What Would You Expect in a Class Called Prayer 101?
Prayer 101 – Part 1
Here’s a brief overview of what’s ahead. Now that we have an idea of what prayer looks like, we will move on to “Prayer 101.”
In college the 101 level class is the beginner course for a college student, which makes the assumption that we’re talking about the basics. Unfortunately as it relates to prayer, most of us are not at level 101, but rather the Prayer 099 level. The reason is because like a college student, we must enroll in a 100 level class in order to have a 100 level understanding of the subject. It’s to make sure we have the minimum basics to go beyond. It’s normal to think we know what prayer is, by default. However, we confuse prayer with a lot of different things. For example, is laying hands on the sick prayer? Another question we ask here is “do you have to bow your head to pray?” Does a prayer have to end in “Amen”? Do I need to close my eyes? We’ve discovered that many of those we’d consider “prayer warriors” oftentimes can’t answer these questions. And this is the reason we’ve created this message to discuss Prayer 101, next level prayer.
The Question: What do you think you will learn if there was a class called “Prayer 101”?
Let’s begin with a question to start this section out right. What do you think you will learn if there was a class called “Prayer 101”? Here are a few responses that we commonly get, Prayer 101 will teach us:
– The “how to’s” for prayer
– The basics
– How to pray properly
– How to remove distractions
– The foundation for prayer
– How to have relational conversations with God
– An introduction to prayer
– The beginner’s level for prayer
Can you think of any others?
The simple truth about this question is that somewhere we as Christians have been led to believe that we are experts in our faith. In other words, we don’t need classes, lessons, or to be taught anything when it comes to our faith and church. Therefore, we naturally feel as if we don’t need to be taught how to pray. While those responses are great, they also indicate a gap that I will do my best to explain.
Any 101 Level Course Indicates You Already Have an 099 Level Understanding.
Prayer 101 implies that you have a Prayer 099 level understanding.
Think about what it means to be in an entry level class (101) in college. The first number indicates the year (100, 200, etc.), while the other numbers are course designations (101, 102, 210, etc.). The 101 designation is there to let you know that you need these basics because you don’t have the basics. The university makes the assumption that you’re not ready for any of the other classes beyond this one until you have mastered these basics.
Unfortunately, this implies that an 099 level understanding of the subject matter has been attained by those admitted into the course. Now, let’s use this analogy as it relates to prayer. Most Christians believe they have a 101 level understanding of prayer and I’m here to tell you that more than likely this is not the case. In fact, what I’ve discovered is that most (51% or better) will need to enroll in Prayer 099. With that said, allow me to remind you that this is “Next-Level Prayer.” This is where we will help you go to a Prayer 101 level by building upon a Prayer 099 level understanding. Warning: don’t make the assumption that you are a Prayer 101 level student. Are you ready to begin?
Three Actions Needed for “Believers 101”
There’s a book of the Bible called “Acts”, it stands for the “Acts of the Apostles” or in plain words, it’s the action taken by those who started the Christian Church. This is Prayer 101 level stuff. It’s said that those who began our Christian Faith, disciples of Jesus, were like instructors and they taught others on how to be believers, Believers 101 we might say. Their students, as it is recorded, took three distinct actions that I will ask you to take as you continue in this course on “Next Level Prayer.”
- They devoted themselves to being taught.
- They spent time and created relationships with other students in the class.
- They made prayer a priority.
With that said I’m asking you to do the same as those who were students of the Christian faith, but this time as students of Christian prayer, next level prayer.
- Devote yourself to being taught.
A major problem found in our society is that once we finish school, we no longer see a need nor have a desire to be taught. That’s normal. Place that normal thinking behind you. This is next-level prayer; step one to becoming uncommon in this case is to embrace learning. This gives you an opportunity to grow beyond your current level and push you to a new level.
- Spend time and create relationships with other students of prayer.
When left to yourself, many times we can get stuck. When you invite others into your life, your thinking grows. You obtain new perspectives and you get better as a result of having friends. It’s the sharpening process in relationships that you’re after. In this case, we want to sharpen ourselves in the exercise of prayer. How we will take prayer to the next level.
- Make prayer your priority.
Again the actions taken by the students of the Christian-faith start-up team was to make prayer their priority. Therefore as a student of prayer, we must do the same. It takes making prayer a priority to go to the next level. What it does not mean is to make it low priority, insignificant, or of little importance. Today the normal priority for prayer is low, which we will get into later. Make prayer a priority. Pray as you study. Pray as you learn. Pray as you grow. Pray as you go.
The ordinary, average person has not devoted themselves to being taught how to pray, nor have they made it a practice to spend time with other students of prayer and lastly they have not made prayer a priority. Therefore, the average person can expect average results when it comes to prayer. If that is so and it is, when we take prayer to the next level, devoted to being taught, spending time with other students of prayer, and making prayer a priority, we can then expect next level results from prayer. Welcome to Prayer 101. Welcome to Next Level Prayer!
Question: What do you think you will learn in “Prayer 101”?
Reference #1: Acts of the Apostles 2:42 NLT, Bible.com, accessed July 21, 2021, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/ACT.2.42.NLT
Reference #2: Proverbs 27:17 NLT, Bible.com, accessed July 21, 2021, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/PRO.27.17.NLT
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.