Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Secret Place of Prayer

 Speaking to a broad range of spiritual temperaments ranging from "on fire" to "cold and hardened."
A guess: The majority are probably in-between.

What are spiritual disciplines?
1. They are ways in which we open ourselves up to receiving more grace from Jesus Christ.
     Mercy, grace and love of God are all around us, but it is up to us to funnel or channel them into our spiritual lives.

2.  They are to move us beyond surface-level living and into the depth of the spiritual life.--Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, 1998.

How should I start practicing spiritual disciplines?
     Most disciplines start with prayer.

What did Jesus teach about prayer?
     Read from Matthew 12, Mark 8, and Luke 9.

In Luke 5:16 we learn that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray.

What does it take for me to have the kind of power Jesus displayed? 
     Matthew 6:5-8 --“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 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 openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him."

Here follows the model prayer Christ gave us.  Note, too, that Jesus does not command his followers to pray.  He said, "When you pray. . ." assuming that we will pray.

How do I develop my prayer life?
To get started you need only two basic things.

1.  You need a secret place.
2.  You need a specific time.

How am I to begin?
He knows your needs before you ask.  Your prayer is a celebration of discipline.  Jesus teaches about prayer in Luke 9.

With God prayer is His idea, not mine.   In all other religions prayer is a one-way street.
Our God is ready to hear us and He will respond.
Prayer is a conversation that is on-going.  When you enter your prayer place you are joining the conversation.

Prayer is God's gift to you.  Paul said, "Pray without ceasing."

Practical development of your prayer life.
1.  Your prayer life should dictate how you make it through the rest of your day.
2,  The more you have "going on" the more time you should spend with God. 

  Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning


Vee said...

Prayer is a conversation. Somehow this implies as much listening as talking.

vanilla said...

Vee, it never occurred to me that prayer would not be as much listening as talking, perhaps even more, for if we are in conversation with God we most certainly should be listening when He has the floor, so to speak.