Current Series: Imitate
Title: “Pray like Jesus"
The Word: Matthew 6:5-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Mark 6:45-46
Main Thought: Prayer is acknowledging God’s greatness and aligning our heart to be dependent upon Him.
Message Explanation: Have you ever had a conversation with someone that was one-sided? Remember what that might feel like? It can seem as if we don’t truly have a relationship does it? The same is true when it comes to a relationship with God. Prayer should be more meaningful than just before we eat. Is prayer more than a few canned prayers we teach children to repeat? Some of us know how to pray but many of us are afraid of prayer. Especially the public kind! As you think about how to IMITATE Jesus, our first week will be about prayer.
Jeremiah 29:12-14a: “In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord.
One of the most misunderstood passages of the Bible is the “Lord’s prayer.” With the culture around Jesus not understanding prayer… The disciples asked Jesus, “Teach us how to pray.”
“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. 6 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. 7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!
People in Jesus’ day would strategically pray at times during the day to be noticed. It was praying with pride! Be humble and find a place to pray secretly.
1. Pray SIMPLY(v. 5-8)
The Lord doesn’t care to be amazed with brilliantly crafted language. He wants us to keep it simple. To be real and authentic with how we communicate with God.
1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Never stop praying.”
Matthew 6:9-13: Jesus said, “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.11 Give us today the food we need, 12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us. 13 And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.”
2. Pray SPECIFICALLY (9-13)
What we know as “The Lord’s Prayer” is a model of the kind of brief but specific prayers we may offer anytime, anywhere. Jesus never intended it to be the only prayer some people pray. It is not a LITURGY but a MODEL.
Hebrews 4:15-16: “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Prayer is a relationship of aligning my heart with God’s heart. Prayer should be like breathing for a Christ follower! When we are not breathing in and out by communicating with God, we lose our strength. WE need to PLUG INTO the power of God and only then will we be able to do all that He wants through our lives.
Philippians 4:6-7: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
When you align your heart to the heart of God, life becomes clear. Acknowledging God for WHO He is and trusting Him for our daily needs builds our lives.
What changes need to happen in your prayer life?
Do you talk to God out of feeling guilty or for your love for Him?
Element of Fun: The middle school students played a game called, "Make it or Break it." It is a video driven game that each grade competes each week for this series!
Music: Go, Awaken Me, One Thing Remains, Set a Fire.
Favorite Moment: Celebrating all that God did on the Costa Rica mission trip this past week!
What’s Next: We will continue the series, "Imitate" as we talk about how to have a "T.A.G. (Time alone with God) daily.
To watch any of the series messages, check out the vimeo page.