We have decided for PAXnorth blog we would begin to write weekly.
The topic of the Blog will revolve around what is being taught at PAXworship that week, or the developing focus of the church that week. We hope that this way we will enhance the interaction of our community both at home and away.
The month of August PAXnorth is being called to PRAY and FAST at least one day a week all month long! The fast can be in a variety of ways…food, T.V., Internet, media, music while driving, music while running, etc, etc. Then replace that time, or when thinking of the discipline, to pray.
PRAYER:: WHY START? WHY CONTINUE? WHAT’S THE POINT?
“If you say God is Sovereign (knows all things, controls all things, etc) then why do I need to pray? Doesn’t He know everything already?”
Matthew 6:8 “Your Father knows what you need before you ask.”
Often the only time we cry out to God in true need is when we are IN true need. “Help me God this circumstance is beyond me, this illness is overcoming me, this relationship is so beyond my help…Help me God”
We don’t pray to God because He doesn’t know what we need, or want. We seek God in prayer because it gives definite expression to our trust and surrender to the truth- we cannot control our lives, we NEED God. We pray because we, the creation, need God the Creator. Prayer expresses and continuing to pray increases our trust in Him.
We don’t pray so that we will finally be known by God. God knows you. He created you and delights in your trust and seeking of Him. He is fully a good Father. The best you have ever known or can imagine. Compared to Him even the greatest of Father’s is wicked.
“Which of you fathers, if your child asks for a fish, you will give him a snake instead?… If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your kids, how much
more will your Father in heaven give…?” Luke 11:11-13
When you bow in honest prayer to God, seeking Him in full trust, He delights that you, as a whole person, are trusting yourself to Him, as a whole Person. He delights in your trust of Him- His love, His power, His mercy, His grace, His creativity; After all it is through the interchange of trust that relationship is begun. We pray so that we might enter into the knowing of God in our life. We continue in prayer because we continue to find delight in knowing Him more fully.
We don’t pray because it is a ‘good luck charm’, a ‘magic incantation’, a ‘mantra’ or as a means to finally make God hear.
“Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name I will do it” -John 14:13-14
Did you know there is NO prayer recorded in the Bible that ends with the words, “in Jesus name, Amen?” These words cannot be used to invoke God to greater response, or to make sure exactly what you prayed gets done. Praying in Jesus’ name means you pray this prayer because this is what is consistent with the mission and will of Christ, in my life, work place, relationships, debt struggles, need for new things, etc, etc.
We don’t stop praying because, ‘I tried that and it didn’t work’, or ‘I’m getting no answer on this so God must not care’.
Think for a minute of someone in your life who really seems to have a strong personal walk with God. They seem to radiate with trust and honest ‘down to earth’ believing faith. It is most likely that they are a person who prayers quite a bit. Is it possible to be a person who truly has a faith relationship with God- seeks after God in such a way that is constantly pressing in on Him, the loving Father- and then be spiritually shallow? A mature relationship with God means you are a person who is continuing, prevailing, constant in praying the prayers that you believe Jesus would pray, even if you don’t get an answer with in the first 30 seconds, 30 days, 30 years. Prevailing in prayer means you are taking the present tense progressive actions of ASKING….SEEKING….KNOCKING…
LUKE 11:1-13 Unfolds for us a mature God centered, daily reality, continual, pressing in upon a gracious loving Father instruction on prayer!
You cannot lose out in your spiritual life by being devoted to prayer! It will not leave you with a shallow empty relationship with God. It will leave you asking for the Father to pour out His Holy Spirit into the situations, the circumstances and relationships of your life.