Wednesday, January 24, 2018

prayer


Our pastor spoke on the topic of prayer on Sunday.  I thought I would share some of the notes that I took while gleaning from this wise man. 

I have to say, before I even start this, do you take notes in church?  It helps me listen better.  I also love to go back throughout the week and glance back over what was taught, and sometimes our pastor will say one thing that will stay in my mind all week.  I admonished my kids about this on Monday.  Two take notes, two do not.  One does not need to, he listens and gets it, but one does need to take notes, and will start next week.  :)  I made him copy down my notes in his journal, because it was so good this week.  It always is, but it just keeps getting better and better. 

Prayer is very near and dear to my heart.  I haven't always been that way.  I used to laugh at the people who always said they needed to pray over every little thing, because I thought it sounded like an excuse.  Lord, please forgive me for that!  How wrong I was.  I know now, as I get older, that the Lord wants us to go to Him for everything, no matter how big, no matter how small.

I've had some key people in my life that have taught me on this subject.  One is Beth Moore, whose studies I have done for years.  Another is Priscilla Shirer.  I've read her books for so long, even before she was a bible study teacher.  Her study on the armor of God is still one of the best studies I've ever done.  My friend Angela has taught me a lot on prayer, and she has no idea.  We used to attend a homeschool group bible study together.  An older lady named Anne taught me on this, admonishing us to not neglect praying for ourselves.  She used the example of a plane in distress- when that oxygen mask drops down, first you need to help yourself so you can then help others.  That is what praying for ourselves does.

My sweet friend Tarin who passed away last year taught me on prayer, showing me there was NOTHING my God couldn't do.  Tarin had cancer several times, but she never once wavered in her faith, trusting God for a complete healing someday, whether here on earth, or in His arms in heaven.  These ladies are only a few who have taught me on this topic, but there are countless others. 

In learning from these ladies, I became passionate about praying.  I don't even know when that happened, honestly, it just came out of nowhere one day, but I know it's from the Lord.  I believe in the power of prayer.  I have seen His healing hand in the lives of loved ones I have prayed for.  He has performed several miracles in the lives of the people in my immediate family, two of whom were my sons.  Doctors told us that Jonah was born with only one kidney (which apparently is not unheard of with twins), but after a prayer service at our old church, the next time we took him, miraculously, they saw TWO DISTINCTIVE kidneys on the ultrasound.  That had not been there a mere two weeks before. 

Two other miracles are my great nieces, Kinsley and Kylie.  One (possibly even both) of the them should not have lived.  But God stepped in, and today they are thriving, healthy one year old miracle babies.  I could go on and on and on, trust me, but one thing my pastor highlighted over and over in Sunday's sermon was that prayer changes lives.  It's changed mine.  When I started living my life for only Jesus, He totally transformed me, and I know that was the result of several people praying for me. 

We have the privilege of praying anywhere and anytime we want.  All we have to do is call on His name, and right away, He hears us, He is there with us.  His Holy Spirit lives within us, as believers in the Lord Jesus, and He immediately knows when we call on Him.  We also have direct access to Him!  We don't have to go through a high priest, Jesus IS our High Priest.  We don't have to pray to Mary, we don't have get someone "better in their faith" than us to pray...all of us can pray.  He hears.  Trust me.  He NEVER tires of us asking.  In a passage that our pastor read from on Sunday, in that one particular passage, six times it says for us to ask.  The word of God would not say that if He got tired of us asking.  (John 14:23-28.).

Even when we don't know what to pray, Jesus is there, at the right hand of the throne of God our Father, and He is interceding for us, on our behalf.  Have you ever been so overwhelmed by something that you couldn't utter one word?  I have.  And the only thing I've said in times like that was His name.  "Jesus."  There is POWER in the name of Jesus. 

When we pray, we should pray in the name of Jesus.  That is not just a cute little tagline to end our prayers.  When we pray in His name, we are saying to Jesus that we believe in Him.  We trust Him with what we are praying for.  We should pray for others as if we were that person.  That was some perspective for me.  Just this week, in remembering these sermon notes, the Lord has brought to my mind others I have been praying for...a family member, the husband of a dear friend, a young girl in our community group, our pastor and staff at our church home, and a thousand others.  I asked Him for that on Sunday, for Him to help me remember to pray for them often this week.  Also, when we pray in the name of Jesus, we are praying with authority. 

(Some of the above was from the notes I took on Sunday, other things are what I have added.)  This last one was our pastor's final point on Sunday, and it brought IMMEDIATE tears to my eyes.  When we pray, we have a promise, and that is that God loves us.  Why does He love us, you wonder?  God the Father loves us because we have loved His Son Jesus.  (John 14:23-24)  He also loves us because we have believed in His Son, and that Jesus is who He said He is. 

It's so simple and so beautiful. 

So, what are we praying for?  Are we only praying for small things?  There was a quote our pastor told to us, and though I can't remember all of it, the gist of it was this: Are we only praying for toys and trinkets?  Or are we praying for continents? 

Let's not ask God for just the small things.  Let's ask Him for some big things, like the night we asked Him to give our Jonah another kidney.  He may not answer in the way that we want or think, but He will answer according to whatever His good and perfect will is.  And I know that in ALL THINGS, God is always, always good.  His word tells me that, and I know that He works out all things together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.  (Romans 8:28)

I am so thankful for our pastor.  I know that the Lord gives to him every word that he preaches each and every week, and I know that he is a man of constant prayer.  I pray for him every time I think of him. 

Thanks for reading my blog.  Love to all. 

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