The Lighthouse Keeper

Greetings from Pastor Kerry, former pastor of Spring City UMC. This blog contains my sermon outlines and/or manuscripts from my pastorate among the people of Spring City PA, from 2006 to 2011. Pastor Dennis is now the lighthouse keeper. Come and worship on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ask a Pastor: Does Prayer Really Change Anything?

July 15, 2007

from Hebrews 10:19-25 and Philippians 4:4-7

"Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds." – Hebrews 10:24

My sermon outline:

• If your prayer is answered the way you want it answered, how do you respond?
What if your prayer is not answered the way you want it to be answered, how then do you respond?

Prayer is one of those things. Like marriage. For better or for worse, except in this partnership the other person is God.

Last Week: Does God Answer Prayers?
Prayer > petition. Includes Adoration Confession Thanksgiving too.
Answer to prayer can be Yes, No, or Wait.

• Pray for good, yet tragic happens, may ask “Does prayer really change anything? Why bother praying if not?”

• Look at Philippians for some words about prayer.

4:6 Do not worry about anything... Worry is at best creative thinking gone bad and at worst mistrust of God. Either way it’s not peace.

4:6 ...but in everything by prayer and supplication... reminiscent of 2 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”. What areas of life should be bathed in prayer? What should not?
Pray at meals, bedtime, travel, in the hospital, meetings, tests, schools, even parking...

4:6 ...with thankgiving... Half of Paul’s letters begin with something like “I always thank God for you, always remembering you in my prayers...

4:6 ...let your requests be made known to God.

4:7 ...And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Not: “& God will answer every prayer the way you think it ought to be answered...”

• Does prayer change anything?

It changes you.

• Looking at other NT books we see Paul praying for:
Strength & encouragement, for self & others (Romans 1:8-10, 1 Cor 1:4-9)
Enlightenment & power (Ephesians 1:15-21)
Testimony (Ephesians 6:18-20)
Growth in love and in spiritual wisdom (Philippians 1:3-11)
Fruitful faith (Colossians 1:3-12, Philemon 1:4-7)

• And yes, for healing (James 5:14)

• We are changed

2 Corinthians 3:16-18
"But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

• Does prayer change anything? Prayer changes us  communities  the world

• 492 Prayer Is The Soul's Sincere Desire

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 50 in worship. Getting warmer.


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