Growing In Prayer
01/02 AUGUST 2020 | Prayer & Praise Services
Rev Lilian Ang, Pastor
Scripture Passage: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Never underestimate the power of prayer. George McCluskey’s dedication to pray for his family and future generations impacted far more than one family. Do not give up praying for our children. For the first-generation Christians amongst us, we can start a legacy of prayer in our family by gathering to pray and instilling the discipline of prayer. We should also pray for our parents who have yet to know the Lord and get our children to pray for their grandparents.
The importance of praying for others is shaped by our sincere desire to seek what is best for God's people. Paul's prayer is centred on the following:
- Intercession on behalf of others
Paul suggests growing in prayer by:
1. Praying with thanksgiving
1.1 Thankful to who? God. Only the power of God produced the result of the Thessalonians responding well to the message of the gospel.
1.2 Thankful for what? Paul was thankful for the response of love and faith that the young Thessalonian congregation had in the face of adversity and trial.
1.3 Why be thankful?
1.3.1 Gratitude — acknowledging God’s graciousness
1.3.2 Testimony about God — sharing God's love and concern. It is God's grace and goodness, not our own efforts, when things go well. God is faithful in the past and will be faithful in the future.
1.3.3 Positive effect on others — encouraging those whom we give thanks for will encourage and affirm them.
2. Praying for increasing love for others
2.1 Paul’s one petition — May the Lord make your love increase (v12). Instead of picking on others’ faults and weaknesses, and showing our disapproval or disappointment, we can turn our prayers into thanksgiving for strength.
2.2 Serving others in love — Our prayers for others must be translated to love in action.
2.3 Praying out of love — Paul had genuine love for the Thessalonians. We can be very selfish and demanding people when hard times come but remember that the source of Love is the Lord.
William Temple, one of the great leaders of the Anglican Church, said, “The church is the only society in the world that exists for its non-members.” The love that we must grow in makes us love all men and not just one another. Learn to love even the unlovable. Serious prayers for others force us to get serious with ourselves. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing.
Three Steps to Unceasing Prayer that will transform our prayer life:
- Ask God to be present. Ask God to be attentive to us and let us be attentive to him. This allows every moment to become a sacred moment.
- Offer every moment to God. Whether it is a moment of highlight or difficult moment of pain/sorrow, it is a moment of sacrifice.
- Accept whatever comes. Let this be an attempt to surrender.
What is God saying to us about our prayer life? Make the commitment now! In the stillness of our hearts, devote time to pray.
(Sermon Notes by Honey Vreugdewater)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. How would you describe your prayer life right now?
2. What would your desired prayer life look like?
3. Paul’s prayer is centered in thanksgiving. Share an incident where your prayer of thanksgiving has a positive effect on others.
4. According to the speaker, if we want to grow in prayer, we must learn to pray with thanksgiving. What are the outcomes of praying with a thankful heart?
5. How do we grow in unceasing prayer?
6. What steps can you take to grow in prayer towards your desired prayer life?
7. Consider this action step: Devote yourself to the discipline of prayer by joining in the Church Synchronised Prayer. Pray alone, with your family or with a group of fellow Christians weekly for the next 4 weeks.