RAP SHEET 7/11/21
Sermon: 4 Prayer Problems
ICE BREAKER: What was your favorite childhood summer vacation?
This week we began a conversation on PRAYER.
First, we defined prayer as talking to God. At a deeper level, when we pray we choose to depend on God. When we do not pray, we choose to depend on ourselves.
Do these simple definitions do anything to how you view prayer?
What does your life look like when you fully rely on yourself?
Having access to the creator of the entire universe and the ability to depend on Him for your perspective, power, and purpose - makes it seem crazy not to pray consistently. However, many followers of Jesus fail to do just that.
To understand this we looked at 4 Prayer Problems:
The first is TIME.
The truth is, we MAKE TIME for what we value. It is an easy excuse to not have time to spend with God. However, that excuse wildly Underestimates the VALUE of being with God. Time is the one resource we ALL have in the exact same quantity. We don't all have the same amount of money, talent, charisma, social skills, hairline, career success, etc... BUT, we all have 24 hours a day. That makes it our most important investment.
The second Prayer Problem is IGNORANCE.
Ignorance Overestimates the DIFFICULTY of talking to God.
So many people pray because they don't feel spiritually qualified. Jesus told us to come to him with the innocence of a child - not a skilled religious leader or politician. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:
7 When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words.
Prayer is not an exercise in biblical linguistics. Prayer is sharing the earnest depths of your heart to the God who loves you more than you could ever imagine.
The thirds Prayer Problem is UNBELIEF.
Unbelief - Underestimates Either the POWER or the PLAN of God.
If you have ever prayed for something that didn't come to pass, it is easy to lose your faith in the whole process of prayer. Many people do not pray because they simply don't believe that God has the POWER to answer their prayer, OR that God's plans are worth trusting with their prayers.
This brings us back to our definitions. Prayer is US depending on GOD. We are the children, and like our earthly children the Father knows what we need. His plan and perspective absolutely DWARFS ours. Prayer is not us getting God on our agenda, it is moving us towards His.
The last Prayer Problem is PRIDE.
This gets right to the core of the issue.
Pride - Overestimates the power of YOURSELF.
A Praylerless life is inherently a Prideful life. It is a decision to put your hope in yourself. To trust yourself to navigate this complicated world. Prayer is a practice of humility. Humbling yourself before God, understanding how limited you are, trusting your life to something bigger than yourself!
Do you pray consistently?
If not, which of these four reasons do you see as your personal Prayer Problem?
(a quick reminder that if we are not getting real in these Life Teams, we are wasting our time.)
Once you have realized what is keeping your from praying, what are you doing to do about it? What is ONE WAY you will break free from your Prayer Problems this week?
Take some time as a team to pray for each other. Ask Jesus for strength to overcome the temptation to rely on yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit to prompt you to pray throughout the day.