Prayer Prompt for April
Join Us Wednesday, April 28th at the Eastland Campus
More Details Here
Future Dates - May 26th –Ballantyne Campus
A Message from the Prayer Team
I’m Kim Nelson and I just wanted to take a couple minutes to tell you a little bit about our prayer gathers so far. Each time we come together, the cry of our heart is the same…the same as the disciples in the New Testament, “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” We want to learn from the Master, right? Jesus is still teaching his disciples today how to pray.
I think many of us are asking Him to take us out of the preconceived boxes of what we thought prayer was supposed to be…. I don’t know about you but the people I talk to about prayer say, “I was taught a certain way - it’s usually me talking and God listening. I bring my laundry list of things I need for him to do, I leave it with him and say, “Thanks God, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
What we are hoping to do is climb out of those boxes we have grown up with by asking for a new and fresh experience with God in prayer. The 4th Wednesday of the month we will come together and unpack the prayer that Jesus taught in Matthew 6 - just one line a month.
Last month we focused on ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.’ Autumn Hanline invited us to get out of our seats (from around the fire pits) and walk to different stations where she had hung pictures and scriptures. These pictures were of Fathers and their children. She instructed us to go look at all of them and stop at the one that most portrayed who God the Father is to us… or who we needed Him to be.
There was a picture of a frightened young girl with her arms wrapped around her daddy’s leg as if she were trying to hid from the world. I wondered how many of us could relate to that picture in this current climate? Another displayed a Dad throwing his baby up in the air… it was very playful yet the question that I heard in my own heart was, “do you have THAT kind of trust Kim? The kind of confidence that God will catch you no matter what?” That baby had absolutely no doubt that his daddy would catch him!
But the picture that grabbed my attention the most was a Father and his son sitting on a couch with their heads reared back in laughter. They seemed to be carefree and enjoying the moment. I stopped in my tracks and thought to myself, “when was the last time I laughed with you, God??? When did I start taking life so seriously? Then I quietly prayed, “LORD, teach me…remind me how to laugh with you.
As we looked at these pictures and read the scriptures beside them, what we realized is that God’s character reflects more than anything, His Love and desire to be in relationship with us (not a one-way monologue) - No, these pictures illustrated His lavish love for us, “the pinnacle of His creation!”
I’m sure what keeps some people FROM spending time with God is the image they have of Him. If they envision him as someone who is scowling or waiting for them to mess up – someone who’s keeping score or is always disappointed with them, then why would they want to spend time with Him?
But when many of us looked at the picture that Autumn hung of the Prodigal Son and we listen to how Jesus describes the Father in this story, we see a God who is extravagantly kind, a father who comes running towards us with arms flung wide, no matter where we’ve been and what we’ve done. His love assures us that he is on our side. The more we KNOW this Father in Heaven, the more we want to be with him.
What is interesting to our prayer team is that, unbeknownst to us, this first teaching on the Lord’s Prayer would line up so beautifully with the sermon series Jason and Jonathan did. At first, we thought, “Well, that’s a coincidence!
But now that we’re looking back a bit, we don’t see it as coincidence at all. We believe that it is just one of the many ways we are watching the Holy Spirit go before us in this Prayer Movement. We are looking forward to what He will do each time we gather for these prayer nights and we hope that you will join us for the next one!
April 28th - Eastland Campus
Why do we pray?
"Our English word 'prayer' derives from the Latin word 'precarious.' We pray because life is precarious. We pray because life is marvelous. We pray because we find ourselves at a loss.." - Pete Greig
With that in mind, we want ot emphasize that prayer is simply a conversation with God in the everdayness of life.
When we see a beautiful sunset, we say, " Wow! Thank you God!"
When we are in complete despait, we say, "Please God, help me!"
Sometimes this is all we can muster and that's ok. He hears us. Like a friend, He sits with us and pulls in close to hear what is on our hearts.
Have you ever felt like you are at a loss for words when you pray? Here's a good practice for this week.
Turn to the book of Psalms in the Bible. Pray the Psalms outloud, along with King David, the author, who beautifully praises God at some times and then, at other times, pours his hurting heart out to God. Give it a try!