I am a leader of one of the Small Groups at my church. I wanted to lead this particular group discussion because of how dear it is to my own life. The Small Group is called Private Prayer Life.
In Matthew 6:6, Jesus told us to pray in secret. Jesus also prayed in secret, and we’re blessed to know some of what He said and experienced during those private times because we have a written record of His perfect prayers to God. So it is when we share, not all, but some of what we experience during our private prayer times.
Every Christian has a private prayer life and each of us approaches this part of our relationship with God differently. As I sit and listen to the members of the small group share stories of their encounters with the Lord, I am astounded by how freely they share and how expressive they become as they detail precious moments of their varying experiences.
As our faces differ, so do the ways we pray. Some of us like to walk and pray. Others prefer to kneel, while others sit in a comfortable rocking chair while they dialogue with our heavenly Father. There are those who love praying early in the morning. Quite a few people like to pray at night when everyone is asleep and there are no texts, calls or emails triggering notifications on their cell phones.
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What we say to God during our intimate times with Him also differ. I have met individuals who declare that they never pray for themselves because they believe they’re only to pray for other people. They have a special calling—that’s for sure. Jesus said that when we pray, we can ask for what we want and believe that we receive the answer we’re requesting and our prayers will be answered.
Why do we pray? We can’t provide all that we need. Only God can. Yes, of course, we work and we get a paycheck or our retirement checks. Yet, we know that all of those blessings come from God. As Deuteronomy 8:18 declares, But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. If it weren’t for God, we wouldn’t have the right or the ability to get what God has graciously allowed us to receive.
All that we need is in prayer, which is where we can clearly hear God’s Holy Spirit speak to us concerning what God wants to do for us. Then, according to that information He revealed, we’ll know how to continue praying about that need because He told us what He wants to do about our situation. All of this and more are all a part of your private prayer life.
During one of my private times in prayer, I told God that I loved His presence. He responded, Son, I love your presence also. I was so deeply moved. God loves your presence. Go to Him. He’s waiting.
Shane Wall is the Senior Pastor of The Feast of the Lord in Orangeburg.