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J.D. Greear: Pastor, Do You See Prayer the Way Jesus Does?

We should not view prayer as something that helps us in our work for God, but as being the work itself. “We look at prayer as preparation for the ministry,” said Greear. We tend to think “if we’re going to pray, it’s to prepare for the ‘real ministry,’ which is the ministry of the Word. But the Apostles looked at themselves like, ‘I’m here to actually lead in prayer.’”

Greear had several practical recommendations, some of which have helped him, for those who struggle to prioritize prayer. “I’ve found that a little intentionality, a little planning can actually guide you in prayer in ways that make it more meaningful and not just a time of mind wandering.”

One suggestion Greear had was to set aside three, 15-minute segments during the day for prayer. Another was to use the Lord’s Prayer, which Greear referred to as the “Model Prayer,” as a starting place. Said the pastor, “Use the Lord’s Prayer like a jazz musician uses a melody line. Jazz musicians don’t play completely chaotic notes. They personalize a melody. And I think that’s the way that Jesus intended for us to use the Model Prayer.”

And perhaps one of the most important truths to remember about praying to God is that we should approach him the way that children approach their father. “If you had to come up with one through line,” said Greear, “one theme for Jesus’ parables of what he taught on prayer, it was: Approach your heavenly father like kids approach a daddy.”