Summary: A two week series looking at spiritual habits we can do on our own with God.
-so here we are in the second part of our series about being alone with God. Ideally, everyone should be spending some time with God all by themselves, as much as possible when you really think about it.
-so for these two weeks we’re talking about how you can maximize your time with God, the things you can do when you’re alone, just you and Him.
-last week we talked about Reading Your Bible. When you’re alone with God, how His Word is a great way to hear from Him. We talked about the different types of Scripture, how to read the Bible, but most importantly, that you need to be living it out. Remember our two big questions, “what is this saying” and “how do I live it out”.
-this week we continue the series talking about prayer.
-now I think everyone knows prayer is good. And I think most people have a basic idea of what prayer is: talking to God. But what does that look like? How can we do it the best way possible?
-so let’s take a look at it. Here are some things to think about.
-here’s an age old question. How much time is right for prayer? If I pray only fifteen minutes am I less holy than the person who prays an hour? What if they do nothing but ask stuff of God for an hour, is it time or content?
-when it comes to praying, I think it’s exactly like talking with your friends. You need both short times and longer times/ You need quick and you need deep.
-I’ll explain. You all text. You manage to tell something to your friends in 160 letters or less. I think there are times when you should have “texting” prayers to God. When someone asks you to pray for something, why not say a short prayer in your head right then and there? It’s a great idea!
-but there are also times you need to have real conversations. No relationship is built on little texts alone. At some point you have to sit down and have real conversations, real discussions with real issues being dealt with or even just sitting around chatting.
-it’s great to have short prayers when things are on your mind, but you also need to have real conversations with God just like you do in any other relationship.
-I’ve heard it said this way. Food. Food is good. And it’s not a bad thing to eat little snacks throughout the day. But at some point, your body is going to need a meal, not a granola bar. You will need to eat all the food groups, sit down and digest it, your body needs meals.
-your soul needs meals. Your soul needs time alone with God where it’s just you and Him having a real conversation, not little text prayers.
-Jesus is the ultimate example of this. He would give little prayers all the time, we read about them all through the gospels, “Father, please heal them”, etc. But there’s also verses like this:
**Luke 5:16 -> 16But Jesus often slipped away to be alone so He could pray. (NCV)
-Jesus did this. He often made sure He had a chance to be alone and talk to God, just He and His Father.
-now think for a minute, if Jesus, God in human flesh needed to have time alone with God, don’t you think we need it too?
-yes, we need short little prayers, but we also need long periods of time, time just you and God to talk.
-but what do you talk about? “So God, did you see the hockey game? My Canadiens suck.” Well we have an example for that too.
2. WHAT TO SAY
-now, there is no magic formula for what to say, except for the one Jesus gave us.
**Matt. 6:7-13 -> 7“Don’t recite the same prayer over and over as the heathen do, who think prayers are answered only by repeating them again and again. Remember, your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him! 9“Pray along these lines: ‘Our Father in heaven, we honor Your holy name. 10We ask that Your kingdom will come now. May Your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. 11Give us our food again today, as usual, 12and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. 13Don’t bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One. Amen.’ “ (LB)
-I love how that translation puts it, “don't recite the same prayer over and over again”, then Jesus gives us this example of prayer, which we recite over and over again. Jesus wasn’t saying these words are magical, but He was giving us an example of prayer to follow.