The Skill of Prayer

The Skill of Prayer

In talking about prayer, we tend to think about it as something everyone can do without training. We tend to think about it as breathing…each person does it with out needing to learn anything.  And on one level, this is correct as God has put something deep within our soul that desires to connect with the Creator of Heaven and Earth. However,in the other hand, we need to recognize that prayer takes work. In 1 Timothy 4:7-8, St. Paul says: Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. Just like we train our bodies to work, we have to train our spirits. Remember that goal of prayer is to get to know God better. God is a person – not a force out there that can be controlled. Prayer, therefore, is about a relationship and relationships take work and time. Here’s the awesome part: Each one us can hear God!!! Hearing God is not limited to the special few – the cool, the pastors, or those people on TV. Jesus said that “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.” (John 8:47a). If we have bowed our knees to the King and follow Him, then we can expect to hear the King. A few weeks ago I hinted at a cool scientific study about prayer, I want to talk a bit about it as fit into this concept of hearing God. Hearing God’s Voice...
Prayer and Fasting

Prayer and Fasting

We are moving forward in our series about the spiritual discipline of prayer; about creating a rhythm of life that it is in communication with Jesus. Prayer, as we looked at last week, it NOT about asking for things – even good things. The goal of prayer is to get to know God! It is about bring our heart, soul, lives into unity with God. In keeping with that theme, we will be talking about prayer and fasting (click here to listen to the audio version of this talk). Next week, on March 30th, we will be kicking off a 21-day corporate prayer and fasting period. This has become a tradition in our church with this year marking the fourth year we have done this. It is interesting to me how God has used this periods of fasting and prayer within the life of our church o    2011 – Pastoral transition from Brian to Emily and me o    2012 – Looking at buying property; we actually bought the land right after the fast ended o    2013 – A period of looking at our souls, our family, our jobs, our calling *    It was a tough time in the church *    The evil one was attacking us from all sides o    2014 – We are combining all the elements from the last three years *    Pastor transition *    Building plans *    Renewed life with God *    Fighting off attacks Because of all of the stuff that is going on, we need to be in tune with God more than ever. Remember, fasting is not about getting answers to these problems...
Prayer: Intimate Communication

Prayer: Intimate Communication

The below are the sermon notes from Sunday, March 16th. The audio file can be found on the Payette River Vineyard Christian Fellowship website. Blessings. Sermon Why teach on prayer to a church full of praying people? What more can I say that hasn’t been said? Did you know that here are a lot of books out there about prayer? It seems that prayer is a bestselling topic Everyone seems to have written about prayer Prayer is a HUGE topic to write or teach about One could talk about healing prayer How to pray for the sick? What happens when folks don’t get healed? What do you do when they DO get healed? Corporate prayer Intercession prayer The Lord’s Prayer Dinner time prayer Bedtime prayers Not to mention our two favorite types prayers of petition prayers of help Over the next five weeks we are going to be focused on the spiritual discipline of prayer About creating an ongoing prayer rhythm in our lives. Intimacy It is about intimate communication with our Lover, our King, our Best Friend and Master Some of you may have a hard time thinking about God as your lover Especially  men… But we are the Bride of Jesus – just read Song of Solomon It is full of language that should make you blush God is seeking an intimate relationship with Him Sadly, I think we – stereotypically – have learned to be content in having a so-so relationship with God We like Him – we will give Him our tithes We’ll go to church We may even study the Scriptures  But if we...
Colossians: Changing Our Relationships Patterns

Colossians: Changing Our Relationships Patterns

Public reading: Colossians 3:16-4:3 An audio recording of this teaching can be found here. Intro I spend a lot of time in prayer and research about this passage The sad history is that this passage has been use and abuse in some very cruel ways over the years People have used the verses as a weapon Hurting wives and women Children They were used before and during the Civil War as justification of slavery You cannot simply replace the slaves/master language with employee/employer Slavery was real then and now If you are going to read the parts about husbands and wives, fathers and children as a divine rule for family life Then you have to say that slavery is a divine rule To be consist in your reading of the Scriptures As you can imagine, this can cause problems as we, hopefully, all recognize that slavery is not something Jesus or God wants or designed It is a product of our pride, greed and evil So there must be another way to read these verses A way that stay true to the Scripture And true to the heart of God as reviled in and through Jesus When reading the Bible, I believe there are three very, very important lens that we must look through Jesus Jesus is God relived to us So when we have problems understanding what the Scriptures are saying, we look to the life, ministry and character of Jesus If our interruption of Scriptures does not match that of the life and character of Jesus, we MUST rethink that passage! The Trajectory of the Scriptures What...
Colossians: Shadows

Colossians: Shadows

Public Reading: Colossians 2:16-3:17 Author note: While teaching from this passage I felt led to go off my notes so the actual sermon is very, very different than these notes. Sermon Notes •    Paul is continuing on with the theme that he introduced a few verses beforehand •    We are to walk after Jesus o    Not to get caught up in human wisdom or philosophies •    Jesus disarmed all the rulers and authorities of the world, spiritual and physical o    Let us embrace Him o    Let us walk forward, knowing that we died with Him though baptism o    We are new creations – the beginning of something totally different •    It may sound fanciful o    A pipe dream o    But it is a reality •    The moment we stop believing and living that Jesus changed us, at that moment, we lose o    We have too – if we really, really, believe Jesus o    If we really, really believe the scriptures o    We have too life as if we have been changed •    We have to allow Jesus to change us o    We have to give up the things of old o    And embrace the new •    This can be hard o    It can be scary •    The devil that we know can seem better than the devil we don’t know •    We might have tried to change before – to embrace the newness of Jesus – only to get shot down o    We might have gotten hurt by circumstances o    We might have gotten hurt by people who didn’t allow us to walk forward •    I understand this… o  ...
Colossians: Alive in Christ

Colossians: Alive in Christ

Public Reading: Colossians 2:6-15 An audio file of sermon can be found on the PRV website. Background Review Before we jump into today’s passage, we need to remember the context for the passage It is easy to simply read a passage within the Scriptures There are great things there A lot of times they can stand alone Yet each verse is built upon another They are also built upon the history of who wrote them, to who they were written too, etc. Colossians, if we recall, was written by Paul and Timothy Paul penned the book, but Timothy was there with him as seen by verse 1:1 They are writing to a church group they have never met But has heard about One of their friends started the church Outline so far 1:1-14 – Paul and Timothy telling the church what they had heard about them Offer their prayers The passage underscores how we are to rejoice with what God is going around the world 1:15-23 – this was a great poetic piece outline the supremacy of Christ Paul and Timothy are stating the basics Reminding us that the basics are really where it is! 1:24-2:5 – In fact, Paul goes go after this poetic piece to tell the church that it all about Jesus Suffering on behalf of the church Suffering to see the message of Jesus spread throughout the world This brings us right up to our passage for the week Alive in Christ 6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith,...