Prayer

How many of you have a facebook page? I have one. I started out with a Myspace page and then I graduated to a facebook page.

GET YOUR BUSINESS OFF OF FACEBOOK

  • Facebook in so many ways has changed the world. It is, by far, the most popular social networking site with nearly 1 billion users.

  • It is truly amazing what some people will put on facebook, isn’t it?

  • In fact, there are some people that are just annoying on facebook. Here are five of the most annoying things people post on facebook: for those of you

    who are guilty of these things, you know who you are...

5. Over-updating. We don’t need to know every detail of your day, as fascinating as it may be.

4. Pictures of your food. Are you trying to make us jealous? Just eat it already.

3. Vaguebooking. This is the attention-seeking tactic when you post an intentionally vague Facebook status update that will inevitably prompt friends to ask what's going on.

2. Drama on facebook. The internet is not the place to air your grievances with people and argue.

1. Inviting to play games. I don’t want to plant a farm, join the mafia or play candy crush.

  • Yet, as silly as facebook is much of the time it is a pretty incredible way to connect with people.

  • By looking at someone’s facebook page, we often get a picture of who they are. Pictures especially tell the story. Additionally encourage each other, share great ideas and even meet each other’s needs.

CONNECTING WITH GOD

  • If only there were a way for us to connect with God like that! Oh wait, there is...

  • The Bible teaches us of a way you and I can connect with God 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from wherever we are in the world. No internet connection required. No computer or mobile device required. No email address required.

  • Any guess as to what it is? Prayer. That is the subject of today’s message from the believe series.

    CONFESSION OF FAITH

    I pray to God to know him, to find direction for my life and to lay my requests before him.

    KEY VERSE

    Psalm 66:18-20 (NIV) If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

The single idea that I want you to come away with this morning is that prayer is more than a religious discipline; it is an amazing way to connect with God!

THE MODEL PRAYER LIFE

  • The person in the Bible that best models this connection with God is the person of Jesus Christ.

  • The Bible teaches us that Jesus was co-equal with God and yet chose to empty himself of his divine privileges, put on flesh and make his dwelling among us as a human being.

  • In his humanness while he lived on earth, Jesus modeled a powerful connection with God the Father.

  • It was such a powerful connection, that his disciples asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray!”

  • We find his response to this question in Luke 11:1-13.

 

 

From this passage I want you to see some noteworthy items which describe this avenue to connect with God:

1. Boldness

  • Circle, “because of his impudence.” A synonym for this word is persistence. The NIV uses the word boldness.

  • Have you ever been around someone who was extraordinarily bold when they prayed? This comes from a deep connection with God that gives the believer a measure of security and confidence when they pray.

    Ephesians 3:11-12 (ESV) This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

God is teaching us that one of the keys to answered prayer is to persevere with the same tenacity as Jacob in the Old Testament who wrestled with the angel of the Lord and said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." (Genesis 32:26 NIV)

2. Content

  • Make note of the phrase “good gifts” in the passage.

  • The point is, God will not withhold good gifts from His children. So if God

    withholds anything from us He only withholds that which is bad, not that which is good.

    Psalm 84:11 (ESV) For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

    • How many of you could testify that you can thank God for many of the prayers He did not answer for you as well as the prayers He did answer?

    • We must trust that God is good and that His plans for us are good. There may be times when we think we are asking for bread and fish when in reality we are asking for stones and snakes. God is withholding our request because it does not fall in line with his will for our lives.

 

3. Relationship

  • Key phrase to underline: “your Father in heaven.” This is a critical element to our connection with God: He must be your Father and you must be a child of God.

  • Someone might ask, “Aren’t we all God’s children?” They answer is, “No!” While it is true that we are all God’s creation, we don’t become God’s children until we are adopted into the family through faith in Jesus Christ.

    Romans 8:14-16 (ESV) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

    Commitment

    THE ULTIMATE FRIEND REQUEST

    • Have you ever received a friend request from someone on facebook that you were surprised by?

    • Can you imagine what it would be like if you got a friend request from your favorite athlete?

    • The truth is you have received the ultimate friend request when God sent Jesus to die on the cross for us. In doing so, he not only is inviting us to be his friend, but to be in his family.