Published on February 5, 2008
The ministry of prayer: tips from the trenches: The ministry of prayer: tips from the trenches 21 November 2007 St Paul’s Tervuren What happened last week?: What happened last week? To review :: To review : Prayer is NOT: technique, pulling favours, mechanical, manipulative Prayer IS: important, thermometer, submission, basic, relationship Why pray: for us, for the church, God listens, God asks us to How to pray: humbly, as children, using the Word(s) God gave us Model praying: Model praying The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4) in 6 parts: “There are two kinds of people: Those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says, ‘Alright then, have it your way’.” --C. S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters Slide5: O Lord, hear our prayer, O Lord, hear our prayer, When we call, answer us. O Lord, hear our prayer, O Lord, hear our prayer, Come and listen to us. TONIGHT: TONIGHT Scope of Prayer Praying the Psalms Praying other Scriptures Prayer at Saint Paul’s (With prayer exercices in between) Scope of Prayer: James 5: 13-20: Scope of Prayer: James 5: 13-20 Is anyone suffering? PRAY Is anyone cheerful? SING PRAISES Is anyone sick? CALL ELDERS + THEY PRAY If anyone wanders from the truth… THE ONE WHO RESTORES… Value of intercession: Value of intercession ‘Set over thyself some man of God as a trainer and governor. Reverence, though it be but one man; fear, though it be but one man. Give yourself to hearing, though it be but one speaking freely, using harshness, and at the same time healing. … Fear this man when angry; be pained at his groaning; and reverence him when making his anger to cease; and anticipate him when he is deprecating punishment. Let him pass many sleepless nights for thee, interceding for thee with God, influencing the Father with the magic of familiar litanies. For He does not hold out against His children when they beg His pity. And for you he will pray purely, held in high honour as an angel of God, and grieved not by you, but for you.’ --Clement of Alexandria, Who is the Rich Man… Exercice 1: Exercice 1 Find another person whom you can trust to pray with you. Ask each other which specific area is uppermost in his or her life now: suffering, thanks/joy, sickness, concern for someone else. Pray for that specific need. If needed, talk to someone else afterwards about further action to take. Agree to pray for each other throughout the week. Praying the Psalms: Praying the Psalms In the Psalter you learn about yourself. You find depicted in it all the movements of your soul, all its changes, its ups and downs, its failures and recoveries. Moreover, whatever your particular need or trouble, from this same book you can select a form of words to fit it, so that you do not merely hear and then pass on, but learn the way to remedy your ill. Prohibitions of evildoing are plentiful in Scripture, but only the Psalter tells you how to obey these orders and refrain from sin…. So, then, my son, let whoever reads this book of Psalms take the things in it quite simply as God-inspired. In every case the words you want are written down for you, and you can say them as your own. --Athanasius, Letter to Marcellinus Exercice 2 (Psalm 42): Exercice 2 (Psalm 42) 1 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help 6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Exercice 2 (2): Exercice 2 (2) 7 Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me. 8 By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?” 10 As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?” 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. Praying other Scriptures: Praying other Scriptures Do pray the prayers of others, even Jesus (not just in the Psalms) Do pray the ‘prayer summaries’ in NT letters Do pray promises and commands given Don’t pray what you don’t believe Don’t pray ‘false prayers’ Don’t pray as if you are God (the ‘I’ language in Scripture) Exercice 3: Exercice 3 Choose one of the Bible texts on the next slide (or another). Read over the text and think how you can make it yours. Rewrite the text as a prayer that applies to you (praise, confession, request) or someone else (intercession). Pray the words silently or aloud. Exercice 3 (2): Exercice 3 (2) Matthew 11:25-30 James 1: 5-7 Romans 12:1-2 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 Philippians 4:8 Galatians 5:22-23 Colossians 1:9-14 Genesis 32:24-30 1 Samuel 2:1-10 Jonah 2:1-10 Habakkuk 1:1-7 Joshua 7:6-13 Ezra 9:5-15 Exodus 32:30-35; 33:11a Prayer and St Paul’s: Prayer and St Paul’s Sunday morning prayers Morning prayers Prayer chain First Monday Thirst Home groups Et cetera? To do at home: To do at home Jewish weekly psalm schedule LECTIO DIVINA tips Praying John 13: 6-10: Praying John 13: 6-10 (Origen, Homilies on Isaiah) Slide22: He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.’ Slide23: Jesus, come. I have dirty feet. Become a servant for my sake. Pour your water into your basin. Come, wash my feet. I know what I say is brash, but I fear the threat you uttered: ‘If I do not wash your feet, you have no part in me.’ Therefore wash my feet so that I may have a part in you. But why do I say, ‘Wash my feet’? Peter could say this. He had no need except that his feet be washed; He was clean through and through. Indeed, though I was washed once, I need that baptism which the Lord spoke of: ‘I have another baptism to be baptized with.’ Slide24: O Lord, hear our prayer, O Lord, hear our prayer, When we call, answer us. O Lord, hear our prayer, O Lord, hear our prayer, Come and listen to us.