Core Value: Pray – Lord, Teach Us to Pray

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Introduction:

This morning we are continuing our sermon series All In with our Core Values. Last week we began our discussion of the Core Value of Prayer and today we will continue with that discussion and talk about how we should pray.

As we begin, lets say Colossians 4:2 together:
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”

Last week we talk about how:

Prayer is a communication process. It is participation with the heart of God through listening and speaking.

  1. Prayer is the line of direct access and communication with God the Father through Christ the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. As a disciple, it is vital to stay connected to God through communication.
  2. Our call is to be like Christ and He demonstrated for His disciples and for us the importance of prayer.
  3. Scripture calls us to a life of prayer
  4. Prayer changes things – it can change circumstances but more importantly it changes us.

Prayer reminds us that we are God’s and it is in Him that we live. It is through Him that the victory is claimed.

We also see that approaches to prayer can vary and the Skit guys helped us with that.

Video: Skinny On Prayer

Story: Angelia and Prayer

Generally, I think all of us can struggle with prayer because we think that we have to have special words or some kind of dynamic presence in prayer. It is simply offering up your words, your heart, and your open ears to hear through the practice of prayer.

Movement 1:

If you have your bibles with you, let’s turn to Matthew 6:5- 13 (NLT)

Matthew 6:5-13 (NLT)
5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! 9 Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, 10 may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, 11 as it is in heaven. 12 Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, 13 as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

Luke 11:1-4 (NLT)

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

This is Called the Lord’s Prayer. This is how Christ Himself asks us to pray. But what is important about this prayer? What does it reveal to us about how we should pray? And why can it be so hard to pray?

Movement 2:

There are four primary misconceptions that prevent us from effectively communicating with our Creator through prayer.

  1. It feels like we are talking to a wall. Since we don’t actually see God or sense Him with any of our five senses, how can we have a conversation with Him? A one-way dialogue is awkward at best; at worst a little crazy.
  2. It makes no sense to pray to God if He knows our needs. He’ll either give us what we want if we need it, or He won’t if we don’t. How can prayer change His mind?
  3. God doesn’t seem to answer our prayers. Sometimes we pray for an ill person and he dies anyway. Or we pray for years to find a soul-mate or to have children and our requests go unanswered. So why keep trying?
  4. Standardized prayer is a drag. How can you have a natural conversation with someone if you don’t get to decide what to say and when to say it? That’s not called communication.

How can we overcome these misconceptions and embrace and practice the spiritual discipline of prayer?

    1. We must view prayer as a spiritual discipline. It will take time for the practice of prayer to become a regular part of our lives.
    2. We need to dedicate time each day for prayer – begin with 5 minutes. If you do not know what to pray for, grab a prayer guide from the Welcome Center.
    3. Prayer can be difficult but that is not a reason to neglect it. We must be persistent.
      1. God desires persistence in prayer
      2. Not because we must PERSUADE Him to act c. Not because we must EARN His favor
      3. Not because we must SATISFY His need for attention
      4. But because it is God’s plan to release the power of the kingdom through the prayers of His people.
    4. The catalyst of shameless persistence is having a heart that seeks for God’s heart. Prayer will only take root when we truly desire to know God’s heart – that will drive us to prayer.
      1. More than the METHOD of praying, But rather the MOTIVE of praying that seeks HIM and HIS WILL, and desires to see HIS KINGDOM come.
      2. “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;” Psalm 42:1-2a
      3. E.M. Bounds writes “Laxity, faintheartedness, impatience, timidity will be fatal to our prayers. Awaiting the onset of our importunity and insistence, is the Father’s heart, the Father’s hand, the Father’s infinite power, the Father’s infinite willingness to hear and give to his children.”

Movement 3:

We see revealed in the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew and Luke a plan for prayer. This is a guide that Christ has given us. We could preach a whole sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer so we will look briefly at each part as an example to us in our prayer life.

Praise (v.2)

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”

Praise and Thanksgiving is an important part of our prayers. We must always remember to honor our heavenly Father. We are creations of the Creator and it is a natural thing for us to worship Him.

“Praise be to God!” -Psalms 68:35

Tell God how much you appreciate Him. Express your love for Him. Praise His power and majesty. This is a great way to begin your prayer time. You should never run out of praise. “How awesome are your deeds!” – Psalms 66:3

Always “glorify him with thanksgiving” -Psalms 69:30 We have plenty of reasons to be thankful. Thank God for His love, His faithfulness, His patience and a million other things. Express gratitude for what He’s doing in your life. Thank Jesus for dying on the cross for us. Thank the Holy Spirit for indwelling us, and never leaving. Thank Him for being our conscience, our counselor and that “still small voice.”

Purpose (v.2)

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.”

It’s easy to forget we have a responsibility to fulfill God’s purpose in the world. We are a people on mission, and we should be mindful and sensitive about the work of His Kingdom. Each day we are to be busy doing kingdom business.

We can know God’s purpose through prayer by listening/meditation.

Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) – 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Joshua 1:8 – Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

Psalm 48:9 – O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple.

Physical needs (v.3)

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

One of the promises that should give us hope for each day is that God does indeed supply our needs. When we pray, it is a part of the instruction of Jesus that we ask the Father for the things that we need to make it through each day. Since it is part of His plan for us as we pray, then we should never hesitate to ask.

Spiritual needs (v.4)

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” There is not a day that goes by that we should not be mindful of the forgiveness, grace, and compassion of God. It is a healthy reminder for a congregation to think of themselves as participants in a weekly meeting of sinners anonymous. The sin has been forgiven and we are set free. But God provides our spiritual needs and we should not neglect asking for that help. That comes through lament/confession.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9

Tell Him where you have fallen short. Be specific and ask for help and strength to turn away from future temptations.

Protection (v.4)

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

It makes sense that the same loving, compassionate, and kind Savior that went to such great lengths to have a relationship with us would also take the time to protect us. His plans and desires for us are so much better than anything we might plan ourselves. The problem we have is that sometimes we don’t make wise choices. He desires to help us with this.

Supplication/intercession – “Make your requests known to God.” – Philippians 4:6

Tell God what you want, no matter how small it seems to you. Do you really think any of your requests are big to God the Creator? We should have lots of intercessory prayer.

The praying Christ teaches us to pray as a rest after service, as a preparation for important steps, and as the condition of receiving the Spirit and the brightness of God.

Conclusion:

2 Corinthians 3:18 –

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

      • We come before the Lord with our veil up, being vulnerable and real
      • Mirror of the Lord’s character
      • When we spend time with God we are being transformed and will reflect the glory of God

Are you making yourself vulnerable before the Lord? Are you mirror the Lord’s character?
We so often pray defensively (“Lord, don’t let us fail”) when what He desires is for us to understand His nature and pray offensively (“Lord, we claim the victory!”).

Response:

How are we going to pray together?

    • Sunday’s from 10:15am – 10:30am prayer in the Sanctuary around the altars. All are invited.
    • Establishment of a Prayer Room. Location is yet to be determined but will be a project for 2018.
    • 24 Hours of Prayer taking place 2 times per year. Once in the spring and once in the fall.
    • Sign up for the Weekly Prayer Email
    • A greater emphasis on the power of prayer in our worship gatherings
    • Community Prayer Night – Oct. 29
All In
All In
All In