Prayer Force Boot Camp: What Is Prayer?

Contributor: Alan Allegra. Lesson ID: 10867

Have you ever tried to talk to a famous person and either couldn't reach him or got all tongue-tied? Using many Scripture verses, this Prayer Force series teaches you what Jesus taught about prayer!



learning style
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Prayer is an essential part of the Christian life. It can also be the most misunderstood and neglected. When famous coach Vince Lombardi started his career with the struggling Green Bay Packers, he famously held up the pigskin and said, "Gentlemen, this is a football!" He knew they had to get back to the basics. We will do that with Prayer Force!

"Boot camp" is not exactly the correct term, since it's used for the training of the Army, Navy, and Marines, not Air Force.

Like boot camp, Prayer Force Boot Camp is brief but intense (10 Related Lessons).

Like boot camp, there will be theory and practice.

Like boot camp, this will be elementary, but you'll pick up or, at least, review some principles that will strengthen your prayer life.

Start with this insightful passage from a teacher and preacher of long ago:

The message of this book speaks to my own generation. It grew out of a condition which has existed in the church as long as I can remember, and is growing increasingly worse. I refer to the low view of prayer. As I have traveled back and forth across our own nation and ministered in almost eleven hundred different churches, I have met professing Christians who admit to ineffectiveness in their prayer life.

Our loss of the biblical concept of prayer shows up critically at a time when we need it most. Religion seems to be making dramatic gains. But costly church buildings and programs which call for highly paid staff members are not sufficient in themselves to produce spiritual power. The alarming fact remains that while our gains are material, our losses are spiritual.

There are two major weaknesses, as I view the situation. First, there is weakness in the pulpit ministry. Too many congregations are not getting sound, solid Bible teaching. Biblical exposition is almost a lost art. Instead, topical sermons on social reform are the usual pattern. The second weakness—a prayerless church—grows out of the first.

One way to recover our spiritual losses is to return to God's Word. The decline of the knowledge and practice of prayer will then give way to a rediscovery of our lost spiritual resources. It is my humble opinion that a return to the biblical way of praying will bring spiritual power back to our lives and our churches. (Strauss, Lehman. Sense and Nonsense About Prayer [Chicago: Moody Press, 1974], 7).

The Bible is our training manual. It tells us what is important about prayer and what isn't. Jesus is our Captain, the Prince and Perfector of our faith.

  • Prayer was essential to his life. He prayed when in need, when rejoicing, when sorrowful, in public, in private, for himself, for others
  • The disciples (Luke 11:1) said, "Lord, teach us to pray"; not how to pray, but to pray.
  • Jesus gave a pattern in the Lord's Prayer, as if to indicate that you're not really praying if you don't follow this pattern.

Marines are called The Few. The Proud. Their motto is, "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful). Here Christians part company with the Marines.

  • We may be few in the world, but that may change.
  • We may be proud, but we shouldn't be. We are not the remnant, the chosen, the core, or faithful few. We are no better than anyone else, because we are all saved by grace.
  • However, we do want to be Always Faithful!

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