Sunday Prayer 15

You, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts. (Psalm 7:9b)

Lord,

You know me through and through
for You are the probing, all-knowing God.

You know my hopes and dreams,
even as You know my dilemmas and fears.

When I dive into the pool of future hopes,
I often encounter the changing currents and waves,
which leave me tangled in the cords of confusion.
The circumstances of my life threaten me
and rise up to overwhelm me.

Save me, my God, in Your goodness and grace;
rescue me from foes outside and inside
that I might stand up in Your ways.

I trip and falter like a drunken man in the dark of night;
sober me up and send me out on Your pathways of light.
All for Your glory in Jesus’ name,
Amen.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]

Four Quotations on Prayer

CBR001323This past weekend in my message “Making Space for Prayer,” the first part of our series “The Art of Prayer” at Eastbrook Church, I shared four quotations on prayer that many people asked me about later. Here they are for your edification.

“The truth is that we only learn to pray all the time everywhere after we have set about praying some of the time somewhere.” – Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (San Francisco: Harper, 1992), 74.

“One of the main reasons so many of God’s children don’t have a significant life of prayer is not so much that we don’t want to, but that we don’t plan to. . . . We get up day after day and realize that significant times of prayer should be a part of our life, but nothing’s ever ready. . . . And we all know that the opposite of planning is not a wonderful flow of deep, spontaneous experiences in prayer. The opposite of planning is the rut.” – John Piper, Desiring God (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1986), 150-1.

“Work, work from early till late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” – Martin Luther, quoted in J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 86.

“One thing I know for sure about prayer these days is that we do not know how to pray. It is only the young in Christ who think they know how to pray; the rest of us know we are just beginners. So let’s try to begin together, which is really all we can do.” – Ruth Haley Barton, “Prayer,” in Sacred Rhythms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 63.

Making Space for Prayer (discussion questions)

Art of Prayer Series Gfx_App Square Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Making Space for Prayer,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the first of a three-part series, “The Art of Prayer,” looking at Jesus’ approach to the life of prayer from the Gospel of Luke. This week we looked at Luke 5:16; 6:12-13a; 9:18.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Answer one of these two questions:
    • What do you find most difficult about prayer?
    • What do you find most life-giving about prayer?
  2. At Eastbrook we are beginning a new series called “The Art of Prayer.” We are going to look at Jesus’ life of prayer in the Gospel of Luke as a way to learn about prayer ourselves. It’s good to begin a series on prayer in prayer! Take some time, whether on your own or with others, to asking God to teach you to pray before you begin this study.
  3. We are looking at three short, separate passages from Luke. Do the following for each of these passages: read them out loud, identify what is happening in the context of that passage, and then identify some key aspects of Jesus’ prayer life from the passage.
    • Luke 5:16
    • Luke 6:12a
    • Luke 9:18a
  1. In what ways do you think Jesus’ life of prayer is similar to our own life of prayer? In what ways is it different?
  2. What do you find to be the most significant lesson about prayer that you see from Jesus’ life and practice of prayer here?
  3. Make it real: What is one way you could put something you learned about prayer into practice in your daily life this week?

 

[Next week we continue this series by looking at one of Jesus’ major teachings on prayer in Luke 11:1-12. Read that passage ahead of time to prepare.]

Making Space for Prayer

Art of Prayer Series Gfx_App WideThis past weekend at Eastbrook we began a new three-week series entitled “The Art of Prayer,” looking at Jesus’ approach to the life of prayer.

I began the series with a message entitled “Making Space for Prayer.” Jesus is the Master of prayer, and He makes space for prayer. We see this throughout the Gospel of Luke, and it comes clearest in Luke 5:16: “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” What does Jesus’ pattern of making space for prayer teach us about our own life of prayer?

You can watch the message here, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

 

Beginnings of Prayer

The God who speaks (Genesis 1:3a)

 

The God who made us (Genesis 1:27)

 

The way we are made (Isaiah 43:21; Ephesians 2:10)

 

Desires, priorities, and making space for prayer

 

 

Jesus Makes Space for Prayer

Rhythm & Time (Luke 5:16)

 

Solitude & Silence (Luke 5:16)

 

Hearing What to Do (Luke 6:12-13a)

 

Hearing Who We Are (Luke 9:18)

 

Sunday Prayer 14

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you. (Psalm 5:11)

I awaken this morning
and take refuge in You, my Lord.
No other person or place can shelter me
like You can, my God.

Under the Cross of Christ my Savior
I find rest for my soul, now and forever;
in Jesus is my true Shalom.

Come, cover me in Your life and love
even as I lift my eyes and voice to You.
Come, guide me in Your everlasting ways
through thee jungle-like pathways of this life.
Come, restore me to true life and human personality
in this world of death and dehumanization.

You are my song,
my joy,
my hope,
my God.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]