*Scroll down for sermon notes.
Pastor Nate posted this on Facebook after the service:
Two addenda to the morning sermon on prayer:
1. In addition to busyness, discouragement, and fear as obstacles to prayer, a couple people mentioned that sin is an obstacle to prayer as well. This can be taken in a couple of different ways.
a. Sin of Indifference – Francis Chan, in his book Crazy Love, confessed a feeling to which I’m guessing many of us can relate. That is the feeling of just not wanting to do anything with God. Sometimes we might not feel like loving God, let alone talking with Him. Chan suggests praying in the face of that indifference, “Lord, help me love you more.” Rend Collective, the band that wrote the song we like to sing “Build Your Kingdom Here” also has a song called “Desert Love” that goes:
i. I love you Lord
ii. But I want to love you more.
Obviously, this indifference can be a huge obstacle to prayer and usually we revert to the excuse of being too busy to pray when really this is the obstacle that we must overcome. Ironically, we overcome our sin of indifference about prayer by praying about our indifference.
b. Sin as a Literal Barrier – There are a couple of verses that speak to this:
i. Psalm 66:18 – If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
ii. James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Both of these passages mention that barrier that sin is between the believer and the Lord. A solution to this, as James points out, is to confess our sins and repent.
2. The parable that Jesus tells in Luke 18:2-5 is perhaps the most confusing parable Jesus told. Jesus is alluding to the comparison between God and an unjust judge. It can easily be interpreted, yet wrongly interpreted, that God is an unjust judge and the only reason he hears his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night is because God doesn’t want to get worn out by our constant begging. A much better interpretation of that parable goes along with the parable that Jesus tells of asking for the Holy Spirit in Luke 11:11-13:
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
If an unjust judge will eventually give justice, how much more with the Truly Just Judge give justice and quickly.
Thank you to those who wanted to hear more about these topics. If you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns you’d like to share, just let me know.