The Privilege of Prayer

Dear Friends,

There has been a lot to pray for this week! We have prayed for 4 new Christians in our midst who have just devoted their lives to Christ! We have prayed for church members who have just discovered illnesses and are coming to grips with their future. We have prayed for Scripture teachers and students in our public schools who hear the Bible taught each week. We have prayed for our youth leaders as they deal with the complexities of Gen Z. We have prayed for numerous others in need…. and that’s just the beginning.

I have always been encouraged by Philippians 4:6-7: “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.”

We pray to an awesome and merciful heavenly Father don’t we! But have you stopped to ponder that reality recently? For if we overlook the reality that God is our Father, we will overlook the grace that enables prayer. So we need to be reminded periodically that the privilege of speaking with God so intimately was not even given to the greatest of the Old Testament saints. The Jewish people would never have called God Father – they considered it too familiar as Jesus found out. In John 5:18 we read that the Jewish people try to kill Jesus for calling God his Father.

But this is the privilege that is ours as Christians. On Jesus’ lips it seems appropriate, but on ours, we must realise that it is an amazing and unexpected blessing. That the incomparable, sovereign God, creator of the universe, sustainer of life and judge of all, can be approached by feeble creatures like us as Father – it’s an amazing privilege. But ‘Father’ expresses more than our privileged approach.

We can approach God as Father because he approached us first. In Christ he has sought us out and through faith in Jesus, brought us to himself and made us into his children. He is our heavenly Father, and we are his sons through faith in Christ.

Many people struggle to pray. Perhaps that is you. We hope that our sermon on 2 Samuel 7:18-29 helped you. But there are lots of reasons for prayerlessness – theological, personal, laziness, disappointment with God. We would love to help you to learn pray. Start by asking your Growth Group leader for some direction. Many people find that having a system is helpful too. Perhaps the easiest thing to do is open the Psalms – a book of prayers.

Remember – faith talks. Prayer – give it a go.

In Christ