David introduced the elders’ hope for Windsor for 2023 that it would be set aside as a year of prayer, both by individuals and by the church.
A praying life is a life infused with prayer, a life where prayer is a daily delight and discipline. It’s about connection with our Father as well as being a biblical command and expectation and is part and parcel of being a follower of Jesus.
Jesus prayed a lot:
He often got up early to pray
He spent whole nights in prayer
He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears
The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus as he prayed
He was transfigured in front of Peter, James and John as he prayed
The night before he died, he prayed in the Garden
And finally, he died praying.
So how do we do this? We need to WANT to do it, PLAN to do it, MAKE TIME to do it and SHOW UP.
As was the ancient custom in the times of Daniel and Jesus, there would be routine times for prayer: morning, afternoon and evening. What is our current commitment?
Prayer is an interactive conversation with God and the key way God communicates with us is through His word, the Bible.
Eugene Peterson, the author of The Message, often said:
As we listen to His living and active word, we should respond in prayer speaking to Him in response to what He says to us.
We should meditate on God’s word on a daily basis as part of our prayer life, reading a few verses, re-reading, dwelling on it, digesting it and absorbing it. This will fuel our conversation and connection with God.
Another important aspect of our prayer life is praying with others (corporate prayer) and is key to church life. The book of Acts identifies 14 different examples of corporate prayer.
Jesus also gave his disciples and us a blueprint for praying – The Disciples’ Prayer from Matthew chapter 6.
David closed the message by telling us that prayer is the lifeblood of each Christian and every church and he ended with this quotation from American theologian Tim Keller: