Summary: This sermon will look at some basic guidelines to prayer and a model of prayer called ACTS. It will then conclude with mountain moving prayer.
God Invites us to Talk to Him
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
Part one of this series focused on the fact that God does not change and still performs miracles for His children who pray in accordance with His will and have the patience to wait for their appointed time! Since most Christians do not see the power of God unless they pray, this sermon is going to begin by stressing the importance of creating heart building habits of prayer into our lives. Carving out the time to pray and finding a special place free from distractions is key to developing heart felt prayers that allows one to hear and reflect on the gentle whispers of God! While one should not legalistically follow a regime for prayer, there is much to be said about intentionally and joyfully setting aside time for spiritual growth through prayer. The second part of this sermon is going to focus on a model of prayer called ACTS. When we pray we are to begin with reverence to God, then confess our sins, give thanks and lastly ask God to help others and us to handle life tribulations and to become more like Jesus. The sermon will finish with a brief look at mountain moving prayer, the kind that one is so busy rejoicing in what God is about to do that all mountains of doubt are crushed!
Heart Building Habits
Carving out the Time to Pray Daily. Our Spirits, like our bodies, have requirements to grow spiritually healthy. If we want to grow beyond the spiritual babies (1 Corinthians 3:1-5) that we start off as, Paul says we need to use the freedom God has given us to no longer allow life to merely happen but are to instead use our freedom to choose to run the race with the intent of winning the crowns of righteousness that will last forever! Christians are not to waste time and effort aimlessly living their lives but are to go into strict training, constantly striking a blow (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) to the number one killer of spiritual growth, complacency! Someone is not going to wave a magic wand and we will instantly be transformed into mature Christians. Spiritual maturity comes through persevering the testing of one’s faith by the tribulations of life. This of course requires wisdom and the power to act in accordance with God’s will that can only be had through deep spiritual discussions with our Creator.
Finding a Special Place. Life changing conversations with God are easier to have when in the right attitude and environment. For some Christians the only time they pray is in a public setting such as Sunday School, church, a restaurant or any place where they might receive human praise for “appearing” to be so holy. Prayer is not to be a spectator sport! While there is nothing wrong with public prayer that is done to praise God and not ourselves, to foster a personal relationship with God Christians also need to have one on one time with their Creator. For some Christians their prayers are ineffective because they choose the wrong environment. He who knit us in our mother’s womb knows that we get easily distracted. A sound of a car, wind in the trees, television in the background, ongoing conversations, and yes even a fly being near by can send our minds into a frenzy of fragmented thoughts! In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told the people to find a secret place to pray. If you truly want to hear the whisper of God then choose a quiet place such as the laundry room, closet, office or the basement of your house and He “who sees what is done in secret will reward you with His voice” (Matthew 6:6)!
Praying from the Heart. “How easy it is to use sanctified jargon while praying!” You know the words that sound impressive because they are the repetition of some of the greatest theological terms and phrases known to humanity! For example:
O thou blessed creator of heaven and earth how we praise thee for thy bountiful provisions for us thy mortal kin. Thank you, Lord, for my sanctification and reconciliation through the atoning sacrifice of the sinless Lamb of God. Your omnipotence and omnipresence are never far from my mind even though my sinful natures remain!
God is not interested in babbling phrases that sound good to others. What He is interested in is heart felt prayers of those who cry out “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15)! Since God knows everything about us, why try to hide our emotions from Him? In our prayers we are not to use words intended to promote our glory but words that convey our desire to have a conversation with He who loves and sincerely wants to good to those who love Him. An example of a good prayer might sound like this: