Four More Quotations on Prayer

CBR001323Last week, I shared four quotations on prayer from my message “Making Space for Prayer.” Here are four more quotations from my message, “Praying Like a Master,” which is the second  part of our series “The Art of Prayer” at Eastbrook Church.

“The Lord’s prayer is the essence of prayer. The essence and limit of all the disciples’ praying may be found in it.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 4 (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001), 155.

“The major preoccupation of children who come into their Father’s presence in prayer is not that we may receive what we need but that He may receive what He deserves – which is honor to His name, the spread of His kingdom, the doing of His will.” – John R. W. Stott, Sermon: “Growth in the Prayer Life,” 20 August 1989.

“All of the strength that comes in prayer comes from the goodness of God, for he is the goodness of everything.” – Julian of Norwich in Devotional Classics, revised edition, edited by Richard J. Foster and James Bryan Smith (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 2005), 77.

“Christ hath put it [the power of prayer] into the hands of men, and the prayers of men have saved cities and kingdom from ruin; prayer hath raised dead men to life, hath stopped the violence of fire, shut the mouths of wild beasts, altered the course of nature, caused rain in Egypt and drought in the sea. Prayer rules over all gods; it arrests the sun in its course and stays the chariot wheels of the moon; it reconciles our suffering and weak faculties with the violence of torment and the violence of persecution; it pleases God and supplies all our need.” – Jeremy Taylor, The Rules and Exercises of Holy Living, quoted in Ronald Dunn, Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1992), 113.

Praying Like a Master (discussion questions)

Art of Prayer Series Gfx_App Square Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Praying Like a Master,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the second of a three-part series, “The Art of Prayer,” looking at Jesus’ approach to the life of prayer from the Gospel of Luke. This week we looked at Luke 11:1-13.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the best gift you ever received from a parent or grandparent? How did it shape the way you viewed them?
  2. This week we continue our series “The Art of Prayer” from the Gospel of Luke. As you begin your study, ask God to guide you into a deeper life of prayer with Him. Then, whether you are with a group or on your own, read Luke 11:1-13 aloud.
  3. This passage is the longest stretch of teaching on prayer in Luke’s Gospel. What do you notice about the beginning of this teaching? What prompts Jesus to teach on prayer?
  4. Luke 11:2-4 parallels Matthew 6:9-13 and is usually known as The Lord’s Prayer. It is really the disciples’ prayer, showing us the heart of what Christian prayer is all about. Why do you think it is significant that we address God as ‘Father’ when we pray?
  5. Jewish prayers or benedictions often included mention of God’s name and kingdom. What would you say is the importance of this aspect of Jesus’ model prayer in verse 2?
  6. What are the three main requests in the prayer found in verses 3-4?
  7. Some traditions encourage believers to regularly say the words of this prayer together to shape our minds, desires and language for prayer around Jesus’ teaching. Take a moment, whether on your own or with others, to slowly pray these words back to God. Perhaps you may want to take some extended time on each phrase, lifting up your own words related to the phrase you just prayed.
  8. The small parable in Luke 11:5-8 aims to help us understand our approach to prayer through an argument from smaller to greater. The Middle Eastern value of hospitality figures prominently in this parable as hosts are obligated to thoroughly care for guests. What does this parable teach us about our approach to prayer?
  9. Jesus offers three significant words that describe the life of prayer in Luke 11:9-10. How would you defined them:
    • “ask”:
    • “seek”:
    • “knock”:
  1. How have you experienced prayer as asking, seeking, and knocking? How might you grow in that?
  2. The final illustration in verses 11-13 is another comparison from smaller to greater similar to the parable in verses 5-8. What would you say is Jesus’ point in this illustration?
  3. What is one significant thing you are learning through this study? How might you put that into practice this week as you pray? Whether on your own or with a group, take some time to pray based off of what God was speaking to you during this study.

[Next week we continue our series on prayer by looking at Jesus’ labor of prayer in Luke 22:39-46. Read that passage ahead of time to prepare.]

Praying Like a Master

Art of Prayer Series Gfx_App WideI continue our series, “The Art of Prayer,” this past weekend at Eastbrook with a message entitled “Praying Like a Master” from Luke 11:1-13. Jesus is the Master of prayer, and if we want to truly learn about prayer then we must apprentice ourselves to the Master. When the disciples had spent enough time with Jesus, they asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). With the disciples, we need to learn from Jesus’ essential teaching on prayer.

You can watch the message here, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.


The What of Prayer (Luke 11:1-4)

Addressing the Father

Declaring His Name and His Kingdom

Requesting what we need: provision, forgiveness, endurance


The How of Prayer (Luke 11:5-10)

With shameless audacity

By asking, seeking, knocking


The Who of Prayer (Luke 11:11-13)

The Father above all fathers

The Gift above all gifts

Four Quotations on Prayer

CBR001323This past weekend in my message “Making Space for Prayer,” the first part of our series “The Art of Prayer” at Eastbrook Church, I shared four quotations on prayer that many people asked me about later. Here they are for your edification.

“The truth is that we only learn to pray all the time everywhere after we have set about praying some of the time somewhere.” – Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (San Francisco: Harper, 1992), 74.

“One of the main reasons so many of God’s children don’t have a significant life of prayer is not so much that we don’t want to, but that we don’t plan to. . . . We get up day after day and realize that significant times of prayer should be a part of our life, but nothing’s ever ready. . . . And we all know that the opposite of planning is not a wonderful flow of deep, spontaneous experiences in prayer. The opposite of planning is the rut.” – John Piper, Desiring God (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1986), 150-1.

“Work, work from early till late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” – Martin Luther, quoted in J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 86.

“One thing I know for sure about prayer these days is that we do not know how to pray. It is only the young in Christ who think they know how to pray; the rest of us know we are just beginners. So let’s try to begin together, which is really all we can do.” – Ruth Haley Barton, “Prayer,” in Sacred Rhythms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 63.

Making Space for Prayer (discussion questions)

Art of Prayer Series Gfx_App Square Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Making Space for Prayer,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the first of a three-part series, “The Art of Prayer,” looking at Jesus’ approach to the life of prayer from the Gospel of Luke. This week we looked at Luke 5:16; 6:12-13a; 9:18.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Answer one of these two questions:
    • What do you find most difficult about prayer?
    • What do you find most life-giving about prayer?
  2. At Eastbrook we are beginning a new series called “The Art of Prayer.” We are going to look at Jesus’ life of prayer in the Gospel of Luke as a way to learn about prayer ourselves. It’s good to begin a series on prayer in prayer! Take some time, whether on your own or with others, to asking God to teach you to pray before you begin this study.
  3. We are looking at three short, separate passages from Luke. Do the following for each of these passages: read them out loud, identify what is happening in the context of that passage, and then identify some key aspects of Jesus’ prayer life from the passage.
    • Luke 5:16
    • Luke 6:12a
    • Luke 9:18a
  1. In what ways do you think Jesus’ life of prayer is similar to our own life of prayer? In what ways is it different?
  2. What do you find to be the most significant lesson about prayer that you see from Jesus’ life and practice of prayer here?
  3. Make it real: What is one way you could put something you learned about prayer into practice in your daily life this week?


[Next week we continue this series by looking at one of Jesus’ major teachings on prayer in Luke 11:1-12. Read that passage ahead of time to prepare.]