Tag Archives: Prayer

(April 5, 2020) “Trusting God’s Plan”

from Matthew’s Gospel account of the final week of Jesus’ life as well as a look at Matthew 26:36-46

For Palm Sunday we listen to the last week of Jesus’ life told from beginning to end and close with a brief message looking at Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. What might we learn from Jesus’ vulnerability? What might it tell us about Jesus? How might it draw us in to Holy Week?

w/ Vern Collins (message) and Lory Beth Huffman, Jeff McClain, Laura Byrch, and Ben Fitzgerald (readers)

(October 27, 2019) “Ambitious Church: Kingdom Come”

from Matthew 6:9-13

In the things you seek in life…even in the things you pray and ask God for…what if you are not aiming high enough? What if the things you are seeking, even the things you are asking God for are too small? What might it look like to reorient your desires and your wants to something that is already present…to God’s Kingdom. A Kingdom that is here and that is still coming!

What are those things that are keeping you from seeking God’s Kingdom FIRST? What would it look like to surrender those things, or to reorder the things you are seeking, to allow God to lead you in prioritizing the things you desire in your life?

How might things change if your chief desire was to be a part of seeing God’s Kingdom come on this earth?

w/ Vern Collins and Stewardship Testimony from Grace Koppenheffer

(October 6, 2019) “Ambitious Church: Prayer”

from Ephesians 3:14-21

Prayer can serve as the greatest catalyst for our growth in relationship with God and at the same time be one of the greatest frustrations in that same relationship.

We are taught to ask, we are taught to be bold in seeking the things we want God to do in our lives and in the lives of others…there are times we might even be desperate in the ways we seek God in prayer…and yet we might feel like those prayers are falling on deaf ears or going unanswered in the way we had hoped for.

In Ephesians 3, we find a prayer of Paul’s that might just serve as a starting place for all of our other prayers…to pray this prayer over ourselves and those around us might just reframe how we begin to understand everything else that we desire to see happen.

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: Priority in Prayer” (August 5, 2018)

from John 17

In a life spent trying to follow Jesus well, we know that prayer should be a priority.  Why is it, then, that something that is so vital to our connection with God often seems to difficult to grasp?  Am I praying correctly?  Am I asking God for the right things?  Are my prayers too small?  How can I “pray without ceasing” when I can’t remember to give thanks for a meal?

What if part of the issue is not that prayer isn’t enough of a priority, but what the priority of our prayer is?  In John 17, we find that Jesus gives an example of prayer that might just change our perspective on what a life of following Him could look like.

w/ Vern Collins

“Life Giving Rhythms” (April 23, 2017)

from Daniel 6:10

What if rather than working in order to be able to rest, you began resting in order to work?  For many of us that would be a seismic shift in our way of life…and yet, not only is it not outside the realm of possibility, it is actually the rhythm you were CREATED for.

A rhythm in relationship with Jesus that feeds your soul, changes your heart for others, and transforms your perspective on those things God has placed before you to do.

From Daniel’s life, guest preacher, Reverend Ken Shigematsu invites us into a rhythm of relationship with Jesus that doesn’t feel burdensome, rather it actually lifts us and supports us in the things we are navigating day in and day out in this life.

w/ Reverend Ken Shigematsu

“Pray Like Jesus: Deliver Us” (January 29, 2017)

from Matthew 6:13

It’s not just that we feel overwhelmed from time to time…many of us are living lives in a constant state of being in over our head…and yet we tend to spend our time and energy looking to people and powers and systems in this world to change things…to give us hope.  What happens when those are the very things that seem to be stealing hope from us?

In our final week on the Lord’s Prayer, we look to Jesus’ petition for our protection and deliverance…a protection and deliverance He would make possible because He Himself was not protected from suffering.

w/ Vern Collins

“Pray Like Jesus: Forgive” (January 22, 2017)

from Matthew 6:12

We live in a world that is full of hurt, and many of us carry that hurt around inside us.  Whether we hurt over the things we have done that we feel guilt over, or whether we have been hurt by others…our lives are marked with pain of some sort.  The question is, what do we do with that hurt?  Do we simply learn to deal with it, or are we willing to release it?  To seek forgiveness, to be forgiven?  What about forgiving others?

Are we willing to name our pain, and trust that God can release us from it?

Are we willing to release others from the pain they have caused us?

Too often not…but it is not impossible.  Perhaps all it takes is a new understanding of forgiveness, what happens when we are forgiven, and what can happen when we forgive.

w/ Vern Collins

“Pray Like Jesus: Thy Kingdom Come” (January 8, 2017)

from Matthew 6:10

At the heart of the prayer Jesus offers as the example for His disciples to follow is surrender.    It is naming the work He has been called to do and committing Himself to that work…the work of seeing God’s purpose accomplished on this earth.

In inviting His disciples and all who would follow to pray in this way, Jesus is also inviting us to name and commit ourselves to being a part of God’s rescuing and restorative work on this earth.

And yet, our tendency is to build our little kingdoms and then ask God to bless them.

What if instead, our lives were spent building the Kingdom that Jesus came to inaugurate?  What if we began to bend ourselves to the work of God rather than trying to bend God to our work on this earth?

Imagine how different our lives might look.

w/ Vern Collins

“Pray Like Jesus: Our Father” (January 1, 2017)

from Matthew 6:7-9

If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated by prayer, if the mystery that surrounds prayer, the fact that it seems like prayers too often go unanswered or aren’t answered the way you’d like…if you’re not even sure what or how to pray most of the time, then you’re in good company.  Even the Apostle Paul wrote that when we don’t know how to pray or what to pray, the Holy Spirit would be faithful to lead us.

That’s good news, but many of still feel unsure as to where or how we begin.

Jesus’ disciples longed for more in their prayer life too, and so they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11).  While Jesus didn’t answer every question they asked, or respond to everything they desired to see happen, He felt this request important enough to respond to…and so He gave them what we have come to call, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

As we work through this series, beginning with “Our Father,” may your heart for prayer be rekindled, may you encounter the power that are in these words, and may you be transformed.

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Prayer” (February 28, 2016)

from Matthew 6:5-15

While prayer is one of the highest and holiest works to which we can strive, it is at the same time so simple a child can do it.

And yet it can be one of the most frustrating aspects of our journey with Christ.  We know it is something we should do, we know it is vital to our growth, our connection with God and with this world…but why is it so frustrating?  Why does it seem so difficult?

Jesus invites us, right where we are, into a deeper connection with the Lord…His concern is less with how we pray and more about what God is able to do in our hearts when we do.

w/ Vern Collins