The Power of Prayer
Scripture Reading: Acts 2: 42 (NIV)
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Message: The Power of Prayer
Teach us to pray - Give us the gift of prayer
Luke 11: 1 - “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…”
Disciples asking - give us the gift of prayer (knowing how to pray)
What follows is the Lord’s prayer - Luke gospel version of it
Jesus showed his disciples a way to pray - an example of a prayer
That was not the only time they saw him pray
Throughout the gospels we find references of Jesus praying - talking to his Father
Gethsemane - praying in his deepest hour of need
It is crucial for us to learn to pray in our exposure to prayers of believers
That is what happened in the early church - we read regularly in the book of Acts that believers came together to pray
They were exposed to each other’s praying - they heard each other pray on many occasions
Where did you learn to pray?
Surely the biggest impact in our formation of prayer comes from our parents - especially fathers - our children, and grandchildren, need to hear us pray!
How you should pray
Jesus helps us with prayer - He helps us to understand that it is not supposed to be intimidating
Matt 6: 5, 6 (The Message): “And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for fifteen minutes of fame! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
6“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
These words say a lot about how we should pray
Come before God - Have the intention of moving closer to God when you come before God in prayer
Don’t do the theatrical production - forget about how your prayer is supposed to be (you don’t have to be a poet in your prayer)
Find the right space to pray - there is mention of a quiet place, as Jesus retracted on many occasions… just the right space where you can focus (by the way, that is the reason we close our eyes in prayer - to focus)
Be present - simple and honest, uncomplicated and from the heart
Focus will shift from yourself to God - this is the beauty of what happens when we start to focus on God - we start to grow into having a new perspective on our own circumstances
That is why prayer is so therapeutic - it brings change in our thought-processes
Prayer as a connection with God
At the moment of Jesus’ death, the temple curtain tore in two from top to bottom
A temple curtain that is torn into two represents the connection with God was restore
The interceding function of religion expired - no intercession needed anymore
It is about taking away the barriers - ever religious barriers for prayer
What are the barriers for prayer in your life?
What is preventing you from praying?
Nothing should prevent you from praying!
You have a direct line to God - you have the ability to pray without reservation
This direct connection with God is something that we have in our faith practice that is very special
We should look after it, nurture it and engage in it
We should have our own connection with God - not just rely on the prayer of others
Prayer simplified - pray everywhere and always
Perhaps it would help us a lot when we could simplify the idea we have of prayer in our minds
I am so sad to see how people make an issue of prayer
Prayer is not this scary thing out there
Prayer is a lifestyle - a continuous conversation with God
I prayed last night while watching the fireworks…
I pray when I get anxious about things not working out
I pray when I feel sad
I pray when I feel hurt in relationships
I pray when I struggle being a good husband and good father and good pastor
I pray when I think about my brothers and sisters going through a tough time (pray as I think of them)
I pray when I see injustice and the exploitation of people
I pray when I feel uneasy
I also pray when I feel grateful and happy
Power of the Spirit - believers coming together to pray
We are in the middle of the series on the Power of the Holy Spirit
See what the Holy Spirit has done in the early church!
The Holy Spirit gave them the power of prayer
In Afrikaans we have a word called “vrymoedigheid”
The dictionary translates it with the word “boldness” - but some of the meaning is lost in this translation
The word says something about an easiness or free spirit, together with a boldness
I would love to see us all grow in our prayer - together
I would love to see us have a more free spirit to pray with each other
I would love to see us grow into a greater easiness with prayer
Let us grab on to the Power of prayer!
May our prayer be full of “vrymoedigheid”!
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