Summary: This is the second message in the series "Disciple." This message looks at prayer in the life of the disciple, focusing on communicating with God through the Lord’s Prayer.
“Disciple: Following the Path of Jesus”
Part 2 – God Talk
NewSong Church – 09/09/07
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**NOTE: THIS IS A CONCEPT OUTLINE FOR THIS MESSAGE, NOT THE FULL MANUSCRIPT. GRAPHICS AND MULTIMEDIA ARE AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT THIS SERIES.
Video Clip: “Prayer – Live Richly”
Have you ever experienced something like that - a dropout in the conversation? Have you had those situations where you spend however many odd minutes shouting into your phone, then straining to hear what’s being said, and finally the call is lost and you are left staring at your phone, wondering what just happened? It’s one thing when you’re just chitchatting or shooting the breeze, but it’s a whole other issue when you’re in the middle of business or an important conversation and you really need to be able to communicate.
I know that there is a stretch of road going down Route 2 where no cell phone signal is able to penetrate. I know that the commercials tell me that no matter where I go, my signal will remain strong, my calls will be clear, and with one push of the little green button I can be in touch with anyone I desire – but more often than not I experience dropouts, the conversations are filled with static and breakups, or the person I’m calling hasn’t turned their phone on.
We live today with some of the greatest advances in communication and ways to connect people to each other, but even so, our actual communication efforts experience dropouts, or glitches, or sometimes complete failure. Despite all our great technology, the best communication happens face to face.
This morning we are continuing our series on discipleship. Today we are looking at prayer and what part it plays in our spiritual life. Much has been said about prayer. There are countless books and teachings on the subject of prayer. There are various different types of prayer and equally numerous ways to pray.
Today we will look at the initial stage of prayer in the life of a disciple of Jesus, and how our faith and pursuit of Christ is impacted by prayer and to shed some light on key principles of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, following His teaching, and living our lives for Him.
Lines of Communication
There are a few different ways that prayer has been defined throughout history, but the simplest, and I believe the most accurate definition is “communication.”
Prayer is communication between ourselves and God.
• Prayer is the ordinary interacting with the supernatural
• Prayer is the regular coming into connection with the incredible
• Prayer is the physical communicating with the spiritual
• Prayer is you and I experiencing the awesome presence of the Almighty God in our everyday lives
• Prayer is God in heaven participating in our lives here on earth
C.S. Lewis, contemplating the connection between prayer and the presence of God, wrote:
“Prayer is either sheer illusion or a personal contact between incomplete persons (ourselves) and the utterly concrete Person. Prayer in the sense of petition, asking for things, is a small part of it; confession and penitence are its threshold, adoration its sanctuary, the presence and vision and enjoyment of God its bread and wine. In prayer God shows Himself to us.”
Some people have called prayer a conversation with God, but it goes well beyond words and spoken thoughts that we direct heavenward.
• Prayer is a way to live
• an attitude to adopt and grow into
• a lifestyle to consciously and willingly enter each day
Someone once said,
“When we pray, we receive the gift of God Himself - prayer is communion with God. He wants us to know Him. As we grow in prayer we discover that prayer is more than simply asking God for things, a selfish means to an end. Prayer is not an attempt to force the hand of God, but an act of submission to Him, with the understanding that God’s answers are wiser than our prayers. Prayer is to impress us with God more than it is to impress God with us or our needs. If we never gain anything from prayer but the opportunity to commune with God that should be sufficient for us.”
Standing in the Need of Prayer
In Luke chapter 11, we find Jesus’ disciples, these men who have decided to follow his ways and teachings, coming to Jesus. They had been following him for a while now, they had heard him teach, had watched him perform miracles. They had been part of his ministry and at this point, they became aware that they were lacking something.
And so they come to Jesus, and they ask, “Lord, teach us to pray.”