Summary: Looks at the weakness in most prayers, and probes ways of praying more deeply and successfully. Part 3 in series, "Learning to Pray."
Pray It Like You Mean It
Series: Learning to Pray (prt. 3)
Wildwind Community Church
February 6, 2005
Some of the things I am talking about during this series on prayer come from one of the most popular books ever written on prayer. It’s a book called With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Rev. Andrew Murray. Two weeks ago I suggested that it’s not very valuable to listen to sermons about prayer if you have not made a commitment to actually pray. Well today I want to up the ante a little bit.
If you have been saying your desire is to learn about prayer, then I’d like to see you buy this book. You can get it at Christianbook.com for $5.49. What if for $5.49 you could revolutionize the way you communicate with God? My friends, you can pay $5.49 and turn your prayer life completely inside out. Conversely, you could pay $549.00 for a book like this and it wouldn’t make a dime of difference if you weren’t actually praying. So is the book valuable? Incredibly. I’m so glad I have been reading it and I will be sharing with you some things I have learned and some amazing experiences I have had. But what is really valuable is PRAYER. So buy the book if you are serious about learning to pray. It contains 31 lessons on prayer, which you can do one per day. I’m doing one every day except Sunday – on Sunday I’m trying to get some rest and think about what I have learned through the week. You can do it however you want. Don’t worry that the 19th century language is too confusing – you honestly get used to it pretty quickly.
Before I get into the message today I want to just speak briefly to anyone here this morning who does not consider themself a Christian – any skeptics or seekers among us. First of all, welcome to Wildwind. I’m very pleased you are here. Second, I just want to let you know that about 85% of all our sermons have a great deal of content that is addressed to skeptics and seekers. We are in the middle of this series on prayer right now because as a portable church we have one shot a week at this and I need to teach some important things to those who are trying to follow Jesus. But I hope you will not write off the message today, because in it you will get a picture of the kind of life that awaits you should you make a decision at some point to commit your life to Christ and let him be the leader of your life. I hope you will sit and think, and observe, and look closely at the picture as it begins to emerge.
Okay, now I want to tell you a story about something that happened to me this past week. I come to you this week, yes as your pastor as always – but also, perhaps more than ever before, as a fellow traveler with you – journeying with you to a place where I myself have really never been. My words this morning will be one part pastoral – words from the Bible teaching you spiritual lessons – and one part friendly testimony – just another person standing up here this week – like several have in recent weeks past – telling you about something I am excited about and inviting you to come along with me.
Before I tell you this story I want to give you a kind of disclaimer. What I’m telling you was my experience. I am not standing here promising you that every single one of you will have an experience identical to the experience I had this past week. In fact I myself did not manage to have more experiences like it throughout the rest of the week. But I think you’ll agree when I tell you this story that something amazing happened and that it was because of prayer. Though I cannot guarantee you that my experience will be your experience exactly, the whole point of today’s message is that you can see specific answers to specific things you pray for. So today’s message is called Pray It Like You Mean It.
Last Monday I was talking to someone from this church and noticed the person just seemed weighed down – just depressed or discouraged or something. I asked what was up and the person told me, “You know Dave, I don’t really know what’s up. I’ve just been in a funk the last few months and I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m kind of getting sick of myself, to be honest.” We made arrangements to get together to talk about it later in the week.