Pray Then Like This
I'm filled with hope as our church heads into a season of study over prayer! A couple of years ago while I was preaching through Matthew, I had a chance to preach a sermon over the Lord's Prayer. After preaching that one sermon over the entire prayer I made a promise to myself that one day I would circle back and spend more time there with my church family from the pulpit. Well, that day has finally arrived!
This prayer is arguably the most memorized passage of scripture in the entire Bible. So many people grew up reciting this prayer corporately each Sunday at their church. This prayer has been such a foundational teaching in the Christian church that just about anyone associated with any sect of our faith could quote it with precision. It's a short and simple prayer that even my 8-year-old knows from heart. However, the meaning that's packed into this little prayer has captivated God's children for more than two millennium.
For the next 5 weeks at The Journey we're going to be dissecting each line of this prayer to get at the root of what prayer is to be. I believe that understanding this prayer can revamp and re-energize your prayer life because it's so rich in meaning. Prayer has a purpose and when you latch onto it you'll be different. Failure to understand prayer's role in your faith will deprive you of one of the most necessary components of faith itself.
My prayer is that our time in this series will encourage you to pray with purpose, confidence, meaning, and consistency. The Lord's Prayer is a moment when Jesus was specifically teaching his followers how to pray- what a phenomenal treasure we have in this prayer.
As with any sermon series, I've compiled a list of books that I've either read or am currently reading in preparation for my sermons. Below are so many great devotional style books regarding prayer and I highly recommend you take a gander at them!
1. A Praying Life, connecting with God in a distracting world, Paul E. Miller: This book came highly recommended by a plethora of pastors I know. Just as the title suggests, this book helps you think through the concept of prayer on both a contemplative and practical level. This is a really easy read and could act as a great devotional resource or small group study. In fact, there's a spiral bound discussion guide to utilize if you and your group want to dive in!
2. How To Pray, C.S. Lewis: I'm almost too embarrassed to admit this but this is the first book I've read by Lewis. Many Christians today would claim that you're not even trying if you haven't read a C.S. Lewis book. Well... It's taken me a while but I've finally knocked one out. Though this isn't one of his more popular books it's still worth a glance, especially if you're already a fan of Lewis. This book is actually a collection of reflections and essays from Lewis that span several years of his writing and come from various places. If you want to contemplate prayer on a more philosophical level then this book could prove useful.
3. The Prayer That Turns The World Upside Down, Albert Mohler: I came across this book in 2016 at the Together For The Gospel Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Mohler gets right to the Lord's Prayer in just seven chapters. I always appreciate Mohler's ability to get to the point and he does a great job of that here. This book also provided great discussion for my Journey group a couple of summers ago as well.
4. Praying The Lord's Prayer, J.I. Packer: Packer has one of the best reputations in the realm of Christianity. This guy can write a book. If you want to find a book over the Lord's Prayer from one of the smartest dudes Christians have to offer, look no further than these 120 pages. Packer breaks the Lord's Prayer up line by line and expounds in great detail the depth that exists there.
Here are some other books on prayer that will be within arms reach as I craft these messages over The Lord's Prayer. Some of these I've read while others are on my list.
Praying With Paul, D.A. Carson
The Prayer of the Lord, R.C. Sproul
Prayer, Experiencing Awe & Intimacy with God, Timothy Keller
Praying The Bible, Donald S. Whitney
The Lord's Prayer, Arthur Pink
Spurgeon On Prayer, How To Converse With God, Charles H. Spurgeon
Studies In The Sermon On The Mount, Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Eager to pray with you,
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