Monday, March 26, 2012

3/25/12 11am Message - Student of Prayer


·       It has been said that, “The barren lives of Christians and the deadness of the church today are the result of prayerlessness.”[1]
·       "He who has learned to pray has learned the greatest secret of a holy and happy life."  William Law (18th century English  theological writer) [2]
·       If we are ever to accomplish anything for God in this life, it must start with prayer, and we must ask, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

I.                  Lord
a.   They didn’t ask the other disciples, or the Pharisees – they asked Jesus.
b.   Every student needs a teacher, and if we are going to be students of prayer, we should go to the Master Teacher – Jesus.
c.    Two important qualities in a teacher:

                                                            i.      Knowledge
1.   The disciples overheard Jesus praying, and realized that He knew what He was doing.
2.   Too often, we get our advice from those who struggle just like us and have no clue on what to do.
3.   As God in the flesh, He prayed to the Heavenly Father so that He might teach us from a place of knowledge and experience.

                                                         ii.      Patience
1.   A good teacher is patient.
2.   If the student knew what they were doing, and could do it without messing up – they wouldn’t need a teacher.
3.   But God never gives up on us – even when we fail at prayer.
4.   He is there to pick us back up, and continue the lesson in prayer.

II.               Teach Us
a.   Not them, but us. We must take the personal responsibility for our own devotion to God.
b.   We are so quick to point out the small deficiencies in others, but over look our major faults as – minor blemishes…quirks…no big deal…etc.

                                                            i.      Matthew 7:3–5 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
c.    How many prayer hypocrites are out there today?
                                                            i.      How many times has someone asked you, or you promised to pray for someone, and you haven’t?
d.   Doubltless all of our sins and mistakes and failures are prayer sins, prayer mistakes, and prayer failures.” John R Rice[3]
e.   Until we realize our need, we will never get the help we truly need.
f.      Many like to think they have prayer mastered – BUT WHEN IS THE LAST TIME GOD ANSWERED YOUR PRAYERS?
                                                            i.      WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU FELT THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN PRAYER?
g.    The only way to overcome the sin of prayerlessness is to recognize it and seek to be taught by the Lord.

III.            To Pray
a.   Every morning you wake up – do you desire to pray and speak to God?
b.   Many Christians do not, and therefore they don’t pray.
c.    Or if they do pray, it is powerless and pointless.
d.   How speedily we are deceived into a resting in the form, while the power is wanting.[4]
e.   This disciple was not just asking how to pray. The Lord had given the Sermon on the Mount which outlined how one should pray.
                                                            i.      This disciple was not asking for a technique, a system, an art form, or a ritual to follow.
                                                         ii.      It was not a matter of how to do it, but he wanted to pray like Christ prayed.[5]
f.      The best way to learn is to practice, and practice makes perfect. What we learn from our teacher, we must put into practice every day.
g.    Instead of focusing on where you are not - Start where you are and begin to pray!
h.   You won’t learn to pray for 2 hours until you first have prayed for 2 minutes.
·       How is your prayer life today?
·       Before you answer that, consider another reason why the disciples asked Jesus to teach them – it was because John the Baptist taught his disciples to do so.
·       John the Baptist was more than just a prophet of God, he was a man of prayer and that is how Jesus’ disciples remembered him.
·       Will people remember you as a person of prayer?
·       If not, let’s ask the Lord to teach us to pray.

[1] McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 37: Thru the Bible commentary: The Gospels (Luke) (electronic ed.). Thru the Bible commentary (143). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[4] Murray, Andrew, “Lord, Teach Us o Pray,” Kindle edition, location 28
[5] McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 37: Thru the Bible commentary: The Gospels (Luke) (electronic ed.). Thru the Bible commentary (143). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

1 comment:

  1. Prayer is so essential to a Christian's life! Just as it was for our Lord.