Archives: Prayer

Lead Me

Lead Me

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

To respond to that question, Jesus then shared a model prayer that demonstrated a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.

As Jesus closed out the prayer, He ends with this request, “And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:4).

Temptation represents a real challenge to the life Jesus wants to build in our hearts. Here are a few observations from this verse that should impact how we pray:

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A Gift To Regift

A Gift To Regift

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

To respond to that question, Jesus then shared a model prayer that demonstrated a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.

Over the past few blogs, I’ve offered perspectives on this prayer, and what Jesus is teaching us today through it.

Jesus prayed, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” (Luke 11:4).

I think this one of the most difficult verses in all the Scriptures.

Let me make two simple observations from this verse for our prayer life today:

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He Wants To

He Wants To

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

To respond to that question, Jesus then shared a model prayer that demonstrated a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.

Jesus prayed, “Forgive us our sins” (Luke 11:4).

There are two things that we need to assume before we can pray with that perspective.

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What You Think You Need

What You Think You Need

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

In response to that question, Jesus taught his disciples using a model prayer. That prayer has been referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer”. During this prayer, Jesus models a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.

In verse 3, after Jesus has instructed His disciples to start with focusing on God as their source and laying down their will, He prays, “Give us our daily bread.”

Isn’t it good to know that God has invited us to ask for what we need?

Later, as Jesus continues to teach, He parallels God’s response to us to that of a father responding to his kids. If my kids ask for food, I typically try to find them something to eat. If my kids ask for a hug, I don’t withhold it. If my kids want to pray with me, I never say, “No.”

What have you refused to pray for because you already said no for God?

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Shift Your Focus

Shift Your Focus

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

At this moment, Jesus taught his disciples to pray by praying a model prayer. That prayer has been referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer” and is commonly recited among Christians worldwide.

During this prayer, Jesus models a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray!

During the first blog in this series, I shared how Jesus invites us to focus on Him as we begin to pray. What a powerful invitation! We can choose to look into the heart of the one that can change everything and talk to Him as a friend!

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Start With Jesus

Start With Jesus

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

“The Lord’s Prayer” (or the “Our Father”) wasn’t invented on the ball field or in the halls of a cathedral. It was a simple, model prayer that Jesus shared with His disciples.

In response to the question, Jesus wasn’t giving a poem to memorize. He was, instead, teaching them how to pray. This teaching walks His disciples through a simple progression that frees us to pray more effectively.

In the first line of this model prayer, Jesus says, “Father, hallowed be your name… (Luke 11:2).”

Let me simplify this because to me this line has always been confusing.

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Its All About Saying “Yes”

Its All About Saying “Yes”

For the past few weeks, we’ve challenged our church to fast for 21 days as we take an intentional season to seek God in prayer.

In life, there is a time to feast and there is a time to fast. Feasting in the scriptures happens in celebration and remembrance. Fasting is a spiritual discipline, like prayer and meditation, that draws us closer to God.

When we think of fasting, we often think of saying “No.” That’s not what it really is all about.

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How To Prepare For Big Sundays

How To Prepare For Big Sundays

Every church has BIG Sundays throughout the year: Christmas, the one after school starts, the one after New Years… and the biggest, most audaciously large Sunday in the entire year: Easter.
Big Sundays are important because, as a church, you get about 20% more people in seats than you normally do (and that’s without even TRYING to do anything to get them there).
If you care about those people and want them to experience the resurrection of Jesus, then you probably want to be prepared for this Sunday ahead of time.
Here are three things EVERYBODY in a church can commit to do in preparation for a BIG SUNDAY:

#1 – Pray BIG Prayers

There’s nothing bigger than eternity. There’s no bigger prayer to be prayed than for the people who visit our churches to accept Jesus and to have their eternal destiny altered through His grace and forgiveness.
Look at these scriptures:

  • John 16:23 “I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (NIV)”
  • James 5:2 “The prayers of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. (MSG)”

When we can HONESTLY pray in HIS NAME as a people who are LIVING RIGHT with God… we can see the miraculous happen. Don’t get confused: the GREATEST miracle of all is that our dead souls can come alive through the power of the resurrected Jesus.
Pray those BIG prayers and watch GOD deliver.

#2 – Commit to Serve

With your church expecting 20% more people than normal, that means its going to need at least 20% more volunteers to serve these new guests.
All too often we want to enjoy Easter, celebrate Jesus, and experience the amazing worship service that our church is going to provide for these guests. So… what happens at most churches? They ask us to help out and we simply say “No” simply to sit with our parents, our grandparents, our kids, or our friends.
But… who’s going to take care of these visitors that need to meet Jesus? Somebody else?
Consider these two scriptures:

  • 1 Peter 4:10 “Be generous with the different gifts God gave you, passing them around so that all get in on it. (MSG)”
  • Mark 9:35 “He said to them, ‘If anyone would be first, he be last of all servant of all. (ESV)”

Understanding that a person’s receptivity to the Gospel is dramatically impacted by how they are treated within the first 15 minutes of arriving at your church, don’t you think you can make a difference?
If you want to prepare for a BIG SUNDAY at your church, then commit to serve others and, ultimately, Jesus. You’ll be surprised at how meaningful it is when those visitors respond to Jesus and you know that God used you to reach them!

#3 – Invest an Invite

I promise you: your church is going to do their best job at Easter (or other Big Sundays). I don’t care what church you go to: if it’s a small church in the country or a mega-church in a large city, your Pastor knows it’s a big deal and will be prepared.
If you’ve chosen to buy-in, lock-in, and invest your life at a church, then you need to be bold enough to invite your friends and family to be there with you.
Consider these scriptures:

  • Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
  • John 12:47-48 “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”
  • James 1:6 “Ask in faith, with no doubting…”

Jesus didn’t ask us all of us to be his preachers or his singers, but He did ask all of us to be his WITNESSES.
A witness POINTS to something. If you believe in your church, POINT OTHERS IT!
Here are a few pointers on inviting others to join you on a BIG SUNDAY:

  • WEAKEST INVITATION: Facebook / Twitter – Don’t expect a heavy return on people you’ve ONLY interacted with through these social media sites.
  • SIGHTLY BETTER: Email / Text Message – We all get too many electronic communications now-a-days. Expect emails and text messages to get lost in the noise.
  • GOOD: Telephone Call – If you can, call your friends and family to invite them to church with you. It’s personal and relational. Those things matter.
  • BETTER: Face to Face – The best way to ask someone to visit your church is face to face, in the context of a relationship. If you are not going to see them before the BIG day, make a point to visit them (at home, at work, etc.).
  • BEST: Face to Face with Follow Up – If you ask someone personally, create a way to follow up with them after your conversation. Offer them a ride. Call them the day before. Offer to save them a seat. Do whatever it takes to get them to church.

Invite your friends and family in FAITH, without doubting, and watch your friends experience new life in Jesus.
I promise you this: the day you invite your friends to church and they respond to Jesus will be one of the most ridiculously awesome days you’ll ever have.
The harvest never happens without the work of planting. Teams never win championships without hours of dedicated practice. Great companies don’t emerge without years of sacrifice and effort.
Are you willing to prepare for a BIG SUNDAY? If you are, you’ll be better for it and so will the church you’ve bought into.
 
 

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