Sermons

Summary: A seven week series on how people from the bible engaged God in prayer. feel free to use any or all of this...

Learning to Pray

Pt. 1 Abraham’s Intersession

Intro:

I think it is awesome how God has made us all different. He has given us all some things that we are good at… In my home, all four of us have things that we are good at: Amy is good at organizing and managing our home, without her the girls and I wouldn’t be able to function! Rachel is great picking up talents, she can play over 7 different instruments, she gardens, she sews, and she knits, and most of these she just picked up on her own! Anna is the driven achiever, she is the lead percussionist in her band, she is one of the top players in Michigan bible bowl, she pushes for perfection in all she does, and often achieves it. And me, I am good at killing bugs and changing light bulbs and taking out the trash…

We all have our strengths, but we also have our weaknesses… Things we are not good at… As I said Amy is great at organizing, well I am not! She balances me out, just like I balance her out, she is too short to change a light bulb…

As Christians we have our strengths and weaknesses as well, some are great at understanding the bible, others have great faith, some are good at sharing their faith, and some are great at serving. But let me ask this, how many here think they are great at prayer? How many actually struggle with prayer? Regardless of who you are, prayer can be a difficult thing, because we often times don’t know how to go about it.

There are different types of people who pray:

The “as I lay me down to sleep” prayer…

The “I want to impress God with my prayers” prayer…

The “I don’t want to think to hard” prayer…

The Lister…

The “Pharisee prayer”…

If you find yourself in one or more of these categories, you are not alone, it is said that the average Christian in America struggles with prayer, when to, how to, what to, and how much. And as a result prayer is a confusing and frustrating subject. So today we are starting a new series on prayer, learning the hows, the whats, whens, and whys, by looking at some of the great prayers in the bible. So if you have your bible turn to Genesis 18:16

16Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him." 20Then the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know."

So God let’s Abraham know what he is doing by inviting him into the conversation about Sodom… It is kind of cool that God invites Abraham to discuss what he is doing…

Do you ever think that God has invited us into what he is doing? That he wants our input? Do ever think that God wants to hear your thoughts? I realize that most folks never think like that, that God wants to hear what they think, because why would he care about what we think… obviously our ways are not his way, nor our thoughts his, so why would he care to hear from us? Let me ask this, have you ever asked someone their thoughts on something, even though you know what you are going to do? My grandfather would tell me that we were going to do something and would ask me how I would go about it, even though he knew what we would do… I do this to my kids today…

22So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. 23Then Abraham drew near and said, "Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" 26And the LORD said, "If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake."

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