A Disciple’s Path: Prayer & Scripture Meditation

Psalm 119 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Matthew 6:5-15      September 15, 2013

I saw and heard a miracle over Labor Day weekend.  As we were getting ready to eat at our Sunday afternoon cookout, my 3-year old niece was asked to pray.  Her dad has been working with her on saying grace before meals.  With several uncles, an aunt, and her grandparents looking on, she couldn’t do it. 

As she hesitated, all of the adults joined in unison and said: “God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food; by his hands we shall be feed. Amen.”  If that wasn’t a miracle I don’t know what is!

Yet, we know that it is important to teach our children to pray.  We also know that we don’t say the same prayers as we did when we were children.   We have learned the time spent with God over the years has helped us to develop our relationship with God.  Prayer is about cultivating a relationship with God.  Being in prayer is our opening ourselves to God, and for God to open himself to us. 

Another way to develop our relationship with God is by not only reading the Bible, but studying, meditating on it.  We learned the SOAPY method this past week (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer, Yield).  We also learned the Lectio Divina (Meditation & Contemplation on Scripture).

 

  1. Prayer (Matthew 6:5-15)
    1. When you pray (6:5-8)
      1. Don’t pray in front of people to get a reward
      2. Do pray on your own – God sees this action!
      3. Use few words – like the “Jesus prayer” – Lord, have mercy.  Amen
      4. God knows what you need
  2. How to pray
    1. “Our Father”?
    2. Holy is his name!
    3. We want God’s kingdom to be known on earth
    4. We want God’s will to be done – we have seen enough of other people’s wills!
    5. Our Father does provide
    6. Forgive us, as we forgive others!
    7. Keep us from temptation – situations that can catch us getting into trouble
    8. When we do mess up, God helps us
  3. Jesus’ side note – forgiveness is extremely important!
  4. It is so good to know that when Jesus taught his disciples to pray, it was to “Our Father.”  That means when we as individuals are praying, that God is hearing each of us.  Yes, even when we are praying for different things, even for the same situation, God answers.  Remember, we are praying that his will would be done here on earth as it is done in heaven.  This prayer stuff is about God and us.  It is about God working and our seeking God’s ways for our lives.  Prayer is about cultivating a relationship with God. To help us even more, God has provided the Bible. We read prayers of other believers and find a great deal about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. Scripture Meditation (2 Timothy 3:16-17 & Psalm 119)
    1. We get wisdom from Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15)
    2. God inspired the Scriptures (2 Tim 3:16)
      1. What is true
      2. How to stay away from the wrong
      3. We get corrected – even if we don’t like this idea!
      4. We get inspired to do right
  2. We learn how to do the good works that come from receiving salvation (2 Tim 3:17)
  3. Psalm 119 – 22 Hebrew letters, 22 stanzas of the joy of seeking and knowing God and his ways through  Scripture
  4. We have favorite authors.  Over the years I have enjoyed Louis L’amour, CS Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien.  They each opened themselves to their readers.  Our favorite authors help us see who they are, and who we are.  The same goes for the Holy Bible.  Yes, it was compiled by men.  But it was God who was directing the men to reveal who God is.  We see in the Bible that God can be our friend, our protector, and our guide.  Reading the Scriptures, coupled with prayer, allows us to know God. 

As we get older, we end up having fewer and fewer close friends.  Our friends move away. Our friends die.  So our world gets smaller and smaller.  Unless we cultivate new friends, life would seem to end with fewer good times.  We cultivate new friends by speaking with people we meet.  We then meet other people through these new friends.  And life continues.

 Prayer is about cultivating a relationship with God.  By speaking with God, we can hear how God wants us to help someone else.  When we spend time with friends, we gain more insight into their lives.  So, when we spend time with the Bible, we gain insights into God and his ways.

 We all need friends.  They make life enjoyable.  We all also need God.  He makes life possible and can help us to live.  I sure hope you can get to know God better.  Your life cannot continue without him.

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