Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Prayer Meeting tonight

Yes, it's been forever since I posted anything - apologies! Tonight at Prayer Meeting, Pastor shared a great teaching to assist in our prayer lives. I think we'd all say that our prayer lives could be improved - even if you already have a great one. The comment that really struck home with me is that "our church will never be stronger than your prayer life." WOW! This was not new news, but it hit me between the eyes, and reminded me of what I already knew. We need more prayer in our churches and in our personal lives. As Jim Cymbala says, (paraphrased) it's sad how little time we devote to prayer in our churches, yet argue and push prayer in schools, at football games, etc.

Here is the outline from last night, for your own personal encouragement.

Teach Us To Pray: The Prayer of the Disciples
It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us TO pray just as John also taught his disciples.”

[DT: NOTE that they asked teach us TO pray, not teach us HOW TO pray. Most of us already know HOW to pray, we just don't! So, the disciples asked the right question for us... teach us TO pray. As Nike says, JUST DO IT!!]

**”Teach us to pray” is a prayer that God loves to answer for several reasons!
1) God DELIGHTS in our prayers!

2) Prayer is CONVERSING with God!

3) Prayer TOUCHES God’s HEART!

1) Prayer is the way we DEFEAT the DEVIL! When Jesus was being tempted of the devil, He prayed and then your Bible said that an angel appeared and strengthened Him!
You ask and do not receive . . . Submit therefore to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4: 3, 7)

2) Prayer is the way we GET THE LOST SAVED! Pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest and He will send laborers into the fields (Matthew 9: 38)!

3) Prayer is the way we GAIN WISDOM! But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously . . . (James 1: 5)!

4) Prayer is the way a BACKSLIDER gets RESTORED! Therefore, confess you sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5: 16, 20)!
5) Prayer is the way a SINNER gets SAVED! Lord be merciful to me a sinner (Luke 18: 13)!

6) Prayer is the way the SICK get HEALED! Is anyone among you suffering? Then let him pray. . . and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up . . . (James 5: 13, 15)!

7) Prayer is how we ACCOMPLISH the IMPOSSIBLE! Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask and believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you ( Mark 11: 24)!

**There are six practical points to the disciples prayer:
Father, hallowed be Your name . . .

Your kingdom come . . .

Give us each day our daily bread . . .

And forgive us our sins . . .

For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us . . .

And lead us not into temptation . . .

If you want to take your prayer life to higher level, here are three practical ideas:
1) A TIME TO PRAY: Choose a specific time each day when you will read the Word and Pray. It could be the first thing in the morning or the last thing at night. It could be at lunch, etc. But choose a time, protect the time and use the time.

2) AN AMOUNT OF TIME TO PRAY: There are 24 hours in a day or 1, 440 minutes. Setting aside 15 or 20 or 30 minutes a day for study and prayer can be a life changing experience for you!

3) A PLACE TO PRAY: Jesus spoke about a prayer closet. Your place could be at a table, desk, or even on beside your bed. Or one thing that I really like to do is “Prayer walk or run”. This is very effective for me, but it may not be for you. The main thing is TO PRAY!