Summary: Prayer / Evangelism (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Luke chapter 11 verses 1-13.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson went on a camping trip.
• As they lay down for the night,
• Holmes said, "Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see."
• Watson said, "I see millions and millions of stars".
• Holmes asked, "And what does that tell you?"
• It tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
• It tells me that God is great and that we are small and insignificant.
• It tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.
• What does it tell you?" asked Watson.
• Sherlock Holmes replied; "Somebody has stolen our tent."
Sometimes we miss the obvious in life!
• When it comes to evangelism;
• One of the obvious things we can easily over look is prayer!
• If I’m honest I am much better at talking to people about God;
• Than talking to God about people!”
“In evangelism there is no point talking to people about God;
Until first you have talked to God about people!”
I want to use as a springboard for our thoughts this morning:
• The Lord’s prayer (although technically the Lord’s prayer is John chapter 17) in Luke’s gospel.
• This really is the disciples prayer e.g. verse 1b: “Lord teach us to pray”
(1). The priority of prayer (verse 1).
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples”.
Question: What do you think of when someone mentions John the Baptist?
• His habitat (surroundings not the shop)
• Raised in the solitude and loneliness of the desert.
• His clothes; He wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist.
• This was not a fashion statement; but in the desert this was all that was available.
• His food: He ate locusts and wild honey;
• Once again this was not some sort of special diet, he simply ate what he could find.
• His message: he had a unique style (ill: fire & brimstone):
• Quote: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath!”
• His unusual practice: He is known throughout history as John the Baptist;
• Not because he founded a denomination but because he baptised Jewish people (shock!)
• His death: Beheaded at the whim of a young teenage girl aided on by her mother;
• His death was sordid & violent, the very opposite of the man himself.
Now John the baptiser is one of my favourite Bible characters:
• I have a folder at home full of sermons on John the baptiser;
• Yet I have not got one entitled; “The prayer life of John the baptiser!”
• I did not realise until I started preparing this sermon;
• That to the disciples of Jesus; they remembered him as a man of prayer.