Are you satisfied with the effectiveness of your prayers?
Would you like to learn how to pray more effectively?
Have you ever thought about finding a coach to help you in that process? Wait a minute now, whoever heard of a “Prayer Coach”? Actually, I have someone to recommend in just a minute.
Think about it.
If your kids play basketball at school, they have a coach to teach them, encourage and correct them, to make them better players individually and for the team.
Or let’s say you play golf professionally and want to really improve your game, you hire a coach to help you achieve your goals.
Whatever sport or an activity you can imagine, there is a coach for it. And one of the most popular areas for coaching today is life itself. Everyone and his brother seems to be setting up shop as a Life Coach these days.
What is a Prayer Coach?
So if you can have a coach in all these other areas of your life, why not have a coach for one of the most important aspects of your life? That’s right, someone to coach you how to pray.
And a lot of people have stepped up to the plate to do just that.
Just think for a minute of the countless Bible studies, sermons, books, seminars, workshops, classes, retreats, videos, etc. about how to pray that have been published, preached and promulgated over the centuries.
Wouldn’t it be great to have someone teach you how to pray, not so much saying the right words as purifying your motives? Someone to encourage you to keep going when things get tough and correct any mistakes you might be making?
Recently I discovered someone who has been coaching me on how to pray more effectively and I would like to recommend his services to you. I’m not saying you should stop reading your favorite books about how to pray or quit listening to what your favorite preacher has to say about how to pray. But this guy really know his stuff.
And the great thing is, he keeps it really simple and straight forward.
Sometimes my prayers get way too complicated. Too wordy, too long and laborious.
If you’re like me, you may catch yourself begging God for something you desperately want or pleading for something you don’t really deserve. Or what about asking for forgiveness when you haven’t truly repented in your heart?
Or sometimes you just say the words of a prayer and that is all they are, just words. Hollow. Empty. Unfulfilled. Meaningless.
Well, my new prayer coach is helping me see how to cut to the chase and focus on the important aspects of prayer.
My prayer coach is Jesus.
And as I said, I highly recommend his services. No you can’t literally sit at his feet and take a prayer coaching class from him. But you can read and study everything he said about how to pray and follow his example of how he prayed.
Jesus taught a simple little prayer which we call the Lord’s Prayer. And the more we imbibe the spirit of this short prayer, the more we witness its power in our own lives and the world.
Before Jesus teaches his followers this prayer, he says we should pray in “this manner.” He did not want us to just mindlessly repeat the words over and over. He wanted us to drink in the deeper meaning of his words.
Who did Jesus tell us to pray to? (a) God (b) Jesus (c) the Holy Ghost (d) the Virgin Mother (e) the Saints (f) our deceased relatives.
The correct answer is (a). We are supposed to pray to Our Father which is in heaven, God himself. Jesus never instructs us to pray to him. We can ask and pray in his name, but we always should pray to the Father Himself. This is what your prayer coach is telling you.
I have a friend who always prays to Jesus. I pointed this verse out to him and he had trouble with it because he was taught as a young child to pray to Jesus. He didn’t want to be disrespectful to Jesus. But if you want to follow Jesus, you should obey his instructions, which includes praying to the Father.
Jesus said “Our Father”–His Father, your Father and my Father. Our Father. We have the same heavenly Father Jesus has. And when we say “Our Father,” we are praying right along with Jesus and everyone else who is the child of God. In those two words, we must acknowledge that our spiritual brothers and sisters have the same Father we do.
There is no “I” in the Lord’s Prayer. It is all “we, our and us.” We usually say “we” but do we sometimes just think about ourselves?
How do your prayers start?
The first half of the Lord’s Prayer is all about who God is. This is the way we should start our prayers. Usually we start with the problem. But that’s not how Jesus is teaching/coaching us how to pray.
The rest of the prayer deals with our needs, our challenges, our sins and overcoming temptation. It ends with a bold declaration of God’s supremacy. Do your prayers end with this same spirit of absolute conviction of God being in complete control of everything in heaven and earth? Let Jesus coach you on this point. He knows you can do it or he wouldn’t expect and require it of you.
Jesus is your Prayer Coach.
Listen to him. Take the Lord’s Prayer and go through it as if Jesus was sitting there with you saying, “This is the WAY (not so much the words) I want you to pray. Look at it in a fresh way. What is the spirit of each line in the prayer? What is the message and promise of each line?
He says lots of other things about prayer in the Gospels, especially the Sermon on the Mount. Read and study these Scriptures like they were a textbook on how to pray: a blueprint for success, a game plan.
Follow your Prayer Coach’s instructions. Do what Jesus tells you and your prayers will become more effective.
I have shared just a few insights here. I could go on and on about what I have discovered, but you need to discover them for yourself. And as always, I’d love to hear your inspiration. Please share your thoughts in the comment section.