Summary: Have your students ever wondered how to pray. This sermon will help them apply Biblical principles to a committed prayer life!
gb. The Point. 11/01/04
Last week we started talking about this thing called spiritual disciplines, and how you’re supposed to read your Bible. Will talked about DNA: developing your desire, knowing your need, and applying what you’ve read. How many of you read your Bible this week? Great. Will also shared with you that the Bible is God’s love letter to us, and we even gave you a copy of a letter composed of verses from the Bible. I’d like to clear some things up for you. Some of you may be in this mode where you see God as this mythological character like Zeus who wants to strike you with a bolt of lightning when you’re bad, or maybe that you see him as this Cosmic Santa Claus who wants to bless you when you’re good, or you may think that God is this big kid up in the sky with a magnifying glass doing to you what you did to the ants when you were little. Well, I want you to know that you’re wrong. God isn’t like that; not at all. There are so many aspects of who God is and who He wants to be in your life, and we could talk forever about all of his attributes, but I want to hit one thing. God wants to be your friend, most of all. He wants to know you, and for you to know Him. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” The King James Version uses the word abide, which means the same thing as remain—to dwell, to await, continue in, or know. The Hebrew word for that is YaDA, which means to know intimately. In the book of Genesis it talks about hwo Adam knew Eve…the word that is used there is yaDa…Adam yaDa Eve, and they had Cain and Abel. Why did he write us his love letter…because he wants us to know him.
There’s a story of a man who was drafted to go to war. His wife was distressed; she knew that her husband could possibly lose his life, and that she may never see him again. As he left, he told her that he would miss her terribly. She sent him a letter for everyday that he was gone. She waited by the mailbox every day when the mail was supposed to come hoping to receive a letter from him. The first day: no letter. The second day: no letter. She waited and waited for weeks and weeks, and still no letter. After about 6 weeks, she received a letter, and it read, “Thanks for the food.” She was perplexed…she wrote him every day, and poured herself into each word she wrote, and all he could respond with was thanks for the food ?!?
How is this like us? We get this amazing letter from God, which He has poured His heart into, and the only response he gets is “Thanks for the food. Amen”
Tonight we’re going to talk about how he gets to know us…He wants us to respond to his letter. The way we respond is through Prayer. Prayer is the act of communicating with God. That’s it…just you talking to God like you would talk to your best friend. Now, we know that you don’t pray as often as you should, and here are some reasons why:
1. We’re just too busy.
2. We think it’s formal, you have to use big words when you pray.
3. We don’t see the importance of prayer.
4. We just don’t think about it.
5. Things are going O.K. for us.
6. We don’t think God wants to hear it.
You know what? Even though all of these things keep us from praying, it is still possible to pray. You’ve got to know that you don’t have to use big words when you pray, it’s a conversation between you and God. God wants to know you, he wants to hear what is on your mind.
Matthew 5:5-8 says, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”