Sunday, November 22, 2009

Issues in Prayer

Why doesn't God always answer our prayers?
Dr Pierre Gilbert CMU
1. Futile prayer?
2. The Lord's Prayer
3. Beware what you pray for. You might get it. Habbakuk

We tend to pray when things get tough. There are no atheists in the trenches.
We expect instant answers. Reckless faith? Not seek medical care?
Do you pray regularly?
Why? What or whom to? Does God answer your prayer? What is appropriate? Why doesn't God always answer our prayers?

Prayer of relinquishment by Catherine Marshall
Prayer of relinquishment gave joy and health.

God takes us even if He is our last choice. He is humble.
talk to God thank him praise him focus on the future.

Lots of prayer is selfish. Live one day at a time. Still we don't get the answer, the healing.

''The Problem of Prayer"
If God is all powerful and good, no legitimate prayer should ever go unanswered. Either he is not powerful or he doesn't care

What is prayer? Do we have a biblically adequate understanding of prayer?
Develop, articulate a Christian worldview.
Precedent: the Creation Story.
Israelites were pagan. They built an idol and engaged in sexual orgies. The Creation Story helped them change the culture.

Biblical worldview:
Understand the system:

God is good and all powerful.
The world is a tough place.
Make sure you work off biblical data - not experience
Beware of the empirical theologian /Christian.
Paul Hiebert encouraged writing the book

The Power of the Shaman vs. The Power of Jesus.
Often Jesus is presented as an alternative power.
Mother Theresa vs. Hitler
If you pushed them off the Empire State Building at the same time they would die at approximately the same time. The law of nature doesn't care. If that is your God he is evil.

God tested Abraham. Game of chicken. God blinked first. He lost the game of chicken.

Faith is acting on what we know to be true. Engineers build bridges on that basis.
God is good. That is our basis of faith.
The dentist might hurt us but we go back because we trust that he is good and competent.
We have the hope that in the end, things will turn out to be good. What would we pray for in heaven?

Is our life better because we are Christians? The 30 second prayer changed my life. Avoided so many problems. Diminished fear. We have mercy, grace and love in abundance. Emmanuel El Sharif became a Christian after his friend got killed. In Islam there is only law. No grace.

No hatred in Christ. Love and faith. God is not just mighty God, he is also a counselor. Muslims get a Vision of Christ. If they follow Christ they know they can be killed. But they know God is all powerful and good.

Our Father in heaven. "Our" part of community.
"father" abba. Dad family
"heaven" kingdom
"Hallowed" God's status

Context- Matthew is a discipleship book
The Sermon on the Mount is a re-calibration.
Series of 3 statements - hypocrites.

What is the most important?
Don't become obsessed consumed by the necessities of life.

Word structure, every line starts with an imperative verb. Hallowed, let it come, our daily bread give us, forgive us,
As family members we can come to him in full confidence.
The order has been changed for the daily bread line. A device to draw special attention to that element of prayer. We need the context. Immediate. Less emphasis on daily physical needs. Because God is good and powerful.
Our kids are not concerned about us providing their daily needs. Mention it to God and move on.
There are more important things in life. Space for relationships Matth. 6:25-34 explains it further.

How NOT to pray.
Not like hypocrites. Fakes. Say one thing and do another. Al Gore should move into a small house. Hypocrites are insecure? terrible?
Let God transform us. Scripture has a shotgun approach. Does the definition apply to us or just to others?
Jesus called people hypocrites to wake them up. He said what was true.
The Gospel of John video is good. Jesus said things only GOD could say.

Jesus is either a liar, lunatic, or who he said he was. God. There is no other choice.

We all have our fault lines. They are not all the same. We tend to be hypocrites with our own fault lines. Blind. Like David was with Bethsheba. But we are critical of others. Only God can fix our fault lines.

What is a hypocrite?
Hypocrite: actor to simulate or pretend.
New Testament usage is broader: hypocrites make a big production.
Care mostly about themselves. Not other people. Charity without love destroys others
It's all about image.
Vortex of self-destruction and evangelists of death
Major in minors
Denounce sins of the past. Ignore issues of the day
Soft on themselves hard on others.

Don't babble like pagans with meaningless words and vain repetitions or magic
If we trust Got we don't have to keep asking Him over and over. God doesn't want me to bore him.
Prayer must be soaked in relationship and reason.

How we ought to pray- privately- as per priorities set in the Lord's prayer.
Start with God
Passionate about God's kingdom

Life is 80% maintenance here but not in our future life.

God hears every one of our prayers. Cut out the repetitions. But God loves you anyway.
Luke 11:13 keep building the kingdom.
God is not a coke machine. He is our father. A person. Relationship. Conversation
Prayer is about purpose and strategy.
Prayer is a win-win situation.

No comments:

Post a Comment