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Outline from seminar at Reading CU houseparty:

What comes to mind when you think of “personal prayer”
What's your experience of it?
What's good? What are the struggles?
“God knows we have an allergy to prayer. God knows prayer is difficult. God knows that when we're young,
we think prayer is not doing anything and we do not have much time to pray. Prayer is one of the greatest gifts of the Gospel to the church. Prayer is the promise that God acts in response to the requests of his people.”

Mark Lauterbach

“What a man is alone on his knees before God,
that he is, and no more”

Robert Murray M'Cheyne

“Prayer is the measure of the man,
spiritually, in a way that nothing else is”

J.I. Packer

...such words can leave us in despair, but we pray because of God's to us, focussed less on our prayer and more on God.

“prayer is the chief exercise of faith and by it we daily receive God's benefits... We dig up by prayer the treasures that were pointed out by the Lord's gospel, and which faith has gazed upon”.
John Calvin

1 Timothy 1v12-2v6 – Christ our Mediator

a. The glorious gospel
Who does God save? (1v13-15)
Why does God save? (1v16-17)
How might this help us in our struggles with prayer?
b. The gospel applied
Who should we pray for? (2v1-2)
Why should we pray like this? (2v4)
(note the repeated word: all in 2v1-6)
How might this help us in our struggles with prayer?
c. Prayer is possible:
How can we pray for ourselves and others? (2v5)
How might this help us in our struggles with prayer?
“Christian prayer is only offered on the basis of our union with Christ”
Graeme Goldsworthy

“We must now examine this question. How do we receive those benefits which the Father bestowed on his only begotten Son – not for Christ's own private us, but that he might enrich poor and needly men? First, we must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value to us... [so let us] climb higher and examine the secret energy of the Spirit, by which we come to enjoy Christ and all his benefits”.
John Calvin

We seek the treasures of the gospel in prayer...

“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore”

Psalm 16v11

“One thing I have asked of the LORD,
that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple”

Psalm 27v4

“Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.”

Psalm 63v3

“For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere”

Psalm 84v19
Matthew 6 – Laying hold of the treasures of the gospel

How does Jesus teach us to pray? (6v5-6)
Why should we pray this way? (6v5-6)
Does this mean we shouldn't pray in public?
How ought this to effect the way you will pray?
“[we pray] ...that our hearts may be fired with a zealous and burning desire ever to seek, love and serve him, while we become accustomed in every need to flee to him as to a sacred anchor” -
John Calvin

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us, to the glory of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:20
Praying God's Word

1. Pray Biblical prayers.
e.g. Read Matthew 6v9-13 slowly.
In pairs take a line each and pray a brief prayer from that line,
work your way through it.

2. Pray in the passages of God's word
e.g. Slowly read through Ephesians 1v1-14 at least twice.
Turn this revelation of God into short prayers.

3. Pray in the promises of God
The writer of Psalm 119 inclines himself to God's word (v112)
and prays that God would incline his heart to God's word (v36).
e.g. James is a great source of promises
Ask: What is the promise? What action does it require? Pray that!
James 1v2-3, 1v19-21, 1v22-25, 4v6, 4v13-15.
And remember, permission to fail, grace for all our past and future failings in prayer... if you reach the end of the day prayerless, humble yourself, confess it and seek God's grace and then admit you need to sleep because you're not God after all.


  1. Hi Dave... I have lost your email address and can't find a contact thingy on bluefish.I have some questions re "prayer warriors" please email me.


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