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Prayer is the intiamte realtionship we have with God. It's how we grow closer to Him.



welcome, desribe who you are

District Prayer Story

At the end I realized that God was the only one who heard me pray. There were no amens or MHmms, it was just God and I in that moment.
The selfish part of me wanted peple to go “wow that kid can pray, great job”. The sad thing is friends is that My heart wasn’t in the right place.
My own actions reminded me of when Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah in Matthew 15:8 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
I never want to be like that and my hope is that you don’t either. My hope is that when we pray our hearts, our innner most being, desires to know God intimately.
But prayer is an interesting thing,

Self Conscious

There is a pastor named Dan Mohler and I was warchig a sermon he did and I took a quote from him aand for the sake of time I will pharaphase it.
You can watch theentire video on youtube
He said “People get self conscious when they pray. They try to get alone with God and then their mind goes blank. They feel like they need to get past themselves to reach God”
then in a very Dan Mohler way he says “NO! God reached you through Jesus. If you don’t start where Jesus finished… you’ll never have a close initmnate relationship with Jesus”
Powerful isn’t it. If we don’t start where Jesus finished.
That becaue of the finished work of Jesus we have unlimed full acess to God at anytime of the day.
Yet, do you know that prayer is one of the most ignred aspects fo teh christian faith, right up there beside Bible Reading.
Now if you google, what is prayer you’ll most likely find a bunch if dffent answers. Thers pages that would Four Best Prayers to pray in 2022, differnt types of prayers, how to know if you’re praying riht, all that stuff.
But to me, when you look at prayer I think we need to go back to a simple fundamental aspect of the Christian faith, that prayer is simply communicating with God.
What a beautiful picture that is, that we who are very far from perfection, holiness, blamlessness, being without fault, can speak with God becaue of the finished work of Jesus.
But how did Jesus view prayer?
As we read the four gospel accounts, we constatly find Jesus praying. Prayer was central to life. In fact, Jesus didn’t do anything wihtout prayer.

To Jesus Prayer was…

- Author Skye Jethani, who wrote a book caled “what if jesus was serious about Prayer” says this, “JESUS DIDN’T PRAY like most people, and He certainly didn’t pray like other religious leaders. In the first century, Jewish prayers were liturgical, usually recitations from Scripture, and spoken in formal Hebrew. Jesus, however, prayed in Aramaic—the informal, common dialect—and He spoke to God with intimate, even casual language.
Jesus saw prayer as the intimate connection between a dependent child and a loving parent...Unlike other rabbis who employed prayer to control God or to display their piety, Jesus prayed to relate to His Father. For Him, prayer was intimate, unending, and the root from which His life found strength and power.
As a result, rather than offering a mechanical process for prayer, Jesus wanted to shift His disciples’ vision of God. You see, Jesus knows that how we see our heavenly Father will determine how we commune with Him. Our vision of God defines our practice of prayer.
And its sinteresting to me becaue whe the dsiples say Jesus praying in Luke chapter 11, they saw something differnt.
“It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1)
What I really love about this question is that the disciples did not ask Jesus about the proper way to heal the sick, organize a church, or teach the Scriptures. But they asked Him how to pray .

What is Prayer Really about?

You see the disciples recognized that apart from a life rooted in communion with God, nothing else Jesus commanded was possible.
Prayer, atit’s core, is about spending time with God. And Out of that abunduance of time we spend with God, our hearts being to desire the things God desires.
Look at David in the BIble, who was labled “ a man after God’s own heart”.
Imagine that for all of History, being remember for desiring to know God in a personal way.
Sure David had his weak areas of his life, like we all do. But what was it about David that God would describe him as “a man after God’s own heart?”
Personally, I believe it was his love for God.
His concern was his relationship with God.
When David sinned and admitted it, after a little bit of pushing but He still got there. But he didn’t stop right there. David went further and did something about it. He sought reconciliation. David wanted to be right with God. It grieved him that he had broken his relationship with God and he would do anything to fix it.
David’s spirituality, his humility, and his integrity. All are qualities that remind God of His son, Jesus.
Let’s quickly take a closer look at each in David’s life…

David’s Spirituality

David loved what God loved. He was burdened by what burdened God. David’s priority was living his life for God but he didn’t just talk about living for God; he put his faith into action in. He tried to listen and obey God in most areas of his life. When God confronted him with his sin, David took steps to change and repented of his sin. Bottom line: David’s heart was sensitive to the things of God.
Adn the only way this happend was by spending time with God, in honest and open prayer.
But in order t

David’s Humility

Next we have his humility. You see, Years of tending sheep and being the youngest in a family of boys taught David to be humble. He wasn’t his father’s first pick. He wasn’t Samuel’s first choice. But he was God’s.
In David, God saw a man who had a servant’s heart: one who faithfully served in the fields tending sheep; one willing to run errands back and forth to his brothers on the battle lines. David faithfully served and helped those who didn’t overly appreciate it.
David wasn’t out to make a name for himself. He walked in humilty
It reminds me of when Jesus is teaching his disples to pray inMatthew 6:5-8 and says “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! ”
You see Jesus here is teaching the people then and us today that holiness comes from the inside out. Our character is to be modeled on the Father’s character, and the Our performance is to be done for the Father’s approval, no one elses.
This certainly cuts against the grain of our culture, which is often characterized by this idea of “look at me and all I do”
Prayer softens our affections, sweetens our enjoyments, and is the principal means of keeping up our realtionship with God.
David’s Integrity
Which leads to interrgrity which can be defined as – what we do when nobody’s watching. David is described as having integrity of heart. Remember, God doesn’t look at the outward appearance, He looks at our hearts. (1 Samuel 16:7)


Which brings us back to the start, prayer is never about public appareance or saying thr right words to get a few amens.
Prayer is simply our honest convestaion with God.
As we spend time in prayer, in communion wiht Go. Our desires begin to change, we begin to love the things God loves, we learn to hate what He hates, we hurt when He hurts, and rejoice over what He rejoices over.
Oh freinds, would we be people who make prayer a priorty in our lives.
Maybe for you today you feel liek you’ve been running from God for a while or you have this idea that God is mad at you for something you’ve done, or whatever it may be that you have this odea that you are sepreated from God.
I have wonderful news for you today. That it was never God who moved, it wasn’t God who walked away, It wasn’t God who desreid differntly. However,it has alwasy been God who extends his hand out and says welcome back.
The question is, will you take it. Will you make Him a priority in your life, will you give up the shame, the restlessness,and the running and instead lean into God and tkae up His rest, His peice,a dn learn to walk in step with Him.

End: What we care about, we put effort into

And so this week, we are doing that as a church family. You may have seen on social medai that we are have a week of prayer and fasting. Monday to friday we are having worship and prayer here and this is my hope, that we fill place. From young in age to yyoung in heart, this buioding would be full of people who are aking God a priorty in their life.
As the worship begins to make their way back up to the platform, I want us to really think about this, iin our own lives do we even try to spend time with God. Are we too caught up in life that we forget the one gives it?
I pray that we would be a people who are caught up in knowing God initmately. That we wold understnd, just as Jesus did that prayer is to relate to God. For us, prayer is intimate, unending, and the root from which our lives find strength and power.
And Maybe for you today, your saying, “Ryley this is so boring I already know how to pray, give me something deeper.’ Number one, I would say this read Proverbs 11:2, but I would also say this, take this learned practice of prayer and imvtest in those younger than you or those newer to Christian faith. Mentor the younger generations in being open and honest with God, invite them to pray with you, if you have a family, pray with your children, let hem pray and be honest wiht God. Invite them to pray with you.
Teach them pray like David did at the end of Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart;test me and know my anxious thoughts.Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life”
And that’s where we want to end, that you today whether this is your thousandth time in a church building, or if you’re watching from home, or if you never
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