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This is a recording from the 9:30 am service at Christ Church, Cove on Sunday 19th January 2020 when Steve Stewart continues our series on the Healthy Church with the Healthy Church is built on prayer.
The passage for this Sunday was Colossians 2 v 4-6.
Each week during this series there are some questions set to prompt extra thoughts and help the home groups.
Paul tells the Colossians 2 devote themselves to prayer, similarly in Phillipians 4:6 he tells them and us 'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God'. How easy do we find it to 'devote ourselves to prayer?' When we do pray what can we learn from the first thing which Paul tells us to pray for in Colossians 2?
Richard Foster in his brilliant book ‘Celebration of Discipline’ says this about prayer:
“Prayer catapults us on to the frontier of the spiritual life. Of all the Spiritual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into the perpetual communion with the Father… the discipline of prayer that bring us into the deepest and highest work of the human spirit. Real prayer is life creating and life changing..
..To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue that God uses to transform us” What has been our experience of prayer changing us or transforming us?
Gemma (at 9 & 1030) gave a handy formula which we can use for prayer to guide us through TSP (think teaspoon!) Thankyou, Sorry , Please. Do you have any guidelines which you work to when praying i.e. ACTS, working through the Lord's prayer etc. Have you tried other things at different stages in your life? If you are in a home group are there things as a group we can share with each other to help us grow on this journey of prayer.
If you have a concordance, or a Bible on your phone, etc, look at some of the other prayers in the Bible, and see what people are praying for.
Having looked at the Bible, do you think that "prayer" and "talking to God" are exactly the same thing?
Have a look at the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, and summarise exactly what Jesus is asking us to pray for.
Tip's for praying in a group: Often people find praying out loud in a group quite scary, but also the is the place we often learn to pray and are encouraged by answers to prayer. Here are some quick tips to help us when praying in a group. If you are doing these questions in a home group then maybe we could look over these before our prayer time to help us ... if you don't usually pray then this may encourage to be bold and step out.
Have a plan for what you are praying for… so when people give out the things to pray for take a mental note of what you will pray for
Think about the subject or situation… for example if you have been decided to pray for the foodbank think about what the foodbank might need, think about how the people who go to the foodbank might feel. By imagining the situation it can help to guide us with what to pray
Keep it short and simple …. It does not need to be your spiritual manifesto. When we are praying in a group then we can take one thing and pray for this – we do not need to pray about everything we have ever known. So it your prayer is ‘God I thank you for all those who came along to Messy Church and had a great time. Amen’ Then this is great
Use TSP… so taking the foodbank, Thank God for the work of the foodbank, maybe say sorry for the times we forget those who are in need as we go about our days and pray for those families who need help that they would be brave enough to come through the door and those who are there helping would be welcoming, kind and have the words to say to those who come along.
Family Fun: Do you have any testimonies of answered prayer recently - whether large or small? Maybe share this with each other so we can encourage each other at God at work amongst us.
A series on healthy church is.....
Each week we will look at different aspects of the life of a church and key passages which speak about them. The idea is to provide a biblical understanding of this aspect of church life. Each week has something foundational in the life of a church.