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Online Course

Session 1: What Prayer Is and Isn’t

How to Experience God in Prayer

When it comes to prayer, we can mix good intentions with poor assumptions. In this session, Chip exposes three myths about prayer based on the truth clearly found in scripture.

Online Discipleship: How to Experience God in Prayer
Part 1: What Prayer Is and Isn’t

 

Hi, my name is Chip Ingram and welcome to How to Experience God in Prayer. I have been a pastor for a little over thirty years but, before that, I was a basketball coach and a basketball player, and I got to travel around the world. I came to know Christ as an early adult.

From that time until now, both in my life and in the lives of all the people that I know, if there is one thing we tend to struggle with it’s praying. There are all kinds of things we could talk about in terms of prayer. When does God answer? Power in prayer. Does it really make a difference? There are all kinds of issues.

But here’s what I have found. As I have coached people over the years, the real issue, at least for me and for them is: how do you experience God in prayer? I just read earlier this week that eighty percent of people pray for themselves and eighty percent of Americans, Christian or not, pray for someone else.

But when I talk, even to Christian leaders, I find one thing we have in common. When I ask them: “How do you feel about your prayer life? Do you feel like you really connect with God?” I rarely meet anyone, even mature Christians, who says, “You know something? That’s a strength in my life.”

We are going to go on a journey together and I am no expert, but I have been a practitioner and a coach and I think that God, because of my own struggles and not growing up as a believer, He has helped me learn how to connect with Him. And that’s my desire for you.

This is a very short course, five sessions. I want to get you going and then give you some very specific ways where you can actually practice how to experience God in prayer.

So, in this first session, let’s framework what prayer is and what prayer isn’t. Number one, very important, is that prayer is relational; it’s not transactional.

The Old Testament and Jesus, through the New Testament, both of them say “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things that you do not know.” That’s Jeremiah in the Old Testament. Jesus would say “Ask, seek, knock. I want to hear from you. I want to respond.” Prayer is an invitation by God for a relationship and it’s rooted in promises. “Draw to near to God,” James would say, “and He will draw near to you.”

All through the Old and New Testament it’s this appeal for a relationship. Now, left to ourselves we can make it a transaction. Let’s see, did I pray five minutes, seven minutes, or twelve minutes? If I pray really loud, or if I use my voice like this, or if I can get God to do this, or… We tend to bargain with God. I want you to first realize is what God wants and what you really need and what I want is to meet God. It’s keeping company with God. It’s enjoying God. It’s having a conversation that is transformational. This is all about experiencing God. Certainly, He wants to answer. Certainly, He wants to give you peace.

What I want to talk about is that it’s not a transaction. It’s promise-centered; it’s not performance centered. Now, really think about that. For so many of us it’s about “how long did I pray? And did I do it right? And did I say the right words?” This is about a relationship. And what we are going to learn is how to have that relationship.

The second thing I want you to know is that prayer is simple; it’s not complex. There are certain skills to learn, of course. I remember growing up as a kid and I wasn’t a Christian and I was about, I don’t know, maybe twelve years old, learning to play golf. And my uncle took me out with a couple of his friends. And I played by myself and I hit some really good shots. And I wanted to impress him and I was doing terrible. I mean, terrible, terrible, terrible. And, so, I said to my uncle, “I’m so frustrated. What should I do?” And I think he was joking, but he said, “Say the Lord’s Prayer about five times and you’ll probably do better.”

And so, I’m eleven, twelve years old: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will…” right? I’m saying five of them.

You know what? For most of us in many of our traditions, we would say, “That doesn’t work. That’s not how God wants us to pray.” But I wonder how many of us really have a deep-seated thought, “I need to perform”, or “how am I doing?” or “am I saying the right things?” or “Is there some secret code?” The fact of the matter is that when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father,” you are accepted, you are loved. “Who art in heaven,” He is the Creator; He invites you; He has an unlimited power; He made you; He saved you; He forgave you; and He is holy.

We are going to talk about a kind of prayer that you can experience where you connect with God. But you need to understand that it’s a relationship; it’s not about performance.

Finally, prayer is powerful. It’s not magical; God isn’t Santa Clause; He’s not a genie in a bottle. He’s not some sort of resource that, if you can pray a certain way, you can get Him to do what you want.

Here’s what I want to tell you: Jeremiah wrote, “‘I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for good, plans for your welfare.” But we often don’t quote the very next verse, “then you will call upon Me and you will come and pray to Me and I will listen to you, and you will seek Me and you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Prayer is powerful. You can experience God in ways, I think, beyond most of us have ever dreamed. Now, here’s what I would like you to do: I would like you to take just a few minutes and go through what we have laid out for you and analyze some of your assumptions about prayer where we begin to focus on: it’s relational, it’s not transactional. It’s simple, it’s from the heart and it’s sincere. And, finally, it’s not magical, but it is powerful. We are going to go on a journey and learn a kind of prayer in our next session where you really experience God.

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349 comments on “Session 1: What Prayer Is and Isn’t

  1. I’ve been a Christian for a very long time but feel the need to renew my prayer life. Praying this series will awaken a new commitment in my soul for drawing closer to Him through prayer.

    Vickie

  2. This session made a personal impact because through it I learned the power of reflection as a tool to assist in my prayer life. I am grateful because God has already begun to answer my prayers though this lesson.

  3. It helped me focus on the fact that he is my Father. He will not withhold anything good from me according to His will and purposes. That he really wants me to be completely dependent on Him and He wants me to ask, seek, and knock.

  4. I almost always never say “Amen” (even knowing what it means – “so be it”) I found early on that when i ended a prayer with “amen”, I often felt that what proceeded it was “God’s time and attentiveness” and what came after was “my time”. Amen became a boundary of sorts. So I decided never to use it again, because I wanted to remember God was always present. (As He is!) and that my Life was actually my on-going prayer to Him. And that I was constantly in His Presence.
    And everything was in total communication with Him, and in our relationship. It has made a difference in my prayer life and in my understanding of God’s omnipresence.

  5. One thing I have found in my journey with prayer is that I am so thinking I am not doing good enough or not doing enough and Jesus always says your okay! I have little prayers like thank you God for my car starting and not letting me get into an accident or pulled over but then I have the heart torn prayer to start my day by saying sorry Jesus and thank you

  6. Thanks for helping me to get started. I feel I do talk to God through the day. Am I stuck on performance? For instance, it is not prayer unless I am on my knees? Didn’t Paul pray continuously? Looking forward to learning…..and praying!

  7. This first session confirms that my signing up for this Course was Spirit directed. I have realized that there are two areas of my prayer life that need healing – to let go of parent-instilled erroneous beliefs – that “Prayer is a transaction and performance centered”. I am grateful for this opportunity to heal, learn, and spiritually grow.

  8. It is so humbling. This is about me praying. I made it to be transactional, I made it to be performance based. I made it complex. I wanted it to be magical.
    I needed this lesson.

  9. It takes away the anxiety from my prayer journey and reminds me that I do not need to say a perfect prayer. I just need to have a relationship with my father that is open, honest and direct

  10. It made me feel that prayer is much simpler than we make it. That God only wants to be our father and call on Him and depend on Him only. No one else loves us or cares about us more than He does.

  11. This has made me realize my relationship is one sided. I ask and expect not to have to do the leg work at all. I need to pray more sincerely and for deeper understanding along with doing the work to gain a deeper relationship with God

  12. It has made me more aware of my shortcomings, and that I need to spend less time doing things that are of no value, like looking at tv practically ALL day some days. I tell myself that I’m doing it to help my invalid father of whom I’m his caregiver,although, I do have help 12 hours a day.

  13. When I pray for healing of a friend I feel God all ready has His plan made for that person. Would my prayer change God’s plan?
    When we are born God has our days numbered, knowing exactly when the “end” is.

  14. Made me take stock of my prayer habits and realize that I’m not doing as well as I thought. I have been approaching prayer as a transaction that is based on performance (fits with my personality type). I know this doesn’t work in my other relationships either. The Lord has led me to this resource and is already using it to change me.

  15. I always struggle with prayer because I dont k ow what to say or how.i have been praying all my life .I worry I’m doi g it wrong.

  16. Definitely needed to refocus on how powerful God is
    Took the attention off me to realign God’s promises to
    The promise giver.not by my strength.

  17. I know what I need to do,I know when I pray and study I feel whole I slack off not the same feeling I need to stop beating myself up ..I need a relationship with God my go to .

  18. I know what I need to do,I know when I pray and study I feel whole I slack off not the same feeling I need to stop beating myself up ..

  19. I know I need more prayer life, not to worry if it’s babble God knows what I’m saying my prayer life has keep me from alot worrying about what I say how I say it wishing I could pray like other people..

  20. I was spiritually challenged to begin this study after listening to Chip’s broadcast yesterday. The additional challenge two take a respite from the news media and social media for 3 to 7 days spoke to me. I began today, enjoyed session 1 and found it easier than I anticipated to keep the television news turned off and not to be tempted to look at Facebook. It was a blessing to my day!

  21. It helped me see that my prayer time was dry; not transactional but not realational either.
    I need to be more vulnerable with God.

  22. Thank you for this powerful information shared. I believe it will encourage faithful believers to stay in faith. Please keep up the good works. God bless you!

  23. This session reminds me that God truly cares about my heart and connecting with me in all honesty. Not a business transaction. If I give you this, you give me that. You just want to hear from me, God.

  24. Lord I want to know You more. Thank you Chip for helping me to see that it is not difficult to pray and communicate with our Heavenly Father. It is not a have to but a want to. God bless you and your ministry.

  25. It helps me to think more deeply about prayer and to try to also look at it from God’s point of view not only my own.

  26. This session has given me a perspective on prayer and I am really convicted about making prayer relational but not transactional.

  27. I hope to really learn to communicate not just talk. God is not grading me on how well how well I express myself.

  28. This really opens my eyes about the true meaning of prayer and that I can come to him not based on performance, but a personal relationship with Him

  29. It makes me realize the simplicity of effective prayer, sometimes I feel like I have to say certain words and feel a certain way in order for it to work… it’s not about that. It’s just about having a personal, intimate relationship with God. It’s about surrendering to his spirit and letting him take presence in me.

  30. I have learned not to tell God how, when, why or where to answer my prayers. He doesn’t seem to follow my directions anyway. LOL

  31. At times i have experienced that very close relational time with my Lord. I did seek and I did find. It was a wonderful experience. But I long to find Him each time i go to Him in prayer. In that personal and powerful way.

  32. Another excellent teaching from Chip! He is definitely called by God and fulfilling that calling so wonderfully. I wish I could have coffee and conversation with him in person. I have so many questions.

  33. I just want to thank you Chip. You have such an amazing gift. It enables you to explain things in such a way that it is so easy to understand. I encourage friends that are interested in reading the Bible to begin with an honest and open heart. Now I will recommend these 5 videos. So much more they need to know that will help! I listen 12:30-1pm everyday to your radio segments. It`s my favorite time of the workday.

  34. Well,…it made me remember what I think about “friends” that are always asking me to do things for them and very seldom ever show concern for me… I call them “black holes.” Then ,,,how much I value my friends that just send encouragement notes sporadically or call just to say “hey” from time to time,,,and then there was my sister who would keep an eye on my “heart issues” and keep me spiritually straight with her “bull dozer of love” tongue. It pointed out the kind of relationship I value most… that’s what I will now aim for with God.

  35. This session has shown me how God desires to have a deep and strong relationship with us. It has opened my eyes to where I need to pray daily and have a true relationship with him. And only God can help my husband and I to get through the personal struggles that we are dealing with right now.

  36. I’m reminded of how much God desires for relationship with us and has made a way for us to come into his presence through Jesus and through prayer and his word… It was a wonderful reminder when Pastor Chip quoted Jer.33:3 ” Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” Beautiful!

  37. I like Chip and his teaching. Its like he is living my life. Its just nice to know that I am not crazy and others have issues as well. God bless you ministry …

  38. Thank you for this teaching. I really appreciate the reminders that prayer is relational, simple, and powerful. I desire to grow in relationship with the Lord and to have courage to call on His power.

  39. To grow in relationship to God it is important to spend time with Him in prayer. I appreciated the reminder that prayer is personal between myself and God

  40. I was amazed by the confirmation of the scriptures. I made up a simple prayer that features the “you will call to me…” as part of a daily prayer before I leave the house. It was only after a time of using it that I was impacted one day by that portion of a Jeremiah. The fact that God would answer me if I called on him and earnestly looked for him with my whole heart has burnt itself into my mind

  41. Made me look inward. “Search me oh God”
    “I believe help me in my unbelief” (doubt)
    I know He can do the things I ask but in His sovereignty will He?

  42. To me prayer is just opening up and talking with Jesus as a friend talks face to face. Its seeking a relationship with Jesus. I truly believe when I speak to Jesus its not just talking into the air but truly He hears me and has answers me by hearing his Voice audio and by confirmation from others. He is amazing. Just a simple “thank You Jesus” during the day is a simple prayer.

  43. I had to admit that I have been selfish about not spending the amount of time with the Lord I want to through prayer. I must be intentional about developing the habit of seeking Him first and deepening my relationship with Him in order to become more Christ-like. I am too mechanical and want to become more relational sharing every part of my life especially my inner most thoughts, fears and failures.

  44. Reminder of what prayer really is and How God is working when you’re in prayer. This session has a powerful impact to my prayer life.

  45. Some times I just don’t think about who I am really talking to. What a blessing it is to be able to have a conversation with the God that created everything and to know He hears and answers me.

  46. I realize that I really don’t pray about everything. I hold back on things that I am afraid God won’t see things the way I do. I really thought I trusted God until I heard this tonight. I do want a better relationship with God and need to start trusting Him completely.

  47. Thank you (Pastor) Chip!
    Prayers to Be Still and Know… And to be Still & Listen.

    (Prayers please to have peace & quiet in my current living situation! To enable me to focus & find GOD. Thank you!)

  48. My wife and I are relatively new home group leaders. This is an amazing resource and is proving to be a great help in enhancing my knowledge base so as to enhance and better demonstrate an effective prayer life.
    Love from South Africa
    Shashi and Lucille

  49. As a new believer it’s good to know that I’m not alone, that even more mature Christian’s have this problem. This series will be very helpful to all of us. Thank you.

  50. When Chip talks about prayer being relational, I realized I am afraid of relationships, even with God. I wonder if anyone else struggles with this?

  51. Very straight forward and easy to understand, keep up the good work. God bless the giver as you shared the important of prayer

  52. Prayer is so important in our christian life I ever experienced that in my life as a Christian, the only challenge is that a lot of time we so busy and occupied with worldly activities in such that we don’t have enough time to sit for prayer to our God through our savior Jesus Christ. So I pray that Jesus may help us to make a prayer as a priority in our life, as prayer is promise, simple and powerful.

  53. About 1 month ago I sensed during praise & worship to ASK & I dared with ss class. This reconfirmed & just today another bro. Confirmed the ACTS model

  54. Next to salvation and reading the Bible, prayer is so important. I know this but somehow I struggle with it. This session has given me new insight and reminded me that prayer is relational and not a one way street. It makes such a difference in my desire to pray! He is listening and wants to hear my heartfelt worship, thankfulness and needs. Thank you for this important study.

  55. I realized I am speaking and doing all the talking and not listening. It’s the listening and hearing from God I have trouble with. I think I am that way with people, too. I have a solution and answer ready based on my faulty assumptions of what I think they’re going to say. Same with God. I assume I know what He’s going to say so I don’t even bother listening. How prideful of me! Brb. Going to repent right now.

  56. It has caused me to face my struggle with prayer by understanding exactly what prayer really is. I would have never said I look at prayer incorrectly until I read and studied this lesson. A new eagerness has awaken within me to get with my Lord and Savior and just talk so our relationship can grow. Time to go get my cup of tea. I know there can be many changes ahead as I have my “tea time with God.”

  57. Tears ran out of my face so I know this session brought God and I face to face. It helped to have to put into words the answers to questions in the notes because it requires focused attention which is a struggle for me. I have had powerful prayer multiple times, yet I have chosen other activity often and so have not entered into that holy place of intimate prayer each day. I think it may be because there is so much that is still raw at my core and inviting God there allows it to spill out which is hard because I am not comfortable with tears. However, I need that intimacy, love and the healing as well as wisdom he offers.
    I have wanted to study prayer for a long time so I’m very happy Chip created this course. Thank you!!!

  58. Wow! There can be so many distractions in this busy world, but God always comes first so that our life can be in order and we can find peace in the storm!

  59. I used to feel God’s presence and my thoughts were often of heaven and him. Spending time with him and just talking to him came naturally and was very enjoyable. However, I struggled with reacting badly to other people’s bad behavior toward me which led me to sin in anger and rage. Now that I don’t sense his presence I tend to be distracted with the here and now in this life and it feels empty.

  60. It showed me thoughts that I didn’t know I was thinking and beliefs I had about God, myself, others that didn’t line up with what God says about Himself, about me or about other people. Amen. Thank you Chip!

  61. It has piqued my interest enough to come back for lesson 2. I’ve always yearned for the relationship part and not really sure about how to deepen it further. Hoping this will help.

  62. Prayer is not about ticking boxes, throwing everything in that prayer, it’s more about trust and relationship, two way conversation

  63. It confirmed for me that I don’t necessarily need to pray more or better, and that a relationship with Him is not just a connection, but an experience. I want to “experience” God in prayer and life.

  64. I feel taking time out with God in prayer is like taking time out with a friend since it is suppose to be relational. When we talk with our friend we listen to them. This is where I struggle with prayer is the listening part.

  65. In a relationship you come without thought to share your love, joy, time, thoughts, desires, cares, defeats, and struggles. This is to ask, seek, knock…… it’s continual and ongoing.
    This is what I hear God whispering to me about prayer.

  66. Knowing that prayer makes me stronger in Christ and having the faith to believe in the plans he has for me, encourages me to keep giving it all him, my God. Both for his glory and my reward.

  67. God is our Father and we should not only pray for ourselves and others but we should have conversation: life stuff, laugh, and deep personal feelings, and sometimes wrestling. He wants us to come as we are with the language we speak and be his son or daughter.

  68. I realize that daily.prayer is my first priority. I need to be in contact with God each day for guidance especially in all my devine appointments.

  69. This provided me Confirmation of my understanding of prayer. And motivates me to continue faithfully praying knowing god hears all my prayer

  70. Most of prayers are for others, and I need to trust God for his answers according to His will not mine. I want to get a deeper relationship with God. I want God to use me as I draw closer to Him. I desire God to calm my anxiety .I need to learn to trust God completely. I want God to help my unbelief. Looking back on what I just wrote i need to understand how really learning how to pray will change my life.

  71. I am confident it will help me to focus on the power of prayer and share it with others I know that say they don’t know “how” to pray

  72. I am thankful that I heard the message from Chip on this prayer session and started it shortly thereafter.
    I had been thinking I need more structure and guidance to improve my prayer time and I am looking forward to learning and completing these sessions.

  73. I struggle the most about what to pray , and have a hard time praying for my self. I can pray for anyone, no problem but when it comes to asking for things myself , I have a hard time.

  74. I am enjoying this Bible Study. I am learning to be more serious and determined in my prayer life, as it is the perfect way to seek God, and to allow Him to guide my life. I am so thankful for the Online Discipleship classes that Living on the Edge offers. I plan on telling others about it. I pray for your ministry. Please continue teaching the truth of God’s word. We need it.

  75. This is course has helped me to realize that Prayer is God s way of communicating with us. He wants to have that close relationship with him where we can just cast all our troubles and cares on him and believe that he will take care of us. It also reminds us that we are not alone he is always with us.

  76. Relational – Privilege
    Simple – Rewarding
    Powerful – Connection

    the light switch has been turned on, thank you for this teaching video series.

    Blessings Dawne S.

  77. Some times I don’t know what to pray for and I do feel like it is more transactional the relational. I know that the love God has for me is beyond my understanding. I want to know him from the depth of my soul how wide and deep that he is. I want so much to know and love God that it over flows in my life and spills over to everyone I meet. I want God to complete in me the work he has started so He can accomplish what he wants to do in my life and the life of people around me.

  78. I really want a deeper relationship with God and hoping this will give my life purpose.i wish God had a phone number so I could just talk to Him and He could tell me the plan He has for my life.

  79. I often forget that my prayer life has to be simple. I pray for others and consume myself with trying not to forget something or someone which has made me regimented. I’m yearning to be relational with God as I am with physical beings. I have heard God speak to me through Christian poetry and at that time my walk was all about seeking Him. It’s easy to get away from that and I realize that it’s about what I put into a relationship with Him and God is faithful to put what He has for me into me. Asking, seeking and knocking is powerful when building a solid foundation for a relationship with our God. Thanks for this lesson and journey to rebuild what I feel has been lost.

  80. GOD wants a relationship with us. Talking to Him opens up that door. It’s difficult to do when you really don’t think that GOD is hearing you…because of some forgotten and/or unconfessed sin. That’s MY struggle. I am ALWAYS thinking that He is not hearing me, therefore, He won’t answer. Most of the time I feel like I’m talking to the wall…and THAT makes it hard for me to get into prayer mode…(WHY?…He won’t hear me or act anyway.) I DEFINITELY NEED MORE FAITH, TRUST and CONFIDENCE and to be able to BELIEVE in my heart.

  81. I am so grateful for these messages being made available for those who are truly seeking a relationship with God. I often struggle with having a personal relationship with God as I cant physically see or hear Him. I recognize the work of His Hands all around me but that’s not the same thing as actually talking with someone who’s not physically present. I feel His calling and I know He is there but I’m still trying to figure it all out – I have not been actively seeking Him in the Bible and I have learn through your other teachings that is where I need to start. Your ministry is truly making a difference in my spiritual life – I cannot rely on other people to make me spiritual more mature. I have to put the time in myself with God and His Word. That is what has made the biggest impact. I pray God continues to bless your ministry. Thank you.

  82. This is a great teaching for me and perfect timing, as I feel like this is what has been laid on my heart recently. I talk to Father about stuff, but I want to be more intentional and focused on the ASK, SEEK, KNOCK scripture. I am great at asking and seeking with someone that has skin on, then I make the mistake than when they do not follow thru or respond that I transfer that over to what I expect God to do. My goal for this week is to 1st just go to God, ask, seek and knock, believing that HE will hear and respond, (without going to husband, friend) and to start a journal about the new perspective.

  83. Prayer keeps us always coming back to God, who is always there for us. I am the one who forgets Him, sadly. Without prayer, I have no personal relationship with God. I have to talk with Him and not just about Him. My joy is knowing God more and praising Him for all that He is: my Creator, Comforter, Protector, and Strength. How I “speak” to Him in prayer is the only language I will ever need in Heaven. Thank you, Father.

  84. First I like to thank you for this wonderful God Blessed series,it has been very helpful, It has made me realize I need to grow my spirtual self stronger than the flesh, and thanks to Gods people like you! Im walking more in the spirit everyday!The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. philippians 4:23

  85. I am happy to getthis opportunity to know more about prayer,now I am more confident about what is prayer what is expected from by GOD

  86. For so many years I have been trying to hard to pray RIGHT. After just this one lesion I understand so much more about what prayer is and is not. I now want to start all over again and begin praying as a way to build a relationship with God. To talk to HIM because now I know for sure that is what He wants for me. He wants to listen to me, and for that I already feel different and trust this week I will work on building my prayer life.

  87. I have had past times of a solid prayer life. In listening to session 1 I have realized that it has become more transactional lately. I have been through some painful times in marriage in the past few years that have made me pull back from my relationship with God too. I have used workaholism to escape the pain but it is leaving me too tired for real relationship. He is calling me back to my first love..

  88. Clarity with what is prayer and what is not prayer for starters . Hopefully growth in my relationship with god and friendship with Jesus . Thanks be to god in Jesus name amen 🙏

  89. Made me realize, I Need to listen & study closely to Gods word, keep Gods word in my heart,ask for understanding of Gods word,so I may know him better.

  90. I feel my prayer time will grow and my understanding of the importance and the beauty of prayer has been enhanced. In the section where we responded to the questions, I stated that I often feel since God knows our needs and wants, He will answer as He sees fit and in His time, so I have used that as a reason not to spend a lot of time devoted to actual ‘prayer’, i.e. conversation with God. The example Chip used of his wife calling and asking him to stop at the store really hit home with me. Speaking to God with such specifics is a bit foreign to me. Not that I haven’t asked for specific things, but this is a whole different level. I love the idea of writing in a journal to keep track of answered prayer, but I can never seem to stay with it. I have started several daily journals, and always seem to give up on it. That being said, they were more ‘diary’ type journals, of what I was feeling, as opposed to specific prayer journals. I may try to start one specific to prayers so I can look back as see how my prayers were answered.

  91. Sometimes, when trials come my way one after another, I tend to focus more on the trials than on God, then the doubt that wonders in my heart expresses itself,
    ‘Does God listen to my prayers?’.

  92. This session made me realize I can do better. I can improve my prayer life. Not because I have to but because I want to. I want to praise and worship God with my prayers not just make requests.

  93. Making me yearn more for my personal relationship with God in my pray life. I’ll work harder to get over my issues of concentration and not feeling worthy enough.

  94. I was somehow encouraged to know that I am not alone in my challenge to be more disciplined to pray. I recognize that prayer is not about eloquence or lengthy. Its not about impressing God or anyone else for that matter. Because I have relationship with Him I can tell Him simply what is in my heart because He has already invited me to do so. I am assured that all is not lost and I can make headway in my prayer life if I ask the Lord to help me discipline myself, put down my phone and talk to Him. He wants me to come because He is prepared to answer and has promised to answer.

  95. This is a great reminder that it’s all about a relationship with the Lord, it’s not performance based it’s promise centered! Thank you for making this available to us! God Bless you and your ministry!

  96. It helped me to be able to define what is missing in my prayer life. I’m good at the talking part, but I definitely need to be more deliberate in the listening part. I loved Chip’s practice of writing requests down with the boxes beside them to be checked off when they are answered.

  97. It was confirmation for me. The Holy Spirit is dealing with me and I welcome this teaching because it is good and strength for me at this present time.

  98. I need to set aside time each night, my prayer life sucks, I don’t know how to pray, not the right words and I just don’t feel Good is with me

  99. God has never gone anywhere…I did. He is always drawing me (us). I am the one who chooses everything but Him. I even have to ask for the DESIRE to be willing to choose Him and then ask for the strength from Him to take that action. Amazing isn’t it? He always wants a deeper relationship with us…more intimacy. More “into-me-see”…a conversation….to have a talk with Someone who loves us sooo much….
    Isn’t that what it’s like when you fall in love with someone? You can’t wait to be with them…spill your guts…and the more you talk, feel safe, and trust…the deeper the relationship becomes! I think that’s what God wants…for us to CHOOSE Him, make time for HIM…. how else can we come to know Him?
    So I have to ask myself, is He my priority or not?

  100. I understand how much the Father wants me to spend quality time with Him. I want to feel the way He does. I really want a deep personal relationship with Him.
    I really needed this so much. Thank you Jesus and you my brother. Starting tonight my prayer life will never be the same

  101. Great session. So much noise out there in Christian reading, Podcast, Video and sometimes it gets very complex and hinders our goal of simply connecting with God. Thank you for making it simple and for all you do for Gods Kingdom… I am passing this on!

  102. Thank YOU JESUS for this study! this has really impacted me and convicted me personally! I have learned and realized that prayer is a relational conversation with GOD, not a performance! thank you!

  103. Prayer is where i get to be open and honest with God, I don’t have be someone I’m not. It’s building a relationship with God. So often I would feel guilty that I only spent a few minutes in prayer or maybe didn’t use the proper language to impress God. It’s not about length and wording. Thank God we can be simple and yet be Loved.

  104. Each week on Sunday and Tuesday, we pray for God to help people in distress, or ask for travel graces. We need to praise Him for his grace and gifts; thank him for our blessings and answers to prior prayers; then ask how we can be closer and follow Him.

  105. The most important benefit for me in lesson 1 is I was able to be frank, genuinely honest about my spiritual needs and my present failure to pray as I should in 2018. I hope to recover much lost ground in 2018!

  106. Sorry I put in a prayer request and didn’t say Thank you.

    Well as I’m not reading or storing God’s word as I use to having these little snippets of scriptue and the question will make want to ponder on God’s word and will make me want to drew near to God.

  107. This was a great session! Helped me to see that it’s not about what I say and how I say my prayers, not about where and when, not fancy words or even complete sentences. It’s not about what I’m wearing (head covering or not, skirt or pants), it’s not about whether I’m standing or kneeling. It’s simply a conversation with Him; my Creator and Savior. The beauty of being able to just talk to Him about anything and have my prayers answered without having to perform some ritual in order for it too happen. No needed sacrifices or burning incense. Simply me and Him.

  108. Reminded me that praying is more about me spending time with my best friend than fulfilling my duty, is being with the One I love and loves me back.

  109. It helped me to understand that my prayers have been transactional in seeking him. Also, I understand how I have allowed my emotions to get in the way to seek him without having to speak many words.

  110. It showed me that prayer is simple. I always tried to make it too structured. Eager for next lesson. Thank you for sharing these sessions.

  111. It has helped me to realize I think about things too much and forget to stop and pray. God is always available and I don’t need to hold on to stuff. God wants me to give it to him and He will take care of it. Ask, Seek, Knock. He will answer.

  112. It highlighted the fact that my prayer life is lacking and need to be more intentional to get where I need to be.

  113. It impacted me by making me realize that having a closed intimate conversation with God is harder than I thought. I kept reverting back to how I was growing up praying. Feeling as if there is a barrier because I don’t speak to God like I would with a close friend or mom. Thank you for putting into a lesson what I started to realize but didn’t really understand.

  114. This is so good! Chip, it is a blessing to learn from you and so glad you allow God to speak through you to deliver His messages to us. I struggle with prayer being too much about what I’m concerned with/focused on and not enough about what God wants to say to me. I have struggled with what words to say and who I should be praying for—so many loved ones to pray for! I have an Apple Watch that I have now began to use as a tool for praying without making it transactional. (I hope!) Photos are loaded on my watch face and each time I move my arm, the photo changes. The photos are of my two boys, my two nephews, my great-niece, and my two great-nephews. Each time I move my arm I pray for the person/people in the picture. This has brought me joy and I truly believe God delights in my prayers over my family.

  115. Could it be that the difference between performance and relationship is that with the 1st we are working to get the relationship and in the 2nd we are working to understand what it means to have the relationship

  116. Loved this session 1! Hard to not go on to next session but I need to let this wonderful lesson sink in. Praying for this ministry and my “yokefellows” on this journey together. May it truly bring us closer to God as we ask seek and knock. These are our earnest actions of desire to be in His presence. I’m a friend of Jesus!!

    1. Yes! Let it sink in!! We haven’t determined a specific time before you start the next session … so do what is right for you!

  117. I am (pondering relationship, God seeking communication with me through prayer) then glance at the first two words I wrote. LOL Exodus3:14
    A loving Father seeking communication with a beloved daughter.

  118. I am wanting a more meaningful prayer life. I have been a Christian for many years but have found that with age also comes laziness. My goal is to be more purposeful. This might be what I need to actually fall to my knees, literally and take everything to Jesus and leave it with Him.

  119. The question, “What could it look like for you to set personal guidelines/goals for prayer without creating a ‘transactional’ mentality?” stuck in my mind.

    Almost every week I make plans with friends. I’m intentional about being with them. I don’t have a checklist when I visit with them. I don’t have a guideline for conversation or time. I just want to be with them, and I have to make the effort to make that happen.

    It’s like that in my friendship with God. I have to be intentional about being with Him. I don’t need to check all the boxes when we visit together. I just need to speak with Him and allow Him to speak with me.

  120. This was not as simple as I first thought! In that my answers did not come quickly in thought or in writing them! Which helped me see God as my Father and not just the teacher I was insisting He be.

  121. It emphasized many things that I already knew but simplified them some. I’m still not sure how to keep from being transactional or performance entered. I guess I tend to make it more complex, I.e., making sure I cover all the bases and remember how I am supposed to reverence and praise the Lord and remember everything I need to include.. I really struggle…….

  122. I want to have a more personal relationship with God, know Him more intimately. I want it to be like I talk with my close friends but yet more. The word that come to mind is reverence, respect, and honor.

  123. I need the reminded that prayer is not a one way street. Often times it is one sided and I need to take the time to listen to what God is telling me. Most of the time I rush through my prayer time or don’t do it at all. God told me that since I schedule time reading His word that I need to schedule time communicating with Him. How can I get to know my Father if I don’t take the time to meet with Him everyday.

  124. By writing it down has increased my awareness of what I’m praying for and gives me insight on how to pray more effectively.

  125. Not really. Am hoping that the next ones reveal something to me that I have not already heard before about prayer.

  126. Clearly outlines what prayer is and isnt and debunks some of the myths about prayer thereby taking away the pressure of actually praying.

  127. Is hard to pray with humility. Submitting to the will of God is even harder to do in prayer. Faith is believing that God is the creator and all things are possible. I appreciate this session.

  128. Made me realize that I pray more complex than I should. It’s not about how I pray, where, or what pray, it’s THAT I pray to God. Helped me realize I need to pray what I’m feeling not what I think I should pray for!

  129. Too often i feel guilty for not praying or not spending time in the Word. Chips teaching reminds me that God just wants to hang out and talk with me. He just wants me to share my day, my joys, my fears and he wants to comfort and protect me. I realize my need to keep a journal to help me have more thorough prayer time and stay on top of what I am praying about.

  130. A reminder that it’s all about a relationship, which requires time in the word and not a rushed transactional event to be checked off. It’s easy to feel when we are going thru the motions that our prayers are not worthy of being answered, but Jesus know our heart and our intent. I think Saran is out to confuse me and keep me from prayer by making me feel like I’m not doing gods will enough to have my prayers heard and answered.

  131. I was surprised. I thought I would struggle with answering the questions. The word “honesty” came up over and over in my answers. Once again I am confronted with how much fear interferes with my life. At the end of the lesson God reminded me: I am His. Never forsaken. Loved.

  132. I feel the word relational is an inviting and dear way of coming to My Lord in prayer. It creates a personal closeness with truth, perfection and an all-knowing “listener”. Wow!

  133. I like how it’s made me focus on prayer and work on any issues that needed to be addressed.
    I’m not really sure what the ‘seeking’and ‘knocking’ really mean. Any ideas?

  134. This is an area that I lack in among other things. I am looking forward to the series as I do with all Chip’s messages.

  135. It feels like I’m getting a one on one teaching time with Chip over coffee. There are notes to refer to and a place to add my own notes. I can download/email my notes for later.

    I’m enjoying the reflection questions that help me think through the lesson.

  136. Many revelations came as I did this session:

    Knock: This is an action word. After I ask and seek, I must DO something about what He has shown me or told me.
    Repentance is needed: This helped me see that my “time” with Him has been used as busy time instead of being time.
    Hearing Him: This is very, very important and must happen before I do any knocking for the door to be opened.

  137. Praying is like talking to a friend ; I have something I want to say and I call, text etc.Having a relationship with God through prayer or praying is relational ; Its praying without ceasing; the result is always having the wisdom of God as a way of living life. I seek God and God seeks me ;teaching me His ways are higher than my ways.

  138. I look forward to creating a stronger relationship with God through prayer. I have typically only prayed when I needed/ wanted something. Rarely did I pray to create a relationship. Asking for or thanking for things has been the extent of my prayer life.

  139. Gave me more confidence and encouragement especially when waiting on God that His promises will definitely come to pass.

  140. It has remained me that God loves me and wants to spend time with me. That he is concerned about the things that matter to me . I don’t have to use flowery words or sound like anyone else when I pray. I just need to be sincere.

    Esther

  141. This was very good. I like the reminders of what prayer is and what it is not. That joined with the personal reflection time to really apply it to my life is beneficial.

  142. I have always enjoyed the lessons the Lord shares through Chip. I have a very hard time with concentration due to the many health issues I am facing. I used to be able to retain much more than I can these days. However, the simplicity of the lessons are such a blessing. There is so much substance in the simple truth. I tend to complicate things and need to be reminded often about prayer and relationship with my Heavenly Father through Jesus.
    I often quote to people that life is about relationship and not religion. I know this inside my head but I still need the impact to reach my heart. Thank God my salvation isn’t based on feelings. I would never find peace. God loves us as we are and not as we should be.

  143. Prayer is the most powerful tool we have. It’s a direct telephone line to GOD. Thank you for confirming it doesn’t matter how long we pray as long as we keep the line of communication open. Building a relationship with Christ is the most fullfilling relationship we can experience ❤

  144. To be more committed in praying not only when I get a prayer request from someone.. Pray the promises of God and make your prayers simple and to the point.

  145. It has made me think deeper about my relationship with the Lord and has motivated me to improve my prayer life in order to have greater intimacy with the Lord.

  146. This first study along with our men’s group study helped me to open up to myself about what some of my stumbling blocks are in prayer – my priorities aren’t in line and I am exhausted. However when my priorities are in line I find I have more time and energy for spending time with God and deepening the relationship. The relationship is what it is all about. I am learning that more and more. Thanks for helping to point the way Chip.

  147. I come to him in fear somewhat, like the sum total of a day is riddled with sin and yet again I have disappointed him that despite confessing those sins I feel like I must wear him out with my daily failures.
    I know God loves me, and I know he forgives me of my sins, but it is so painful to know I will probably continue to grieve the Holy Spirit. I so understand Pauls meaning when he said in summary “I fail to do what I want to do but do what I don’t want to do.”

  148. This first session was outstanding! It really helped me carefully examine my experience of praying, and identifying my boundaries to meaningful prayer.

    You get out of it what you put into it.

  149. This was really good for me. gets me back to the basics of prayer, becoming more childlike in my prayers. Sometimes I do feel the longer I pray the more likely he is to answer, which is wrong.Thanks chip.

  150. I have learned that prayer should be from the heart. It is simple, relational and powerful. As the psalmist says, trust in the Lord at all times, Pour out your hearts to Him. I just read that this morning. It’s pouring out my heart and having a deep friendship. He is always there for me. Thank you so much for your ministry and for making this available. I’m from India.

  151. I appreciated the verses that Chip shared.

    James 4:8; Jeremiah 33:3; Jeremiah 29:11-13

    These verses remind me that I must to my part first to connect with God. I must “draw near to God”, “call on God”, and “seek God” with all my heart. I’m looking forward to God “drawing near” to me, telling me “great and hidden things” that I have not known, and truly “finding” God.

  152. I struggle with the performance, never feeling like I get it quite right. Looking forward to breaking down the barriers that keep me from the relationship with God I desire.

  153. Reminded me that prayer a relational , that just as I communicated with those I love , I need to have a relationship through prayer with God, making it simple, knowing he hears and loves me.

  154. This session reminded me that prayer is relational; we serve a God who interested in having a relationship with me.

  155. As Christians we know prayer is powerfu, but we have a hard time making it simple. We fall many times in a performance prayer.

    Thankyou for giving us these three words to remember what prayer is, so we can start to build a relationship with God.

    Your life is a blessing.
    Gabriele Enkerlin
    Mexico City

  156. Prayer has always seemed just out of reach for me and performance driven. This helps me to understand that prayer is the way to connect with the father. It’s the way to peace and joy. Thank you for breaking it down for me.

  157. As always His Ways are NOT ours. He desires so much more depth to our communication with Him based on LOVE and trust. We seek Him too often on our terms and conditions as if He does our bidding. I need to be reminded of His Sovereignty and Holiness. He allows us to come near! How wonderful is that! More wonderful than getting what we think we need from Him. May we all grow from this teaching. Thank You!!!

  158. I hope to get a firm grasp on prayer and my prayer life. Today was a start, now to continue forward with GOD my creator and open my heart to HIM. Even though HE already knows it.

  159. Chip reminded me that prayer is a relationship with God and that I don’t have to approach God in a special way or say special biblical words or pray for a certain period of time. Just talk with God and build a relationship with Him! Thank you Chip! You rock brother in Christ!

    Sincerely,

    Troy Lundquist

  160. Chip,

    Thank you for breaking prayer down into simple easy to understand steps. This makes it simple for everyone to follow & get in the groove of praying more. One thing I would add-if you haven’t already-is praying scripture & rebuking the devil. There have been times when I could sense the devil on me & my family. I simply stopped & told him to go back to Hell. He was not allowed in this house & could not wreck this marriage, Similar to War Room scene where she tells devil from now on this will be a house of prayer.

  161. Never thought of prayer as relational. I know the whole Christian life is relational. I know prayer is powerful. I’ve witnessed miracles due to prayer. A friend has stage 3 colon cancer. She was not expected to live. Lots of surgery, tests, & prayer went her way. 2016( I believe) she was told no cancer. Still has no cancer to this day–It has to be the hand of God!

  162. It opened my eyes to a deeper meaning and understanding of what prayer is and how it develops a relationship with God through personal encounters and meaningful conversations through just prayer.

  163. I’m glad that this study came to me, rather than me needing to go looking for the study. There isn’t a christian bookstore in my city anymore and I’m not a huge fan of buying online.

  164. Is less complicated than I was thinking, God is a friend who always hear me and wants me to experience a close relationship with him, and I need pray more and be consistent.

  165. I like how you talk about being Pharasitical in your prayer & christian life. Asking yourself how long should pray,? what words do I use? Making rules. It is really about just having a conversation with your friend God.

  166. Chip you seem to take what most of us view as complex and bring us back to the simple—-which is the way Jesus taught! Thank you!!

  167. Reminded me that prayer is powerful and not magical which has deep meaning that I am learning more about. God’s power….

    I love the fact that He invites us to pray b/c He desires a relationship.

  168. In answering this question – How does prayer help us to develop our friendship with Jesus? I realized I don’t know how – and tend to think I will not or don’t know how to “hear” anything back. Fear that I won’t connect (like others who don’t connect and pray more than I do) has been used as an excuse for not praying. Goal is to overcome this fear by concentrating on how much Jesus loves me so it consumes my heart.

  169. I realized my prayers were usually transactional and complex. Also, as life gets busy and hard I start to really slack on my prayer life and find it is easier to just log onto Pinterest. I want to change my ways as I know a closer relationship with God will be more fulfilling and satisfying.

  170. Helping me to get out of my comfort zone and take a look at things I need to work on in my relationship with God.

  171. Confirmed many things that I have been trying to put together. I have been trying to grow in a more comfortable relationship with Father God. I may be trying to find something that isn’t to be. My biggest frustration is not enough time to send with the Father as I want. Looking forward to see if more I’s will be dotted and more t’s cross in this study.

  172. It was very rmeaningful to sit down with a spiritual mentor and have almost one on one. Very few pastors have time or ability to do this

  173. Made me aware others have the same problem about prayers,makes me want to try harder as aprayer worrier weather I see the results now or later. Thank you

  174. I love that I have opportunity to do this study, I love your studies, and am always interested in improving my prayer life. Thank you for sharing your studies and GOD’S word.

  175. I was very encouraged to hear Pastor Ingram say that almost all Christians struggle with prayer. Now I know that I am not alone in this struggle. Because I am performance-oriented, when I feel I cannot do something perfectly, I tend to not want to do it at all. My prayer life has been no different. In my desire to want to please God and pray perfectly, I have fallen so short that I hardly pray at all. And yet, I really want to know God and have that relationship with Him. I am encouraged and look forward to learning more through the rest of the sessions.

  176. This first session actually helped me to see that my feelings of being inadequate during prayer isn’t who God see’s me as…He see’s me as a loving father see’s His child and He looks forward to my coming to spend time with Him and sharing my experiences of the day. He guides us through difficult times and I need to remember that during prayer time instead of worrying that I’m not worthy enough to be talking with Him.

  177. I am always happy to know how I can deepen my relationship with the Lord, and I believe prayer is the priority to getting to know my Savior better.

    Thank you for providing these lessons and I am looking forward to session two!

  178. I’m reminded of the truth that prayer is relational and not transactional. I didn’t have to fulfill some rigid obligations before my prayers can be considered prayers. Just like I would relate and converse with friends, I can converse and relate with God. That’s how personal it is.

  179. This session made me reflect about the importance of prayer and the continuous communication between us and the LORD. To place more discipline in my prayer life and devote the proper time to GOD.

  180. This Study reminds me that prayer is a relation with God. My personal goal is to spend time each morning in prayer before my work day begins, and to write down my prayer requests.

  181. This session helped me to understand that I need to perform for God in order for Him to hear my prayers. Simply talking to God and then sitting still and being quiet makes it relational.

  182. I loved what Chip had to say. I have often thought that I could not connect with God unless I conformed to some sort of rite or ritual. I got tired of that early on in my adulthood and just started talking to Him as I would any of my other friends. I felt better, but others would treat me as if I was crazy. My one critique of the video is the panning back and forth. It is distracting. I had to back up several times to hear what Chip was saying because I found myself concentrating on the camera movements. Other than that, I can’t wait to share this with others. Thank you Chip.

  183. The lesson forced me to take an honest look at how transactional my prayer life usually is. I long to have a deeper relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus.

  184. I really need to believe that The Father DOES hear my prayer and that I am worthy. I think because I am easily distracted, it is necessary for me to find a place where I can go to sit and talk to Jesus as tho I’m talking with a friend.

  185. I’ve been really struggling to make time for prayer although I don’t believe in the punching the time clock of prayer but I would like to develop a better prayer life mostly because I been walking with God for long time and just need to have quality time with him I’ve seem to be stuck in a bad rutt but I believe that this series is answer to prayer

    Your truly
    Pastor E.

  186. It has caused me to take a “hard look” at my prayer life. I know that there is always room for improvement. I am excited about learning more and growing even closer to the Lord.

  187. I like the relational aspect of prayer. It is comforting to be able to ask god questions and share my problems.

  188. This really helps me realize that God just wants a personal relationship with him. Not a log book to check off! Thank you 😊

  189. Made a personal impact because I am beginning to understand what true prayer is and giving me specific directions on how to reach the Lord for an authentic relationship.

  190. I need improvement in my prayer life and I also know that I should spend more time with the Lord and stop wasting time. I want to make a commitment to use more of my downtime in the evening in prayer before I go to bed. My desire is that prayer becomes second nature to me so that I always sense the need to pray prompted by the Holy Spirit.

  191. As I read the comments of others, I recognized I am not alone in my desire for more intimate relationship with our Lord and that others feel that, like me,their prayer life is lacking that intimacy. My take away came from the idea that Ask, Seek, and Knock require action on our part, but also that when we knock we need to be prepared to wait for the response. Too often I am quick to pray, but allow no time to listen for His response. Thank you for this reminder.

  192. I love Bible Study and God has given me an appetite for His Word. My deep desire is for a relationship with Jesus. Thank you for these lessons.

  193. This study could be used as simply or as in-depth as you would like. My husband has dementia and he watched it wth me. It wasn’t too long for him and we discussed it for awhile. Just right. Then I looked over my notes by myself and spent more time. Again I found it very helpful. Thank you.

  194. I’m excited to relax into my relationship with God more this week. I have a personal goal to write down my prayers each day since my mind tends to wander to my clothes, hair, work, etc when I pray. Thank you.

  195. I’m engaged in deep reflection. My prayer is that I’ll finish the course, be consistent as this is an area of weakness in general in my life. This undoubtedly affects my prayer life. It’s my prayer that I’ll believe without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus wants to hear from me even when I’ve allowed life’s struggles to keep me from talking with him as regularly as I should. scriptures did say we are to pray without ceasing. I need to obediently listen to my friend Jesus when I pray and Stop being performance centered when it comes to prayer and just my faith walk in general.

  196. Makes me analyze what I do believe about prayer. And how I utilize my time when I pray. And what I expect from my prayers…very good thought provoking lesson.

  197. This session really opened my eyes. I actually added unnecessary “rules” for prayer. For some reason I felt I HAD to pray right after my bible study and I realize now that simple isn’t true. Reserving my prayers for right after bible study has not been working for me with three young children waking up and eager to start their day around the same time. My prayers are always being cut short and repeatedly interrupted. My goal is to find a better time and perhaps place where I can truly connect to God and maybe it isn’t even the same time everyday. I need to stay focused on what is truly important and to remember that there are no “rules” to when or where I can speak to my God. What a silly idea!! I don’t even know where it came from in the first place. Can’t wait for session 2!!

  198. I’ll share some of what I wrote in answering a few questions. A couple things I’ve been doing in my morning prayer time is praying more scripture and the promises of God back to God. Saying out loud in my prayers “I love you Father, I love you Jesus, I love you Holy Spirit” as I read every morning how God loves me, how much He loves me and I like reading that and try so to hear it in my heart and spirit. I like hearing I’m loved wouldn’t God like hearing me say I love you. Oh, how I wish I could hear it audibly.

    I want to sit more quietly, mindful and ponder or imagine being in His presence. Like a weaned child. Like John, the disciple whom He loved, with my head on Jesus chest and hearing His heart. Just being that close, close enough to touch. To feel His hands touch me. His arms wrapped around me. Giving me a hug.

    To get up before sunrise in the morning read Genesis 32 and say like Jacob, “I will not let you go unless you you bless me.” That was a one great morning. Gotta do that more.

  199. Any close relationship includes sharing, but also listening, and I realized my prayer life is missing the listening part. I’m committing to ask less, praise and give thanks more, and waiting to listen for God’s responses.

  200. I believe God loves and accepts people through Christ. Through this lesson I realized I don’t really believe it for me. I’m working on finding and memorizing scripture to work into my heart what I know in my head.
    All this came from Chip’s comment that prayer is relational.

  201. This session makes me realize I need to concentrate on my relationship with the Lord instead of my “performance” issues I have through prayer. I worry if I’m using the proper words in my prayers, so I will re-wind and start over. Like typing a paragraph and going back to correct! God knows my heart, and if I can’t think of an impressive word, I need to stop spending time worrying about it and continue humbly, praying from my heart.

  202. My prayer is to have a deep, intimate connection with the Lord. I’ve already been studying His Word and seeking him through Bible Study. I pray that I will not make my prayer life transactional, but that I will become relational with the Lord and just rest in Him and enjoy being in His presence. Thank you for the reminder with this lesson today that my prayers are relational and that they should be simple, like a conversation with a friend.

  203. I realized that often I am in the “performance centered” instead of the promise centered prayer. I do believe God answers prayers that are for our good…not based on what we believe to be best. This is a difficult idea, concept or truth that is hard for non-Christians to understand and even many Christians. I need more private, reflective time throughout the day to pray and to “listen”….ridding all distractions!

  204. This session revealed how simple it is to communicate to God and how He desire to communicate with his children.

  205. I’m not sure. I definitely notice a difference in myself if I don’t pray, I feel more inclined to and okay with sin. But I do tend to pray a specific way and maybe I need to be less strict and more like a friend. I just don’t want to be too flippant in my approach to God. I want to have a healthy respect for the God who created all and gives me each breath.

  206. I appreciated the reminder that prayer is about relationship, not performance or completion of required tasks. I am thankful for His lavish grace that invites me to start fresh today. I want to see prayer time as a date with the one who loves me and wants to spend time with me and I in return have the privilege of getting to know Him more. It’s a GET to, not a HAVE to opportunity.

  207. My goal is to pray daily…no time limit
    1) When I pray, remember God is your father and is Holy.
    He made me and all creation, so praise, sing, worship
    And then thank Him for His many gifts and blessings.
    2) is anything separating me from my Father? Confess
    and repent
    3) Tell your father what you need, who you are lifting up and pray all of this in His son’s precious name of Jesus.

  208. I love the simplicity of the lesson.
    It reinforces that prayer is simply meeting with God and enjoying His company. Nothing complicated; very refreshing, inviting and liberating.

  209. I want to be in constant company with God. I don’t want to run to people to help me ‘what to do’, but rather communicate with God. I want a conversation with Him that is transformational!

  210. As with the “God How He Longs for You to See Him” study, a solid prayer life is based upon your willingness to diligently seek a strong personal relationship with Him. It is not a superficial approach, but a continual longing to get to know God and His word.

  211. Thank you for reminding us that prayer is relational. I sense that relationship in progress when in prayer there comes a sense of peace and a desire to stay longer..

  212. Makes me admit that I don’t make quality time to pray and create a deeper relationship to the One who wants me to know and love Him.

  213. My prayer is “Father, I want to know you more deeply. I want to please your heart. I want to be as close to you as possible. I want to be in you, and about your business.”

  214. It helps me to set my mind on Him and to do what is important and necessary to grow my Christian life. My goal is to know Him in a deeper level, rather than on the trivial or the surface stuff.

  215. My prayer has been, Lord teach me to pray. I am so thankful for this opportunity to learn what God desires from me in prayer.

  216. I came to realize that praying my deepest thoughts and feelings are actually a way to show myself that I trust Jesus with who I am and where I am at in my growth in Him.

  217. I get so caught up in day to day drama that I don’t stop and ask for God’s help. Ask, Seek, Knock.
    Ask:
    Help me Lord to be humble in every situation
    Seek:
    Help me Lord to seek you in all that I do
    Knock:
    Help me Lord to wait for you to answer
    Thank you Jesus for loving me

  218. Reexamining my prayer life was beneficial to help me focus more on it being more relational than performance oriented.

  219. Too often I make prayer complicated which is an effective tool to discourage me from praying at all. I love this reminder that focuses on our relationship with Christ and our pursuit of Him. As A.W. Tozier wrote in The Pursuit of God,”We must put away all effort to impress, and come with guileless candor of childhood.” – Jeremiah 9:23-24

  220. I love how Chip reinforces prayer as keeping company with God. Recently, I felt the Lord speak to my heart and say He wanted me to look at prayer in a different light – like a “warm meeting.” In my mind’s eye, I saw Him with a huge smile on his face and His hands open and ready to embrace me. Like a parent greeting a son or daughter who’s been away for a long time and just returned home. I was reminded of how my sister’s two year old grandson loved my dad, his GGPA (great grandpa). He would run into her house and literally throw himself onto my dad and both he and my dad had the biggest smiles on their faces. How our heavenly Father loves us and desires us to run to Him!

  221. I appreciate the simplicity of the message. My bible study group of women are mostly Catholics and they don’t understand prayer unless it is spoken at mass or confession. This would be a study I could easily share with them and I believe most of them would grasp the concept.

    Possibly make the “Teaching Notes” fill in area boxes vs lines. You already know how many characters each box will need as you know the answers. It can be built that size. It bothered me to fill in the line and to have the line keep extending out.

  222. While I know that prayer is relational, the overwhelming part of my prayer time ends up being transactional. I so appreciate that Chip started out emphasizing that it should relational and promise centered.

  223. Sometimes we tell people that we will pray for them to later possibly forget. Our God knows our needs before we ever come to Him as well as the needs of others. He is continuously conscious of our heart and needs without us wording them to Him. We can fellowship with Him and know that He hears all of our needs. We serve a great God

  224. Really enjoyed doing this session with my husband! The video was short and succinct which allowed us time to linger on the questions. I struggle at times remembering that prayer is promise centered and not performance centered so I really appreciated the reminder. Looking forward to the next sessions!

  225. How precious it is that the God of all creation wants to communicate with us! In the personal reflection section, the deeper dive into God’s heart for us and His desire to deepen our friendship is a testament to how much He loves us. He doesn’t need “data” from us (He knows all the details we might share.) He invites us to speak with Him and spend time with Him – no positioning, leverage, or pretending – just personal, bare soul relationship building because He loves us. How great is that?!

  226. Chip’s comment that we are to keep company with God reminds us that God wants to spend time with us. We’re also reminded that prayer is relational – how blessed to be able to sit at His feet and hear from HIM. When we miss that time in prayer we miss out on experiencing God and hearing what He has to say to us directly.

  227. Felt like I just had a personal talk with Chip! Great reminder that prayer is how you develop and/or grow an intimate relationship with God.

  228. Simple, but so effective. My takeaway was that prayer is relational…not transactional, nor performance based. God wants us to draw near to him, and knowing that the way you pray does not have a bearing is very freeing.
    Thank you Chip!

  229. in answering the questions, I realized a few things about myself. It made me stop and consider how I haven’t taken the words of Matthew 7:7-8 to heart

  230. I’m looking forward to using this great resource to help me get back into the habit of starting my day with prayer and quiet time. What a great reminder that Jesus calls us “friends” and that spending quality time with him in prayer will deepen our relationship. Although I talk to Jesus all day long and try to involve him in everything I do, I want to be more intentional about setting aside a specific time every day with a written prayer list (not a mental one)…my goal for next week!

  231. I do love the reminder of prayer being simple just like talking to a friend. I also love the notes that are easy to download and how they have me examine my prayer life and the barriers that keep me from having a healthy prayer life. I love the suggestion and application of a personal prayer goal!

  232. Such a great reminder to me that God wants a relationship with us. He desires us to know him and He wants us to share our hearts with him as if he was sitting right in front of you with a cup of coffee. He is inviting us to a deep friendship that will grow as we get to know Him more.

  233. Perfect timing as my relationship with Jesus has been waning in recent months and I’m very unhappy with that. This is one of many things I need to grow closer with the Lord. Thanks

  234. The 3 points are great reminders to keep right with me and review before the beginning of my day. A precious reminder that God wants me to keep talking with Him all day…depending on Him, enjoying Him, keeping company with Him.

    I was impacted by the teaching on Jeremiah 29:11-13. How often do I hear verse 11…but as Chip taught, verses 12-13 are not often said along with it. Very powerful reminder to read God’s Word in its entirety. Thank you for that!
    I am looking forward to all the videos!

  235. It’s good to be reminded that prayer is simple – don’t make it complicated, just spend time with Him. I really enjoyed this session and I’m looking forward to the next one.

  236. I needed the reminder that prayer is simple not complex. It is like a conversation with a friend. No script – just sharing- open honesty because we are fully accepted and loved. Thanks!

  237. Just this weekend, it came to me that I need to do some research about prayer – I research everything else, why not this since it is of the utmost importance! Then today, I receive this in my inbox! Hmmm…sounds like an answer to prayer! Thoroughly enjoyed this first session, took notes, answered the study questions. As usual, Pastor Ingram is clear, to the point, and a great teacher. I realize that I will have to practice what I am learning, but am a big believer in being given the tools to develop confidence in what I know God wants us to do – be it prayer, witnessing, learning Who He is, etc. What I enjoyed was being told what I had hoped was true – that it is SIMPLE and that God truly wants a relationship with us – although He knows everything, He loves for us to come before Him and tell Him what He already knows about us. Thank you for these sessions.

  238. I was really impacted by the idea that prayer is relational instead of transactional. This allows me to see my prayer time as building a relationship and enjoying being with the Lord instead of going over a list of requests. I can draw closer and really hear the voice of the Lord if I see it as a conversation with Him.

  239. I appreciate it when Chip says that prayer is rooted in God’s promises. In the truly difficult times of life, His promises are all we have to hold on to, and it’s a blessing to know that when we reach out to Him in prayer, He hears us and reaches right back out to us.

  240. I am encouraged by the reminder that we are to enjoy God, enjoy his company and experience his invitation to us. John 15:15 shares that He calls us Friends. Reflecting …I enjoy my friends, I enjoy their company and I experience life with them, the highs and the lows. Can’t really comprehend He calls me a friend. I desire to be a good friend back.

  241. The reminder Chip gave that prayer is “promise centered, not performance centered” was so encouraging to me! It is comforting to know that I can come before God without having to worry if I am “doing it right”. I can trust in His promises and rest in His grace.

  242. Great reminder that Jesus calls us friends. He wants us to know Him and prayer helps us develop that friendship by coming to Him and not leaning on our own understanding.

  243. This session reminds me who I am in God’s eyes, and His desire to spend time with me. I am actually an object of his affections.

  244. Such a great resource and I love the background setting in the video! Chip is always mentioning in his messages how he would love to be sitting in front of you enjoying a cup of coffee talking about the word of God, and even though this is virtual, it makes it feel like you are actually having a cup of coffee with Chip. Video crew did an amazing job portraying that. And the notes portion is an awesome way for people to format their notes however they please. I love it!

    Chip reminded me that prayer is about enjoying and experiencing God. I get so wrapped up in serving and church responsibilities that I forget it’s not about all that. God doesn’t care about all the stuff I do at church; He cares about being with me and spending time with me. This was a much needed slap in the face.

  245. Exciting start to this series on prayer! It was a good reminder for me that prayer is relational. It’s important for me to take time with my prayers and really connect with the Father. It’s good for me to have a list of things/people to pray for, but I don’t want to just go down the list to “check-it off”.

  246. Chip’s reminder that prayer is keeping company with God helps me to expect transformation in me as a result of spending time with Him and being in His presence. It encourages me to want to be with Him more, like my hero Joshua who did not want to leave the tent of meeting but wanted to spend time in God’s mighty presence (Exodus 33:11).

  247. I think knowing the difference between magical and powerful was impacting. To remember that I’m coming before the Almighty God of the Universe and not rubbing on genie’s lamp is important. The idea is experiencing God, not seeing what I can get from Him.

    1. I love that line: “The idea is experiencing God, not seeing what I can get from Him.” Thanks for sharing!

  248. For me, I can fall into the trap of making prayer “transactional” and appreciated the reminder of God’s grace and desire for me to know him better.

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