Faithlife Sermons

The Discipline of Prayer

Spiritual Disciplines-Seeing 20/20  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:13
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Our world has, and is, changing.

Just think since 2010 we have seen the creation and expansion of tablets, especially the iPad. Phones did not have the cameras they do know, a front facing camera. Amazon and Alexa were not a thing yet. Uber and Lyft just came on to the scene around 2012 but was unheard of for the first 5 years or so. Social media of Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest are late inventions.
The proliferation of clean beauty products and the different shades of make up for those who wear it was not true 10 years ago. One of my favorites is online dating finally being a thing. I remember when Aleesha and I first started telling people about how we met there was some surprised and interesting looks given.
Women’s body armor was only created in 2012. Drones for the common person. The landing on Mars by the rover. (Interesting tid bit, I have a cousin who worked with NASA on training people for the possibility of going to Mars in the future). Smartwatches and wearing devices became accessible. Fidgit spinners. LED Lightbulbs. Netflix streaming and any kind of streaming did not exist 10 years ago. Electric cars became “affordable”.
Companies like Grubhub, Doordash, and Instacart and shipt have come onto the scene where you can have groceries delivered to you, just not in St. Paris or Christiansburg.

Is there a way to thrive in the midst of a changing world?

Can we have joy, peace, an authentic relationship with Jesus in the midst of uncertain times?

What would you life be like if you could know what God wanted from you?

Spiritual disciplines grounds us in God’s heart & Word.

Spiritual disciplines gives us God’s heart for the world.

We cannot manufacture transformation but we can put ourselves on the path of transformation. Transformation and changing people are not our jobs but we cannot put people in the path of transformation.
The means is as important as the end! How we do something matters as much as whether what is done is good and right.

Spiritual Disciplines

Reading/Studying God’s Word
Sabbath/Rhythms of Life/Solitude
Serving Others
Evangelism/Reaching Out

Lack of prayer=unhealthy relationship with God.

Exodus 20:19 NIV
and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
Sometimes we do not pray because we are afraid of what will happen. We are afraid God will do something. What is interesting to me is this was the first time people started to expect others to carry the prayer responsibility for them. For the nation of Israel it would not change but instead came to its fullness in 1 Samuel:
1 Samuel 8:7 NIV
And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.

Jesus was disciplined in prayer

Throughout Jesus’ ministry he mentioned, “when you pray...”
Luke 11:1 NIV
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
John 8:28 NIV
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

Prayer reminds us of our focus.

Ephesians 6:18–20 The Message
In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.

Prayer connects us to the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:26–27 NIV
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Therefore, we do not need to always know what to pray.

Prayer changes life, events, people and churches.

If you do not want to change, do not pray. Do not pray without being willing and open to being transformed.
To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives.
-Richard Foster
When we have learned the discipline of prayer we will see and know when God is speaking to others and help them learn God’s voice.

Prayer requires obedience.

John 8:28 NIV
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.
We cannot pray, hear from God and do nothing.

Pray all kinds of prayers.

Intercession/for others
Salvation/Spiritual Warfare
For the Kingdom of God
To celebrate Jesus for who He is
For daily needs, not wants
The Church/FBC St. Paris

Start simple.

Maybe to start with you need to pray what is known as the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew 6.9-13.
Matthew 6:9–13 NIV
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

Be intentional. Have a plan!

Don’t give up!

Matthew 7:7 NIV
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Just start praying. It is hard to do it wrong.

Take a 21 day prayer journey with me.

Reading plans are on the back table in the basket. This will help you to see the many different types of prayers we can find in the Bible. It may help to get you started on this journey.
9:11 Prayer:
Jesus by your Spirit help me to be open to your will & way. Show me how to love others & give me the courage to love them. Transform FBC St. Paris in 2020. May you show up & show off; may I notice & give you praise. Give me the strength, grace & courage to obey you in all things.
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