Learning to Pray & Doing It
May 6 - June 10, 2018
"What a mighty force prayerful praying is! Real prayer helps God and God's people. God's kingdom is advanced by it. The greatest good comes to humanity by it. Prayer can do anything that God can do. The pity is we do not believe as we ought, and we do not put it to the test." E.M. Bounds
Learning to Listen For and Hearing God
This week we look at the story of young Samuel who keeps hearing someone call his name, but he, as of yet, does not know God. His mentor, the priest Eli, instructs him to go back and lie down and if he hears this voice again to say, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." When was the last time you spent some significant time in prayer? When is the last time you clearly heard from God?
Praying For our Families
Joshua from our Scripture tells us, stop searching, stop adding things to your life that are not life-giving…God is enough. The Israelites had the same problem. They added things to their lives and became busier. Instead of adding activities, they added additional gods to worship. They wanted the instant gratification they did not feel they were getting from their God. God the Almighty was not producing results the way in which they had hoped. The gods of instant gratification lured them; this is what busyness has become to us. In our busyness, we satisfy our need to feel enough, to do enough, and we forget worshipping God is enough and should be our priority.
The Power of Prayer
We will be challenged this Sunday to depart from prayerlessness to becoming a people of vigorous prayer. E.M. will remind us the depth of our worship is in direct portion to the time we spend in prayer., which is the point of the opening sentence. Also, our faith matters in how God hears and answers our prayers.
Being a People That Actually Pray
"If." A small word that packs a big punch. God says to Solomon after he finishes dedicating the temple in II Chronicles 5 and 6," If my people, who are called by my name..." will do what?" If they will humble themselves and seek my face and pray...." If we as God's people will do this, what will God promise to do? Hear us, forgive us, heal us and be attentive to our prayers?
Too Busy Not to Pray
God desires us to learn about prayer and how to pray. Most important of all? God wants us to slow down enough to take time to actually focus on time in prayer and trust me, trust God, it will make all the difference. And especially in those times when you feel dejected, deflated, discouraged, depressed and feel hopeless, the spirit will come as we tune into God’s gentle whisper, and we will be comforted, encouraged, and given hope and healing to move out of the cave and onto God’s greater plan for our lives, our church, our families, you name it.
As you approach Sunday think about how have you or are you wrestling with God? How is God calling, changing, and blessing you? It is during a night of worry and anxiety that Joshua wrestled with God all night until daybreak. He would not let go of God and God would not let go of him. The fight continued even when God struck Jacob in the hip socket. Jacob would still not relent, he asked God for a blessing. There God gave him a blessing and changed his name to “Israel” which means “God rules or God strives.”i