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Faithlife

When To Pray

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Prelude

Ushers will collect Prayer cards during the first hymn.

Welcome

Call to Worship

Call to mind the deeds of the Lord; remember God’s wonders of old.

What god is so great as our God?

It is our God who works wonders; who has displayed might among the peoples.

With a strong arm God has redeemed the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

*Praise                         #  43         “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”

*Invocation (Lord’s Prayer)        You promise your presence through the gift of your Holy Spirit, in Christ you redeem us from our past and free us for a future of life lived in your love.  Hear us now as we sing your praises and fill us with wisdom as we learn of your way.  Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen

*Gloria Patri (Sung together)                                                                                 .

*Psalm for Today                                                                                                    Psalm 67 (NLT)

May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.                                                                 May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere.                May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you.                                                          Let the whole world sing for joy, because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world.                                                                                                                                                              May the nations praise you, O God.  Yes, may all the nations praise you.                                                         Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us.                                            Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear him.                      

Our Offering to God               ex 35:21 All whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the Lord.

*Doxology                                                                                                                             # 572

*Prayer of Dedication          Loving God, we are astounded at your greatness and goodness, yet we sometimes worship the things of this world rather than you.  You have called us to live in hope; help us to give with hope.  May these gifts make a difference to those who have not yet known your healing and your help.  May those who benefit from our giving see beyond the material blessings to know you as the source of all good.

Scripture Reading                                                                                             Isaiah 56:1, 6-8  (NLT)

Blessings for All Nations

56 This is what the Lord says: “Be just and fair to all. Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you and to display my righteousness among you.

‘6“I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord, who serve him and love his name, who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest, and who hold fast to my covenant.

7I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer.  I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.  8For the Sovereign Lord, who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says:

I will bring others, too, besides my people Israel.”

 

*Hymn of Prayer                   #  432       “Talk With Us Lord”

Pastoral Prayer  God,in these moments of worship, help us understand what is going on in our lives.  Help us to perceive your design and plan behind the events that seem to be chance and coincidence.  May we be able to see where you have been at work – and a bit more sure of what you want to do for us and through us.  We are grateful for what you have done in the past, and we anticipate what wonders you will yet perform.  Give us grace to be patient and to wait for your kingdom.  Strengthen our gratitude for all the ways you have already made our lives better.

*Hymn of Praise                   #  437       “I Must Tell Jesus”

Scripture Text                                                                                             Romans 11:1-2, 29-32 (NLT)             I ask, then, has God rejected his own people, the nation of Israel? Of course not! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham and a member of the tribe of Benjamin.  2 No, God has not rejected his own people, whom he chose from the very beginning. Do you realize what the Scriptures say about this? Elijah the prophet complained to God about the people of Israel.   29 For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn. 30 Once, you Gentiles were rebels against God, but when the people of Israel rebelled against him, God was merciful to you instead. 31 Now they are the rebels, and God’s mercy has come to you so that they, too, will share in God’s mercy. 32 For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone.

Message                                              When to Pray

1. I have many books on the subject of prayer. Many of those books are helpful; some are powerful.

2. In one form or another, most books on prayer deal with two essential questions:  Why should we pray? and How should we pray?

3. These are viable questions, ones to which we must know the answers. But today I want to direct your attention to another question: When should we pray?

4. Islam, one of the dominant religions of this age, sounds a call to prayer five times a day./ / In the Christian faith we have no such practice of blowing horns or calling out a reminder to the faithful to pray. Nevertheless, I think we should be aware of some key signals that should prompt our hearts to turn to the Lord and call on Him.

5. We’re going to look to the example of Jesus as our perfect pattern. Although His whole life was one of continual prayer (in the sense of “praying without ceasing” as taught in 1 Thess. 5:17), He clearly demonstrates that certain times signal the need to pray.

1. Pray When You Get Up Every Morning.

– Jesus got up “a great while before day” in order to pray.  (Mark 1:35) Jesus took time to pray. Finding time to pray is not easy, but prayer is the vital link between us and God. Like Jesus, we must break away from others to talk with God, even if we have to get up very early in the morning to do it!

– In some people, metabolism makes this very challenging, but for all who physically can, a time of prayer first thing in the morning will set the pace and the tone for the rest of the day. I have also found that praying in bed is very effective for those with that slow metabolism.

• In such a time we can commit the day to God.

• Getting in touch with the Lord the first thing in the morning facilitates keeping in touch with Him throughout the day.

2. Pray When You Have to Make Important Decisions.

– Jesus prayed before He chose His disciples.

We’re going to look to the example of Jesus as our perfect pattern. Although His whole life was one of continual prayer, He clearly demonstrates that certain times signal the need to pray.

– Although Jesus knew that one would betray Him, another would deny Him, and all would fail Him, making the right choices was critical. Prayer was therefore essential. (Luke 6:12-13) The Gospel writers note that before every important event in Jesus’ life, he took time to go off by himself and pray. This time Jesus was preparing to choose his inner circle, the 12 apostles. Make sure that all your important decisions are grounded in prayer.

– To look at the motley group that Jesus chose you would be tempted to think that prayer wasn’t helpful!

• They were an unlikely group: uneducated fishermen, freedom fighters,  tax collector,  traitor-to-be

• They were ambitious, impulsive, pessimistic, fallible men. Jesus selected “ordinary” men with a mixture of backgrounds and personalities to be his disciples. Today, God calls “ordinary” people together to build his church, teach salvation’s message, and serve others out of love. Alone we may feel unqualified to serve Christ effectively, but together we make up a group strong enough to serve God in any way. Ask for patience to accept the diversity of people in your church, and build on the variety of strengths represented in your group.

– The promise to us in a time of decision is 5If you need wisdom—if you want to know what God wants you to do—ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6. Christians don’t have to grope around in the dark, hoping to stumble upon answers. We can ask for God’s wisdom to guide our choices.

3. Pray When You Are Under Pressure.

– When great crowds gathered to hear Jesus and to be healed, He went away to the wilderness and prayed. (Luke 5:15-16) People were flocking to hear Jesus preach and to have their diseases healed, but Jesus made sure he often withdrew to quiet, solitary places to pray. Many things clamor for our attention, and we often run ourselves ragged attending to them. Like Jesus, however, we should take time to withdraw to a quiet and deserted place to pray. Strength comes from God, and we can only be strengthened by spending time with him.

– We must never forget for a moment that beyond the usual physical and mental demands there rages a spiritual battle. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

13Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm (Eph. 6:12) as I said last week These who are not “flesh and blood” are demons over whom Satan has control. They are not mere fantasies—they are very real. We face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, these beings become our enemies, and they try every device to turn us away from him and back to sin. Although we are assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns, because Satan is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord’s side. We need supernatural power to defeat Satan, and God has provided this by giving us his Holy Spirit within us and his armor surrounding us.

– Some of the greatest pressure can come when you are serving God and ministering to other people.

– When He felt pressures or was overwhelmed with people, Jesus sought the renewal of communion with the Father in prayer.

– We must never deceive ourselves into thinking we need less than Jesus needed.

– Many believers have the right words and perhaps even the right actions, but the life-giving water of the Spirit has seemed to dry up. “For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me—the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all.” (Jer. 2:13) Who would set aside a fountain of living water for a cracked cistern, a pit that collected rainwater but could not hold it?  The cisterns they chose were broken and empty. The people had built religious systems in which to store truth, but those systems were worthless. Why should we cling to the broken promises of unstable “cisterns” (money, power, religious systems, or whatever transitory thing we are putting in place of God) when God promises to constantly refresh us with living water?

– Through prayer we call on God to release the power of His Spirit in us that we may meet the spiritual thirst in others.

4. Pray When You Have Difficulties with Other Christians.

– Jesus told Peter that He had prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail, so that when he turned back he could strengthen his brothers. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. 32But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers.” (Luke 22:32) Satan wanted to crush Simon Peter and the other disciples like grains of wheat. He hoped to find only chaff and blow it away. But Jesus assured Peter that his faith, although it would falter, would not be destroyed. It would be renewed, and Peter would become a powerful leader.

– In the Spirit’s power we must fight the temptation to criticize slander, attack or judge one another.

– We must determine to fight the forces of darkness, not one another.

“The Christian army is the only one which shoots its wounded.” – Warren Wiersbe

– The inclination to criticize must be overcome with the determination to pray. This produces remarkable results:

• We lift up the shield of faith on behalf of those being attacked.

• We release the Spirit’s power to encourage or convict.

• We keep the love of God flowing between us when the Devil is out to divide us.

5. Pray When You Are Tempted.

– Jesus was explicit in telling His disciples to pray that they not fall into temptation. (Luke 22:40) Jesus asked the disciples to pray that they would not fall into temptation because he knew that he would soon be leaving them. Jesus also knew that they would need extra strength to face the temptations ahead—temptations to run away or to deny their relationship with him. They were about to see Jesus die. Would they still think he was the Messiah? The disciples’ strongest temptation would undoubtedly be to think they had been deceived.

– Jesus set the example for us when He withstood the Tempter’s deceit in the wilderness, and later in the Garden of Gethsemane. Prayer and fasting were his spiritual safeguards.

– Whenever you face a strong temptation, or even a subtle one, pray!

– When you pray, claim the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13, The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

. In a culture filled with moral depravity and sin-inducing pressures, Paul encouraged the Corinthians about temptation. He said that (1) temptations happen to everyone, so don’t feel you’ve been singled out; (2) others have resisted temptation, and so can you; (3) any temptation can be resisted because God will show you a way out. God will help you in resisting temptation by helping you (1) recognize those people and situations that give you trouble, (2) run from anything you know is wrong, (3) choose to do only what is right, (4) pray for God’s help, and (5) seek friends who love God and can offer help when you are tempted. Running from a tempting situation is your first step on the way to victory.

6. Pray When You Are Hurting.

– In the midst of His agony on the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus asked God to forgive the people who were putting him to death—Jewish leaders, Roman politicians and soldiers, bystanders—and God answered that prayer by opening up the way of salvation even to Jesus’ murderers. The Roman officer and soldiers who witnessed the Crucifixion said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54). Soon many priests were converted to the Christian faith (Acts 6:7). Because we are all sinners, we all played a part in putting Jesus to death. The good news is that God is gracious. He will forgive us and give us new life through his Son.

– When we consciously turn our thoughts toward God and pray for other people, our own pain can be relieved.

– Countless hurting Christians will testify that the only thing that keeps them sane and steady in pain is communion with the Lord in prayer.

– A season of pain can be used of God to transform us into the likeness of Jesus, but only if our perspective is right.

7. Pray When You Face a Need.

– God has not promised to solve all our problems, but He has promised to supply all our needs. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19) We can trust that God will always meet our needs. Whatever we need on earth he will always supply, even if it is the courage to face death as Paul did. Whatever we need in heaven he will supply. We must remember, however, the difference between our wants and our needs. Most people want to feel good and avoid discomfort or pain. We may not get all that we want. By trusting in Christ, our attitudes and appetites can change from wanting everything to accepting his provision and power to live for him.

– God knows your needs before you express them to Him; but He still longs to hear from you.

– Even when we’re not certain about what we need, the Holy Spirit interprets our prayers to the Father. And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words (Rom. 8:26) As a believer, you are not left to your own resources to cope with problems. Even when you don’t know the right words to pray, the Holy Spirit prays with and for you, and God answers. With God helping you pray, you don’t need to be afraid to come before him. Ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you “in harmony with God’s own will.” Then, when you bring your requests to God, trust that he will always do what is best.

– The most basic of our needs is worthy of bringing before the Lord in prayer. “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11) When we pray “Give us our food for today,” we are acknowledging that God is our sustainer and provider. It is a misconception to think that we provide for our needs ourselves. We must trust God daily to provide what he knows we need.

– If God cares to meet our basic needs, how much more does He care about the big needs we face.

Conclusion.

1. When you should we pray? In a general sense, always. But in a specific sense, there are times and conditions that compel us to pray.

2. Let me encourage you again: remember to pray...

• When you get up in the morning.

• When you have to make important decisions.

• When you are under pressure.

• When you have difficulties with other Christians.

• When you are tempted.

• When you are hurting.

• When you face a need.

3. He hears you. He loves you. He will answer when you call out to Him.

*Hymn of Response              # 42 “God Be with You till we Meet Again”

*Sending forth  

*Postlude


        Announcements:

August 23- cookout

August 24th - Birthday Sunday for July and August will be celebrated

August 31st -  The fifth Sunday of the month we will have a hymn sing, an half-hour organ concert by Dorothy Yoreo, followed by coffee hour recognizing her last Sunday serving as our organist.

1. Pray When You Get Up Every Morning.

– Jesus got up “a great while before day” in order to pray.  (Mark 1:35)

• In such a time we can commit the day to God.

• Getting in touch with the Lord the first thing in the morning facilitates keeping in touch with Him throughout the day.

2. Pray When You Have to Make Important Decisions.

– Jesus prayed before He chose His disciples.

Jesus clearly demonstrates that certain times signal the need to pray.

– Although Jesus knew that one would betray Him, another would deny Him, and all would fail Him, making the right choices was critical. Prayer was therefore essential.

(Luke 6:12-13)

– The promise to us in a time of decision is James 1:5-6.

3. Pray When You Are Under Pressure.

– When great crowds gathered to hear Jesus and to be healed, He went away to the wilderness and prayed. (Luke 5:15-16)

– We must never forget for a moment that beyond the usual physical and mental demands there rages a spiritual battle. (Eph. 6:12)

– When He felt pressures or was overwhelmed with people, Jesus sought the renewal of communion with the Father in prayer.

– Many believers have the right words and perhaps even the right actions, but the life-giving water of the Spirit has seemed to dry up. (Jer. 2:13)

4. Pray When You Have Difficulties with Other Christians.

– Jesus told Peter that He had prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail, so that when he turned back he could strengthen his brothers. (Luke 22:32)

“The Christian army is the only one which shoots its wounded.” – Warren Wiersbe

5. Pray When You Are Tempted.

– Jesus was explicit in telling His disciples to pray that they not fall into temptation. (Luke 22:40)

– When you pray, claim the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13.

6. Pray When You Are Hurting.

– In the midst of His agony on the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

7. Pray When You Face a Need.

– God has not promised to solve all our problems, but He has promised to supply all our needs. (Phil. 4:19)

– Even when we’re not certain about what we need, the Holy Spirit interprets our prayers to the Father. (Rom. 8:26)

– The most basic of our needs is worthy of bringing before the Lord in prayer. “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11)

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