by Jeremy SimS  F orw a rd a n d ackn o w l ed g m en ts There are many people to thank, but one tough issue. if i start thanking people, then i will leave someone out. So i will only thank a couple. The design of this devotional was completely created by morgan Stone- the most incredible graphic designer that i know. He toiled over every unique page to get each one just right. Also, ben Shanahan helped me with the mP3 CD. i couldn’t have done this without their help. There were several proofreaders and content guides. Thank you for your help. As to the content- some is from my own mind, some from other resources. i didn’t cite everything, but assume that everyone will know that i couldn’t have ever come up with this all by myself. Some of the books that guided my thoughts were Dick eastman’s The Hour That Changes The World and No easy road. Prayer by Phillip yancy was another valuable resource. i love Deepening your Conversation With God by ben Patterson. Fifty-Seven Words That Change The World by Darrell Johnson has revolutionized my prayer life. There are many others, but the point for me was to get the right material into my teens hands. if you have stumbled upon this and you are not one of the teens in my youth ministry- good luck. This was written for them and i hope that you are able to get some great guidance from it as well. i’m excited. i wish there was a page that could attest to the results of completing this journal. The truth is, we are just getting started. it’s been on my heart for sometime now- what if teens really prayed? i suspect that after we complete this together that there will be dozens of testimonies that span dozens of years. So here we go. Did i say yet, “i’m excited?”  I ntro d u c t I o n i can’t tell you how excited that i am that you have decided to do the Prayer experiment. What could happen if we really prayed- no, i mean really prayed? what this devotional intends to do are two things: an atmosphere only enhances your time. i’m also a pacer- i stand up to pray and + Start a prayer habit in your life usually walk around. That’s one reason i use an iPod with headphones. i mostly pray in + Guide you in how to pray the pitch dark, that’s what works for me to eliminate my distractions. i’m totally ADD when there’s a lot going on. Sometimes it takes a minute for my mind to focus and to Over the next ten weeks, if you will stick to it, you will both build a new habit as well as relax- you’ll get used to what works for you. explore some of the vast opportunities that prayer affords. Communicating with God is primarily done one way - prayer. So know this, i am praying for you while you are How can you set an atmosphere for your prayer time? learning to pray. Where and what specific time do you think will be best for you? What devotional plan will you try? Here is a layout of how to use this guide. each week consists of three written devotionals and three prayer exercises. you can repeat them if you wish or you can There are questions after each devotional entry. interact with the questions. Don’t just make your own schedule. i suggest that you begin on monday with the first written write short answers, but think about what you are writing. in fact, you don’t have to devotional and on Tuesday do the prayer exercise and so on. but you might want to limit yourself to the questions, write what you think of when you read the entry. Journal do both Day 1 and exercise 1 on monday and Tuesday, then go to Day 2 and exercise writing is just as much prayer as the words that come out of your mouth. 2 on Wednesday and Thursday. Whatever works for you- begin that. There is one day As far as the CD goes- it’s an mP3 CD which means that you will have to put it on your with no specific task. it’s not for being lazy, but for catching up if you got behind for any computer or your ipod unless you have a specific mP3 compatible CD player. When reason. On this day, you can go back and do anything that you would like. Don’t skip a you press play, listen to the instructions and follow along on your own. Try to make it to day if you can help it, but don’t be hard on yourself either. the end of the track. Sometimes it will be hard, but this is part of exercising this new muscle of yours- the prayer muscle. Sometimes you will feel you didn’t get enough. making time for something that hasn’t been in your schedule is hard. So come up with Start it over and do it again if you want- there are no rules to prayer, only suggestions. a consistent time that works best for you. many of you will find that late at night is best, but a few of you will like early in the morning- more power to you. Spend your devotional enough talk- let’s get to it. i’m praying for you and Jesus already has- John 17. time alone. Try to stick with one specific time. it helps to build a habit. Try to eliminate Welcome to [the prayer experiment]. all distractions. Turn off your computer and hide your cell phone. They will only make you think of things to do. Sometimes i even lower the lighting or light a candle. Setting  daY 1 every move you make has eternal consequences. To drag your ax is to t he la nd o F g I an ts dig a grand canyon, and to take a step is to shake the earth. most importantly, one of your greatest responsibilities in prayer is to stop mount Hood is located in Northern Oregon eruptions. you have the ability to stop the insanity of close to Portland. The mountain peak is our world by spending time on your knees. if you choose to begin this adventure, only God knows what is in store for about two miles above sea level. you. At higher elevations you are supposed to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. There’s i challenge you, become a person of prayer, to become a person who puts out something about being in higher elevations that can dehydrate you. (So take a spare eruptions. Prayer--welcome to the world of giants. i.V. next time you go mountain climbing.) mount Hood is a strato-volcano, which means that every time it erupts, a new layer of hardened lava forms and the mountain grows. (i guess you learn something new everyday, huh?) The problem is that you never know when it’s going to erupt. There are no patterns and there are no fully accurate [ ex p erIm en t ] predictions. One would be a fool to build his house on the side of mount Hood. At any A word picture or metaphor can help bring a new perspective to something. What moment a trail of lava could engulf your home and it would be gone forever. word picture is used for prayer in this entry? We live in a world that is constantly erupting. The only accurate prediction is that it will continue to erupt. Those eruptions are made up of injustice, brutality, inhumanity, prejudice, unfairness, sin, disease, unforgiveness, apathy and indifference. Some eruptions we can control and some we can’t. There are warnings for some, and others catch us completely blindsided. Helpless, we often sit with no hope and no plan. many times it seems like there is nothing that we can do except…pray. Prayer? What’s Have you felt your prayers are pointless at times? the point? Does prayer even work? it seems to be so elusive- getting the ear of God. but what if what we prayed made a difference. you see, what prayer does is take you from the natural world to the supernatural world. in the natural world you can feel so small and insignificant. you might even feel like you can’t make a difference at all. but what if we could make a difference in the supernatural world? There’s this crazy What do you think about praying now? story about a mythical lumberjack named Paul bunyan and his pet ox babe. One night Paul and babe are using mount Hood, after one of its eruptions, as a campfire. After they get through roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, it’s time to put it out. So Paul bunyan throws some rocks on the volcano and it stops-- it simply becomes dormant. i hope that you let your imagination picture this: a two-mile high erupting volcano is extinguished by a giant, and his pet ox! you might not be much in the natural world, but when you enter the supernatural Over the next 10 weeks, see if you can come up with your own word picture or world through prayer, you become like Paul bunyan, where metaphor that helps bring a new perspective that motivates you to prayer.  daY 2 r eF le xe s There’s something about the movie [ ex p erIm en t ] When things happen in your life that bring concern, anxiety or fear- what is your reflex? The Karate Kid. if it’s on the television i have to watch it. it’s like driving by Krispy Kreme with the “Hot Now” sign on- my car has to turn in. After being beat up by the school bullies, Daniel Son finally convinces mr. miyagi to train him How can you make prayer a reflex in your life? in karate. He shows up at mr. miyagi’s home on day one and is instructed to paint a fence. For hours he paints a fence with his mentor guiding his form- up down, up down. After a full day he goes home and returns the next only to find that he is to paint the house. This time his stroke is to be side to side, side to side. Another long day ends and he goes home, returning the next day he is told to wax all of mr. miyagi’s cars. Wax on, wax off. Again, after a full day of work he leaves and returns. This time he is told to sand the deck. After spending hours of work sanding, Daniel Son has finally had enough. He pitches a fit and throws a temper tantrum to mr. miyagi. “i don’t see how any of this has to do with karate! i asked you to train me and all you’ve gotten is four days of free labor!” he screams. mr. miyagi then tells Daniel Son to show him what he’s learned. As he begins to show his form, mr. miyagi starts throwing punches and kicks. instinctively Daniel Son is able to block each attack with his up and down and side to side paint stroke. He blocks every kick by waxing and sanding. He does it without even thinking. it’s a reflex- a natural response to an action. When things happen in your life that bring concern, anxiety or fear- what is your reflex? Do you get sick, do you go tell a friend, do you pray? As we continue to work through the prayer experiment, one of the goals is to make prayer a reflex of your life. but not just a reflex to bad things that happen, good things too. God wants to hear about everything. Of course it’s okay to run to your friends and family, but how about making a stop by His house on the way.  daY 3 hea v e n l Y F at h er matthew 6:9 “Our Father who lives in heaven…” Six loaded words. Six words that can make your head spin if you just think about them for a few minutues i love my kids. i even consider myself a pretty good dad. i wish that i could give my kids Not only is God close at hand at all times, but heaven also represents the command everything that they want, but i can’t. it’s not good for them. Addyson asks regularly center of the multi-dimensional universe and God sits at the control panel. He’s in for dessert as a meal- probably not a good idea. Carsyn asks for every toy on every charge of it all and He can do what He wants anytime that He wants. He has the power commercial that ever comes on- again, not a great idea. but the truth is that i wish that to do what we ask of Him. There is nothing that you can ask that He can’t do. i could give it to them. i would love to give Addy dessert for her meals and Carsyn every toy that she wants. Almost all parents are this way. For some reason, we sometimes So our Father, who has the will to do what we ask, lives in heaven, very close at hand think that God’s intentions for our lives are evil. That He doesn’t want good things for and has the ability to do what we ask! To enter the land of giants is to walk into the us. That He just wants to limit the amount of fun that we can have. but if i’m a good realm of a good God who can do anything that we partner with Him to do! He wants father, then He is a great father. He wants great things for us. He wants purpose, good things for His children and He wants you to be a part of it. Prayer partners you destiny, blessings and life, abundant life. His will for your life is good- and the fact that with your Father who lives at the command center of the universe- heaven. He is your father shows you that He has the will to hear what you say. remember when we talked about the supernatural realm? Well, put on your thinking cap. That realm is not far beyond the end of the universe- it’s right here. you can’t see [ ex p erIm en t ] it, but it encapsulates our own realm. Have you ever had a class where your teacher Do you like the image of God as a father? Why? used an overhead projector to work through the lesson? i had a math teacher that would put the problems on one piece of transparency paper and then lay the answers right over the top, on another piece of transparency paper. The supernatural realm is like another piece of transparency paper that is laid right over the world in which you live. Heaven is in the supernatural realm. it’s not far away, it’s right here, close at hand. And God lives there, which means He is ever-present, Where is heaven? What does it mean that the Father is in heaven? close at hand.