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Entering God's C.H.A.T. Room

Entering God's C.H.A.T. Room

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Published by F. Remy Diederich
The "chat room" is the new place of intimacy in talking with friends. So what if we had that same intimacy in talking with God? This three part series gives you practical advice on how to make talking with God a natural and rewarding part of your life.
The "chat room" is the new place of intimacy in talking with friends. So what if we had that same intimacy in talking with God? This three part series gives you practical advice on how to make talking with God a natural and rewarding part of your life.

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Published by: F. Remy Diederich on Mar 12, 2010
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05/11/2011

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Entering God’s
C.H.A.T.ROOM
By Remy Diederich
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Cedarbrook ChurchEntering God’s C.H.A.T. Room
a practical guide to prayer  By Remy Diederich
Cedarbrook ChurchThis document contains:
Part One:
Overcoming the Obstacles to Prayer 
Part Two:
Simple Steps to Pray, page eight 
Part Three:
A Pattern for Prayer, page fifteen
Part One:
Overcoming the Obstacles to Prayer 
I want you to think back to your first school dance. For some of you that’s decades and for othersit’s probably just days! Do you remember what it was like? You were all excited that maybeyou’d get to talk to that special person that you had a big crush on.When you got to the dance you saw her or him and you spent the whole night scheming of waysto talk to them or casually bump into them and hopefully even dance with them. You fantasizedhaving this witty conversation with them that would impress them and want to be with you.Surely, if you were ever going to meet them it would be at the dance!But the night came and went and you went home disappointed because you never got up thecourage to make that first contact. We call these people wallflowers, just standing along the wall,scheming and dreaming but too nervous to talk to anyone.Well, that’s how I think it is for a lot of us with God. You come here every week because youare serious about getting to know God. And you think that surely if you come here enough thatyou will automatically get close to God.But here it is now…months, maybe even years have gone by and you still don’t have the closeconnection that you want with God. You’ve become a
 spiritual 
wallflower…scheming anddreaming about being close to God…fantasizing about a great prayer life - but still unsure how totalk to God. Does that sound familiar?Well, if it does, I’m glad you are here because I want to help you take the next step with God.Over the next three weeks I’ll be giving you some practical advice about how to pray and makethe connection with God that you’ve always wanted. And then you don’t have to be a spiritualwallflower anymore. Now, you may not know this but research shows that most people pray but they aren’t veryhappy with their prayer life. Even pastors. When pastors are asked about their prayer life mostof them say that prayer is the weakest link in their spiritual life. So, if you struggle with prayer,
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you are not alone. In fact, you are in good company. Let’s see what we can do to improve thingsfor you.But before I talk about
how
to pray, I want to first look at what
keeps
us from prayer in the first place. I came up with five obstacles to prayer so let’s take a look at each one as well as how wecan overcome them.
1.Fea
The first obstacle to prayer is fear. Prayer is riddled with fear. We fear that we are doing itwrong…that God isn’t listening or even if he is…that he doesn’t care. We fear that we arewasting our time…that we are playing the fool. And if we are totally honest we might evenadmit that we fear God doesn’t exist to hear our prayer. Now, just to give you a picture of someone experiencing the fear of prayer I want to show you aclip from the movie:
Meet the Parents
. [Ben Stiller is asked to say the dinner prayer at the homeof his fiancé after just meeting her parents. He is very self-conscious, wandering through his prayer…searching for the right words…sounding as pious as he can. He happens to say “day byday” which obviously reminds him of the song from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar”.Happy to have
 something 
spiritual to say from memory, he ends up quoting part of the song tofinish his prayer.]Some of us have prayed prayers like, haven’t we! Did you see his fear? The fear of what to dowith his hands. The fear of saying the right words…having the right posture. He didn’t reallycare what he said. He just wanted to get through it. And that’s why some of us don’t pray. Weare afraid that we are doing it wrong and God won’t be happy with us.You know, my kids had the same problem. When they were learning how to talk they made allkinds of mistakes. Lisa and I got so upset with them that we told them that if they couldn’t speak in complete sentences and with proper grammar that we didn’t want them to say anything…thatif they couldn’t do it right they shouldn’t speak at all.I’m just kidding! But if that was true, you’d call child protection services. You’d have us lockedup. No parent should ever say that to their kids. Good parents should accept their children justthe way they are. But that’s how a lot of us think about God and prayer. We think that God issitting there with some kind of a pray-o-meter judging the quality of our prayers and rejectingthose that don’t measure up.Level one:
That’s pathetic! Don’t even bother.
Level two:
Get serious. You are talking to God.
Level three:
That’s better but still a long way off.
 Level four:
You’re close. A little longer, louder and earlier.
Level five:
You’re a winner! God will now hear your prayer.
When I write it out like this it looks foolish. We know God isn’t like this. Then why do we actlike he is? What do we know to be true about God? We know that he loves us unconditionally.And because of that the Bible tells us…
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