Acts 16:6-10 Prayer: Connecting Heaven and Earth
· What do Wooden horseshoes with four-leaf clover, jade monkeys and batboy Eddie Bennett
· They were all “Good luck charms” for Babe Ruth, 1920s
· Wade Boggs would eat only chicken the day of a game, and used to draw a symbol that means “To Life” in the dirt before every at-bat.
· Not talking about a no-hitter while its happening.
- Ronald Reagan as announce for the Cubs
- Don’t step on Foul Line * OR ALWAYS step on Foul Line
· Frank Viola
- Back in 1984, Minnesota Twins pitcher Frank Viola noticed a large banner at the Metrodome that said "FRANKIE SWEET MUSIC VIOLA."
o Whenever the banner appeared, he seemed to pitch well, and, in fact, never lost. According to Sports Illustrated, the banner's creator, a fan named Mark Dornfield, introduced himself to Viola in 1987, and the two talked for two hours. That season, Viola went 15-0, with four no-decisions (all Twins victories) in banner games.
o The Twins made the World Series that season, and Viola learned that Dornfield didn't have a ticket. That prompted Kathy Viola, Frank's wife, to call Dornfield up and offer him tickets to Games 1 and 7. As SI reported, "With the banner proudly unfurled, Viola won both games and was named Series MVP."
· Curse of the Billy Goat, which according to legend was bestowed upon the Cubs when Chicago tavern owner William "Gus" Sianis was upset that his pet goat was denied entrance into a World Series game in 1945. Sianis supposedly declared that no World Series would ever again be played at Wrigley Field, and despite numerous efforts by the Cubs and their fans to lift the curse, the World Series has continued to evade the Cubbies.
· Michael Jordan (a graduate of North Carolina) always wore his blue North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform for good luck.
· SI Curse *Teams and players have come to dread being on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and for good reason. In 2002, researchers at the magazine pored over 47 years worth of covers,
- 37.2 percent of the time (913 out of 2,456 covers to that date), something negative happened to the cover subjects. * 12 percent that suffered injuries or death.
- The so-called "Sports Illustrated Jinx" starts with Milwaukee Braves slugger Eddie Mathews, who was on the very first SI cover while the Braves were in first place. Mathews promptly hurt his hand, missed seven games, and the Braves fell out of first place.
- “Madden Curse” brought down Sean Alexander
? What is a superstition?
- It is a way of connecting heaven to earth
- There are forces out there that impact life
- If I can do _____ then I can get them on my side
- If I do _______ I risk having them oppose me.
Today we’re talking about prayer, so I mention these superstitions because I think many of us Christians are prayer-less because we approach God like a baseball player approaching the foul-line.
If I do ______ God will be on my side.
If I accidentally do _____ God will oppose me.
1. Can We Pray for A Parking Spot?
A. Center of that question = how involved in the world is God?
DEIST Worldview = God is removed
2 layers, hard break
Pen-en-theism = God is every where
Christian Worldview tends to sway to either of theses extremes
Flaw of the Excluded Middle
2. Paul’s Life: Directed by Prayer and the Spirit
3. Incorrect Connection
Sons of Sceva
"Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus, whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded." (Acts 19:13-16, ESV)
- no religious superstition
- No “luck”
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
· Outselling the final Harry Potter book
The essence of The Secret is "the law of attraction." According to Byrne and the twenty-nine co-contributors whom she quotes extensively, everything in the Universe (which is always capitalized and usually synonymous for "God") vibrates on a particular frequency. When you think in harmony with the frequency of something, you attract it to you. If you think about wealth, you will receive wealth. If you think instead about your debt, you will receive more debt. You attract what you think about; your thoughts determine your destiny.
Byrne restates the law of attraction in various ways: "Nothing [good or bad] can come into your experience unless you summon it through persistent thoughts" (p. 28). "Your thoughts are the primary cause of everything" (p. 33). "Your current reality or your current life is a result of the thoughts you have been thinking" (p. 71). According to the product description on the DVD, "This is The Secret to everything—the secret to unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth: everything you have ever wanted.
Byrne promises with ironclad certainty: "There isn't a single thing that you cannot do with this knowledge. . . . The Secret can give you whatever you want" (p. xi). By it "you will come to know how you can have, be, or do anything you want" (p. xii).
How can you have this? B/C you are God.
You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing itself as You. You are a cosmic being. You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligence. You are perfection. You are magnificence. You are the creator, and you are creating the creation of You on this planet (p. 164).
The earth turns on its orbit for You. The oceans ebb and flow for You. The birds sing for You. The sun rises and it sets for You. The stars come out for You. Every beautiful thing you see, every wondrous thing you experience, is all there for You. Take a look around. None of it can exist, without You. No matter who you thought you were, now you know the Truth of Who You Really Are. You are the master of the Universe. You are the heir to the kingdom. You are the perfection of Life. And now you know The Secret (p. 183).
4. How Can We Connect Heaven and Earth?
What is GOSPEL PRAYING
Gospel = you are far worse than you imagined
= you are far more accepted than you dream
You are far worse.
- you can’t do anything
You are fare more accepted
- you are accepted in Christ.
Middle Place = angels & Demons
Beware flaw of expanded middle
Pray without Ceasing
If everything is Gospel
If we need everything directly from God
Then its possible to pray without ceasing
So, can we pray for a parking spot?