The Power of Prayer (Sermon notes)
March 8, 2020
Scripture texts are Jeremiah 29:12; Romans 8:26-27
Rev. Liz Aguilar
Community Congregational Church of Chula Vista, UCC
We continue our sermon series on the 6 marks of discipleship. Do we remember what those “marks are?” Prayer, reading scripture, worship, service, giving, spiritual friendships.
Last Sunday I gave an over-view of those 6 marks and we spoke about why they are all important. Today I wish to share more about prayer.
Prayer is the primary way we communicate with God and God communicates with us. Quiet ourselves, it helps to find a same place to go to in your home for daily reflection with God.
Some prayers are quick and desperate, some are longer.
We must begin with the premise that God wants to me in relationship with us. In biblical history God and people spoke to each other all of the time. Later when Jesus came along the disciples asked him how they should pray, which is when Jesus gave them the words of the Lord’s Prayer. Unfortunately, that has become so rote that we do not always pay attention to those words. I encourage you to do so…
But we must acknowledge that there are times when we do not know how to pray. There is so much on our minds and hearts. Fortunately, the Apostle Paul knew this and wrote “Sometimes we do not know how we out to pray but the spirit intercedes with sighs (groans) too deep for words”
God wants to hear from us and God needs us to pray for one another. God CAN do anything God wants but for some reason God wants us to intercede for one another in prayer.
Back to not knowing where to start- There is an old “formula” sort to speak which has helped me when I have not known where to start my prayers. The acronym is ACTS. Acclamation, Confession, Thanks, Supplication.
But sometimes we don’t know why we are led to pray for someone but we must answer in obedience. I knew a young woman who was very active in one of my churches I served. She was struggling but I did not know any specifics. I felt compelled to pray for her and so I did on my own and with her dad, who was my colleague and boss at the time. We prayed together and asked God to help her in any way she needed it. The next day, much to my surprise, I learned that she had cleaned her room and had re-enlisted in college courses! This experience taught me that prayer does work and that if someone comes to mind our job is to pray for them.
I have also discovered that the more you pray the more you want to pray. The more you allow God to lead you to pray for others the more the Holy Spirit will lead you to do so. These days there is no shortage of reasons to pray and although God can do anything God wants to do God calls us to indeed pray for one another.