Welcome to Church on the Hill, Glenavon, Sask, Canada

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Be a Disciple: Pray

Scriptures: Matt:14-13-14, Luke 18:1, Luke 18:10-14, John 17

Ashlee sang a lingering, worshipful song written by her brother, Josh. Jessica accompanied her on the piano. Ashlee flies out of Regina on Wed, May 13th but won’t arrive home in Australia until Friday. Please pray for her safe arrival.

Pastor Lorne wanted to continue his message about being a being disciple of Christ. He said it’s one thing to accept Christ as our Savior to escape spending an eternity it hell, but it’s another thing entirely to be a disciple of Christ and a real follower.

The definition of a disciple is: someone who follows the teachings of someone else. So, to be a disciple of Christ, you must follow his example.

Pastor Lorne reminded us of a church that was ‘a mile wide and an inch deep’. It translates into a big church with lots of things happening, but the people aren’t really disciples of Christ. And when the pastor left, the church fell apart.

For you to become a real disciple of Christ, you must first have an experience with God. We must take Him into ourselves and take on the characteristics of Christ before we can be real disciple of Him.

Pastor Lorne said Christ was motivated to heal the sick, feed the hungry, cast out demons, and bring people back to life because he had compassion for the people who wept over them.
But another big part of Christ’s life was that he spent a lot of time in prayer.

Pastor Lorne mentioned his own life. When he was growing up, prayer never appealed to him. He was too busy to spend time on his knees as there was always other things to do. Of course, he’d always pray when he got into a bind. As he grew older, he found one of the best times of the day is when he spends time in prayer and gets away to the Lord. Usually early in the morning because it makes the day go better, but sometimes late at night so he can think about the next day. He goes to the Lord in prayer and leaves it with Him and everything comes into perspective and he can manage things better.

Turn your attention to how Jesus dealt with prayer. To Pastor Lorne, it stood out that Jesus was the Son of God because He:
- fed 5,000 men plus women and children on one little boy’s lunch
- healed the sick
- cast out demons
- conquered death
- commanded the weather to obey Him, and it did

Pastor Lorne commented it would really be something to have the ability to direct the weather. Except, we’d all want something different and it would never work.

But why would Jesus need to pray?

In Matt 14:13, Jesus hears about the death of his cousin, John the Baptist, and goes off by himself to pray. But, he’s not there very long before the crowds discover him. V14 says, ‘When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Pastor Lorne said he would have thought Jesus would be on a high after performing these great miracles, but He sent the crowd home, and his disciples on ahead, and He went up a mountain and prayed. If Jesus did that when He was in mourning, how much more do we need to develop a life of prayer – to develop a relationship with him – and become a true disciple of Christ?

You don’t need to take 6 hrs of your day and spend it in prayer. Work, families and the world keep us busy. We don’t have time to spend hours in prayer. But, if you can work it out to have just 5 mins somewhere in your life, it will make a great difference. Christ did that – He took time to pray after his greatest triumphs.

People say the greatest time of temptation is when they see a great power performed. So, find a little place and make some time in your busy life. Maybe while you’re driving to work even. Or, maybe while you’re working in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter where, but have that relationship with Him. It’s very important to just take a few mins to pray and seek His face. Pastor Lorne said it’s a great thing to pray together, but it’s just as important to pray alone.

Luke 18:1 says “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” This is the story of the judge who didn’t care about anybody but the lady kept coming and asking for help. This women continued to come so finally the judge said he’d find out what and take care of it so she wouldn’t bother him anymore. Thank goodness God isn’t like that. We can keep going back over and over and He never gets tired of listening to us.

In Luke 18:10-14, two men go up to the temple to pray. Jesus gives us this example that when we go before Him, we need to open all the rooms in our house. Maybe you have a room in your house that you’re not using and keep shoving stuff in it and keep the door closed from company to hide the junk. Pastor Lorne believes when we go before Christ, we need t open all the rooms of our house. Like the tax collector – he didn’t show just the nice kitchen and shiny sink or dining and living rooms with nice furniture – he opened his house and said, Lord, this is it.

We need to come before God and open up our lives to Him. Come before the Lord in prayer. Christ wants us to show him everything. We are human and sinners and need His grace to come in and be a part of our lives. You know what the bible says – all our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) because our righteousness is in Christ. We need to come before God with an open heart.

John 17 is a complete chapter of prayers that Jesus prayed. He prayed for Himself, for His disciples and He prayed for the believers. Pastor Lorne said he noticed some interesting things in this chapter of Jesus:

- v10 “All I have is yours and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.” Pastor Lorne said that’s quite a statement. Jesus acknowledged that His followers and disciples brought glory to Him. As true disciple of Christ, our lives would bring glory to God. We might think we’re failures and mess everything up, but we can bring glory to Christ in our lives.

- v24-26 – this is Jesus’ prayer for you and me. It’s one of the prayers for the father to his son. The love God had for his Son. Jesus is praying that you and I, as children of God, will have that love in our heart. He is in you and me in his Holy Spirit in our hearts and our lives.

Pastor Lorne asked us to forgive him but he had another grandfather story: He said his young granddaughter stays overnight sometimes. And he’ll get up early and be reading and doing his devotions and she’ll come downstairs, climb into his lap, and tell him her dreams and other little things important to her heart. Little special times of talking. No one else, no toys, just talk. He said he thought of how we can come to God, crawl on his lap, tell him our dreams and disappointments and they may not make sense to anyone else but to you and your heavenly father. He wants to hear what you have to say.

And the way we can do it is in the avenue of prayer. Even though we feel weak and helpless to change our situations, when you come before God, you have the resources that created heaven and earth.

Pastor Lorne wants to encourage each one of you as a follower to pray. That time you spend in prayer is important to just talk to Him and He’ll talk, listen and encourage you. Just like a grandchild will share, share your little things with God. We need someone to listen without judgment or suggestion. Your heavenly father is that person. Have that time to talk with God and share what’s in your heart.

If you would like to speak to Pastor Lorne about this, please email .

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