Church Get Talking
`Britain Get Talking’ is an ITV Mental Wellness campaign to help families get closer. Anxiety and depression in children have apparently risen by 48% since 2004. but talking and listening can build mental wellness, so hence the encouragement to tune back in to the story in our own living room. These next two months, as you can see from articles elsewhere, we are focusing on prayer so with the above initiative in mind that expresses the priority and importance of talking, we want to encourage more talking too, so as well as talking to one another let’s seek creative ways as to how we can step up on talking to our maker. Maybe ask a friend to partner you once a week? Maybe include prayer in a text conversation? Maybe at the end of a family meal time give the whole conversation to God? `Church Get Talking’ Starts right here right now. Try Praying.
(Britain) Get Talking! - AM
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- Sermon notes
What is prayer…?
- Communication that comes through relationship – therefore two-way. At least that is the clear picture of Christian prayer. We’re not just talking here about prayer being one way, us to a ‘higher being’ in hope that he, she or it might hear and respond. That’s often the view of various religions. The voice of the heaven came to Jesus when he was baptised “as he was praying” (Luke 3: 21).
- Involving God in our lives – we are placed here to live in isolation from our maker
- Powerful weapon for believers – brought change for Joshua and the people of God, can help us too…
- The antidote to worry – it sits nicely alongside ‘Trust’. “Bring all your requests to God” (Phil 4: 6). We can bag up all of our worries and have someone and somewhere to take them…
Why do we pray…?
- For most it is because we want something or need help! An exam? Health issue? We’re in trouble!
- To get right with God – “Have mercy on me, a sinner”. A > B > C
- As part of our worship to God – we can acknowledge who He is, thank Him, place our trust in Him
- God’s Word instructs us to pray – “bring all your requests to God” (Phil 4: 6)
- God’s people have always prayed – isn’t that enough of a hint that we should!
- Jesus prayed – he is a model for us, but also if he needed to pray, as Son of God, who are we not to!
- We need God’s help and wisdom – “God, I can’t do this on my own” is throwing our dependence on Him
Problems with prayer – when some answers come and some don’t
- God’s ways are not our ways – Careful with words. If something works we say, “God answers prayer”, if not we say, “It wasn’t God’s will”. Can be a cop-out, highlights our insecurity and shallowness of faith
- We need to understand the context - “Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech” (Gen 20: 17) doesn’t mean that every time we pray for someone to be healed they will be, but that 1. Abimelech would not have been healed unless Abraham prayed, 2. God was the healer, not Abraham, and 3. Abimelech had been told by God that Abraham would pray and good would resolve from this.
- Heart-felt cries must still honour God – He is sovereign. Hannah “was in bitterness of soul… wept in anguish” (1 Sam 1: 10) because she was unable to conceive a child, but she still loved God whatever the outcome of her prayer was going to be, and despite the grief she felt. What a challenge for when we strop!
How can we pray…?
- You don’t ‘have’ to pray in a particular position. You can stand or sit, have your eyes open or closed. If driving preferably open! We used to say “hands together, eyes closed, don’t forget to blow your nose…!” Others feel they should adopt ‘the shampoo position’…!
- Observe the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer – before you read it read a sermon on it!
- Read the Psalms as nearly every Psalm is a prayer! Various reasons or motives… need pure hearts
- Find the “secret place” for a one-to-one with God (Mt 6: 5, “go to your room… shut the door” & Colin’s poem). “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mk 1: 35) “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Lk 5: 16)
- Expectantly – “whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matt 12: 2)
- Specifically – Hezekiah prayed, “Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand…” “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”
- Unselfishly – Hezekiah prayed, “Deliver us… so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God” (2 Kings 19: 19). Whose Glory is at stake here…?
- Perseveringly – “Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18: 1)
- Evangelistically – “that God may open a door for our message…” (Col 4: 3)
- When we can - Sometimes for hours, sometimes for one second (Nehemiah’s arrow prayer 2: 4). Prayer is the one thing we can do like the old Martini advert sung, “any time, any place, anywhere…” Now???
Church Get Talking! Right now you could :-
- Commit your life to God?
- Thank Him for all He’s done for you?
- Worship in tongues?
- Sit in silence?
- Pray for a need / friend?
- Ask God to speak to you?
- Pray with or for the person next to you?
- Make the most of every opportunity!