Could this be the year we can look back at and say: “This year we started to really pray in OIC. This year God answered many prayers and wonderful things happened!” The following is a short summary of what we have heard in the preachings these four Sundays. Part 1 is the two first Sundays, and part two is the last two Sundays in the series.
Maicon Steuernagel on prayer
The first two Sundays in the series, our pastor Maicon Steuernagel shared his thoughts on prayer.
What is prayer?
Maicon started out talking about what prayer is. First it is communicating with God, and it’s a two ways communication. But it is much more than that. It is a relationship with the most high God!
In moments of despair or extreme joy we might find it easy to pray. But for it to become a natural, essential part of our everyday lives, we need to practise it. Prayer is a gift to us, but we need to learn how to use it.
Maicon pointed us to one of the reasons why we should pray. He rose the question “why should we pray if God already knows everything?” God knows what we need before we even ask him. The answer is simply because prayer is not just communication, but also a relationship. And in this relationship we can and need to grow in maturity.A child has to learn how to ask with a “please” and say “thank you”. This happens as they understand the value of what they receive and learn to appreciate the giver. Otherwise they get spoiled and think that everything ought to be given to them. They learn this by asking and thanking for what they receive. And they have to do this even though the parents may know what they need.
As we keep praying, we learn to know Him more, appreciating him more. And we learn to ask better and after his will. And then to get answers.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him” (1.John 5:14-15)
How to pray?
So how then can we pray? First its important to state that it is not only one answer to this question. Jesus disciples asked the same question. He answered them by teaching them what we know as “The Lords prayer”. Now Jesus did not mean that they should only pray this prayer. Jesus and his disciples are praying many other prayers throughout the Bible.
We can learn some lessons about prayer as we look at how Jesus prayed. Maicon showed us some specific things we can learn out of Jesus prayer in Gethsemane before his crucifixion in Matt 26:36-46:
1. Placing ourselves as fragile human beings in front of Almighty God:
– “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” Jesus said.
See also psalm 8
2. Praying together and for one another.
– “Stay here and keep watch with me” Jesus said. In John 17 we see how Jesus is praying for others. Even when praying alone we pray together as we are a part of the Body of Christ.
3. Submitting to the Fathers will and at the same time crying for ours.
– Jesus prayed: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”