Summary: We are to be devoted to prayer.
A PEOPLE WITH PURPOSE:
THE MISSING INGREDIENT
C: Purpose of the Community
Th: A People with Purpose
Pr: WE ARE TO BE DEVOTED TO PRAYER.
?: How? How do we act when we are devoted to prayer?
TS: We will find in our study of Scripture three approaches that demonstrate our devotion to prayer (and thus, to God).
The ____ approach is…
I. ALONE AND TOGETHER
II. STRUCTURED AND SPONTANEOUS
III. SEEKING AND SILENT
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Set time aside and seek out God.
• Pray corporately.
• Make prayer a constant act in your life (like breathing).
• Be silent and listen.
RMBC 29 January 06 AM
My apologies to those caught last week in my humor about the non-existent book of Hezekiah.
I, too, was burned on that one during one of those Bible drills.
Find Hezekiah 14:3.
And there we all are flipping pages endlessly, while the leaders are snickering.
Yeah, real funny…
How good are you with prayer?
ILL Prayer: Bears
Many years ago, when the Chicago Bears were a football powerhouse, Michael Singletary was leading a chapel before the game. As Michael began to speak, he asked William Perry (aka “The Refrigerator”) to lead the group in the Lord’s Prayer after he finished.
Jim McMahon, the quarterback, was sitting in the back next to the team’s chaplain. McMahon whispered to the chaplain, “Look at Perry.”
The chaplain looked and saw that Perry was sweating profusely.
McMahon continued, “He doesn’t know the Lord’s Prayer.”
To which the chaplain responded, “Of course he knows the Lord’s Prayer. Everyone knows it.”
McMahon then showed the chaplain a fifty-dollar bill saying, “I’ll bet you $50 that he doesn’t know it.”
Finally, Singletary finishes his message, and Perry, with great hesitation stands, clears his throat, and says, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…”
It is then McMahon turns to the chaplain, hands him the fifty-dollar bill, and says, “I didn’t think he knew it!”
Well, hopefully you do know the difference!
1. This year, our theme is “A People with Purpose.”
As believers in the Lord Jesus, we have been given purpose.
We are not left to drift, and just do the best we can.
God has invested into us an ability to understand Him and know Him.
God has endowed us with the capacity to work in such a way that we will see His kingdom come here on earth, as it is in heaven.
In our studies this month…
2. We have learned that believers in Jesus are characterized by devotion (Acts 2.42).
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (NIV)
This particular verse is loaded, because we see the first church, guided by the power of the Holy Spirit, has already established priorities.
These are God-given priorities.
On January 1st, we started out the year right by celebrating the priority of the breaking of bread – communion – the Lord’s Supper.
Two weeks ago, we considered the priority of community.
We make a huge mistake if we fail to understand the importance of our fellowship together.
God calls us to a true community in which we live authentically – loving one another – and growing and maturing in our faith.
Last week, we studied the importance of being devoted to the apostles’ teaching.
God has graciously given us His Word, and in it, He has revealed Himself and His will for us.
Today, we learn that…
3. WE ARE TO BE DEVOTED TO PRAYER.
Simply, prayer is talking to God.
It is not meant to be complicated.
It is not meant to be full of flowery language, characterized by 17th century English.
It is conversation, and privileged conversation, I might add.
God desires it.
The most awesome, powerful, magnificent Being of the universe calls on us to converse with Him.
So, if you think about if for a moment, it is foolish to not be devoted to prayer.
It is an act of foolishness on our part to not be men and women of prayer.
Frankly, it is too often the missing ingredient in the church.
Churches that truly believe in God believe in prayer, and they demonstrate it … by praying!
Consider what the 19th century “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon has said:
ILL Prayer: Charles Spurgeon
“If God be near the church, it must pray. And if He not be there, one of the first tokens of His absence will be a slothfulness in prayer.”
For the early church it was a constant.
They didn’t just talk about it.
They just didn’t tell people to pray.