Posts Tagged ‘Pray’

Pray, start small, and then what? If you’ve been following the last few articles of the Pastor’s Corner, you’ll notice that I’ve been engaging in the what and how of missions. Asking, what are we to do, and how we are to do it, is a fruitful exercise only if we are willing to act upon the established conclusions.

The first conclusion is that we need to pray. Prayer is vital and necessary; God has given us this tool to commune with Him, boldly standing before him asking in His name. Prayer often functions as a last resort, however it should be the starting point. It is the place where for admission that we can do nothing apart from His mercy and grace.

The second conclusion is that we need to start small. Again, it isn’t the intuitive place, yet if one cannot ride a bicycle, then what is the point of starting on a motor cycle? Start little and think big, while letting God work as He pleases.

Character traits series - SACRIFICE

Giving up something good, for something better!

The third conclusion is the need to sacrifice. Now this is nebulous, its kind of like a coach that points out the obvious without a shred of instruction upon how to improve. Sacrifice means that we are going to give up good things now, for the best things later. Giving up what we want for what is far better.

The challenge is that we don’t like to sacrifice. You my be saying, ‘Who is we? Do you have a mouse in your pocket?’ No, I don’t have a mouse in my pocket, but human nature despises sacrifice, unless it has been changed by God. So it can be stated in an unqualified manner, we want our cake and eat it too. The problem is that once you eat your cake you will not have it any more. But human nature wants to eat cake and still have cake for later. We don’t want to give up what we find awesomely satisfying, and we want a never ending supply. We believe the lie of the world to some degree, that happiness is in what can be seen with our eyes, even though we see them fading, decaying, and falling away.

Sacrifice is a distinct part of missions. Giving up what we cannot keep to obtain what we cannot see.  Pray, start small, give up a little, and then a little more, until we’ve given it all away for the sake of the kingdom of God and the glory of His name.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matthew 16:26

This past week’s message—Prayer, The Last Resort: When Praying is, “All We Can Do” was a message focused upon prayer, as a primary response of the believer in any given circumstance. The title was slightly misleading, because prayer is not the last resort. However, followers of Christ at times fail to go before the throne of grace seeking, knocking, and asking God for help in our times of need.Pray Without Ceasing

When reading your Bible it is obvious that the prayer of God’s children is paramount. Over 4,000 times the word ‘Pray’, or words linked to prayer are used in the Scriptures, in part demonstrating the importance of prayer. Praying is often presented as something that needs to be done constantly. Praying is not presented in the biblical witness as a means of manipulating God, but it is God’s gift to us for his purposes. In the words of Kevin Dickey, the much-quoted veterinary-theologian, “Prayer is God’s gift for the believer, it isn’t so much for God.”

An introductory point for the sermon last Sunday, which I did not add because of time, was about the various Scriptures regarding the manner, focus, and aims of prayer. Here is the skeletal structure of the extra point:

  • Prayer is directed to God, Matthew 6:9-13
  • Prayer helps keep us in the love of God, Jude 20
  • Praying for our brothers in sin will lead to God given life, 1 John 5:16
  • Prayer has great power as it is working, James 5:16
  • Prayerful supplication brings peace as we rest in God, Philippians 4:6, 7
  • We pray because of God’s surpassing grace upon our brothers in Christ, 2 Corinthians 9:14
  • God blesses others through the prayer of many and grants help to those who we pray for, 2 Corinthians 1:1

Prayer is something we devote ourselves to biblically. The Bible teaches that we are to pray for strength (Luke 21:36), healing (James 5:16), deliverance (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2), with endurance (Ephesians 6:18), understanding and wisdom (Colossians 1:9),  with repentance for forgiveness (Acts 8:22), open doors (Colossians 4:3), so that others may be saved (Romans 10:1), that our love abound (Philippians 1:9), to proclaim Christ clearly (Ephesians 6:18-20), to be kept from evil and temptation (Matthew 6:9-13), that our faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), and so much more…

Get into your Word and see in what manner God would have us pray

1 Thessalonians 5:1–18, “Rejoice always, “”pray without ceasing, “”give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.