{August 8, 2021}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

Ancient Paths: Prayer

By Molly Fisher

I’ve heard it said that everyone prays, (no atheists in a fox hole kind of thing.) Seems like that could be true, praying is often a last resort or a why not, when nothing else seems to be working. I know for me, I am much quicker to pray when in crisis, or in grief, than when all is well. I’ve learned though, that this is a misunderstanding of prayer, and what God hopes and provides by giving us access to him through prayer

Somehow, we take an amazing gift, freely offered, and complicate it.

“I don’t know what to say, and I would be embarrassed if anyone heard me.” 
“I don’t know if I have enough faith, or how to pray hard enough.”
“I’m not sure God can hear me.”
“God doesn’t answer my prayers.” (aka “I didn’t get what I wanted”)
“I’m not good at it.”

Eugene Peterson and Martin Luther compare praying to breathing – it’s not really something you strive to get better at, it’s just needed for life. Prayer is meant to be part of our everyday life, all of our moments. It’s knowing and including God, who already knows us better than anyone, to be as much a part of our lives as breath. Prayer is a conversation with someone who only wants your best and is beside you at your worst. Sometimes, prayer is saying nothing, but just acknowledging the presence of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to connect your soul to the very heart of God. Mother Teresa would say, "God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer." The bible says, “Deep calls out to deep…” Psalm 42. Sometimes it’s a conversation only our soul can have.

Last week, we started a series called Ancient Paths, and introduced the bible as our field guide, given to us to provide a path and light our way. Prayer is a way/path for us to interact with the author of our guide, the perfecter of our faith, our creator, and God of the universe, who actually wants a relationship with us. Prayer should be like breath, unceasing.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Not only in church or on our knees by ourselves for hours at a time with a list of things we think we need to pray about, but like breathing in and out. And just as no one judges how or how often you breathe, prayer is only to God, it’s not about outward appearances. And he’s not going to tell you you’re doing it wrong.

I had a unique prayer experience when I had an opportunity to attend a church in Scotland. As visitors and ministry partners, during the service they had us gather in small groups to be prayed over. Everyone prayed at once, instead of taking turns, and it was incredible! A room full of people, in community, were praying for us, to God, together with unity and purpose, but not for an audience of anyone else but God. What an amazing experience to be surrounded by prayer, and know whose ears were hearing those prayers!!!

*Consider putting prayer into action by joining a group this Wednesday evening (5:30-6 PM) at a local school to participate in a prayer walk. CLICK HERE for a list of locations!

 

{sunday 8.8.21}

Read Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus actually teaches us how to pray in these verses. Below is the version I grew up learning, but love it in other translations as well. I invite you to pray the prayer as is, or follow the prompts after each sentence to personalize this prayer. 

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
(Describe God in your own words of praise and adoration)

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
(Literally, commits us to coming before the One who knows our story, the big picture, and has our best in mind)

Give us this day our daily bread
(Name your needs and wants, as God knows your heart already)

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us
(Search your heart/thoughts to confess what God already knows about you and let go of the hurts, grudges, judgements you hold against others)

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
(Invite God to light your path, and to be the voice you listen to in daily life)

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever
(Finish by giving thanks for all that God has done/is doing in you)

 

{prayer for the week}

Join us this week in a shared community-wide prayer.

Jesus, we are knocking on the door of heaven. We come to you this week in the spaces where we are at a loss. The rug has been yanked out from under us, and we need you. We pray for our friends who need to hear from you. We pray for our community and our world that is carrying so much pain and hurt. We come to you God declaring our deep need, and testing our faith…would you meet us in this space, Jesus? Amen.

 

{bible reading plan}

By Molly Fisher

{monday 8.9.21}

Read Philippians 2:1-2

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Prayer is not only for ourselves, but for our friends and community. Paul and Timothy in their letter to the church of Philippi, encourage the church to love one another, and work together with one mind and purpose. Prayer unites us – we are praying to the same God as a community. Jesus told us that “when two or more are together in My name, I am there in their midst.”  Matthew 18:20. In prayer, we seek God as a community and trust he is there.

{tuesday 8.10.21}

Read Philippians 2:3-4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In prayer we acknowledge our limitations and humble ourselves. We put others before ourselves and recognize how little control we actually have. The power of prayer lies not in who is doing the praying, but in who hears the prayer.  The Lord’s prayer starts with, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…”. How can you practice prayer today, by stating where your hope comes from and who God is?

{wednesday 8.11.21}

Read Philippians 2:5-8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: *Join a prayer walk tonight for schools!
Jesus humbled himself by becoming human and eventually dying a criminal’s death on the cross. His time on earth was often spent praying.  Sometimes Jesus took his disciples with him to pray, and other times he needed to spend time alone with God, his Father. If Jesus needed prayer like breath, then clearly, I need prayer even more. Jesus died on the cross to provide a way for us to have a relationship with our Father, God. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and prays for us when we are at a loss for words – the Spirit pleads for us according to God’s own will. Romans 8:26-27. God is not looking for the right words, just an open heart, and for us to be seeking Him. How can you seek Jesus today with an open heart?

{thursday 8.12.21}

Read Philippians 2:9-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Because of Christ’s obedience, Jesus is a name above all names. Jesus experienced the love of family and friends, and he had a community, but also experienced many hardships, and a torturous death. Jesus knew he did not face the hardest parts of his life alone. He talked to, pleaded with, was open and honest, and listened to God. Prayer is not a one-sided conversation, or thoughts shared with walls. Prayer puts you in the presence of God, who actually wants to hear from you and has things he wants you to know as well. The bible is his written word when you are not sure you can hear. Corrie ten Boom asks a great question, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” What is your answer today?

{friday 8.13.21}

Read Philippians 2:12-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: When you pray and place yourself in the presence of God, you allow God to work through you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases him. Dan taught on Sunday, that when we pray, God opens our hearts to the possibility that God is real, involved, good, and willing to meet our needs.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

 

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!

 

© 2021 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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