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The Five P’s of Prayer

The Five P’s of Prayer

WELCOME | Read on your own

“Well, there’s nothing left to do but pray.”

Have you ever heard someone make this statement? Or even said those words yourself? Perhaps the comment reflected a medical situation in which nothing seemed to be helping. It could have been uttered in response to a relationship with a loved one struggling with addiction. You might have found yourself thinking that prayer was your last resort when you lost your job, discovered a friend’s betrayal, or mourned the unexpected death of someone you loved.

Perhaps you want to pray more, but you feel intimidated, uncertain, and sometimes embarrassed about how to talk to God. Based on past experiences, false assumptions, or faulty misperceptions, prayer may be relegated to church services, grace at meal-times, and desperate moments in crisis. But what if prayer could be a natural, inherent part of your daily rhythms? What if prayer could connect you to God in ways you’ve never experienced?

While prayer can be a struggle, it’s also the lifeblood of the Christian faith and more than worth reconsidering and practicing anew. You might be surprised how learning and implementing some simple fundamentals can change the way you consider prayer and, more importantly, incorporate it into your everyday life.

Yes, sometimes prayer is the only thing we can do, but it is always the best thing we can do. Rather than your last resort, it’s time to make prayer your first response!

CONNECT | 15 minutes

If you or any of your group members don’t know each other, take a few minutes to introduce yourselves. Then, to get things started, discuss one of the following questions:

  • What immediately comes to mind when you think of prayer? Why?


  • What did you learn about prayer, for better or worse, when you were growing up?


Now it’s time to watch the video for this session, which you can access by playing the DVD or through streaming (see the instructions provided on the inside front cover). As you watch, use the following outline to record any thoughts or concepts that stand out to you.

The PRIORITY of Prayer

  1. God will listen to our prayers and answer our prayers at any time throughout the day, but there’s something special about giving prayer a place — a priority — in our lives.
  2. There is something special about starting the day by spending a few minutes with God.
  3. Set aside a quiet time with God in the morning — a morning time of prayer — by putting God on your calendar. Actually give God a space in your schedule at the beginning of the day.

The PLACE of Prayer

  1. Find a specific place where you will pray. It’s not that you can’t pray in other places, or that you will always pray in the same location, but find a primary place where you will pray.
  2. In Mark 1:35, we read that Jesus would retreat to a special place to pray. Early in the morning, while it was still dark, he went off to a solitary place to pray.
  3. If Jesus had a special place to pray, you should have a special place as well. So, your assignment on this point is to find that special place where you will pray.

The PLAN of Prayer

  1. Prayer is simply having a conversation with God, but it’s important to go into that conversation with a plan. Think about who and what you want to bring to God in prayer.
  2. When the disciples saw Jesus praying, they asked him to teach them how to pray in the way that he prayed. Jesus responded with a plan — what today we call the Lord’s Prayer.
  3. Always have a plan so you never get to the place where you don’t know what to say in prayer.

The POWER of Prayer

  1. Prayer is a conversation with God, but there is also a spiritual element to prayer.
  • When we pray, we are confronting the enemy and dealing in the heavenlies.
  1. In Acts 4:29, we read the prayer that the disciples Peter and John prayed after being released from prison. They asked for God to enable them to speak his word with boldness.
  2. We need to likewise pray bold prayers, believing that he will perform mighty works on our behalf. Effective prayers have an energy to them.

The PERSON of Prayer

  1. Prayer is not about prayer. Prayer is about the Person to whom the prayers are directed. You are spending time with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  2. In 2 Corinthians 13:14, Paul mentions all three members of the Godhead.

1.Jesus is the mediator. He is the one delivering our prayers to God. He is the one who made it possible through the cross.

2.God is the Father who loves his children. We don’t come crawling before him in prayer but sit as his feet like someone we love and respect.

3.The Holy Spirit is the friend. He is always present and with us every moment of our lives.

  1. These are the fundamentals of prayer. If you will begin to apply these fundamentals in your life, prayer is going to work and you are going to find it so much more enjoyable.

Discuss what you just watched by answering the following questions as time allows.

  1. The first fundamental of making prayer work in your life is to make it a What would you have to rearrange in your schedule to make prayer a priority?
  2. The second fundamental of making prayer work in your life is to have a place for prayer. What place would be most conducive for prayer to work for you?
  3. The third fundamental of making prayer work in your life is to have a What are some steps that you can take this week to create a plan for your prayer time?
  4. The fourth fundamental of making prayer work in your life is to recognize the power of prayer. What hurdles will you have to overcome to make prayer a powerful experience?
  5. The fifth fundamental of making prayer work in your life is to recognize the Persons of prayer. Which of the three Persons of the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—do you tend to address when you pray? Which Person do you tend to overlook when you pray?
  6. Which of the five P’s of prayer reflects aspects of prayer that you haven’t considered before? Which one stands out to you as requiring more emphasis in your own prayer life?
  7. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about these fundamentals of prayer? Which of the five P’s do you feel drawn to be more deliberate in practicing when you pray?
  8. Which of the three Persons of the Godhead seems the most accessible to you? Explain your response.


As mentioned in the video, the members of the early church entered into prayer expecting God to show up and do mighty things on their behalf. But they also prayed to receive boldness and power from God so that they could continue to share the message of Christ. Read the following passage about one of these prayers on your own and then answer the questions that follow.

1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. . . .

23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “You made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. . . .

29 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable Your servants to speak Your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”

31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Acts 4:1–3, 23–24, 29–31

What stands out to you about the way the early believers regarded prayer?

How similar or different is that to the way modern believers approach prayer?

What word or phrase stands out in this passage? Why does it strike a chord?


Conclude your time by actually praying for one another. Go around the room and share any requests that you would like the group to pray about, and then pray for those requests together, either silently or out loud. Thank God for bringing you all together to focus on prayer so that you can grow stronger in your relationship with the Lord and with one another. Make sure you include all three Persons of God during your prayer time as you begin practicing what you’ve learned in this first session. Take notes on the requests that are mentioned so you can continue to pray about them in the week ahead.

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Your Turn

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