Pastor Bo and Pastor Mark are leading us through a series this summer on the subject of prayer. By coincedence, Ed Young, Senior Pastor at Fellowship Church in Dallas, TX has also just started a new series on prayer. You can listen to Ed Young’s weekly sermons online or download and listen where ever you like via the podcast at CreativePastors.com.His starting message from his Praying for Keeps series, titled “Prayer Conditioning” had some interesting points I thought I’d share here. Many view prayer as:
- Fastfood (McBlessing)
- 911 (Emergency use only)
- God as Supreme Judge and we are the attorney trying to convince Him
Prayer – The most important aspect of Christian life. We need to understand and do more of it. If you want to know something about something – ask the expert.
- Throwing footballs (ask Troy Aikman)
- Cooking (ask Julia Child)
- Praying (ask Jesus)
The diciples asked and Jesus taught them how to pray. In our understanding of prayer, we should realize that there are conditions which will help us:
- Understand the Purpose of Prayer: Prayer is not asking God to do my will, but bringing us into the conformity of God’s will. Jesus taught “Our Father”… which gave us permission to call Him our “daddy”. Calling Him “Daddy” is to know Him intimately. He want us to know him in this way and to enjoy the benefits of it.
- Make Prayer a “Top Drawer” Priority in Your Life: It was important to Jesus, it should be important to us. Imagine not having any contact with your boss / supervisor at work and not having any contact with them (phone, email, face to face, etc). God may want to tell us and give us things and we aren’t listening.
- Establish a Place for Prayer: Like Christ had the garden in Gestheme, we should have a place that is holy ground for us (bedroom, office, bathroom, etc). When you go to that place at the designated time, you know it is time to meet with God.
- Have a Plan: 1 Cor – Everthing should be done in an orderly manner. Imagine if you were going to meet with the President. Do you think you’d have thought about what you want to say before hand? Have a systematic approach to your prayer. Do not keep on babbling like the pegans!
Think about writing out your prayers. You faith will be increased as you can look back and see God’s hand in your life! It will also help to keep you focused.Try the P.R.A.Y. Method
P = Praise (express your love for God, his power, or thanking Him, etc)
R = Repent (or confession). Don’t just pile them up and be general (forgive me for all my sins…), be specific!
A = Ask God! Imagine the presents we will see in heaven with name tags on them that weren’t given because we didn’t ask!
Y = Yield – give yourself to Him – daily, kneel and submit to Him. Interestingly, Pastor Bo took us through an Introduction to the 31 Day Prayer Guide this past Sunday. I believe this fits very well with point number 4 above, regarding having a plan. Ed Young describes the P.R.A.Y method, Pastor Bo described the BVBC Prayer Guide. Either or both can work. The important thing is to “Just do it.” I would encourage and challenge those of you on our BVBC Technical Teams (sound and media) to include this minstry when you pray. Pray that what we do in the areas of sound and media would be for the Glory of Christ and the sharing of His message to our community. Pray for each other, that we would not be discouraged or overwhelmed with our responsibilities at times. Pray for our team relationships and our ability to juggle church, work and home resonsibilities well. Pray that satan would not be sucessful in using these things against us. Lift up this ministry and those that serve in it before the Lord and ask him to use them for His glory and for His honor.