There are more places in Scripture than I realized that tell us how to pray to God.
Where to pray:
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6.
How not to pray:
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5.
What to say when you pray:
And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
(Luke 11: 2-4).
How and why to keep on praying:
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1.
What to ask God for:
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Luke 10: 2.
Here’s the sweet story from yesterday at TechMission. Bear with me, cause I think I’m coming down with strep throat or something today (bleck).
The situation: We’re worshipping God in the conference room for 30 minutes to get the day started (Wednesdays and Fridays. Don’t be jealous). We’re hollerin out the words to Days of Elijah at the top of our lungs and praising his name.
Me: Guys, this verse says “These are the days of the harvest: The fields are as white in your world. God has no problem preparing the harvest, but what he needs are harvesters. He doesnt tell us THAT many times in the Bible to ask for certain things, but he asks us to pray to God that he’ll send workers into the fields. Then it says “we are the laborers in your vineyard.” I feel like we are laboring in this house here, to ask God to send workers out. We run ChristianVolunteering.org! We should be asking that GOD makes the people connect, and not just with a click here or an email there, but sending actual workers into the harvest!”.
All of us realize that ChristianVolunteering.org is a site that sends workers into the harvest and we need to ask God to use it or do his own thing, whatever it takes, to send those workers cause Jesus said to ask it.
I get an email a few minutes later from Ces, my coworker. He has been sending me all of the emails from organizations that received a request from volunteers to receive an application, but then never heard another word…or from volunteers that wanted to volunteer for an organization but never heard a thing. This particular email is a positive one (they did connect!) and closed with the following:
“Again, thank you so much for your endeavors and noble mission to
connect the workers for the great harvest that is ripe and ready.”
Weird timing, right? :).
I spent all last Saturday at a conference. We learned about prayer, God’s mission, and evangelism. But we did not learn how to persuade our friends or street passerby-ers. We learned how to do evangelism and discipleship as God Himself planned it out before time began–much more effective.
We learned that in Acts 8, 9 and 10, each of these stories begins with God telling a specific person to go someplace or say something, that it happened while they were praying, and that simultaneously, he was working in the hearts of the people who would be hearers. Peter went to Cornelius (both had received visions), Philip went to the Ethiopian (direct instructions and already in the Scriptures), and Ananias went to Saul (both had visions). Telling people about Christ would be much easier if you’re praying and God says, “Go buy bananas at the corner right now” and you go, then God says, “Say these words” and you say them, (and all the while God worked and already told the store owner to listen to everything you say)…that’s literally what was happening in Acts 8-10. This all blew my mind and taught me to pray differently, take obedience more seriously and listen closely. I need to listen harder and more often, truly.
So what did we do? We decide that instead of grabbing dinner, we’re going to the mall to walk around and pray and listen. If God says “Speak to that person”, do it. If He does not say anything to do, keep praying.
On the way to the mall, i felt something in my spirit say, “If anyone is sitting alone, speak to them about me.” I was like: HAHA RIGHT. IMAGINATION. WHATEVERR. Then we went to the food court to pray and watch for people sitting alone. There was one guy, and he left right away–but after a couple minutes, ONE girl comes and sits RIGHT next to us at a table. alone. just her. for a while.
Betsy Hill comes by and says, “Becca. On the way here God said, ‘Tell Becca Nelson that if she hears something from me, don’t doubt it”. So I hop over to the other table and ask to sit. I ask to pray for Sherry (not her real name, but eh) and she says she needs an apartment. So we pray for it. Then I explain that on a Saturday night, God spoke to two people to transmit to her that He is seeking her out. He loves her—and there’s more than working in the mall and wondering about things. She told me she doesn’t really know the whole story yet, is interested in coming to church with me, and heard from God this week through a “Message from God” facebook application. “It says not to worry but i often worry about the end of the world coming.” We swapped emails and became friends on facebook. She’s awesome, and i hope we spend more time together. It was totally crazy though. Clearly (just as we heard during the day), God worked in me, in Betsy and IN Sherry before I walked over. It was a sweet spot for me to be in cause i got to see and be a part of God’s mission, but I did NOTHING except what he had planned…
So pray. Listen. Ask God to send workers. Ask God to send you! Obey what he tells you to do. Enjoy His awesomeness.