. Brase remembers that prayer is a language.  And tries to help people use the words of Moses of David, Paul or Jesus.  When David was fleeing from Saul, he prayed:

"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me. 
 He sends from Heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me.
 God sends forth His love and His faithfulness.

I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,  whose tongues are sharp swords."
(Psalm 57:2-4)

These words may have fit David's situation perfectly as he called out to God.  The people that we are discipling these days are facing their own struggles and battles.  The author suggests this to the person he is mentoring:

"Father, I am in the midst of a lot of uncertainty and stress.  I feel as if my life is being drained out of me."  It is very important that people state things as they are to the Lord, and not to try to sugar coat things or tone them down. Tell Him how you are really feeling. You don't need to worry about venting to Him.  Just be honest.  Pray specifically. 

Let's look at the prayer of David again:

"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from Heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me.
God sends forth His love and His faithfulness.
I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords."
(Psalm 57:2-4)

The next step is to help people observe the heart and vision of the person whose prayer is recorded in the Bible.  Ask these following questions about David as he prayed.  (I am quoting this section by Lee Brase.  He was the international prayer-ministry coordinator for The Navigators.  He is also the author of several books.)

"1.  What were the circumstances surrounding the prayer?  What caused the person to cry out to God?

2.  What did the person believe about God?  What titles did he use for God?  What kind of attitude did he display toward Him?  What did he recall about God?

These are critical questions because our concept of God will determine how we talk to Him; it determines what we can believe Him for.  In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus believed that God was the Heavenly Father.  This concept of God spurred Jesus to ask for the Father's will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  It also caused Jesus to believe that the loving Father would give His children food, forgiveness and protection.  For novices in prayer, the study of God Himself is more important than the study of other prayer topics, such as spiritual warfare, which can be covered as their prayer lives mature.

3.  What is the major content of the prayer?

"They raised their voices together in prayer to God. 
 "Sovereign Lord," they said, "You made the heaven and the earth
and the sea, and everything in them."  Acts 4:24

"Now Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak Your Word with great boldness.  Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your Holy Servant Jesus."  vv.29-30

It is essential to take beginners in prayer to passages such as that one.  That's how they learn to pray about what's on God's heart rather than praying in a self-absorbed way.

4.  What if anything, did the person ask God to do?  It can be surprising to see what someone in the Scriptures requested in light of his apparent needs.

5.  What did the person expect to see changed as the result of prayer?  This question is closely related to the preceding one.  It's valuable to examine Scripture to see how God answered a particular prayer.

6.  If you are looking at an Old Testament prayer, how might that person have prayed in light of the death and resurrection of Christ?  As a general rule, New Testament prayers are primarily concerned with the inner life of God's people, not with the destruction of an enemy or physical needs. For instance, David often asked God to destroy his enemies.  When Jesus came, however, He told us to pray for our enemies, not against them.

 "But I tell you, love your enemies and
pray for those who persecute you..." Matthew 5:44

In the Old Testament, the blessings of God on His people were usually directed toward the fruitfulness of their land.  This was because God's people lived in one location:  Israel.  The fruitfulness of their land was a sign to other nations that the God of Israel was blessing them.  In the New Testament, God's people are scattered throughout the world.  His blessing has to do with fruitfulness in their lives. 

"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:8

Discipling others in prayer goes well beyond helping them learn to pray for a given situation:  The goal is to help them become attentive to God and to grow into people who long to communicate openly and to live in utter dependence upon Him.  When these things happen, prayer becomes the rich, organic language it's meant to be.


When I pray, I try to actually use the Words of Scripture in my prayer.  I find that it helps me concentrate on who He is, and it helps me to memorize Scripture and store it in my heart.  I concentrate on who He is first...before asking for the prayer need, or for forgiveness.  I remind Him that I know what He has done as The Great Physician, for example,...and use Scriptures even if I do not know the words perfectly! This helps me focus on His Mightiness...His Wonder...His Worthiness! 

Question:  When you pray...do you have a certain order of things that you pray for?  Do you relate to Him as the Mighty One He is?  Or do you just start listing all of the needs you know of?  I really am curious.  We have all been raised by different people...unless you are relatives--lol...  Please take a second and share about your Prayer Life.  I would love to learn from reading your comments...I am sure others would also.

Today's "He IS Able Card of the Week" Winner is Becky!
Becky writes a very inspirational blog with wonderful cards every time! It is called A Diamond in the Rough.   I love how she shares her personal experiences with our Lord so openly. Anyone reading her blog, will learn a lot about Jesus, and how she shares her day with Him. Her cards are very creative and very beautiful. You really should check her blog out.  It is listed with the list of blogs on the side bar.  Please let her know you learned about her blog from the He IS Able blog.  

Please be sure to leave your comment, prayer request, prayer in response to someone else's need, or the answer to my questions  (above) in the comment section before Tuesday evening at 8pm.  I really would like to learn about your prayer style.  Thanks for being here!

He IS Able!
Traci S.


  1. Praying for each one of you who come across this blog who have burdens and things that you need lifted up to our heavenly Father in prayer. . . Please know that we stand with you and will pray for you, the bible says “when two or more are gathered in my name I will be there” that verse gives me so much hope and I envision Christ with us when we pray, “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” what a perfect love Christ has for us, he also prays and intercedes on our behalf – he knows the power of prayer and joins and intercedes for us. Remember, all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me (us). Give praise and thanks for all that he has done and will do and is doing that we can not yet see with our human eyes. Thanking Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit. God is worthy to be praised. Michele G

  2. I talk to God about what is going on in my life and ask for His guidance. Prayer is a major part of my life. I am sure I have posted that I pray when ever I am doing boring chores and as I walk. I don't cite bible verses as part of my prayers. I do read the bible.
    I pray daily for everyone. I believe we all need God's intervention in our lives.

    As an adult, I am so very thankful that my mother stressed prayer. As a child I didn't really get it. As a matter of fact, I thought it was a waste of my time. God didn't listen to me. The things I prayed for I never got.
    Blessings! Joan

  3. Michele and Joan, what beautiful messages you shared! I thank both of you for pointing out different nuances of prayer.

    Joan, perhaps God didn't answer your prayers when you were a child, praying even though you thought it was a waste of time...perhaps (I believe) He had greater plans for your life...a different path for you to go...to reach your desires...or better yet...His Greatest Desires for your life! Blessings and Love and Appreciation to both of you!

    He IS Able,
    Traci S.

  4. Traci- I am praying for your recovery. Your health has been a struggle. Through it all you have remained faithful to God's word. I get discouraged and disappointed dealing with health issues. You are an example to me. Blessings and prayers always.


Thank you so much for leaving your thoughts, ideas,prayer requests and comments! We love to read them all! And, if you had a prayer request, the Prayer Team will begin praying for your needs today. God Bless!