A Praying Life (week 8)

SPBC BodyLife        

A PRAYING LIFE – Week 8

  • How many people keep their calendar electronically?
  • How many people use another style calendar; pocket/purse, wall, or other written?

 

It is likely that well over 90% of people do one of the above. But…

  • How many people have a similar format for keeping their prayer requests?

 

It is likely a lot less. Reasons are

–          If you forget an appointment people notice; but not many notice if you don’t pray.

–          It takes time and effort and the bottom line is we don’t value prayer to the level of other forms of work.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, October 17

“And greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.” John 14:12

Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work. We think of prayer as a common-sense exercise of our higher powers in order to prepare us for God’s work. In the teaching of Jesus Christ prayer is the working of the miracle of Redemption in me which produces the miracle of Redemption in others by the power of God. The way fruit remains is by prayer, but remember it is prayer based on the agony of Redemption, not on my agony. Only a child gets prayer answered; a wise man does not.

Prayer is the battle; it is a matter of indifference where you are. Whichever way God engineers circumstances, the duty is to pray…There is nothing thrilling about a labouring man’s work, but it is the labouring man who makes the conceptions of the genius possible; and it is the labouring saint who makes the conceptions of his Master possible. You labour at prayer and results happen all the time from His standpoint. What an astonishment it will be to find, when the veil is lifted, the souls that have been reaped by you, simply because you had been in the habit of taking your orders from Jesus Christ.

 

Paul Miller, A Praying Life – chapter 26 Using Prayer Tools

ð      ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication

  • Good starting point
  • Careful systems can become rote, ignoring the relational (like person with bad social skills)

ð      Prayer Lists (public)

  • Good if they are updated, specific
  • Avoid using public prayer chain as gossip (only thing faster than lightning is church prayer chain!)

ð      Prayer cards (personal)

  • Good if updated and specific
  • Accessible
  • Paul Miller writes bullet point phrases, scriptures and ideas to pray for specific people or topics
  • Miller: “A prayer card has advantages over a list. A list is often a series of scattered prayer requests, while a prayer card focuses on one person or area of your life…A list tends to be more mechanical. We can get overwhelmed with the number of things to pray for… hard to maintain the discipline to pray… cards help concentration on that person or need.” p.226

Andrew                                     6/02 Be a kingdom influencer

With Emily – “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7

How do I disciple him?

Math + Reading + Science + S.S. + Bible

Honesty “put away all deceit”

Basketball, track, ping pong

Friends – good friends that love Jesus

Psalm 51:6 “You desire truth in the inward parts”

Know and walk with Jesus          1/03 Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble

 Example prayer card by Paul Miller for his son, p.227

                                                            David Gray Jr., Rodney & Sarah Lee

Mom, Sue, Charlene                                                    Bob & Annette Winter                    John                      

                        ISAIAH 61:1a, 2b, 3a

“The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me… to comfort

Cancer               all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of  

 Jenny               beauty            instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of

Roberta                        praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

 

            Single Women who want marriage                                         Struggling Marriages

            Carol,  Jane                                                                               Roberta & George Carter

Example prayer card by Paul Miller for those he knows are suffering, p.230

                                                            David Gray Jr., Rodney & Sarah Lee

Mom, Sue, Charlene                                                    Bob & Annette Winter                    John                      

                        ISAIAH 61:1a, 2b, 3a

“The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me… to comfort

Cancer               all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of  

 Jenny               beauty            instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of

Roberta                        praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

             Single Women who want marriage                                         Struggling Marriages

            Carol,  Jane                                                                               Roberta & George Carter

 

 “Prayer is asking God to incarnate, to get dirty in your life. Yes, the eternal God scrubs floors. For sure we know he washes feet. So take Jesus at his word. Ask him. Tell him what you want. Get dirty. Write out your prayer requests; don’t mindlessly drift through life on the American narcotic of busyness. If you try to seize the day, the day will eventually break you. Seize the corner of his garment and don’t let go until he blesses you. He will reshape the day.” p.233

ð      Scripture Prayer (cf. Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore)

  • Topical/Theme Verses
  • Pattern of Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-14
  • Psalms
  • Paul’s prayers

 

ð      Listening & Journaling Prayer

  • Paul Miller “If we focus exclusively on God’s written Word when looking for God’s activity in our lives but don’t watch and pray, we’ll miss the unfolding story of his work. We’ll miss the patterns of the Divine Artist etching the character of his Son on our hearts. Our lives will lack the sparkle and immediacy of God’s presence.” p.242
  • Paul Miller “When people call their own thoughts or feelings ‘God’s voice’, it puts them in control of God and ultimately undermines God’s Word by elevating human intuition to the status of divine revelation. Unless Scripture guards and directs our intuitions, we can easily run amok and baptize our selfish desires with religious language.” p.244

 

GROWING IN PRAYER

Colossians 4:2 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” 

 

Mark 4:26-29 “26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

 

  1. 1.      Scatter Seed: Pray intentionally and without ceasing (like breathing). When we scatter the seed of prayer we are expressing our faith and trust that God hears, cares and responds.
  2. 2.      Seed Sprouts: After praying we watch and wait; which is not passive but active. It’s the idea that we pray as though it all depends on God and we work as though it all depends on us.
  3. 3.      Harvest: God responds to our prayers and we must discern his answers to reap what he wants to bring about in our life and in the life of others.

 

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