Blog Archive

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"your life is your prayer"

Parkrose Service  7/8/16 This is an outline of the message I shared this last Sunday at Parkrose Village.

Bible Reading:

Matthew 6
1“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Teaching about Prayer and Fasting
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. 6But 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 people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!  

Order of Service 7/8/16

Welcome and Call to Worship : Psalm 106:1-2

Hymn: “turn your eyes upon Jesus”
               “Within the veil”
Bible Reading: Matthew 6:1-8
Hymn: “There is a place of quiet rest”


Church Prayer
Hymn: “What a friend we have in Jesus”

Sermon: “Your Life is your Prayer”

Hymn: “Take my life and let it be”
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace”
“Your  life is your prayer”

A  few weeks ago when we were here Barrie was talking about our Church here developing a praying ministry.

At the time I said I might speak on prayer next time so that is what today is about.

For those of you who read Christian books I wonder what you would say if I asked you what was the most influencial Evangelical Christian book of the 20th century, apart from the Bible.

The Christianity Today online internet magazine did a survey and the result surprised many.

Prayer: Conversing with God was number one on that list,
Rosalind Rinker, the author said,
   “The title might have been, Matthew 18:19, 20 or When Two or Three Agree, for the book is based largely on the meaning and contents of those verses. “

Over the years I ,like some of you, have read many books on prayer and even been to a really good seminar on prayer.

I have some great Bible studies on prayer.

I know how to pray and what to pray and who to pray to.

But if I was to look at a record of how much time each week I have actually spent in prayer I would be ashamed.

How many times a day do I pray?

Some other religions put us to shame in their dedication to prayer.

It would be wrong of course to pray in vain repetitions as our Lord has warned us against.

Matt 6  kjv :7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

So what are some of the main principles we should adhere to when we pray, as a group or individually.

Matt 18: NLT  19“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20For where two or three gather together as my followers,h I am there among them.”
In my time as a Christian, since 1974, I have known and seen some wonderful answers to prayer but also known disappointment as I am sure you have.
But that is not a reason to throw in the towel.
Our whole Christian life is a learning and growing experience.
I am not too old to learn more and I am sure no one here is also.
So here are some important things regarding prayer.
1.  We need to know The God to whom we are coming.
Time should be taken to make as full a realization as possible of the greatness of God.

The God to whom I am coming is



Jesus tells us how to pray when He starts the Lord’s prayer ,“Our Father who art in Heaven”
 Jesus wouldn’t be teaching us to pray if it wasn’t a normal thing for Christians to do.

An expectation He has of us.

When we are praying we are praying to our Creator, the Creator of the Universe.

If that is the case then nothing is too hard for        our God.

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Jeremiah’s Prayer     Jeremiah 18:
16Then after I had given the papers to Baruch, I prayed to the Lord:
17“O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!
26Then this message came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 27“I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?

2   The only basis , the grounds ,on which we bring our loved ones or anyone to God is the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We all come on the same basis, which is:  Jesus died for us and has reconciled us to God.
Made us right with Him.

Through the death of Jesus we are redeemed,     saved.

We have been brought out of our lost state.

When we pray in Jesus name it is because we have been baptized into His name.

He lives in us.

Because we have been purchased with His blood He wants to carry out His will on earth through us.

No Christian is more worthy than any other to have their prayers answered..

When we come to God in prayer we are all equal.

We do have to discipline ourselves though if we are serious about prayer.

2.  We also need to take time to discover what God’s will is in certain situations.

         That is in a group or as an individual.

 In a group prayer that is where where the praying in agreement comes in.
It is no good praying in a group where we don’t all agree on what we are praying for.

In order to achieve agreement in prayer, we need to constantly ask:

What does God want in this matter?
What is His will in this situation?
What will bring glory to God in this matter?

We can find God’s will in any situation if we study what the Bible says.

There is no human condition and situation that is not dealt with in the Bible.

When we discover God’s will for a situation we are then to pray with no doubt in our hearts.

God wants us to pray prayers of faith not prayers of hope.
We can believe the words of the Bible, the promises, when we read them.

Believe in our conscious mind

Deep down though we have doubts.

That’s where we need to let the Holy Spirit touch us to take away doubt.

4. We also need to recognize that in prayer we can
use God’s mighty weapons to bring down any      barriers satan may have erected in a person or situation.

 We don’t very often think but a lot of what prayer is about is claiming the Victory that Jesus won on the cross over the devil.

 (Testimony of healing shared here but not included because of privacy)
A link below however to a transcript of a tape study on praying in agreement and authority when someone is addicted to drugs.
The story I shared is related to this.

Let me re emphasise, we are all equal before God when it comes to prayer

No one has any more power than what God makes available to all of us.

However an important part of the
 equation in prayer is that we do need to make our life a prayer as such.

That’s where the discipline comes in .
How we live our Christian lives.
You see ,

our life is our prayer,

God wants to hear our petitions but He knows our needs before we ask Him.
He wants to see that we are walking with Him.
We may have unforgiveness and bitterness in our hearts,
we may be piously waving our hands in the air,
 saying look how holy I am,
 but we need to be abiding in Him.
We need to make sure by our lives we live that our prayers are going further than the ceiling.

A simple illustration of the why of this, is that as Christians, God wants to allow rivers of living water to flow from us.

Our gutters don't flow if they are clogged by leaves. 

If our lives are clogged by sin then the rivers of living water will not flow.

Prayer is one of the biggest topics we can explore in the Christian faith.
Countless books and studies have been written.

In particular as we become less physically able to help people we can be dedicated prayers.

That can be a very important ministry at Parkrose.

Not always does God answer prayer how we expect Him too.

I watched this week a wonderful talk by Joni Eareckson(Tada) who you may have read of some years ago.
In a diving accident at 17 she became a quadriplaegic.
Shje will be 67 this october.
She desperately wanted God to heal her but Physical healing has never happened.
In her talk though she says how she would never have experienced the deeper inner healing and transforming power of God in her life and that of her husband if she had been physically healed when she so desperately wanted healing.
She still longs for a new body but she says her circumstances have enabled her to reach out to so many who need encouragement than she other wise would  have been able to.
There is so much more we could look into in this topic but I just want to encourage us all to get into the regular habit of praying.
Maybe one or two might like to do that with each other during the week.
The best way to learn about prayer is to do it and maybe keep a list of prayers we have prayed and the results of our prayers.
That can be very transforming.
I have been saying all these things in Jesus name.  Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment