Aug 13 2016

Prayer – Day Six

How do I pray? What do I pray for? Have you ever asked these questions?

I have been in ministry a long time and I get asked one of these questions quite regularly. I love the question because it shows someone’s willingness to push the awkwardness of not knowing so that they can have a deeper intimacy with Jesus. I also love these questions because I asked these very questions myself.

I began learning how to pray not just through people in my life helping me, but through reading some of the prayers in the Bible. I began to understand what was important and what should I be praying for. I also began to understand how I am to pray. HINT: Be yourself…talk to God like you talk to others.

One of my favorite examples of prayer in the Bible is Romans 1:8-11 which says,

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you.

I love this example of prayer so much we have it hanging on our living room wall and the Scripture reference was engraved inside of my first wedding band. Don’t ask why I have had more than 1 wedding band and only one marriage. J

This passage tells us that we should be praying for people in our lives all the time. That we should thank God for them and then pray that God would bless them and allow us a chance to bless them.

Let’s practice that today. Take time today and write down the names of people in your life and thank God for them. Then, pray that God would give you a chance this week to bless them in some way. What a cool prayer to pray for our church and for people God has placed in your life.

Prayer Focus – Day Six: Each campus of Front Range 

Pray for each of the three campuses at Front Range. Pray for Mesa, that God would use the people at that campus to reach the east side of Castle Rock. That God would bless that school and the relationship we have with them. Pray for the theater campus, that God would use that campus to be a blessing to the Meadows people and those who live on the west side of Castle Rock. Pray for the online campus, that God would create great community with them and use that campus as a front door to the church like it has been for so many already.   

Aug 12 2016

Prayer – Day Five

Over the last few days, we have discussed what prayer is. We looked at how prayer is both a conversation and an encounter with God. We discussed how prayer is knowing the awe of praising God’s glory, the intimacy of finding His grace and the struggle of asking for His help.

These are great things to focus on, but if you are anything like me, you can find your prayer life more of a one-way street, than a two-way conversation. One of the key components of prayer, but one that is forgotten so often, is the art of listening.

If prayer is a conversation and encounter with God, then we must give room for God to respond. Many times, I have found myself praying to God, but not listening for Him. I have told Him all the things I want Him to do or praised Him for His glory, but then I close up shop and move to the next thing. Could you imagine doing that with a friend or a spouse?

Prayer is a conversation with God. It takes intentional focus to stop, be quiet and listen.

Psalm 46:10 states, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

The term “be still” in Hebrew is raphah and it literally means to cease striving. We are to stop working so hard to know God and just be still and let God speak to our hearts and our minds.

God knows what you need today. God knows the words that you need to hear. He knows the healing you are longing for. He knows the joy you have experienced or the pain you are experiencing. God wants you to know today that He is God.

Take time today to just listen. Pray for the things in your life and then stop for a moment and ask Him to speak to you. Then, just listen.

Prayer Focus – Day Five: Those In Our Town Who Don’t Know Jesus

All of us have friends and/or family in this town who don’t know Jesus. Let’s spend time today praying for their salvation. Let’s pray that God would do whatever He needs to do to grab ahold of their lives. Let’s pray God would give us opportunities to invite them to church or to speak into their lives. May God grant us favor and may many come to know Jesus personally.  

Aug 11 2016

Prayer – Day Four

What is prayer? That is the question we have been answering the last couple of days. We have been using Tim Keller’s definition of prayer in his book called Prayer. Keller states, “Prayer is both conversation and encounter with God…We must know the awe of praising His glory, the intimacy of finding His grace, and the struggle of asking His help, all of which can lead us to know the spiritual reality of His presence.”

Two days ago we focused on the first aspect of Keller’s definition, which is knowing the awe of praising His glory. You can read that post here. Yesterday, we focused on knowing the intimacy of finding His grace. That post is here.

Today, I want us to focus on the final component of this definition which is knowing “the struggle of asking His help.”

I’m a guy. I know the struggle of asking for help. I don’t like to ask for directions. I don’t like to ask for help fixing something in my home. The struggle is real.

But, asking God for help is not just a struggle for men, but a struggle for all. We like to think we are independent. We like to believe that we can do things on our own. We like to hope, even though we may never say it, that salvation rests in our own hands.

True prayer, however, is knowing the struggle of asking for God’s help. Recognizing that we can’t do it on our own. Choosing to pursue God’s power and presence over our own ability and strength.

Take time today to acknowledge you need God’s help. Write down some specific things in your life you need His help with. Pray for those needs specifically.

Prayer Focus – Day Four: Community at Front Range 

Let’s pray for Front Range and all those who call FRCC their home church. Let’s pray for God to bring greater unity in our church and for each person to capture the vision of becoming intentional neighbors through knowing and following Jesus. Let’s pray God would use our church to impact Castle Rock and the surrounding areas in such a way that people give their lives to Jesus. May we continue to grow in attendance, community groups, serve teams and our relationship with Jesus. 

Aug 10 2016

Prayer – Day Three

Yesterday we asked the question, “What is prayer?” We answered the question with a definition from the book Prayer by Tim Keller. Keller writes, “Prayer is both conversation and encounter with God…We must know the awe of praising His glory, the intimacy of finding His grace, and the struggle of asking His help, all of which can lead us to know the spiritual reality of His presence.”

Yesterday we focused on the aspect of knowing the awe of praising His glory. If you missed that post, you can find it here.

Today, I want us to focus on the second aspect of this definition, which is knowing “the intimacy of finding His grace.”

I love the story of the woman who found out where Jesus was eating and decided to go and anoint his feet with expensive perfume. As the host, a Pharisee, made negative comments about Jesus allowing her to even be close to him, Jesus responds by saying, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:47)

When you think on the depth of your sin; when you think of how broken and lost you once were; when you think of how far you were from God; and when you come to grips with the grace of God, it creates a deeper intimacy with your Heavenly Father.

Take time during your prayer time today and remember how much grace God has given you over the years. Remember how far from God you once were and how desperately we need his grace on a daily basis. Pray that the knowledge of our sin, the recognition of His grace and love will draw you to a deeper intimacy with God.

Prayer Focus – Day Three: Churches in Castle Rock

Let’s pray for all the Christ-centered, Gospel-centered churches in Castle Rock. Let’s pray for growth in attendance, as well as spiritual growth in each of the congregations. May God continue to unite the churches in Castle Rock so that the lost of our community will see our love for one another and be drawn to Jesus. 

Aug 9 2016

Prayer – Day Two

What is prayer? If you had to answer that question, what would you say? There have been many definitions of prayer offered up over the years. One of my favorite definitions is offered by a guy name Tim Keller, who is a pastor and author. He wrote one of the best books I have ever read on prayer called Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.

In his book, Keller states, “Prayer is both conversation and encounter with God…We must know the awe of praising His glory, the intimacy of finding His grace, and the struggle of asking His help, all of which can lead us to know the spiritual reality of His presence.”

For the next three days, I want us to focus on the three main facets of this definition. The first is…in prayer, “we must know the awe of praising His glory.” This is simply another way of saying what Jesus says at the beginning of the most famous prayer in history, “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9).

Our first goal in prayer should be to know the awe of praising God’s glory. Our goal should be to seek to praise God for who He is. To praise God is to acknowledge and thank Him for what He has done and who He is.

Take time during your prayer today and praise God for who He is. Tell Him how thankful you are for what He has done. Let Him know how grateful you are for what He has given you. BUT also, take time to praise Him for who He is.

Prayer Focus – Day Two: Students Starting Back To School 

As classes begin for many schools this week, we took time yesterday to pray for the administrators and teachers. Today, let’s pray for our students and families who begin school in the coming days and weeks. Let’s pray for students to learn and grow. Let’s pray for parents to be engaged in the life of their kids. Let’s pray for those who are Christ-followers in our town to live out their faith in the classroom, on the playing field and in the everyday conversations with other students and parents.