Mature Contemplation

“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are.

Matthew 6:7-9 (The Message)

 

 

Think of prayer this way…

 

Prayer Truth #1: Prayer is a catalyst

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

 

 

Prayer Truth #2: Prayer is a lens

 

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” Mark 1: 38

 

 

Prayer Truth #3: Prayer takes us somewhere

So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. Mark 1:39

Miracle Of Healing

Key Thought: God heals, but he doesn’t heal everyone all the time.

 

I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 2 Corinthians 12:7-8

 

Three reasons Jesus didn’t perform a miracle…

 

Reason #1:  Jesus refused to perform miracles to prove himself.

 

The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven.  He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” Mark 8:11-12

 

Reason#2: Jesus never performed a miracle that interfered with God’s ultimate plan.

 

Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matthew 26:53-54

 

Reason #3:  Jesus didn’t do miracles where there was no faith.

 

And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:58

 

Example #1: “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” Mark 5:34

Example #2: “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:19

Example #3: “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Mark 10:52

We need to understand this truth…

Our faith isn’t based on what God does; our faith is based on who God is.

Use Me

“What a huge harvest!” [Jesus] said to his disciples, “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” Matthew 9:37-38 (The Message)

 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

 

Three types of people God uses most often…

 

  1. God loves to use the insecure.

 

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10

 

 

  1. God loves to use the unlikely.

 

Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NLT)

 

 

  1. God loves to use failures.

 

But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.  At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. Luke 22:60-62

 

Key Thought…

 

You will have to step out to find out what God wants to do.

Send Me

Three Responses to God’s Call…

 

Response # 1:  “Here I am. I’m not going!”

 

The word of the Lord came to Jonah: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord.  Jonah 1:1-3

 

Response #2: “Here I am. Send someone else!

 

[God said] So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Exodus 3:10; 4:13

 

Response #3: “Here I am. Send me!”

 

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

 

What do you need to fully surrender to God?

 

You need a genuine experience with the presence of God.

 

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Isaiah 6:1

 

You need is a genuine awareness of your sinfulness.

 

Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Isaiah 6:5 (NLT)

 

You need a genuine understanding of God’s Grace.

 

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:6-7

Search Me

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

 

Four Parts of This Dangerous Prayer…

 

  1. Search my heart.

 

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT)

 

 

  1. Reveal my fears

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

 

 

What we fear the most reveals where we trust God the least.

 

 

  1. Uncover my sins

 

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.  I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:18-20 (NLT)

 

  1. Lead me

 

The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:2-4