connecting people to the gospel
Sermons from Northpoint Evangelical Free Church
Northpoint Evangelical Free Church
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Total Sermons: 96
Total Amens: 49
In Jesus’ instructions to his disciples concerning prayer, He reveals God the Father’s top three priorities: His name, kingdom, and will. Consequently, our primary emphases in prayer ought to be theocentric (God-centered) not man-centered. However, Jesus wants us to know in the second half of the Lord’s Prayer that it’s perfectly acceptable to pray for our needs as well. And our needs are much deeper than physical provisions.
Do we pray simply so we’ll be changed? Or should we expect our prayers to accomplish something? Eighteenth century theologian, Jonathan Edwards, called prayer the greatest activity for nourishing the new nature and causing the soul to prosper. Which is absolutely true. But prayer is not primarily an exercise in self-betterment. Prayer is the means by which God has determined to bless us. God gives us what we need in response to our prayers. So what, then, should we ask for?
According to Christ, the prayers of His followers are going to need a major reorientation. The problem with the human heart is so deep, that we are able to turn even intimate moments of worship into self-serving attempts to gain the approval of men, or to manipulate God Himself to do our bidding. The solution that Jesus proposes is a reorientation away from self and a focusing on His Name, His Kingdom, and His Will.
Prayer is one of the most important spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith, and yet it may be the hardest one to actually practice. And it’s become harder now to pray than at any time in history because we have more distractions now than ever. With our smart phones and tablets at our sides, we never stop producing. The question is not, “Has God made himself available?” It’s, “Who has the time to meet with Him?”
Have you ever had one of those “mountaintop” spiritual experiences? Where you just felt God’s comforting presence in a remarkable way? Those encounters are blessings from the Lord. Those are occasions to be relished. But even the greatest spiritual moments come to an end. Until Jesus returns to fix this broken world we can expect trials and struggles. Spiritual highs are sweet, but how do we respond when they’re over?