Sunday, July 26, 2020
Notes and Going Deeper
- Pray without ceasing – Paul
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
- Inclination of the heart – Me
Being ready to pray in every situation, it is your first response in every situation.
Growing up in the Catholic Church – one image of how to pray and that was on my knees with my hands folded and pointing toward heaven. Makes doing anything else rather difficult.
- Seek His Face – Damian
Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.
Psalm 27:8 When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Prayer is private, it’s intimate communication
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you [c]openly.
Prayer is public, it’s intimate communication
Lazarus: John 11:41-44
Points to the context of John 11
- Lazarus is not just a friend to Jesus, he is the brother of Mary, the woman who anointed Jesus with fragrant oil and dried his feet with her hair.
- Jesus upon hearing Lazarus is sick, tells the disciples this illness will not be unto death and so they stay on for 2 more days where they are.
- Then Jesus says ok it’s time to go back to Judea, but the disciples don’t think this is a good plan since the last time the Jews tried to kill him.
- Jesus basically brushes off their concern and says that Lazarus is asleep and He must go and wake him.
- So the disciples are relieved to hear this since now they have no reason to go back to Judea and the threat of death, but not so fast, because Jesus states plainly to the disciples that Lazarus is dead…this after telling them that his illness would not result in his death.
- So Thomas, who we all know because he is the doubter, says: “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
- You know the rest of the story, Jesus meets Martha and Mary and the Jews weeping with them, because not only did Lazarus die but he is now buried.
- So Jesus goes to the tomb and tells them to remove the stone, which no one is looking forward to because of the stench that will emanate from the grave.
- We see Jesus (God’s) heart in these two simple words and the shortest sentence in the bible, “Jesus wept.”
All of that to provide the context for what is about to happen and for the rest of this message. Keep in mind that prayer is private and public, but it is mostly intimate.
41 Then they took away the stone [d]from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
An Eternal High Priest
You are a Priest in the order of Malchizedek---refering to Jesus as King and Priest, with no known genealogy and no beginning or end. as King and Priest, with no known genealogy and no beginning or end. This is Jesus who is teaching His disciples to pray, who is praying for Lazarus to rise from the dead.
The Lord has sworn
And will not relent,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
Prayer comes out of relationship.
Faith- everyone is given an amount of faith/size of a mustard seed (the smallest of seeds, but grows into a large enough tree to provide for many birds of the air) Romans 12:3
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
And Faith is: Hebrews 11:1
Trust- in the Lord always, lean not on your own understanding: Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
Praying is what we should do as Christians
Sharing – friend’s granddaughter, two- year old Gwendolyn, picture of her on her face praying while everyone else was downstairs bailing water (let the little ones come to me) To pray was her go to. Her little self couldn’t help bail water, but she could pray for those who were bailing.
Lead others/In all things pray
Personal / Corporate prayer, alone and with the church body (Thursday evening online and on the phone) Prayer after our Service today. We are all equipped to pray with one another one on one (with social distancing of course)
Some are trying to remove the concept of prayer entirely from our general American culture. And you can see it in Social media today. Many say you are in my prayers, and the news media and government officials have all but eliminated the term when referring to situations that they used to mention “we are keeping them all in our thoughts and prayers. Now it is just thoughts…
With that all being said: There are 3 simple questions
You need to know the One to whom you are praying to.
-who do you pray to? Many today say that all faiths are the same, we will all end up in the same place whether, Christian and a follower of Jesus or not. Know the one who you pray to, He wants to know you. Does He know you?
-why do you pray? Is it out of fear, desperation, or for your own earthly desires..Or do you pray because of the Love you have for the one you are praying to?
-what do you pray for? (specific/general) healing, good health, safe travels, or for the will of God. Think about Lazarus and how things would have been different if Jesus didn’t wait.
Jesus taught His disciples to pray. To pray to His Father, it is intimate and personal, prayer that Jesus wants His disciples to experience; not just to memorize words repeated in rote and multiple times with no idea of why you are doing it.
Jesus said: no one comes to the Father except through me (Jesus) John 14:6
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Who are you praying to? Do you know your Heavenly Father?
- We all are Created in God’s image and likeness. Genesis 1:27
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
- We all suffer from the Relationship broken by the disobedience of Adam and Eve Genesis 2:16/Genesis 3:6
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you[f] shall surely die.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was [a]pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
- We can all be saved because God made a way through His Son Jesus; He was born into this world as one of us, He lived a perfect sinless human life, He freely went to the cross to pay the wages of my and your sin, And He was raised on the 3rd day to be seated at the right hand of the Father. John 1:12 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the [a]right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:…and His name is Yeshua, Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. This is He, Jesus, to whom we pray to. The one who has been given the name above all other names. Amen!