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Priorities for Prayer

The Apostle Paul prays for this young church, but for the second time he asks them to pray for him. As he asks for prayer and prays for these believers, we learn three priorities for prayer. We learn that we should pray because God faithfully guarantees that His word will bear fruit. Because of that we should pray for the progress of the gospel, for the protection of gospel messengers, and for perseverance in the gospel.

Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5; Acts 21:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13

Reset with Prayer

The new year is a predictable time when we think about resetting certain rhythms in our lives, when we take stock of how we’ve invested our time, our money, our passions and where we want to be this time next year.

2020 has pushed on all of us – hard. It’s time we reset, and not just individually, but together as a church family. But we don’t need a new method or technique, we don’t need something novel to reset our spiritual lives. Rather, we need to lean into the ancient means God’s given us to grow and become the people He’s recreated us to be in Christ.

Today, we’re talking about doing that with prayer. And we’ll learn that while Jesus taught us a framework for prayer, He also taught us that the kind of people who pray fit a certain stereotype and know who God is and who we are in relationship to Him in a way that fuels their prayers.

Scripture: Luke 11:1-13; Galatians 4:4-7

Loving People through Prayer

For three chapters, the Apostle Paul has been encouraging the young church in Thessalonica and reminding them of his deep love for them. Today, we finish this section of the letter with Paul saying again that he longs to see them, “to supply what is lacking in their faith.”

When Paul writes these words, he writes them like a prayer. And in this section we see that Paul loved these people through prayer, and we learn, in turn, to love people through prayer as well. We see the kind of heart Paul had in his prayers, that fueled his prayers and even in difficult seasons, like the one he was in, kept him praying. And we see what Paul prayed for these people.

Of all the needs, desires, and longings they must have had for themselves, what rose to the top for Paul to bring before the Father? Their spiritual growth. We often ask God to change things in our prayers, but Paul never asks God to change anything about the Thessalonians circumstances. He asks God to change their hearts.

And the good news is this, we are confident our Father hears and answers our prayers, because Jesus paid the price for our sin so that we could be reconciled to God as our loving heavenly Father.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Acts 6; Matthew 7:7-11; John 1:1-2, 14; Matthew 22:37-39

Persistent Prayer

God is a good Father who answers persistent prayer. In this passage, Jesus teaches us how to pray and the daily petitions we should bring before God. We see God juxtaposed with an unwilling neighbor and earthly fathers, both of whom are willing to meet needs, but how much more is God able and willing to answer the prayers of His children.

Scripture: Luke 11:1-13

Boldness In Trouble

If you have shared the gospel or your story of faith with many people, then you’ve run into “trouble.” Some people are antagonistic, others can be apathetic, and a few might be accepting. It seems, however, that the negative response far outweighs the positive.

This is not new. Jesus faced trouble, He taught His followers to expect it, promised them His presence and help during it, and showed them how to respond in the middle of it.

As we study Acts 4, we see the first signs of trouble for the witnesses of the early church. And there are two questions we must answer as a result; in the face of trouble, what will we profess? And in the face of trouble, how will we respond?

An exclusive Gospel, opposed by the prevailing powers but professed by emboldened witnesses is plan A – there is no plan B.

A request for boldness, and faithfulness in the face of trouble is how we should respond.

Scripture: Acts 4; Luke 21:12

Be Devoted to Prayer

James teaches the early followers of Christ that wherever you’re coming from or whatever you’re going through – pray – because God works through prayer. Prayer isn’t mainly about certain postures or practices. It’s the expression of a relationship between a believer and their Heavenly Father. He’s holy and great, so we worship Him. He’s just and merciful, so we repent of our sin. He’s gracious and kind, so we give thanks. He’s loving and caring, so we ask for ourselves, our family, friends, and the world.

Scripture: James 5:13-18

Global Prayer for the Local Church

Church’s are busy with many programs and events; according to Paul all kinds of prayer for all kinds of people and leaders in the world comes first! In these verses you see that God calls us to pray for all people, He desires all to be saved, He’s provided for salvation and He appoints us to share with all people. The bottom line is that the progress of the gospel in the world depends on the prayers of God’s people.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:1-7

Lord, Teach Us To Pray!

If we are to call ourselves Christians, then prayer must be a part of our DNA.

Scripture: Luke 22:39-46

Jesus Is Our Great High Priest

Jesus is our great high priest who offers Himself for our atonement, which means He steps in on our behalf and pays the penalty and consequence for our sin.

As our great high priest we 1) hold fast our confession of Jesus as the prophet, priest and king and 2) we draw near to Him. Jesus sympathizes with us in our weakness and our prayers, efforts are met with kindness and compassion.

Praying The Course!

We were privileged to hear from DeWayne Hawkins, pastor at Life Givers Church. Pastor Hawkins takes us through verses in Luke 11:5-13 to examine the teachings on prayer. Prayer is very immersive, it demands the whole person, it demands all of you. God wants all of you, the messy, broken parts, the parts you don’t want to show anyone. Listen to learn how to pray the course.

Scripture: Luke 11:5-13