Message Recap – 3/5/10 – Church for One: Part 2

Monday, March 8, 2010

This week we are delving into Part 2 of Pastor Dan's series Church for One!

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Our theme verse for this series is Psalm 27:8:

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

There is a call today and everyday; a call to come away and talk with God. You don't have to wait for a Friday night or a Sunday morning to respond to that call and talk with God. You can access Him anytime!

Church for One, unlike a table for one, is not boring!

Church once a week cannot be your only connection with God. If it is, you are missing out on an incredible relationship that God wants to have with you!

This series is really about devotions. A lot of people have made their devotional life into a chore. God is calling us to more than an activity we can check off our list, He's calling us to a relationship with Him. You can experience God's presence on your own, wherever you are – in your room, on the bus, even in prison (don't do something illegal to prove that last one, please).

Last week we covered reading your Bible. You can catch a quick refresher here: Part 1

This week we are looking at prayer (no, not Perdue; prayer). Our number one problem as Christians is that we don't pray enough. All of us, all the way up to Pastor Dan have this problem.

You might say, “You don't know me! You can't judge me!” Well, if we were praying like we should be, we wouldn't be struggling with what we're struggling with -- resisting temptation, confusion, witnessing to our friends.

Most of the challenges that we face can be answered by prayer.

Believe it or not, if you have a prayer life, a close relationship with God, you can withstand temptation!

In that moment when you are facing temptation: pray! Seek God, talk to Him! Nothing builds a relationship with God like prayer.

Have a conversation with God – don't just talk to Him, but allow Him to talk to you.

If you never have a conversation with God except in a large group setting (such as church), it will be hard to get to know Him. But when you spend time alone with Him on a regular basis, having conversations with Him, you will develop a relationship!

When you spend time talking with someone you get to know them, right?

Nothing helps with challenges and problems like talking to God about them.

So, how should we pray? What should we say? How should we say it? What are the hard and fast rules about prayer? What does God say about it? Let's take a look at some answers.

The Approach

1. Fervency

James 5:16 says, The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Fervent means, "Very hot or glowing, marked with great intensity."

Bored prayers don't accomplish much, but passionate prayers are heard.

Ever read Psalms? David certainly prayed passionate prayers. They were real, fervent prayers.

It's hard to be passionate and fake at the same time. Passionate needs to be honest!

2. Boldness

Check out Luke 11:5-13:

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

You can always go to God! Prayer is not a time to be wishy-washy and timid; pray bold prayers! God even asks you to be bold – almost impolite!

Pray confidently. Don't be afraid to ask!

3. Faithfully

Luke 18:1-8 talks about a woman who was extremely persistent - and she got what she asked for.
Don't give up! Continue praying, consistently. Pray prayers of faith, believing that God hears you and will respond. Thank Him that He has heard your prayer and He will see you through it.

4. Spiritually

Ephesians 6:18:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Romans 8:26:

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 with groans that words cannot express.

Pray spiritually, not fleshly prayers. Don't pray that God would get back at that guy that annoys you, or that your parents don't find out about your poor grades. Those are fleshly prayers. God is not a genie in a lamp to grant your every whim. Pray spiritual prayers!

Be led by the Spirit about how you pray, who you pray for, what you pray for them.

Do pray in tongues, but also when praying in English, be sure to pray by the Spirit.

The Pattern

Take a look at what Jesus says about prayer in Matthew 6:5-13. Jesus said to pray privately (yes, pray publicly as well, but most of your prayer time should be in private). He also said to pray simply; there's no need for religious games.

Follow the pattern that Jesus gave us in what's known as "The Lord's Prayer." Not necessarily using these words, but these elements:

Hallowed be thy name – Honor God; make sure that part of your prayer involves honoring God.

Your kingdom come, your will be done – Surrender to God in all areas of your life. Our prayers need to have surrender in them.

Give us this day our daily bread – Pray for your needs. If you need help with school, ask for it! If you have a problem that you need to solve, ask God!

Philippians 4:6 says,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive others – Confessing your sin and forgiving others needs to be part of your prayer life. Be specific, both about your sins and about the people you are forgiving.

Lead us not into temptation – Pray for help to live holy, upright lives, and for freedom from temptation. Just ask for help!

Here are some of the benefits of prayer:

1. Wisdom and direction

2. Peace

Philippians 4:6-7 says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

3. Help with temptation

In Matthew 26:41 Jesus said, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

God is calling us to a relationship – make time to build that relationship and to respond to that call!

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