25/08/2019: Ask, Abide, Accept
THEME: PART THREE OF THE SERIES “P_R_A_Y[i]”
The focus for this week is the “A… ASK, ABIDE, ACCEPT” of prayer.
- Psalm 46:10 “Calm down … and know that I am God”
- Luke 11:1 “Lord teach us to pray”
P = Practice Prayer, Presence of God, Praise, Peace
R = Reflect/Review, Repent, Rejoice
A = Ask, Abide, Accept
Y = ….
“Richard Foster: Prayer catapults us on to the frontier of the spiritual life… to pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us”
CALL TO WORSHIP[ii]:: Psalm 117
1 Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Praise him, all you people of the earth.
2 For his unfailing love for us is powerful;
the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
Readings for this week:
- Luke 11:1-4, 9-10
Teaching about Prayer
1 Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:
“Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
3 Give us each day the food we need,
4 and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”
9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
- John 15:4-8[iii]
4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
- Luke 22:42
42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”
- Jesus uses the Lord’s prayer to invite his disciples to … ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- When God’s name is “hallowed” within us, God makes us holy, and that is the beginning of the answer to “Ask”, it is the beauty of holiness at work in our lives…. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Asking, Seeking, Knocking: What are your thoughts about Jesus’ words – “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened”? Do you believe this to be true for your life? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- PRAY… ASK: The aspect of “Ask” in prayer is often difficult for us to process. Have you “asked” in prayer before and not received an answer? Have you prayed before and God has seemed non-responsive? What is your personal experience of prayer? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Looking for answers to our frustrations and questions about prayer: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- So, why should we pray? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- PRAY … ABIDE: correct prayer is not about following a “recipe” of words but is an invitation … ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- PRAY … ACCEPT: correct prayer acknowledges the authority of God. Do you accept the authority of God at work within you? If so, how? If not, why not? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Have a blessed week,
- Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline: pg. 43: 1989
- [i] Meda Stamper in http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2918
- Elizabeth Johnson in http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1724
- Ryan Hanson in http://www.aplainaccount.org/luke-111-13/
- Allan Brehm in http://thewakingdreamer.blogspot.com/2013/08/everyone-who-asks.html
[ii] New Living Translation (NLT): Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
[iii] New Revised Standard Version (NRSV): New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.