202: Tyler Staton | Prayer As An Invitation

Prayer as an Invitation to Intimacy | Tyler Staton

Tyler Staton | Prayer As An Invitation

Tyler Staton is the Lead Pastor of Bridgetown Church in Portland, Oregon, and the National Director of 24-7 Prayer USA.

He is passionate about pursuing prayer—communion and conversation with God—while living deeply, poetically, wildly, and freely in the honest and gritty realities of day-to-day life.

Tyler believes that justice is kinship, stories are a gift, and prayer is an invitation.

Tyler is also the author of Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools and Searching for Enough: The High-Wire Walk Between Doubt and Faith, and the host of the Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools Podcast.

He lives in Portland with his wife Kirsten, and their sons Hank, Simon, and Amos.

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Tyler Staton, Amber, and Sam discuss prayer as an invitation to intimacy, how prayer is to risk trusting someone who might let you down, and three Biblical prayers for when you’re feeling dry and weary. 

Questions Discussed During Prayer As An Invitation to Intimacy:

  1. Share a little about how your journey with Jesus began? You share about the summer you spent walking around your middle school praying.  Share a little of that journey with us and what kept you showing up day in and day out?
  2. As we dive into this conversation about prayer, I ask this with love for the body of Christ and humor.  I have a friend who pastors and has found countless cringe worthy stories from opening the church to public prayer.  What is one of the funniest/most awkward prayer stories you have?
  3. Page 5 of Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools you write, “Most of us get about knee deep in the Christian life, discover that the water feels fine and stop there.  We never swim in the depths of the divine intimacy Jesus won for us.” How would you describe some of what we’re missing when we stay knee deep?
  4. You also write, “To pray is to risk trusting someone who might let you down. To pray is to get our hopes up. And we’ve learned to avoid that. So we avoid prayer.” Dig into that a little for us.
  5. For the chronically religious, what guidance would you offer when prayer becomes a chore instead of a joy?
  6. It never fails when I encourage people to be purely honest with God, they sit with a blank stare that shifts to head nods of surprise when I mention some of David’s prayers: “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want” and “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” Why do you think people don’t speak honestly and bravely when praying? And have you witnessed any specific shifts in fellow brothers/sisters in Christ once they have begun to pray in these ways?
  7. Let’s close with when you’re feeling dry and tired, what prayers/mantras/practices do you engage in to reset?

Prayer As An Invitation to Intimacy Quotes to Remember:

“I think I began to work out my salvation for the first time when I was 13. And by the end of that summer, I was no longer wondering if God was going to come through on the experiment of answering my prayers. I just knew that…I really enjoy God’s company and I think He enjoys mine.”

“I am absolutely in love with walking with Jesus. And he actually wants to use my life in ways that have nothing to do with my competencies and everything to do with his power.”

“The Holy Spirit is given to us as an advocate, as a counselor, as a comforter, all of these words are about relationship and intimacy. And the Holy Spirit moves in power. But if you go after power, you don’t get intimacy. Or if you go after answered prayer, you don’t get intimacy. But if you go after intimacy, then you get everything else thrown in.”

“Prayer is the catch all term for communion with God. And so that is talking, and it is listening, and it is being silent and still in his presence, and it is journaling, and it is all of these things.”

“The devotional reading of Scripture is meant to be a springboard to prayer.”

“The Psalms teach us how to pray.”

“We tell God what we think God would like to hear from us, rather than relate to him like the person who knows us from the inside out and actually knows me better than I know myself.”

“if you began a practice of daily sitting in contemplative silence for two minutes, it won’t feel good, for an extended period of time. And then it will become so sacred that you can’t imagine how you ever prayed without it.”

“You also have to entrust yourself to God. You have surrender control over your own spiritual formation, and say, Okay, God, I’m gonna give you some silence. It’s okay, if you do nothing with it. It is just an offering to you.”

“When we pray, we have to praise God, because that puts us in touch with a truer reality than the one that we’re facing in our circumstances. So what I fundamentally believe as a follower of Jesus, is that there’s an invisible kingdom called the kingdom of God that’s invading the one that I can see. And that the way that my circumstances affect me day in and day out, is not the truest thing about me or the world. And that doesn’t mean that my circumstances or emotions don’t matter they do. But it means that unless they are framed in the truest reality, which is the kingdom of God, that is the only one that will last, then they are distorting the way that I see reality.”

“Prayer is both the place of greatest wonder and love and the place of greatest pain, if you truly walk with Jesus in prayer, because…it is a relationship.”

“Pray God’s promises back to him.”

“When I’m feeling dry, or tired, here’s three prayers that I often pray”

  1. Awake, my soul…Psalm 57
  2. Jesus, give me your bread… John 6: 35-59
  3. Sir, give me some of this water… John 4: 7-14

Scripture References

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes:

I am absolutely in love with walking with Jesus. And he actually wants to use my life in ways that have nothing to do with my competencies and everything to do with his power.
The Holy Spirit is given to us as an advocate, as a counselor, as a comforter, all of these words are about relationship and intimacy. And the Holy Spirit moves in power. But if you go after power, you don't get intimacy. Or if you go after answered prayer, you don't get intimacy. But if you go after intimacy, then you get everything else thrown in.

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