Sunday 7th February – Sunday before Lent
Sharing our Hope – through Prayer talk notes
Philippians 4 4-9
Romans 8 18-30
Mathew 6 9-13
We started this serries of talks with statistics from a survey we finish with prayer
Our survey showed that prayer was most offered thing from Christians and most excepted
We often see hope restored through prayer
1/ Prayer comes from worship and worship leads us to prayer.
My father in Heaven, Hallowed be your name.
2/ Prayer is about conversation, about being in His presence, sharing our heart with His.
About groaning to Him as we go through the day.
3/ Its about trust, and hope a hope based on love and understanding.
Through prayer we are reminded of Gods blessings on us and on His people it helps us to remember and have hope.
That hope is based on trust and the answered prayers we see around us.
A few of my Cell group had this to say.
With regard to Sunday and your subject of Hope through prayer. Yes, by all means use my hunt for the right house. Without prayer I would have been very disillusioned – I know this is the right house now, but it was a long journey to get here. Overall it was nearly a year as I had my buyer in January. One of the things you have to do is hand the prayer over to God and then get on doing your bit but at the same believing He will provide the right answer.
It is all very much a part of those words in the Lord’s prayer – ‘Thy will be done’. I think one of the clearest examples of this for me was the Saturday night when we were with Stephen in the hospital and after we got him on the mattress and prayed, The words which I said to the Lord was ‘Thy will be done’. Then we left.
I know that sometimes in life we find it difficult to pray for our own needs and then we need to ask others to do the job for us. But we must believe God answers prayer according to what He KNOWS is best for us. We may only realise that in hindsight.
God bless you
My prayer life has changed over the years. In my first ten or so years as a new Christian I had a simple theology whereby I believed that if I prayed, God would answer my prayers for my needs and those for whom I prayed. This got me through two courses of treatment for breast cancer. My attitude was that if God had things for me to do on this earth then He would keep me here. Otherwise I had friends and family to join in heaven.
I then suffered a series of traumas in my work life, where God was not answering my (very fervent) prayers, and those of my friends, for my wants. It left me anxious, fearful for the future and eventually losing hope that it was worth me praying for a job that I wanted. Last July I prayed that God would guide my job applications and help me to gain the work He wanted me to have. I hoped it would also be something I would be happy to do. I retained a little faith that He might listen if others prayed for me and was therefore pleased if someone in Ascension prayed for me. Just before Christmas, I resigned myself to thinking that that what I wanted was impossible and maybe God did not exist. I felt pretty hopeless! Although to be fair He was providing for my day-to-day needs, and for that I was very grateful.
Just as I had given up hope, I saw a suitable entry-level vacancy, applied for it, passed the interview and hope to start within approximately one month. Although my situation feels very embryonic, the job looks really interesting, the boss seems very encouraging and it has great potential for the future. Now I think I can see the hand of God in this process which I believe started in 2004/05, and am tentatively hopeful. Time will tell, and I would value your prayers for constructive outcomes.
When we pray do we really think of what we are saying or do we just go through the same ritual of saying the same thing and not thinking of what we say or to whom we are speaking?
When we are in trouble we pray and expect something to happen, then when things go right we forget.
Talk about how prayer has helped me particularly when not well
How short prayers mix with conversations in my head with God.
- When you study the life of Christ you realise that for Him prayer wasn’t an energy drainer, but an energy giver. And it can be the same for you when you come to see God’s face shining upon you as you talk with Him in prayer.
Sometimes we sit down and have a long talk with a friend or family member because we have something important to say. Sometimes we just listen to what they have to say.
Other times we just email, text or send a quick message.
- Relationships allow for different ways of communicating, but rarely are they just repetitive or mechanical.
- Our relationship with Christ is just the same, sometimes we need to sit and spend time, other times we chat as we walk together, some times its a short conversation other times its a long drawn out one. Some times we just need to listen.
- Our hope comes from the fact that we know He listens, he said He does, and that He answers.
Sometimes those answers are not what we want to hear, and sometimes they take a while to come.
Sometimes we have just not listened to His side of the conversation and thereby missed opportunities for our prayers to be answered.
Let us pray