Chrystal Evans Hurst teaches us the basic tenets of prayer practice and establishes a realistic and doable pattern of prayer to be applied to our daily life for 28 days with lasting effect. She dives deep into four postures of prayers that increase our communication and relationship with God. After you have prayed in one posture for an entire week, Chrystal will break down that posture and walk through the biblical references supporting it to draw the connections between your growing relationship with God and the practice of prayer.
If prayer unlocks our intimacy with God, why don't we use it more? Prayer is a practice with God, not a performance. The more we practice our prayer, the more natural our conversation with God will be. Prayer requires confidence in God and consistent discipline. Try practicing breath prayer, which reminds us we can't live on one single breath of God; we need to breathe God in all day long.
Thanksgiving focuses on what God has done. Praise focuses on who God is. Thanking God + Praising God = Gratitude. Gratitude helps reframe and refocus the way we see our lives. Thanksgiving and praise can weave all of the pieces of our lives together: the sad pieces, the hard pieces, the happy pieces, and everything in-between. And it can shift our focus from ourselves to God.
Our sin gets in the way of our communication with God. The prayer of repentance includes both confession of the sin and rejection or renouncing of the sin: I'm really sorry for what I did, and I won't do it again. Forgiveness is the fruit of repentance. We are all in need of receiving and extending forgiveness.
We can lose heart before even trying to pray a prayer of request, when we don't have confidence that God will do what he says he will do. But our requests need to be rooted in our desire to please God, not in our desire to please ourselves. Prayers of request require a heart right with God, so you can pray prayers of authority informed by humility. God is good, even in what seems like a time of unanswered prayer.
The prayer of yielding requires the constant renewing of your mind and the yielding of your heart. This means you're giving God the right-of-way to your words, your actions, and your thoughts. It's when you finally stop and say, "Okay, God, let's do this your way." This requires sacrifice on our part and submission to God's will, but it also means we get to contribute to God's glory.