The disciples have asked Jesus to teach them to pray. In the center of Luke 11:1-13 is the Parable of the Midnight Request. The moral of the story? If a grouchy father will stubbornly get up at midnight and give his neighbor who without shame requests bread for his guest, then imagine what our heavenly Father will do for his children who come to him in need.
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We conclude our sermon series this Sunday with perhaps the most famous and extensive Scripture passage on prayer -- Jesus' teaching in Luke 11. This passage summarizes and connects many of the themes from our series: how to pray, why we should pray, and ultimately the importance of relating with our heavenly Father.
When things go wrong, is your first inclination to pray? Do you really believe prayer makes any difference? In one of the last passages of the first letters to the early church, James passionately encourages the church to pray for ourselves and for each other -- especially in difficult circumstances.
Exactly five hundred years ago this week, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther famously nailed his "95 Theses" to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church in Germany. This moment changed history! It began the Protestant Reformation, which restored gospel teaching to the Church that had become corrupt and wayward in its teachings. In God's providence, on Reformation Sunday, we are talking about confessing our sins to the Lord in prayer--a key theological theme in the Reformation. Can we confess our sins directly to God? Should we confess all of our sins specifically to the Lord? Do we even need to pray prayers of confession if Jesus has already forgiven us? Join us as we explore these questions, commemorate the Reformation, and celebrate our risen Savior on Sunday!
When you're feeling anxious or hurt or depressed, it's always a great idea to turn to prayer. But what happens when praying doesn't seem to bring us any peace? Sometimes the more we talk with God about our troubles and needs, the more anxious and burdened we become. What should we do? As we move toward the conclusion of our prayer series, we're going to look practically at what kinds of prayers we should be praying. This Sunday, we'll examine the type of prayer that can help us overcome the aforementioned struggle with praying, the type of prayer that gives context and motivation for all our other prayers, and the type of prayer that is perhaps the most neglected in our lives.
The Bible commands and models prayer both individually and corporately. But what's the big deal about praying together? Is it more powerful and effective somehow? Why can't we just pray by ourselves?
How does it feel to pray for something for the first time? How about the second, or third, or thousandth time? At some point in our lives, we've probably all felt discouraged in praying for the same thing repeatedly without any response from God. Why should we keep going? This week's Scripture passage addresses that very question.
In the last couple weeks we've seen from God's word the amazing purpose of prayer in relating with the God of the universe and also the awesome power of prayer to change our lives and circumstances. But if prayer is so great, then why is it so difficult? Why do we struggle to spend quantity and quality time in prayer? This week, we'll see from Mark 14 how we can overcome distractions and obstacles in order to realize the numerous benefits of a deeper prayer life.
Last week we began our series acknowledging that (almost) everybody prays, especially when we get to the end of ourselves--when we realize we're not in control and we ask God for help. But is this the primary reason we should pray--to ask God for things? Or is there perhaps a deeper and greater purpose for going to the Lord in prayer?
The intent of today’s sermon is to help us think about and engage more deliberately in praying for ourselves, that is the church. Praying not only for you as an individual but praying for us, the church community. You and I engaged in praying for Ruggles Baptist Church in particular and praying for the larger Church in general (especially in Boston).