Summary: Focussed on how God’s dreams for us are further revealled through prayer

I have a question for you today

How is your prayer life?

I ask this question because I am interested in you thinking about three things:

Are you praying regularly?

What and who are you praying for?

And how is prayer affecting the rest of your life?

Are you praying regularly?

What and who are you praying for?

And how is prayer affecting the rest of your life?

And the reason I am raising this is that prayer is one of the spiritual habits

Spiritual disciplines

That is important to our Christian life

That is important to our relationship with God and with other people

On most occasions when I pray to God

I am not just praying in relation to issues or things concerning myself,

But also others

If you look at our Gospel reading again

From Luke 18, verse 1

We hear Jesus clearly saying that I am about to tell you a story that demonstrates why it is essential,

why it is necessary,

why it is important

that you keep on praying no matter what and never give up

To better understand the story

It is helpful to jump back a few verses and see in what context Jesus told this story

In Luke 17 verse 20 we hear that there were a group of people

The Pharisees

Who were impatient, (you don’t know anyone like that do you?)

And they wanted to know when the kingdom of God would be coming

Now why do you think they asked this question?

Could it possibly have been that what they were experiencing something in their lives at that point in time

That did not feel like, did not look like, did not resemble what they believed God’s kingdom should be!!

Do you ever feel that way?

That there is a huge difference between how you are living now

With the problems and issues we hear about, encounter and face

To how life should be with God

Well I do and we should

Because Jesus has not returned, so our lives are a mixture of blessing from God and sin affected issues

What we experience as reality now

Is not how God intended life to be

It is not what God wants us to be experiencing

Now we often criticize the Pharisee’s but they got this right

They recognized that there was something wrong with life as they knew it

It was not Godly

And they knew that the Kingdom of God offered something far better, far more, far superior

to the current broken, tarnished reality of life they were experiencing

And they wanted to know when it was about to become reality

Do you ever wonder when God’s kingdom

When you will see a little bit more of heaven on earth?

Well Jesus in answer to the Pharisee’s question and to our question

Jesus responds first by saying

be ready and not to turn back

And then with the parable we heard today in Luke 18

Where Jesus encourages us to keep on praying

And there is a reason for this!!!

When we pray…

We are not bound to today’s reality

Yes we experience it

But when we pray our thoughts are on the future God has prepared for us

We are communicating, talking with God about our life and his dreams for us

Isn’t that a great opportunity, a wonderful privelege?

Being able to talk to God about your life, your concerns, your worries, your joys

and also His dreams for you

Now there is something that is helpful for us to remember

Communication works best when you are not the only one talking

But when we also listen

A good friend of mine is constantly telling people in sales training

Hey you have two ears and one mouth

Use them proportionally

And he says the same when it comes to prayer

And this part of the key of understanding this parable

Prayer is not just about us jabbering to God

About us talking to God and then concluding with Amen

And going on with life

And wondering when or why God hasn’t answered my prayer

Prayer is far more than this

Prayer involves talking to God

And then listening to how God responds

This may take time

This could involve allowing a set time for prayer each day

Talking for only 1/3 of that time, then reflecting on what you prayed and listening to God interjecting into those prayers

It may also involve testing and experimenting

It definitely involves opening up your bible

And it involves allowing God to question you, to respond to you through many different situations and people

Every week I find prayer with God as one of the most beneficial and helpful things I do

Sometimes my prayer times is quiet and very solitude

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