Thursday, August 07, 2008
SIMPLY CHRISTIAN -- 7th Study Guide
Chapter 12 – Prayer

We, the human race, struggle to have meaningful conversations. How many meetings have you set through with the central topic of how to communicate? How many times have you been challenged to improve your communication skills? Communication is our greatest opportunity.

Some of the questions that float through my sub consciousness, and consciousness are:
What if I say the wrong thing?
What if I neglect something of significance?
What if I cannot engage the audience?

Wright’s approach:
“Our Father...”
Prayer between Heaven and Earth
Discovering Help in Prayer
More Pathway’s into Prayer
Getting Started
Questions to ponder on and discuss:

The prayer Jesus taught us to pray remarkably leaves out the word I and in the translations that I have read the words what if aren’t part of the prayer at all.

His prayer: Matthew 6: 9-13, NIV
9"This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us today our daily bread. 12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.[

“...It’s a prayer about God’s honor and glory. It’s a prayer about God’s kingdom coming on earth as in heaven—which...pretty much sums up what a lot of Christianity is all about.” (pg.160)

Prayer between Heaven and Earth
“We are called to live at the overlap both of heaven and earth—the earth has yet to be fully redeemed as one day it will be—and of God’s future and this world’s present.” (pg 163) How could we possibly know how to pray? Paul writes in Romans 8:26 that God’s Spirit intercedes for us. I found this section to be intriguing. There is a statement that lingers, I don’t have words to elaborate or explain, but here it is. “...the Spirit, God himself is groaning from within the heart of the world, because God himself, by the Spirit, dwells in our hearts as we resonate with the pain of the world.” (pg 162) Sit with those words a minute.

Discovering Help in Prayer
Wright points out that “...discovering that there are ways of being helped in prayer by using words and forms written and shaped by others comes as good news...”. (pg 167) God has met me in the word authentic, there’s a part of me that wants to be right. I don’t want to be fake or futile. Humility... coming to the realization that I do not have to recreate the wheel, God has provided me, us, with many holy examples of prayer.

More Pathway’s into Prayer
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (pg 168) In the simplicity of these words there is an invitation “...a way of coming into focus, of going trdown deep and out wide, of concentrating on the God we know in Jesus as the one we can trust in all circumstances, and of holding before his mercy all that we want to pray about...” (pg 168)
Remove yourself, your stuff, all that you think you ought to be and hear the words of this prayer Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. What stirs inside of you? There are many such prayers that God has provided to minister to us through our spiritual journey, as you pray them listen for God’s response.

Getting Started
Pastors, mentors, spiritual directors, friends, and books are all guides that God has provided to help us, to encourage us. Use them.
As God reveals more of himself to us through prayer, our will become his will. We will find our passions become his passions, our prayers a response to his groaning through the Spirit in us.

“But for all of us, Christian prayer is God’s gift. “Through the Messiah we have access, by faith, to this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:2). We are welcomed into God’s very presence. Like John in Revelation 4 and 5, we see through prayer a door standing in heaven, and we are ushered into the throne room.
But we are no longer there as mere observers. We are there as beloved children. Let Jesus himself have the last word: “If you, then, evil as you are, know how to five good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)

Jesus Loves You,
Megan Kearns

  posted at 8:46 AM  


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