Monday Morning Pastor – 3/5/17

March 6, 2017
Note: Each week we will have a guest writer who will share a few of their personal thoughts on Sunday’s sermon. Unlike Monday Morning Quarterbacking, from which this series gets its name, we aren’t looking to critique so much as share how we have been personally impacted. This week’s post comes from Rob Devereaux.

TITLE: The Lord’s Prayer
PASSAGE: Luke 11:1-4

Last night our small “care” group got together and discussed the sermon that Pastor Mark gave earlier that day. Following are some of the issues that came to mind, along with some of my favorite thoughts and practices about prayer that I’ve come, over the years, to believe are true and valuable.

Let’s start at the beginning of communication within the relationship, which is to know who we are and who He is. We can define most processes within a Be-Do-Have construct. The World usually starts with “What do I want to HAVE or possess?” (material possessions and issues of having more or protecting things like pride, personal position, power & health)”; which leads them to ask “What shall I DO to have those things? When we start with Have and Do we eventually realize that those two have defined who I am – in other words, my BEing – and often we are not satisfied with the result. God’s plan is, of course, the opposite from that of the world. God says that we should first understand who our Creator has planned and designed for us to BE. (Psalm 139 is a short example we can recite.) And our BE includes our relationship to Him as our creator. We are His sheep and we wouldn’t be here if He didn’t invent us and provide for us. And his rule is Sovereign. He has total and complete rule over us. We may be smart and able sheep, even more aware and blessed than other sheep, but we are still sheep when compared to the Author and Maker or our body, soul and spirit.  So now that we’ve established who we really are in relation to our Shepherd, let’s get over any “rights” we think we’re owed to build onto or keep what we think we should HAVE or should DO. And as Christians, we know the price that God paid for us to be adopted into His immediate family – which is the biggest part of who He has made us to BE.

It may help to use the acronym ACTS to structure your prayer time. It has helped me greatly. Start with Adoration: Start praising God. We know that “God inhabits praise” and we can praise God about the recognition of who God is, for His character, appreciation for what He has done for me and for the ability to obey recognizing all the rest makes little difference if we are rebellious. Praise Him about these four. Confession: Secondly, confess your sins of action, neglect & disobedience with humility.  Thanksgiving: Next, talk with God about all you are grateful for. (This is also the first step for us to deal with any anger issues we may have and leads to us forgiving others.). We should be grateful to God for His Forgiveness & that He’s chosen us to be included in His royal family. Supplication: (Intersession & Petition) Lastly, ask God for “the desires of your heart” (heart here meaning deep-seated, gut-level issues, not just surface “top-of-mind” things). I start my supplication big and outside me and end with my narrow, more personal issues.

Do we have the time? Let’s face it; anything you want to do you make time for. (Now we’re getting more into what we want to Do and Have in addition to who we believe God wants us to Be.) What do you want? (Let’s get a little deeper than a new car or home.) To be protected, secure & stable? God wants that for you too & can help you get that. The same goes for any other deep seated wants you have.

Unceasing prayer – so how do we do that? Here are some thoughts our group came up with: Timeliness of prayer: at bedtime; upon waking; driving, walking, running (trains and buses are better). Use a “Quiet time” or when something or someone comes to mind. Pray for them immediately.

Don’t let the “shoulds” in your life (obedience) get in the way of fellowship with God. Let’s get our priorities right: Love, caring, charity comes first; justice and “shoulds” after.

St. Francis of Assisi said: “Pray always and, at times, use words.”  He was saying that this commune with God we call “prayer” should have a good amount of “wordless prayer”: just being with, resting with, like holding hands; abiding in and with our Abba Father and Son (Jn 15). In this silence, we find a new peace and, if we can just “shut up” for a while, we may even find God’s Spirit sending us a small quiet message that we haven’t drowned out.

Let’s end with refocusing on our relationship with our Father. We’ve been bought with a price and given great authority and responsibility. There are several passages that have served as a great reminder of who I am to my Father and the authority he has given me (Romans 8:1, 31-39; Luke 10:19; Mark 16:17; James 4:7; Isa 54:17; and Matt 18:18-20).

So – start with obedience and understanding your relationship with your heavenly Father; focus on fellowship with your Abba-Daddy; use A-C-T-S if that helps and listen for your “marching orders” for today.

 

Contact Dave Hallahan if you’d like to contribute to this series.
Listen to the full sermon here