St. Luke's Church Faribault
2-10-2019
      • 1 Peter 2:9–10NIV2011

      • Ephesians 2:3–5NIV2011

  • Come Thou Fount
  • He Leadeth Me
  • What A Friend We Have In Jesus
  • Intro
    Prayer
    How is your prayer life 1 to 10 ________,
    How is your prayer life? Do you ever get bored by prayer? Do you ever fall asleep during prayer? Do you wish you were better at praying? Do you feel like your prayers are going nowhere?
    Well, you are not alone. Many Christians have some of these thoughts at least at one time or another. We may even feel guilty or inadequate about our prayer life.
    Let me describe a scenario for you, and you can decide if this you. The first prayer that starts it all for the Christian is sometimes called the sinners prayer.
    Preachers try to motivate people to pray.
    Let me describe a scenario for you, and you can decide if this you. The first prayer that starts it all for the Christian is sometimes called the sinners prayer.
    WHat hap
    The sinners prayer is really a prayer of repentance and telling God that you trust in the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross, and not on your own works. This prayer is the result of the Gospel taking hold of our heart. We hear about God’s holiness, we hear about our sinfulness, and we hear about how Jesus paid the price for our sins at the cross, and the Holy Spirit acts upon our hearts. We pray out of our sinful heart and ask God to forgive us. We tell Him we trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. And at that time-eternity is shaken. We walk from the kingdom of the world into the Kingdom of God. Heaven and earth are changed. Things are different.
    Wat hap
    This prayer is the result of the Gospel taking hold of our heart. We hear about God’s holiness, we hear about our sinfulness, and we hear about how Jesus paid the price for our sins at the cross, and the Holy Spirit acts upon our hearts.
    Then we pray out of our sinful heart and ask God to forgive us. We tell Him we trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. At that time-eternity is shaken. We walk from the kingdom of the world into the Kingdom of God. Heaven and earth are changed. Things are different.
    It reminds me of this prayer from the Old Testament, prayed by Solomon at the dedication of the temple.
    Listen to this prayer and the result from
    2 Chronicles 6:40-7:3
    2 Chronicles 6:40–7:3 NIV
    “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. “Now arise, Lord God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation, may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness. Lord God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David your servant.” When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.”
    This was a big prayer, with a big result. Our salvation was a big prayer with a big result, that started with the Gospel message.
    -7:3
    Or, are you constantly amazed by prayer? When you pray
    Then, as we walk through the Christian life, our prayers, are often more about our needs and the needs of of our friends, church members and relatives needs. We compile a prayer list. We try and remember to pray for the things on the list, like a new job, or our car, or someone who is sick. We pray for someone traveling and for a friend who is having a difficult marriage. But nothing really compares to that big prayer.
    Daily we try and remember to pray for the things on the list, like a new job, or our car, or someone who is sick. We pray for someone traveling and for a friend who is having a difficult marriage. These prayers, wear on us.
    Occasionally, we see a quick answer, but more often the prayers go on for weeks, months, before anything seems to change. We do not see any apparent progress and we grow tired. The fire does not fall, and we wonder when we will see the glory of the Lord.
    Now, before we go forward I want to be absolutely clear. Keep praying for those things. God’s words says and in everything by prayer and petition present your requests to God. And to pray continually, and give us this day our daily bread. So keep praying those things. However for now, I want to talk about a big prayer in addition to those prayers. Gospel centered prayer.
    Prayers that are focused on the gospel. Gospel centered prayers, unlike those other prayers involve eternity. In gospel centered prayer you are praying prayers that may actually change heaven and earth. Theses prayers are asking for God himself to do what He does, and what only He can do to fill people, to draw people, forgive people, to save people.
    Gospel centered prayer. Prayers that focused on the gospel. Prayers involving eternity. Prayer that may actually change heaven and earth. Prayers asking for God-himself to fill people, draw people, forgive people, save people.
    The Apostle Paul prayed those kinds of prayers many times in his letters. Like
    Philippians 1:9-11
    Philippians 1:9–11 NIV
    And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
    Phil 1:9
    Colossians 1:3-6
    Colossians 1:3–6 NIV
    We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.
    1 Thessalonians 1:2-5
    1 Thessalonians 1:2–5 NIV
    We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
    1 Thes 2
    2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
    2 Thessalonians 1:11–12 NIV
    With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Church if we are praying prayers like that, If our prayers take on the characteristics of Pauls’s prayers. We are not going to get bored. These are prayers have an eternal consequence. These prayers have outcomes that change heaven and hell.
    Do you ever get bored by prayer?
    We are in the introduction section of the book of Romans in Chapter 1. Last week we finished the address, and this week here in the introduction in verses 8-13, the Apostle Paul tells the Roman church he is praying for them. That prayer like so many of Paul’s prayers are gospel centered. And even though the prayer is directed toward the church, that is those who have already recieved the call of the gospel. He continues to keep his prayer gospel centered. So let’s read , through 13.
    Romans 1:8–13 NIV
    First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
    mans 1:8-13
    Romans 1:8-13
    There are 5 things we can learn about gospel centered prayer from this passage. The first, is that
    Gospel centered prayer is for everyone.
    If we go back a few verses in Romans we know Paul is writing this letter to the church of Rome. The gospel is not just for unbelievers. The Gospel is the center of the Christian faith,
    Gospel centered prayer has world impact.
    At the heart is the gospel.
    Romans 1:8 NIV
    First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.
    Gospel centered prayer, is not confined to our immediate circle. It could be, but it doesn’t have to be. Paul has not yet visited the Roman church, yet he thanks God for them. He thanks God that their faith is being reported all over the world. The result of the Gospel, is not secret. The result of the gospel on the life of the Roman Church is that their faith is being reported all over the world.
    Gospel centered prayer is driven by our mandate to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. That is why missions is such a high priority. Our faith here at St. Luke’s should have an impact worldwide. It does. When you write a check to Children’s Cup, there is someone on the other end, feeding an aides orphan, teaching them the gospel, and thanking God for your faith.
    Romans 1:8 NIV
    First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.
    Our faith here at St. Luke’s has an impact at other ends of the world as well. Everytime you write a check to Children’s Cup our faith
    Gospel centered prayer recognizes that all believers in Jesus Christ are part of the same family of God. Last week for example we recited the profession of faith. We say the words I believe in one holy catholic church. Catholic in that context is a small c, not capital C. Catholic in that sense does not mean the Roman Catholic Church. Catholic in the profession of faith means universal. Sometimes that phrase is changed to be the one holy universal christian church.
    That means that there is a connection we have with everyone who is a Christian across the globe. This also needs to be understood. We do not have a connection to all Churches. This is not some sort of a connection to just any church. In fact we are not talking about churches at all. We are talking about believers within the churches. This means we are part of the same family as all those who believe the gospel. From last week it is those who have responded to the general call of the gospel and for whom the gospel has had an effect. Remember, not all people who call themselves christian are indeed christians.Not all churches believe teach and preach the gospel. The believers are only connected to those who belong to God.
    Gospel centered prayer has as its motivation or driving force-the gospel. This type of prayer is born out of a heart-felt desire, or stronger-need to see the gospel continue in the world.
    Number 2.
    At the heart of gospel centered prayer is the gospel.
    This seems obvious right? But Gospel centered prayer has as its motivation or driving force-in the gospel. Gospel Centered prayer is born out of a heart-felt desire, or stronger yet- a need to see the gospel advance in the world.
    Romans 1:9 NIV
    God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you
    Paul here describes God as the God he serves in his spirit by preaching the Gospel. Paul is describing God, by how he serves God. Think about how important that must be to Paul. The God, whom I serve in my spirit, that phrase is really Paul’s way of saying that His act of Worship, The God whom I serve in my spirit, in preaching of the Gospel of Jesus. The Gospel is so important to Paul, that is how he is describing how he serves God.
    Each one of us worships God differently. But maybe it looks like this, The God, whom I serve through teaching Sunday School, or the God whom I serve through supporting missionaries. Yeah that God. For Paul it t is the God he serves by preaching of the Gospel of Jesus. The gospel is of primary importance.
    It is is different for all of you. But maybe it looks like this, The God, whom I serve through teaching Sunday School. The God whom I serve through supporting missionaries. Yeah that God. For Paul that is the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus. A few verses back in , Paul called it the gospel of God. I said that Paul was indicating that the Gospel came from God. It was God’s possession. Interestingly Paul uses the same phrase here but now, instead of the gospel of God, it is the gospel of Jesus. It belongs to Jesus. Paul’s interchange of God and Jesus is showing us that he is making a point about Jesus’s divinity.
    A few verses back in , Paul called it the gospel of God. I said that Paul was indicating that the Gospel came from God. It was God’s possession. Interestingly Paul uses the same phrase here but now, instead of the gospel of God, it is the gospel of Jesus. Same thing, just as it belongs to God it belongs to Jesus. Paul’s interchange of God and Jesus is showing us that he is making a point about Jesus’s divinity.
    Number 3
    Gospel centered prayer is constant.
    If it belongs to God
    Romans 1:9–10 NIV
    God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
    How I constantly remember you in prayers at all times. Over and over again Paul is continually praying for the church at Rome. He doesn’t fade. It is not like our prayers sometimes. Sometimes, we pray, oh I have to remember to pray for this person or that person. Yet there are other times, when we can pray constantly. There are times when there is something on our hearts and minds so intensely that we can pray constant. Like if we are unemployed, and we do not have any income, we find it easy to pray continually, but for someone travelling to North Dakota, it is another matter. Why is that? It is because we are burdened for a job, our mind is constantly on it.
    It is because we are burdened for that item.
    Paul is so focused on the gospel he describes God as the God whom I serve in the preaching of the gospel The Gospel is constantly on Paul’s mind. Paul can maintain that constancy because the gospel is that important. Paul is not just praying about Aunt Mable’s big toe, Paul is not praying for a new job, or for his broken car. But rather Paul is praying with a constantcy because he is burdened that others will have their life changed like He had. He experienced the risen Lord Jesus Christ and the joy of what it means to be saved, and he wants others to experience that. world changing heaven and hell changing gospel.
    I mean if we really believe that people are going to hell without the gospel, then we can pray with diligence about it. It is that important. Yet at the same time the burden Paul carries is not his own. Instead, Paul realizes that salvation is of God and from God. Paul maintains a healthy balance. While burdened at the same time the outcome is not up to Paul is a matter of God’s will.
    That is number 4
    The outcome is God’s will.
    Romans 1:10–11 NIV
    in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—
    Romans 1:10 NIV
    in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
    ROmans 1:
    ROmans
    We can get caught up in the trap of placing the outcome of the gospel on us. We have to do everything just right, I have to convince that person or my son or daughter. We have to everything just right so that they will hear the gospel- But not Paul. He places it all in God’s hands-He prays, but the outcome is God’s. He is patient, waiting, content to write a letter to the people he longs to see. He is content to wait and pray constantly for God to open the way for him to go.
    This something we hold in tension, in one hand- our responsibility to pray, and our desire to see people come to Christ and the other hand is God’s will and outcome,God knows what is best, God’s timing is not our timing. Paul has that down- we on the other hand can fall off on either side. We either carry the anxiety that the outcome is our responsibility, or we throw up our hands and avoid praying constantly because it is God’s will, or if we do not see God doing anything we conclude that God is done and has resigned it to not happen. Yet Paul prays constantly. Paul does both.
    So for us, we pray that God will open the way for us to spread the Gospel, in our community, yet we are at the same time are content to wait for God to open and to show us the way.
    Number 5.
    Gospel centered prayer reflects our love for people.
    As we read through this prayer we recognize that the Paul love’s these people. The gospel is the greatest gift we can give anyone. If we really love people our heart has to be for them to hear the gospel. Loving people to hell is not loving. Coming alongside of people is loving, teaching and telling people about Jesus is loving.
    Romans 1:11 NIV
    I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—
    Paul not only is pray for them constantly and at all times but he also longs to see them. He wants to impart some spiritual gift to make them strong. Paul is not referring to the spiritual gifts that believers receive from the Holy Spirit. Paul cannot give them that, Those gifts are from God alone, rather Paul is talking about teaching, or discipling, or sharing some of his knowledge, or experience at being a christian , so that they will be made strong in their faith.
    That experience is a two-way street just as iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another-The christian experience is meant to be a two-way and this is reflected in Paul’s Prayer.
    Romans 1:12 NIV
    that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
    That experience is a two-way street just as iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another-The christian experience is meant to be with one another and this is reflected in Paul’s Prayer. Then the final verse in this section continues to reflect and reinforce those ideas.
    Romans 1:13 NIV
    I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
    A harvest of fruit.
    Paul is hopeful of a harvest when he comes to see them. Probably the two-fold harvest of gospel ministry. The evangelism of the Roman gentiles, the general call of the gospel taking effect on them, and the ongoing strengthening of the believers through the ministry of the gospel.
    If we can adjust our prayers-if we can add to our prayers a gospel centeredness, we will then be praying in accordance with the work of the Lord Jesus Christ in the world. We will be praying that people come to a saving knowledge of him. Our prayers take on a dimension of the heavenly as we pray for God to literally change the population of heaven and hell. Our prayers have a connection to the universal family of believers in the world. Prayers like these are energizing, they are not boring, and they place us in a position of participating in God’s divine plan.
    But none of it is possible without the gospel taking hold in our life. The gospel taking hold in our life is the motivation for gospel centered prayer. For the gospel to take hold in our lives-we have to recognize that we are sinners in need of a savior. We have to know that no matter how hard we try, left to our own ways we have turned from God. All of us have sinned and we all like sheep have gone astray. We all have fallen short of the Glory of God.
    Today you may be burdened with sin. Today you may be aware that you have have violated God’s law. There are no good works you can do that will erase the sin that you have already committed. The penalty for sin is death. God has assigned eternal punishment for all that have sinned. God is a God of justice, God is righteous God.
    However, there is good news, there is the gospel. Jesus took on flesh and became man. Jesus, fully God and fully man lived without sin the perfect life that you and I could not live. Jesus was obedient to death on a cross. Jesus died the death and suffered the wrath of God that you and I should have suffered in our place, but because he was without sin, he rose from the dead three days later.
    If you today lay down your sins and your burdens and give them to Jesus, you can be saved. If you repent of your sins, and repent means to turn away from sin and toward God, and by faith believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that he died on the cross for your sins, and rose from the dead, you will be saved. Today start a new life with a gospel centered prayer- a prayer of repentance and faith. Tell the Lord Jesus you are sorry for your sins, that you turn from them, tell Jesus that you trust in Him alone for the forgiveness of those and that you worship Him alone as your Lord and Savior. Then let me know that you have prayed this prayer for the first time.
    You will have time now to pray silently.
    In Jesus name.
      • Romans 1:8–13NIV2011

      • Romans 1:8NIV2011

      • Romans 1:9NIV2011

      • Romans 1:9–10NIV2011

      • Romans 1:10NIV2011

      • Romans 1:11NIV2011

      • Romans 1:12NIV2011

      • Romans 1:13NIV2011

  • Learning To Lean
  • Doxology
  • By Faith

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