Devoted to Prayer - Notes from a John Piper Sermon

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Almost a month ago I had come to the relization that I again was drifting in my prayer life. I wasn't getting up early, lied to myself day after day saying “maybe tomorrow” or “when the kids are naping I'll read then.” After a few days of the Lord tugging at my heart again I came across a sermon by John Piper... oh how I needed this sermon!!! He preached Romans 12:12, which reads: rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,” (NASB). Be Devoted to Prayer.


I have since listened to the message twice, once because I really needed it, the second time was so that I might take some notes to help remember everything. So here are my notes:


Being devoted to prayer means that you are actively pressing on into prayer. It does not mean that you are praying all day everyday, but there should be a pattern of prayer in your life. A “normal” Christian life should be devoted to prayer, because it is the engine that drives your spiritual life.


Piper then paused to asked “Are you devoted to prayer?”... sadly I couldn't say yes. For that would have just been one more lie. Now I know that there have been seasons of great prayer times in my life. But all too often when the times get good again, I slack. Why? Because in my heart I want to believe that I made things better not my Almighty God. How proud!?!


Piper then began to discuss the Why obstacles for praying. You know these, the reassons why we are to pray: we are told to pray (its in the scriptures), our needs are desparate and God acts when we pray.


All true. It is hard work to be devoted to prayer, but it doesn't make this command any less important. I still must obey. Even when I have a busy day and lots of “stuff” going on in my life I cannot afford to go anywhere but to Him first.


Then Piper listed the how obstacles, how to pray, FADES.


Free and Formed – structured and unstructured in the content of our prayers. Some of our will be an out pouring of our hearts, but at other times we are to pray the scriptures, pray the promises of God, pray the warnings of the Bible, pray the commands of the Bible. One of the things that hit me most was that John Piper prays in concentric circles, meaning that he starts with the worst sinner he knows (himself) and moves to family, church elders, church members and so on. How helpful!!! At our church we tend to pray through our “People Directory” which is good, but now I know where to fit everyone else in! It is a little thing, but I loved it.


Alone and Assembled – we should have regular times of “one on one” time with God. For me first thing in the morning is the best way to go. Cup of coffee, Bible and notebook and I'm good. Although that also means getting to bed on time (still working on that part!). We should also be praying with other Christians. This is a hurdle that Lord willing I will get past. I love to listen to other Christians pray. My pride gets in the way of me praying out loud. So I will keep plugging away. Today is Wednesday, which at our church means “GraceLife”, a night of prayer. Pray that I will pray!


Desparate and Delighted – we are to regularly to come to God desparate for His help. What better help could one ask for? He created all things, planned all things and is in control of all things! Why shouldn't I come to Him for help? Oh that He would be putting to death the sin of pride within me! We are also to come to him with delight. Even in the most difficult times, delight in the ways He is working all things to the goodness of His glory.


Explosive and Extended – we are to have both short and long prayers. If our lives are marked by the quick one liner prayers then we aren't really devoted to prayer. If all you have are long winded prayers, who are we really praying to or for? Us? All our prayers should be heart felt and directed to the one who created and sustains us. So some will be long, some will be short and other will fall somewhere in between.


Spontaneous and Scheduled – some of our prayers will be rather spontaneous, spread out throughout the day. Others will have a set time. For example morning devotions.


I hope that you will find this sermon as encouraging as I did. You can download it here.

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"who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,"

  Psalm 103.3 (ESV)


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This page contains a single entry by Janis published on July 2, 2008 7:32 AM.

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