Beyond Sunday – STRONG Challenge: Pray

Kay Roberts —  March 7, 2013 — Leave a comment

…by Jeff Sanford

I hate to admit this, but I am not what you would consider a prayer warrior.  In some seasons of life, talking with God seems to come naturally.  But in others, prayer can feel like such a struggle.  Sometimes it’s sin that breaks up my communication with God, but often it’s simply the worries of life that have caused me to lose perspective.  And hearing Jesus’ framework for prayer was such a great way to hit the reset button on my prayer life.


In the message, Greg taught that we should start our prayers with an acknowledgement of God and His holiness.  Holiness is just a church word for “set apart”.  In other words, God is different than us.  He’s higher than us, bigger than us, stronger than us, wiser than us… incomparably so.


Psalm 33 says, “The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created.  He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.  He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.  Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him.  For when he spoke, the world began!  It appeared at his command.”


I don’t know about you, but I haven’t spoken any stars into existence lately or assigned any oceans their boundaries.  But the truth is that when I pause long enough to get a glimpse of the truth of God, my perspective immediately begins to shift and my posture towards God changes.  And it begins to stir up a sense of awe.


Honestly though, I think we are shortchanging God if we stop at just looking at how big and awesome He is.  Not only is God big and awesome, but He knows us intimately and loves us anyway.  He knows all of our sin, all of our shortcomings, all of our shame, and all of our guilt.  And yet He loves us.


I couldn’t help but be overcome with gratitude to God as we sang through the songs that followed the message.  Take a quick read through the lyrics to one of the songs we sang:


When we were trapped within our sin

When we trusted ourselves

When we were blinded by our shame and guilt


When we were searching for our worth

You died and gave yourself

You rose and brought a hope so real

And we’re overwhelmed

That’s the God that wants a relationship with us…the one who hung the stars, who spoke the Earth into existence, who sees our shame and guilt and loves us anyway, who died and rose from the grave.  When we carry that perspective with us into prayer, it changes everything.  It brings a sense of gratitude and changes the nature of our requests.  It motivates us to forgive as we understand the forgiveness and grace that has been lavished upon us.  I hope you are able to maintain that sort of perspective as you enter into prayer this week.


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