Study 10: When do I stop?

No other words of the Bible are spoken more often than the 65 words we call the Lord’s Prayer.

dont stopCountless times every day, in the worship of the church and in the personal devotion of many Christians, these words spring to life: “Our Father, who art in heaven.” The prayer is sung, recited in unison, mumbled mindlessly at times and, at other times, choked out through sobs of pain, desperation or remorse.

For two thousand years Christians on every continent, and in every language, have lifted this prayer to God. When you take these words on your lips, you stand on sacred ground.

Study 9: When do I pray?

Pray without ceasing. It sounds good and wholly spiritual but how do we fit our conversation with God (prayer) into and around our busy lives?

When I pray
You can listen to messages about prayer, read books about prayer, and do Bible studies on prayer, but nothing really prepares you for prayer, other than by praying. But, If prayer were just an exercise that required us to assume a certain posture and recite certain phrases, then it would be impossible to follow Paul’s command (1 Thessalonians 5 verse 17).

Prayer is much more than that. It’s not something you do occasionally, or even for a few minutes every day. Prayer, when applied to your life the way God intended it to be, is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week conversation with God. It is a lifestyle.

Study 7: Why worry when you can pray?

We rarely give bread much thought. It’s a staple of most diets across the world and whether it’s a seeded batch loaf, a roti or a soft brown roll, there’s any number of ways you can turn flour into bread.  

Bread
In Swindon, few of us will have to worry where our next meal will come from. It’s a different matter though when it comes to concerns about money or work. When we face the job cuts in the kind of corporate downscale SBC are planning (announced 24/10/17) or when unexpected demands stretch our financial resources, it’s easy to worry. We know God provides; we’re just concerned how He will support us in the crisis we are facing right now.

Study 8: What kind of prayer?

Battles and wars are fought on many fronts.
Battle
On one level there are the strategic campaigns of big battles, fought over large areas, with army pitted against army, man against man.

Then, there are the tactical (day to day) matters: small pieces of the jigsaw that go on to make up the big picture of any military campaign. In any battle, though, not everything that contributes to victory or defeat is immediately visible: some things are certainly not as they first appear.

Study 6: Who gets involved?

What happens when you are in trouble? When someone comes to you in need, what do you do? Ignore them, add to their misery or extend the hand of help and support? 
Church at prayer
When you see someone going off the rails physically and spiritually do you leave them to God to get sorted out? Do you shrug your shoulders, thank God that you are not like that, and remind yourself that it’s His job to do it?

If there is one thing we can learn from the New Testament, it’s this: our responsibility as believers extends beyond ourselves - and our actions and our attitudes have a significant impact on the life of the church as a whole. Our calling as members of the body of Christ is to share the burdens, to enjoy the triumphs and to celebrate the joys of one another within the church community.