How to Pray
9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13
This past Sunday we introduced prayer as one of the keys to church planting - if we are going to do this church planting thing well, then it is essential that our church is a praying church. And not only should we be a praying church, but there are also specific things as a church that we should be praying for.
If I am being honest, I have not always had the best prayer life, and I am sure that others can relate to me. I have not always found or taken the time to pray, I have not know what to pray for, or I have felt like I did not know how to approach God in prayer.
If we want to be a praying church than it is important for our people to know how to pray, and to know what to be praying for. That is why we introduced a two-fold prayer model, which would 1) show us how to pray and 2) help guide us with what we should be praying for, especially in terms of what to pray for LifeSpring Church. To do this we used to acronyms.
First, be HIS.
Honor. First begin with giving God praise. Give Him glory. Give Him honor. Jesus started His model prayer this way... “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” We need to learn to praise Him and lift Him up because as we do our problems and the things we face get smaller and smaller.
Inspection. After we honor God, take some time to go internal. Search yourself and ask God to search you. Do an inspection. This "self-surgery" is painful but releasing and liberating at the same time. Confess to God. Admit you are a sinner again. And repent. Remove anything that is getting in the way of your relationship with Him and seek His forgiveness in Christ all over again.
Surrender. Lastly, give yourself to Him again. Relinquish the control that you are holding on to and let Him sit on His throne again. Give yourself to Him, offer your obedience and your life. Yield to Him, and surrender.
This is how we pray. Once we grasp this model, we are still left with the question of what we should be praying for. What is it that LifeSpring Church is asking God to do? In order to do this we must PLEAD.
Plan. Pray for God’s plan. Pray that His will will be done. That we would know it, and that we would have the boldness and the strength to do it. We want to walk and work in His ways.
Leaders. Pray for those leading us that they would be in tune with God, have limitless wisdom and strength, and that God would guard them from attacks, sin, and mistakes. Pray for more leaders: small group leaders, serve team leaders, ministry leaders. Pray that God would send us more and more workers for the harvest.
Encounters. Pray for every encounter we have with others - Christian and non-Christian. Pray that we would have wisdom to know what to say and do, that we would have grace, that we would make a good impression and find favor. That we would leverage every opportunity. That He would bless our community events, our services, and our conversations with lots of people, and that we would have lots of opportunities to share our story and the story of Jesus.
Attractive. Pray that we would be appealing to the community, to our friends, and to our families. Pray that people would be drawn to Christ through us. That we would be examples, and that we would be wonderfully different. Pray that we would abound in love and grace and wisdom and paint an attractive picture of Christ and Christianity. Pray that God would use us to draw people to Himself.
Difference. Pray that God would be the difference maker and make a difference in our community and in people’s lives through us. Pray that He would convict and work in such a way that our community would be different. Pray for revival and a movement of God. Pray that our area would be different because He is doing something in it.
These two acronyms are not meant to be exhaustive, but they are a good starting place for people who are struggling with how to pray and what to pray for. Our prayer is that we would become a praying church. Prayer is going to be key to launching LifeSpring Church. We will not accomplish anything if God is not a part of what we are doing, which is why we must be rooted in prayer. And the heart of our prayer is this, "Lord, make living waters spring from the lives of the people in our community. Amen."