Nav Night Message: The Discipline and Intimacy of Prayer

A week ago I got to teach at Nav Night for the FSU Navigators for the second time this semester. The week prior we had kicked off a new message series on the Wheel Illustration, a common Navigator tool used to help explain the important disciplines to be kept by a Christ-follower. I was asked to speak on prayer, one of the four spokes on the Wheel. I had never taught on prayer in a setting like this before and was excited for the opportunity.

You can listen to this message online by streaming it below, plus even more by me, other staff, and our student leaders on the FSU Navigators Podcast.

A Wealth of Resources

Two weeks earlier I had spoken on the history and vision of The Navigators and had found the preparation process difficult and frustrating due to a lack of well-cataloged information. This time I had the opposite problem. Everyone and their brother has said something about prayer. It became clear from the beginning that I needed to pick some subtopics within the subject of prayer early on and focus my attention there. The subtopics I settled on were discipline and intimacy. With my direction made clear my resource choices fell quickly into place.

Sources and Influences

Last December I was at Urbana 09 where I heard Sunder Krishnan speak on intercessory prayer. After hearing his talk I tweeted that it was the best message on intercessory prayer I’d ever heard. I “borrowed” a good portion of it for my talk.

I closed my talk with a challenge to the students there to stop praying for God to reveal His will for their lives to them. I got that challenge from Francis Chan in his book Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. Let me quote a quick excerpt for you.

I think a lot of us need to forget about God’s will for my life. God cares more about our response to His Spirit’s leading today, in this moment, than what we intend to do next year. In fact, the decisions we make next year will be profoundly affected by the degree in which we submit to the Spirit right now, in today’s decisions.

It is easy to use the phrase “God’s will for my life” as an excuse for inaction or even disobedience. It’s much less demanding to think about God’s will for your future than it is to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next ten minutes. It’s safer to commit to following Him someday instead of this day.


I’ve been able to dialogue with numerous students since giving this talk. It seems God used different parts of the message to speak to people, even in ways I hadn’t originally intended. My hope was to challenge their faith, to have them examine how they pray as a reflection of who they conceive God to be and the depth of relationship they have with Him. If you get a chance to listen to this message please feel free to leave feedback in the comments.