Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Some Words of Encouragement on Prayer

This evening is our first prayer meeting of 2016 and I have been asked to say a few words of encouragement regarding prayer. Well, it’s always good to begin with Jesus, what did He say about prayer that might be encouraging?

Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you.  Luke 11:9

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Matthew 21:22

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:13-14

Doesn't get much better than that, does it? I wonder if Jesus means what He says ... can the Scripture be trusted on this ... must we add some "ifs" and "buts"? We'll be looking at this in a lot more detail in home groups in a few weeks time, but for now the answer is obviously YES.

What have others said about prayer? Well, everyone who is anyone has something to say about prayer, I’ve chosen three well-known folk … once again, for encouragement.

Martin Luther: The fewer the words the better prayer.

John Wesley: Whether we think of, or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than his love, and the desire of pleasing him.
 Proceed with much prayer, and your way will be made plain.
Pope Francis: Miracles happen. But prayer is needed! Prayer that is courageous, struggling and persevering, not prayer that is a mere formality.

And one more encouraging word from supermodel Imam, David Bowie's wife, the day before he died:  The struggle is real, but so is God.
If you want a teaching course in prayer, the best place to go is to the Bible’s Book of Prayer … the Psalms. One of the best things about the book of Psalms is that we find we are not the first person in the world to complain to God, or feel that our prayers come back unheard and unanswered, we are not the first to feel that our rivals should be beaten to a pulp, we are not the first to ask God why it seems that the bad guys always win. 

So, I’m going to do something quite random now. I’m asking you to think of a number between 1 and 150 (that’s how many Psalms there are) and I’m also asking that you don’t think of a Psalm you know by its number (eg 23) … I don’t want you to call out your favourite, and I also ask you don’t use the number 119, which has 176 verses J. I want you to call out a random number and I’ll read the corresponding Psalm, and we’ll see what that Psalm teaches us.
Let’s pray that the Spirit inspires our randomness right now, so that it’s not random at all. 

Now … let me see a hand.

1 comment:

Donna Fowler-Marchant said...

Psalm 4 came to my mind "randomly" -- or was it the Spirit at work?