Summary: The first in a series of four sermons entitled. ‘Prayer As A Second Language’
Since school is now in full swing, I thought it would be fun to test our language knowledge but not English. Instead, I want us to see how well we doing with Spanish and French. I am going to put up five English words and you are to tell me which is the French word and which is the Spanish word. Ready? Here we go!
Slide 1 The English word is Door. Which word is the Spanish word for door and which is the French word for door? The Spanish word is ‘puerta’ and the French word is ‘porte.’
Slide 2 The English word is Book. Which word is the Spanish word for book and which is the French word for book? The Spanish word is ‘libro’ and the French word is ‘livre.’ Two more words…
Slide 3 The English word is Airplane. Which is the Spanish word for airplane and which is the French word? The French word is on the left and the Spanish word is on the right. There is an accent mark on the Spanish word though they sound very similar.
Slide 4 The final word is Love. Which is the Spanish word for love and which is the French word? The Spanish word is amor and the French word is amour.
Learning another language is challenging work just ask some of the missionaries that we support. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a person from another country? It can be enjoyable but it can also become frustrating. When we have trouble communicating due to a language barrier, it is a frustrating things and sometimes it is a serious thing when it comes to safety or health issues. So language is an important thing.
Have you ever felt the same way about prayer? Have you ever felt that you are speaking a foreign language when it comes to talking with the Lord? That either you are not being heard or that you cannot hear God?
Prayer is vital for faith in and relationship with God. We cannot hope to grow in our faith without making prayer a key part of our faith practices alongside Bible reading, church attendance, and serving the Lord. It needs to become our second language.
And what holds true for us as individuals also holds true for us as a congregation. Prayer is a vital part of our congregational life and we need to have weekly times of corporate prayer. (We don’t have it right now and I am very concerned about it. I am praying that the Lord will direct someone to restart our weekly prayer meeting.)
Slide 6 Someone has written, ‘The popularity of a CHURCH is measured by its Sunday morning attendance and the popularity of the PREACHER by its Sunday evening attendance. However, the popularity of the LORD is measured at the prayer meeting.’
In Luke 11 we read a passage that illustrates to us the importance of prayer as we hear the disciples request Jesus to “Lord, teach us to pray.’
Slide 7 Over the next four weeks we are going to learn, and maybe re-learn, the language of prayer and the model we are going to use is the simple but helpful outline of ACTS:
A is for Adoration
C is for Confession
T is for Thanks
S is for Supplication
And, in keeping with the return of our students to school, there will be a brief homework assignment for you to do each week.
This morning we begin with the important habit of adoring God. Adoring is, in my opinion, a rather feminine word. I don’t hear any guys say, ‘I really adore those shoes!’ I hear them say, ‘What an awesome car, man!’
Adoration and awesome, I do think, go together! We find awesome what we adore and what we adore is often awesome to us.
Prayer includes the adoration of an awesome God!
What is awesome about God? Everything is awesome about God! His holiness, his love, his justice, his compassion, his patience… all of these things remind us that we serve an awesome God. For the next few moments, we are going to hear and see various scripture passages that highlight this important aspect of prayer. When it ends I am going to ask you to share some of the things we are to adore God for.
Slide 8 (Adoration Clip from ‘Prayer as a Second Language’ series material.)
What are we to adore God for based on what we have just heard?
His creation, His character, His work in our lives are some of the things that we adore God for.
Slide 9 Someone has said that the difference between adoration and supplication or petition, is that adoration is based on who God is and that petition is based on what God does.