A Brief Selection from Sunday 29th October’s Message

November 2, 2017

Ray Galea

Topic: What if we pray like Jesus in our Life?  

Before Jesus asks you to take up your cross, he is getting ready to take up his cross in the garden of Gethsemane.
Mark 14:36
“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

1. Never forget that God is your Dad.

The privilege of having God as father is lost on us;

  • If we think God is everybody’s father.
  • If we think God is like our earthly father.

In the USA, 33% of children grow up apart from their biological fathers.[1]

God is my Father. He is my perfect Dad.

  • The Father who chose me
  • The Father who gave me life
  • The Father who knows my needs even before I ask
  • The Father who did not withhold his one and only Son
  • The Father who sits on a throne of grace
  • The Father who runs out to meet me with wide open arms
  • The Father who always forgives each time I confess
  • The Father who rejoices every time I repent
  • The Father who never punishes me but is always shaping me to be a better man (or woman)
  • The Father who bends his ear to my every request.
  • The Father who lets me call him,  “Dad”.

Galatians 4:6
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 

Paul E Miller  
“The Spirit is bringing the childlike heart of Jesus into my heart and crying Abba, Father. Jesus` longing for his Father becomes my longing. My spirit meshes with the Spirit and I too begin to cry Father. (A Praying Lifep65)

Prayer will make no sense if God the Father has his hands tied behind his back.

 2. There is nothing our Dad can’t do.

Mark 14:36
“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you.  
I think God prefers Christians with poor theology who pray big prayers than Christians with good theology who pray small and safe prayers.Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! AmenAction: Write down a list of 10 impossible prayer points for 2018. 
(Note to oneself: they are not impossible for God)
The prayer points can cover a wide range of areas.
1.   Church goals
To see 1000 news disciples.
That $1.55 million worth pledges come in by this Sunday.

2.   Holiness goals
A victory over a sin you feel overwhelmed by. e.g. No Porn in 2018
3.   Evangelism goals
Ask God to bring a certain person to faith whom you have given up on.
4.   Personal goals
Ask God for health, a spouse, a friend, a job  or relief from depression
5.   Character goals
Ask God to make you more bold and less anxious, more patient and less angry.
6.   Relational goals
Ask God for a restoration in a marriage or a friendship that is filled with sadness.
7.   Gifting goals
Ask God for a particular gift to serve and love his people.
8.   Forgiveness goals
Ask God to enable you to want to forgive the person who has hurt you the most.3. Father, get me out of here! 

Mark 14:36
“Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me.  

The cup is the collective judgment of the sins of the world poured out in one time, one place, and on just one man-Our Lord Jesus.

1 Peter 5:7 
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

We come to our Heavenly Dad as a child pouring out our hearts desires. So DON’T GROW UP into an adult cynic.
Cynics say, “God already knows so why bother praying?”. Jesus says, “It’s because God knows that you do bother.” We don’t educate God in our prayers, we express our dependence.
Cynics say, “God has got bigger problems (like those loose cannons in Nth Korea and the Whitehouse) why should he be concerned about you?” Jesus says. “ If my Father takes care of the birds of the air won’t he take care of you. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Cynics say,  “The apparent answered prayer would have happened anyway.” Jesus says, “not a sparrow will fall to the ground apart from the will of my Father.”
At MBM we a have a value which says,  “We don’t do pretend.”

4. Father knows best
Mark 14:36

“Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

We evangelicals can use the “.. .not my will, but yours be done” tail to a prayer not as a willing submission to God’s purposes, but as code for ‘I don’t think God is going to do what I’ve asked’. We use it to protect ourselves from disappointment for, sadly, we believe in God who can, but probably won’t.
Not every prayer prayed in Jesus’ name is answered in accordance with our will. However, it is always answered for our good whether that answer is, Yes, No or Not Yet!
The Apostle Paul is no exception.

2Cor 12:7-9a
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, 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. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

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[1] Father Facts 6 (National Fatherhood Institute, 2011) Jeffrey Rosenberg and W Bradford Wilcox The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development  of Children( US Department of Health  and Humans resources 2006