Transformation, Part 3
Prayer changes things because we pray to the great changer of things. This message focuses on the practice of prayer on the road of spiritual transformation.
Transformation Series Part 3
The Practice of Prayer
Dave Spooner – Mosaic Rockford – Oct. 18th, 2015
- In this series looking to see the Lord continue His process of transformation in our lives as we see to following him in walking in his footsteps.
- The real power of God is seen in the transformation of a life from . . . . to . . . .
- Hopefully you have really been dealing with the disease of hurryitis and pulled out, prayed and played by finding a quiet place, a wilderness and a recreation.
- I believe that the number one indicator of spiritual life is the desire to seek god. And often times this come from desperation.
- Prayer is something we generally associate with desperation. We typically like to rely on our own resources. We will depend on our plans and our people. However, at a moment of crisis and desperation when we have run out of time and opportunity, when human cleverness and mortal strength have failed us, and when all other options are gone, that is the time that we turn to prayer. In football it is called a “Hail Mary”.
- Desperate people pray. They pray without thinking of it. People in foxholes pray. People who go through divorce, have children that run away, people being attacked, or in a crash, or hear from a doctor a grim diagnoses. We do this out of reflex – for something in us tells us to do so – we are made to connect with God.
- Desperation prayers have been the beginning of spiritual life for many people. But by themselves such prayers are not sufficient to sustain spiritual life. Many of us fall into a pattern where the only times we pray are the times when we are prompted by crisis or pain; the rest of the time we rely on our own strength and cleverness.
- In most ordinary moments we are not convinced that prayer really changes things. Many people believe that their prayers won’t change God’s actions, so they ask themselves what the point is of praying. Dallas Willard puts it, “the idea that everything would happen exactly as it does regardless of whether we pray or not is a specter that haunts the minds of many who sincerely profess belief in God. It makes prayer psychologically impossible, replacing it with dead ritual at best.”
- The truth is that prayer does indeed change things. The Bible’s teaching on prayer leads overwhelmingly to one conclusion: Prayer changes things. . . . (give examples: Abraham, Moses, Daniel, ester, NT )
Deut 4:7-8 NIV
What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord
Heb 11:6 NLV
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
- Prayer is a learned behavior. Nobody is born an expert at it. So we can learn how to pray.
- You need a time and place – intentionality – start with 5 min a day is a place that is free from distractions.
- Just tell God what is on your heart – not what you wish was on your heart. The circles of our interests will inevitably grow in the largeness of God’s love. But prayer, like any other relationship must begin in honesty if it is to grow. C.S. Lewis wrote that in prayer we must “lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us”.
- It is not a show . . .
- Pay attention to your wonderings – look at them deeper and deal with them.
- Learn to be fully present
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer
- Live righteously be authentic
- So instead of praying just reactively . . . I want us also to pray proactively.
- Pray the scriptures
- Intercessory prayer is about persistence.
1 Thess 5:17 – Pray continually
Matt 7:7-12 NIV
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Luke 18:1-8 NIV
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
- Put prayer into your daily routine until it becomes like breathing . . . they prayed both intentionally and continually
- Be yourself – be persistence and what how God will work
- Bring back pray and play
- Next week – guidance from God.