Prayer – The Final Frontier – Pastor Aaron Porr
“Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise…”
As a kid and a developing nerd growing up in the 70’s, I was captivated by the nightly, syndicated episodes of the old Star Trek series with Kirk and Spock. What was compelling to my 7 year old mind was the sense of wonder and mystery from episode to episode, never knowing where the crew of the Enterprise would end up next. What kind of places, peoples, creatures, or situations would they encounter this week? It was an adventure! We have an innate desire to seek out adventure (at least we should), to “boldly go where no one has gone before”.
Wonder is a blissful state of mind reserved for the young and the young at heart. Growing older can bring with it a jaded callousness that, if unchecked, can form a hard shell around that part of our heart that is meant to remain child-like and render it dormant. But a child-like sense of wonder and trust are critical keys to entering and enjoying God’s Kingdom.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:1-3
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:13-14
Wonder is a blissful state of mind reserved for the young and the young at heart.
What should be happening as we grow up in God is an increasing awareness of the vast, limitless expanse of God’s goodness, power, and love. Learning to know and love God is an unending adventure that should hold us captive and make the things of this world nothing but a pitiful counterfeit for the real thing. You can spend years seeking and pursuing God, and every minute chasing after God is its own reward. But after decades of pursuit you will only know all the more that you haven’t even scratched the surface.
One of the biggest threats to this sense of wonder and awe is familiarity. When something becomes familiar it becomes common and loses its power to make an impact. This even happened with Jesus.
And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” – Matthew 13:53-57
God came to Earth in the form of a man, the one Who created this world walked among us but the people of His own hometown could not accept Him for who He was because of their familiarity. They “took offense at Him”. We have to guard that child-like sense of wonder and awe and be careful to let the amazing become casual.
The way we view prayer……and certainly the way we pray are prime examples of how something incredible and amazing can become common and lose its value in our lives. Prayer is the open door to a life of adventure in the Kingdom of God. Mountains are moved in prayer. Strongholds are pulled down in prayer. Cities are won for God in prayer. History is made in prayer.
I love this quote from E.M. Bounds about the far-reaching power of prayer…
“Prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.” – E. M. Bounds
The scope and reach of prayer is without limit because the one to Whom we are praying is without limit! Prayer is our divine commission. Jesus took back all authority from the kingdom of darkness and gave it to us to be His hands, feet, voice, and light in this world. One of the primary ways that we exercise that authority is through prayer. When we fail to pray we actually deprive the world of the impact and effect of Jesus on it!
Prayer is the open door to a life of adventure in the Kingdom of God.
Let’s go on the adventure of prayer! Let’s explore new territories and see what God can really do with a people who live a LIFESTYLE of prayer.
Below you will find a short breakdown of my recent teaching on prayer for anyone who is unsure about how to pray:
I. The Forms of Prayer
- Adoration – Focus On Who God Is
- Thanksgiving – Focus On What God Has Done
- Confession – Confess And Repent Of Sin/Speak And Declare God’s Word
- Intercession/Petition – Pray For And On Behalf Of Others / Bring Your Needs To God
II. When do we Pray
- Alone with God – Enter the prayer closet (get alone with God), Then enter the secret place of His presence – Psalms 91:1-2
- All through the day – Once in the secret place with God, remain there as you go about your day. Stay in conversation with God and follow Him through your day. Watch what kind of adventures will unfold.
- In the company of fellow believers – Join with other people to pray together. There is something special about prayer in groups. Jesus said “where two or more are gathered in My name I will be there with them”.
You can join us in prayer every Wednesday morning at Journey Church from 7-8AM in the auditorium.
There is also a bigger gathering on the last Thursday of every month at 7PM, also in the auditorium. Let’s see what happens when we dive deeper into a culture and lifestyle of prayer!