Prayer is a discipline that connects us to God, expresses our need, deepens our faith, protects us from evil, molds us to be like Christ, and fuels us for mission. This week, in our series on “The Delight of Discipline” we took some time to stir up one another to be a joyful, faith-filled, and faithful people of prayer from Luke 5:12-26. Prayer is not a drudgery but an opportunity to have a relationship with the living God and to be used by Him in immeasurable ways.
Here are some quotes from the sermon Sunday that were meant to stir us to be a people of prayer.
Prayer is not an appetizer, it is the main course. It is not merely a lead into your dinner, or a Bible study or a transition between songs on Sunday morning. Prayer is privileged communion with the living God who sacrificed his only Son that we might relate to him as Father, shepherd, keeper and Lord. Prayer is communion with God.
“He would withdraw to desolate places and pray” (Luke 5:16). If Jesus needed to get alone with the Father, multiple times, don’t you think we need time alone with God our Father.
Jesus teaches us how to pray and part of that prayer from Matthew 6 is a prayer for protection from evil. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil…” Here is a quote from Russell Moore regarding prayer and temptation to sin.
One of the first ways you can tell that you are moving beyond temptation into a pattern of sin is if you find yourself in a time of prayerlessness.
That isn’t just a “spiritual maturity issue”—it’s a gospel issue.
You are recreated through the gospel with a nature that longs for communion with God. The Spirit within you cries out, “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). Prayer is exactly how you experience the sympathy of your high priest who has triumphed over your temptation. After all, you are not the only one praying when you pray. The Spirit himself prays through you, and as he does so, he works to align your will and desires with those of Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:26–27).
If you are reluctant to pray, it just might be that you, like Adam and Israel before you, are hiding in the vegetation, ashamed to hear the rustling of the leaves that signals he is here.
Russell Moore —Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, p. 171.
Prayer can be twisted by our self-righteous hearts to be a means of earning God’s favor or an action that we make into an attempt to put God in our debt. This quote helps us remember the place of prayer as we pray for others.
God does not need our good works but our neighbor does.- Tullian Tchividjian
When we pray for others we get the joy of lifting another person down through roof to the Savior because we believe that life altering things happen if you just get them close to Jesus.
The essence of prayer is faith. And it is the prayer of faith that attracts the gaze of God, and ignites his power to act on behalf of His people. Prayer doesn’t force God’s activity but excites Him to move. God uses the prayers of his people as a means of exercising the greatness of his power.
Every mighty movement of God among a people, in a city, or across the world has been preceded by, sparked by, and sustained by the Word of God and prayer. Oh that we in our lifetime, as individuals and as a people would experience the joy of asking God for a mighty move of his Spirit and see it in our day.