Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

Prevailing With God

May 23rd, 2011

1 Samuel 7:3-12
• This time looking at how the Israelites won the battle – it was God, He won the battle and Israel played their part. It was the Lord who thundered and threw the Philistines into confusion – He is the hero.
• It is humbling to us – God does the heavy lifting.
• How did God get so involved? Samuel was the great warrior – he prayed and heaven broke loose.
• Throughout history, men of God prayed and saw victory – e.g. Moses who prayed when Joshua was in battle, and he prevailed.
• The great power and efficacy of prayer. We don’t pray to feel spiritual but to know God and get things done.
• God invites us to an adventure of changing the course of events and even history.
• Prayer is not weak, pious, religious escapism or a cop-out for not doing “real” work. Prayer here is continuously fighting and prevailing with God.
• It is one of the privileges of being a Christian.
• It is hard – it’s a discipline and a struggle and a labour. But prayer is also sweet! God is our Dad and loves us.
• The more you press in, you find God is dealing with you and shaping you. We’re often tempted to pray only in the shallows.
• Jesus calls us to pray and not give up.
• We are called to live a life of prayer – living our lives with God and prevailing with Him.
• Prayer is not a spare wheel – it is the steering wheel!
• Turn your passions into prayer. Sometimes we only see prayer as a duty. What do you want? Take it to God – you’ll find out if they’re right or wrong. Take your anger to God in prayer – it’s much easier to just sit around and complain. Pour out your heart to Him!
• James 4 – you do not have because you do not ask.
• Whatever it is that angers and frustrates you can unlock and grow your prayer life.
• Sometimes you have to pray for something for years, even decades.
• Prayer is like a business product that sells really well.
• There is a danger – you can think it’s all about you and what you can achieve in your own strength in prayer.
• Samuel cries out to God on behalf of a desperate people who don’t deserve anything, and he prays for their protection and wellness. He was a sign of Someone who was to come.
• The Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest pray-er – He went back to the Father to pray and intercede for us (Heb. 7:25). He lives to pray and intercede for us. He’s not in heaven doing nothing!
• Before Jesus went to the cross, Peter was so sure of himself that he wouldn’t deny Jesus or turn away. Luke 22:31-32 – Jesus said he had prayed for Peter and that his faith would not fail, not for an easy life. Shows the importance and power of prayer.
• Jesus knows what is valuable, what’s most important about us – it is how much we trust God. All of our problems have come from us not trusting God.
• Jesus’ prayers never get denied!
• 1 Peter 1:6-7 – faith is more precious than gold. Your faith will be tested through trials and fire.
• If you don’t think you can make it, take heart – Jesus went through trials before you and for you, and now prays that you will be able to do the same.
• Romans 8:34.
• Jesus names us before the Father.
• John 17 – Jesus’ great high priestly prayer. This is what He prayed for us.

Author: Categories: What Kind of King? Tags: ,

Hannah’s God

February 2nd, 2011
  • Hannah was a giant in prayer – she learnt how to pray successfully.
  • There is a pressure to be “normal” as defined by society and not take prayer – or God – seriously. But one day we will find out what was truly “normal”.
  • In Hannah’s day Israel was far from God and was a mess, and so Hannah stood out just as much then as she would do now.
  • God has a habit of choosing people and things that society rejects. Psalm 118:22. Build your life on Christ.
  • Hannah makes a remarkable vow to give her son back to God – but she probably didn’t start off praying like this.
  • We usually start off praying asking God to perform tasks for us – to have this thing or get rid of that thing – like God is some kind of cosmic butler, not to have a relationship with but to serve us. Most religion works like this – with God at arm’s length. But the God of the Bible is different – He saved us for relationship and to be known.
  • God does do things for us but He also knows He is the only thing that will ultimately satisfy us, and through answers to pray He wants to get our attention and draw us to Himself.
  • Luke 17:11-19 – all 10 lepers were healed by Jesus but only 1 came back – the other 9 didn’t want to know the real God; their god was healthy skin. Oftentimes we use God to get our real gods – the things we desire the most, more than God.
  • Answered prayers are sometimes like crumbs from the table to get us to come up and feast with the real God.
  • In the process of her affliction and praying, Hannah finds the real treasure, more precious than a child – God Himself.
  • John 15:4-7 – when we abide in Jesus, when we are aligned with Him and His desires, we begin to pray and see it come to pass. We are branches of the Vine – we are supposed to be extensions of Jesus. We can’t be independent branches.
  • We get pruned as being part of the Vine. We submit our life to God and give up claim over it, and God works in us and prunes us.
  • Our heart needs to be that our life exists for God – then we will see our prayer life explode.
  • Jeremiah 33:3.
  • Hannah had to learn this.
  • Hannah starts praying in a different way, calling on God as “O Lord of Hosts”, meaning “God of heaven’s armies” – because in her heart it is more about just having a child but a longing for God’s name being vindicated, and to have a son to dedicate to that cause. Her vision grows so much bigger than just having a baby.
  • It’s not about us but about God’s mission – it’s His battle.
  • We need to meet the God of the armies of heaven.
  • Real obedience comes from trust in a good God. And we know God is good because He gave us HIS Son. Yield to Him.
  • ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’ (Matt. 6:33)

Hannah’s Fight

January 31st, 2011

1 Samuel 1:1-20

  • This time we are looking at Hannah herself – we can learn so much from her as a mighty pray-er.
  • In her pain she prays – but she goes further than just a plea for help, which even atheists might do.
  • Barrenness – a symbol in the Bible of national failure and fruitlessness, when God’s people turn away from Him, replacing Him with other gods. All of humanity has done this and in return we reap corruption, pain and suffering in this world.
  • God speaks through this picture of a barren woman. God doesn’t want us to be fruitless.
  • When we get to that point of desperation of barrenness, that’s where God can work. He loves using impossible situations and loves being strong in our weakness. He wants us to turn to Him.
  • God was the one who closed Hannah’s womb – seems final – but He is open to changing the situation. God is sovereign over all and yet people in the Bible have wrestled with God and pushed through and succeeded – e.g. Jacob, Moses, etc.
  • God is not offended by us arguing with Him – rather He listens and seems to like relating to us in this way.
  • Hannah has every reason to just be depressed and give up, but she believed that she could also be a hero in prayer like the great and mighty figures of the past, despite being just an ordinary woman.
  • Instead of being inspired by the great pray-ers, we can sometimes be discouraged. Do what Hannah did – press through to God anyway; come with all your passion and emotion and longings.
  • God wants us to wrestle with Him – still with reverence and submission, but wrestling nonetheless.
  • Mark 7:25-30 – Jesus says what he says to the Gentile woman in order that she might persevere and to see what kind of fight she had; she did indeed argue with Him and succeeded. Oftentimes we get offended by God, but we need to just press through.
  • God wants us to be stubborn in prayer – all Christians are invited to this!
  • It’s so easy to fall into self-pity, but we are to never give up.
  • Sometimes God purposefully makes it hard for us to see what kind of fight we put up.
  • Jesus told us to pray and no give up.
  • We don’t pray to be religious or spiritual.
  • Be careful when looking at Hannah’s example – in order to persevere through all her suffering she must have been filled with the same Spirit as the Great Pray-er, Jesus Christ.
  • Hannah points us to Jesus. She got what she asked for eventually, but when Jesus asked the Father to take away the cross, He didn’t get His request answered (Matt. 26:36-36). He prevailed when no-one else stood by Him.
  • Jesus is our sympathetic High Priest. Because of His unanswered prayer when He asked for the cross to be removed, we are now able to confidently draw near to God’s throne of grace (Heb.4:14-16).

Elijah Prayed for Rain – 1 Kings 18:41-46

June 15th, 2009

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Elijah withdrew from the crowd, as did Jesus. Do you get closed in with God?

Our prayers, based on God’s promises, give us great grounds for asking! Are you laying hold of His promises? He has appointed us to be askers! Be specific.

Elijah prayed fervently. Do you? Don’t lose the reality that prayer is the active exercise of a personal relationship.

Elijah prayed with importunity. Although our requests may not receive instant answers, He knows what we need and what we can handle. Stay tenacious!

Author: Categories: Elijah Tags: , , ,

Joy…Because of You

May 18th, 2009

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Pray and fast for the City

May 7th, 2009

For three days at the end of May will be taking some time as a church to pray for the launch of three services in the Autumn and the preaching series kicking off at the same time on 1 Corinthians entitled ‘Alternative City’.

Watch the video below for more info from Joel

Author: Categories: General Tags: , ,