Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the February 23, 2020, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on Prayer. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “Pray and don’t lose heart.” The main Scripture for the day is Luke 18:1-8
(Pick and choose from the many resources and options, which I have tried to make available for your devotional life.)
From the Scriptures
Please read through these passages: Luke 18:1-8, Romans 8:29, 1John 4:8, Exodus 34:6, Daniel 10:12-13.
From the Creeds and Confessions
Heidelberg Catechism Q116-120
Why is prayer necessary for Christians?
Because it is the chief part of the thankfulness which God requires of us, and because God will give his grace and Holy Spirit to those only who with hearty sighing unceasingly beg them of him and thank him for them.
What belongs to such prayer as God is pleased with and will hear?
First, that from the heart we call upon the one true God only, who has revealed himself in his Word, for all he has commanded us to ask of him; second, that we right thoroughly know our need and misery, in order to humble ourselves before the face of his majesty; third, that we be firmly assured that, notwithstanding we are unworthy of it, he will, for the sake of Christ our Lord, certainly hear our prayer as he has promised us in his Word.
What has God commanded us to ask of him?
All things necessary for soul and body, which Christ our Lord has comprised in the prayer he himself has taught us.
What is the Lord’s Prayer?
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors;
And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Why has Christ commanded us to address God thus, Our Father?
To awaken in us, at the very beginning of our prayer, that childlike reverence and trust toward God which should be the ground of our prayer; namely, that God has become our Father through Christ, and will much less deny us what we ask of him in true faith than our parents will refuse us earthly things.
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
Other Hymns with excellent lyrics related to prayer: Lyrics
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Watch and reflect upon The Bible Project’s Jeremiah.
Read and reflect upon John Piper’s Persevering in Prayer
Read and reflect upon Steven Cole’s Persevering in Prayer
Read and reflect upon Grace Gem’s Persevering Prayer
Reflect upon your own prayer life with these questions
“Do we repeat a request because we think that the quality of a prayer is dependent on the quantity of words?
Do we repeat a request because we think that God is ignorant and needs to be informed, or if not ignorant at least he is unconcerned and therefore needs to be aroused?
Do we repeat our prayers because we believe that God is unwilling to answer and we must prevail upon him, somehow transforming a hard-hearted God into a compassionate and loving one?
Do we repeat a petition because we think that God will be swayed in his decision by our putting on a show of zeal and piety, as if God cannot see through the thin veil of hypocrisy?
From R. Kent Hughes, Luke Volume 2: That You May Know the Truth, Preaching the Word; Accordance electronic ed. (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1998), 187. https://accordance.bible/link/read/PTW-36#73965
The Sermon will be available online on February 23, 2020 at 12:30 pm.
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