Pul­pit Notes

The Covington News - - RELIGION -

Pray Pow­er­fully!

For some peo­ple, prayer is merely a process of psy­cho­log­i­cal and emo­tional cleans­ing.

To oth­ers, prayer is su­per­sti­tion. To some, prayer is pow­er­ful. To oth­ers, prayer is like the man talk­ing to his car. Let me ex­plain that one.

The man had parked his car on the street on a pretty steep hill in a town I used to live.

As I was on my run, head­ing to­ward it, I no­ticed the man look­ing at his car and say­ing, “ Stay” pretty firmly, ap­par­ently con­vinced that it would work.

Per­son­ally, I fig­ured the park­ing brake might be more ef­fec­tive, but what­ever. It was only as I got closer that I no­ticed the dog in the front seat.

You see, to the un­be­liever, to the per­son who doesn’t know the power of prayer, best case sce­nario, prayer seems to be as ef­fec­tive as talk­ing to your car, telling it to stay. Thank God that he has shown us that real prayer has some­thing much big­ger than a dog be­hind it.

Thank God that, to­day, he shows us the true power of prayer, and to­day, through our Old Tes­ta­ment Les­son, we learn to Pray Pow­er­fully.

And we need th­ese lessons, be­cause so of­ten, we don’t. God has given us this gift of talk­ing to Him di­rectly.

Think of that, we get to speak di­rectly with the real mas­ter of the uni­verse, the one with all the power, pre­sent­ing our re­quests and mak­ing our de­mands, and what’s more, he wants us to.

And then… we don’t use that priv­i­lege all the time?! Sure, we pray some­times — at church, be­fore we eat, be­fore we go to bed or when we wake up. But are there times when you don’t re­al­ize how pow­er­ful a gift we ac­tu­ally have? God wants us to talk to him so much more, and so much more pow­er­fully — be­cause he knows how good it is for us, and how much it does ac­com­plish.

Open up your Bi­ble and read this sec­tion from Ge­n­e­sis, and you’ll see an ex­am­ple of a pow­er­ful prayer. While you read, no­tice what makes this prayer so pow­er­ful.

First, it is based on God’s mercy, not on our worth. Sec­ond, it is hold­ing God to His prom­ises, not our whims. Third, this prayer is un­selfish. And, so ob­vi­ously, this prayer is bold.

Now, take a mo­ment and cre­ate your own prayer, learn­ing from Abra­ham. Be bold. Noth­ing is too small or too big to ask for. And God likes it when you keep ask­ing. He wants you to com­mu­ni­cate with him. He’s paid your bill.

Think of it this way: How much do you pay for the monthly min­utes on your cell phone? Too much, right?

But since you have them, you might as well use them. It would be pretty fool­ish to spend all that and never use the com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­vice.

Well, God paid a greater price for our priv­i­lege to com­mu­ni­cate with him. In Eph­e­sians 2, Paul de­scribes that price — the body of Je­sus, “ to rec­on­cile ( us) to God through the cross … For through him we … have ac­cess to the Fa­ther by one Spirit.”

Je­sus shed his blood to wash away ev­ery rea­son God would ever have to refuse to lis­ten to us. He died to make us God’s chil­dren — so we could talk to God — freely, of­ten, and pow­er­fully. So do it. Pray pow­er­fully. In Christ, Amen. Pas­tor Jonathan Scharf

Abid­ing Grace Lutheran Church

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