Deepening Our Roots: Part 2, Prayer (NOTES)
Identity and prayer
Prayer Exercise – Pray quietly and alone for 5 min.
How hard was that?
- List the struggles and things that came to your mind.
Read Matthew 19:13-15
13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.
- If there is one thing kids are it’s messy. Some people are terrified of the mess and some people see it as beautiful. Either way, Mess is one way to describe what comes to your mind when you think about children.
Matthew 18:2-4English Standard Version (ESV)
2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
- Often in our prayers, we try to subconsciously work on getting everything right. We try to clean it up and make it not so messy. We wonder am I doing it right, we find ourselves distracted and many other things that we spend more time considering the messiness of the prayer than just praying. When Jesus said we must come as a child just like a parent knowing how messy your child is you are thrilled that they come and don’t want them to be hindered from coming because they are overly concerned about getting it right. We just want them to come and not worry about the mess.
Now let’s look at (Matthew 19:13-15) through the context of the messy children God has called us to come to him as.
“13 Then the mess were brought to him that he might lay his hands on the mess and pray. The disciples rebuked the people,
14 but Jesus said, “Let the mess come to me and do not hinder the mess, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
15 And he laid his hands on the mess and went away.”
- God embraces your mess
“Oddly enough, many people struggle to learn how to pray because they are focusing on praying, not on God. Making prayer the center is like making conversation the center of a family mealtime. In prayer, focusing on the conversation is like trying to drive while looking at the windshield instead of through it. It freezes us, making us unsure of where to go. Conversation is only the vehicle through which we experience one another. Consequently, prayer is not the center of this book. Getting to know a person, God, is the center.” – Paul Miller
“If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money, and talent are all you need in life.” – Paul Miller
- Prayer is a strong act of dependence on the father.
Read 1 John 5:13-15
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
- When we pray we do so knowing that our all powerful, all knowing omnipresent God of all creation, hears us.
- This is where our hope and strength is in, knowing that he hears us and trusting that he is good.
- Sometimes we can become more concerned with how we are praying than that fact that we are with God and he hears us.
- It’s like being more concerned with the phone than the person on the other end of the line. Or more concerned with the windshield than the road you are looking at through the windshield.
Pray quietly and alone again – 5min
- How was that?
- What was different?
Structural vs. Cosmetic –
- Think about what are some of the structural elements of your home?
- Now think about some of the cosmetic elements of your home?
- Structural things are vital to the functioning integrity of your home and can not do without. These take priority when they malfunction often requiring you to tear things down to fix the problem, while cosmetic things can easily be removed or changed. You can do without these things if needed or wanted and they will be removed if they are in the path of something structural that needs attention.
- When you look at prayer is it a cosmetic or a structural piece of your life?
It’s about Relationship with a person.
- Let the spirit of God lead your prayer
- Let God be the focus and heart of your prayer not your words
The spirit and prayer
Romans 8:26-27 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Ephesians 6:18-20 “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Romans 15:30-32 “Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company.”
Listen to the spirit as you pray.
- Listen with your:
It’s a continued cycle of relationship
- Prayer leads to the spirit and the spirit lead you back to prayer, which leads you back to the spirit again and the cycle continues.
There is no one size fits all prayer life formula because each person’s prayer life is a reflection of their personal relationship with Jesus and depending on his spirit. Much like how there are no two marriages that are exactly the same. The purpose of this class isn’t to give a how-to pray instructions but instead to point you to the heart and reason of prayer which is a relationship with the lord.