Dressed for the Journey (part 2)
Sermon Series: The Affectionate Gospel
Sermon Title: Dressed for the Journey, Part 2
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
We need the Lord, so we need to pray.
As a continuation of last week’s sermon, today’s focus rests on the aspect of God’s will for us that involves praying. The suitcase metaphor (being “dressed for the journey”) changes to a weightier one: a survival kit. If we do not pray, we do not make it through the Christian life.
“Well, if we don’t pray together to God, we’re not going to make it because of all we are facing. I’m certainly not. We have to pray; we can’t let it just slip our minds.” Kathy Keller
Point 1: The Necessity of Prayer
No matter the situation, to pray is God’s will for our lives. As a must-have, praying provides evidence of our faith and serves as a conduit by which we access God’s goodness. In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul prays not for their challenging circumstances, but for the eyes of their hearts to be enlightened to the grace of God (Eph. 1:17-19). Praying properly prepares Christians for the journey.
Question: If you are a Christian, do you talk to God?
Point 2: Reasons to Pray
When we pray, we acknowledge our dependence on Him, we yield ourselves to His will, and we may tell Him what we need and want based on His will.
Point 3: The Person We Pray to
Consider praying as an on-going conversation initiated by God and not ourselves. It serves as our response to what God has already said to us in His word. When we pray, we primarily talk to God as our Father. He is everyone’s Creator (Acts 17:26-31); yet God becomes “Abba! Father!” only to those who are His children (Gal 4:4-7). God begins His conversation with us at the Cross. As a good Father, God provides us protection, provision, guidance (Deut. 1:30-31, Hos. 11:1-4, 8-9), compassion (Ps. 103:13-14), joy (Luke 15:11-32), and discipline (Heb. 12:6)
Point 4: Pray without Ceasing
Praying without ceasing is to continue praying--despite delays--until we receive an answer. Just like the persistent widow, do not give up! (Luke 18:1-8). As we wait on the Lord, we display our dependence on Him, reveal our faith, and receive transformation of our hearts and wills.
Rather than some have-to Christian discipline, prayer is a vital aspect of God’s survival kit that equips us for the journey. With it, we not only survive but thrive, bearing much fruit along the way. Our good Father invites us to come to Him with the sure promise to listen and to answer.
Question: Is there any good reason not to pray?