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Momentum 200504 - Prayer

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Momentum 200504 – Prayer

John 4:24 (NKJV)

24 tGod is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

What is prayer?

1.      Prayer is worship that includes all the attitudes of the human spirit in its approach to God.

2.       A Christian worships God when he adores, confesses, praises and supplicates him in prayer.

3.      Prayer is the highest activity of which the human spirit is capable may also be thought of as communion with God, so long as due emphasis is laid upon divine initiative.

4.      Prayer is not a ‘natural response’ (see Jn. 4:24).

a.       How often do we use prayer as plan ‘B’? (Discussion???)

b.      Why is it that many men find it hard to get on their knees and pray?

c.       Is it because we have allowed the world to tell us that trusting in God is weakness?

GREAT BASEBALL CATCHER Yogi Berra played a game in which the score was tied with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The batter from the opposing team stepped into the batting box and made the sign of the cross on home plate with his bat. Berra was a Catholic, too, but he wiped out the plate with his glove and said to the pious batter, “Why don’t we let God just watch this game?”

Letting God just watch. That’s good theology when applied to the outcome of a baseball game. It’s terrible theology when applied to the way we live our lives and carry out the work of the church. Worse than that, it’s fatal.

But too often that is precisely the outlook we bring as Christian men. God attends the game, but only as an honored spectator. Our prayers become merely ceremonial functions, like asking the President of the United States to throw out the first baseball at the beginning of baseball season, they are tips of the hat, verbal recognition over the loudspeaker between innings. He may even be in the dugout, but he rarely, if ever, gets on the playing field.

Are these words too strong?

As Christian men how often does prayer get sidelined or moved to Plan ‘B’?

What are we allowing to take center stage over our communion with God?

Do we feel we just have too much to do instead of spending time in prayer?

That’s the problem! We find “things” to occupy our time instead of fellowshipping with the Father.

Do we really believe we are doing anything when we pray—other than saying the words?

Why don’t we believe we’re getting anything done when we pray?

Two reasons: The World’s View and The World’s Pace.

We have allowed ourselves to become so wrapped up in the world, or what the world thinks.

Men always feel like we need to be doing something, fixing something, solving a problem or bringing home the bacon.

Why is it often that men leave the praying to women, leaving women to be the prayer warriors in a household?

Husbands and wives need to pray together for Godly wisdom and to find out God’s direction, but we as the heads of our households need to take the lead.

Do you have your armor on?  

Ephesians 6:14-18

14 Stand therefore, qhaving girded your waist with truth, rhaving put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 sand having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking tthe shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And utake the helmet of salvation, and vthe sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 wpraying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, xbeing watchful to this end with all perseverance and ysupplication for all the saints[1]

Do you have your shield of faith up?

Do you have your sword up? Or is it in its scabbard?

We need to be in a state of prayer at all times, we have a job to do and it is not to pray for things…God is not a magical genie here to give us what we desire…

We need to enter into a deeper and closer relationship to God. God calls us and everything in our relationship depends on us listening to the One who calls.

We don’t need the whole plan at once we need to take it a step at a time. Otherwise it  is our plan and not God’s. We need to stop planning every moment and let God exercise His plan, so we are doing His will.

In Genesis 12:1, God called Abraham to go to a land that “I will show you”[2].

Why didn’t God just tell Abraham where he wanted him to go, give him what he needed to get there, and be done with it, then and there? [3]

Why doesn’t God tell us?

Because God knows us too well. He knows that if we had the plan and the place, we’d try to get there without him. Just ask Abraham. And we need God far more than we need the plan and the place. Though severe, it’s a mercy when he lets us grow weary and dry up inside. For then we come back to him.

That’s why we pray. And that’s why we get so exhausted when we don’t. For when we lose him who is the Way we lose the way.

Prayer:

 

What a friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and griefs to bear;

What a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,

Cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge;

Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?

Take it to the Lord in prayer;

In His arms he’ll take and shield thee,

Thou wilt find a solace there.5

Amen.

[4]

We need prayer in order to build a closer relationship with the Father, to get His direction for our lives, our family and our church.

We need prayer to confess to the Father where we have fallen short, so He can lift us back up and set us on the right path.

We need to be in prayer on a daily basis and using it as Plan ‘A’, because God deserves our best, our first fruits…so commit yourselves to start your day in fellowship with the Father. You’ll find your whole day will be different if you step up to the plate with His plan as your goal.


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t 2 Cor. 3:17

q Is. 11:5; Luke 12:35; 1 Pet. 1:13

r Is. 59:17; Rom. 13:12; Eph. 6:13; 1 Thess. 5:8

s Is. 52:7; Rom. 10:15

t 1 John 5:4

u 1 Thess. 5:8

v Is. 49:2; Hos. 6:5; [Heb. 4:12]

w Luke 18:1; Col. 1:3; 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17

x [Matt. 26:41]

y Phil. 1:4

[1]The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 . Thomas Nelson: Nashville

[2]Patterson, B., & Goetz, D. L. 1999. Vol. 7: Deepening your conversation with God. The pastor's soul series ;; Library of leadership development. Bethany House Publishers: Minneapolis, Minn.

[3]Patterson, B., & Goetz, D. L. 1999. Vol. 7: Deepening your conversation with God. The pastor's soul series ;; Library of leadership development. Bethany House Publishers: Minneapolis, Minn.

5 Joseph Scriven, Charles C. Converse, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” in Hymns, Paul Beckwith, ed. (Chicago: InterVarsity Press, 1952), No. 111.

[4]Patterson, B., & Goetz, D. L. 1999. Vol. 7: Deepening your conversation with God. The pastor's soul series ;; Library of leadership development. Bethany House Publishers: Minneapolis, Minn.

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