These are my notes for our 10/23/2011 church meeting.
Leader: Raymond Harris
This request is for our worship together on Sunday, 10/23. I am asking each one to write down one of your prayers and keep it for the 23rd. You will not be asked to read it aloud. If you want you may. I am asking for you to have this accomplished by Sunday the 16th. The 16th I will give the rest of the instructions and I don't want those to influence your written prayer. Thank you!
After having written one of our own prayers down as an exercise to actually be able to see to some degree our own style of praying (please do this before reading scriptures). Now let's read some prayers from some of the old testament characters. This is not to say in any way our prayers are not pleasing to God. We will discuss what we see as meaningful and effective ways of expressing their heart's to God. These prayers are written for our learning. May we each grow in expressing our hearts to God!
Ex. 33:12-23; Num. 12:13; 14:13-21; Job 7:17-21; 10:1-22; 40:3-5; 42:1-6; Psalm 8:1-9; 16:7-11; 42:1-11; 51:1-13; 57:1-11; 71:1-24; 73:21-28; 102:1-4; 103:1-22; 139:23-24; Dan. 2:17-23.
Remember to begin with prayer!
This was an interesting learning experience for me. It revealed that I have been seriously deficient in my prayer quality, and that, despite my efforts to improve in this area, I have not yet established consisted dedicated time for prayer and that I have done a poor job of praying for our list of requests. As I write this, I pray for GOD to help me improve in prayer. Here is an excerpt of my written prayer from part 1 of this exercise:
This has shown me that I do not spend enough time in prayer, that my prayers are still largely self-centered, and that I am not asking for big enough things on a regular basis. Father, help me transform my prayers into more than this! Help me to pray BIG! You are so much more powerful than this, GOD. Forgive me for limiting you in my prayers. I am overcome by feelings of sadness at this recognition.
As far as comparing my prayer to the various prayers recorded in the scriptures above, they obviously did a better job of expressing their love and magnification of GOD, and I found that their needs were often quite great during these times. This has matched my own personal experience that my prayers are more fervent as the perceived need for help was greater. Sadly, the reality is that we are always in deep and total dependent need for GOD's help.