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The Language of Relationship! Prayer - a kick starter.

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1 The Language of Relationship! Prayer - a kick starter

2 Reflect “Only as I truly know Him, can I make Him truly known.” R.T. Brooks

3 Individual Exercise Everyone close your eyes. I want you to be perfectly still for 5 minutes. Not a word or movement. When I say ‘Prayer’ write down the things that come to your mind. When I say ‘Scripture’ write down the things that come to mind. When I say ‘Worship’ write down the things that come to mind. In as few words as you can, write down what being ‘still’ means for you and how you adopt that posture.

4 Debrief Who found the 5 minutes of stillness difficult? What specifically was difficult about it?

5 Reverence “We must accept the true person of Jesus. We must respond to Who He is declared to be, not what we picture Him to be or Who we desire Him to be. One of the curses of our generation is that we have made Jesus such a sweet, gentle, loving person that we have bypassed the truth that He is God incarnate. This is God in available form. He is God in a non-threatening image, but He is God nonetheless. He is due our reverence, and whatever our purpose for drawing near Him may be, we should always bring Him the homage that is due Him.” Judson Cornwall “We must accept the true person of Jesus. We must respond to Who He is declared to be, not what we picture Him to be or Who we desire Him to be. One of the curses of our generation is that we have made Jesus such a sweet, gentle, loving person that we have bypassed the truth that He is God incarnate. This is God in available form. He is God in a non-threatening image, but He is God nonetheless. He is due our reverence, and whatever our purpose for drawing near Him may be, we should always bring Him the homage that is due Him.” Judson Cornwall

6 C.S. Lewis – “Miracles” “It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. “Look out!” we cry, “it’s alive.” And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back – I would have done so myself if I could – and proceed no further with Christianity. An “impersonal God” – well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads – better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap – best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband – that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (“Man’s search for God!”) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?”

7 “And Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the Lord spoke, saying: 'By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.' " So Aaron held his peace.” Leviticus 10:3

8 Meditating on the Prodigal Henri Nouwen described his emotions as he studied the painting for several hours. He sat engrossed in every aspect of the painting depicting when the father running to meet his wayward son. Examining the expressions, the lines, the emotions captured in this depiction. After uninterrupted hours he got up a changed man. Returned home, resigned his position at Harvard university and worked with the mentally handicapped in Toronto until his death

9 Reflect! 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NLT) "Go out and stand before me on the mountain," the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

10 film clip Obstacles to comfort George Mueller Story Obstacles to comfort George Mueller Story

11 As a team discuss and share the following… What helps you focus and meditate on The Father and The Son? What are some of your how’s, where’s and when’s? What does it mean for you to ‘hear from God’? What does that look/sound like? How do you know it’s God? What are you parameters and safe guards? Small Group Discussion

12 “A cat can look at a King, but a cat cannot see a King.” John Ruskin (19 th century poet, artist, philosopher) The difference is understanding – ‘knowing’ what it is you see. Don’t just look, SEE! “How to” Christianity and prayer inevitably pragmatises, domesticates and trivialises the Christian faith. When we marginalise the ‘why’ we inadvertently marginalise the ‘Who’ of our faith and the ultimate purpose of His incarnation. What is that? To my mind, it is reestablishing the fullness of the intimate relationship that transforms us to conform with the Image of His Son, and walk in that way. To aim for less is to diminish Heavens intent and reduce our faith and prayer to merely ‘maximizing materialism and momentum via magic.” Shane W. Varcoe “How to” Christianity and prayer inevitably pragmatises, domesticates and trivialises the Christian faith. When we marginalise the ‘why’ we inadvertently marginalise the ‘Who’ of our faith and the ultimate purpose of His incarnation. What is that? To my mind, it is reestablishing the fullness of the intimate relationship that transforms us to conform with the Image of His Son, and walk in that way. To aim for less is to diminish Heavens intent and reduce our faith and prayer to merely ‘maximizing materialism and momentum via magic.” Shane W. Varcoe Reflect!

13 Build your tool kit “The potency of prayer hath subdued the strength of fire, it hath bridled the rage of lions, hushed anarchy to rest; extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun it its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. Prayer is an all-sufficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by the clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings.” John Chrysostom

14 Recapturing wonder “For you see, at the end of the day if you have spoken but not listened, you have spent without income and sooner or later an expenditure of words without an income of ideas will lead to conceptual bankruptcy…my deduction is that a praying Christian is carried by wonder; a “prayer-less’ person carries the wonder and will soon get exhausted by carrying the infinite.” ‘Recapturing the wonder’ “For you see, at the end of the day if you have spoken but not listened, you have spent without income and sooner or later an expenditure of words without an income of ideas will lead to conceptual bankruptcy…my deduction is that a praying Christian is carried by wonder; a “prayer-less’ person carries the wonder and will soon get exhausted by carrying the infinite.” ‘Recapturing the wonder’ Ravi Zacharias

15 Get some space at home and… Read Psalm 119 in it’s entirety it’s called the ‘A-Z’ of God’s Word. List at least 5 things you learned from the passage about God, His Word and Connection to Him. Write down at least 3 things you will do differently Finally, tell someone of you decision and ask them to help keep you accountable in this new phase. Read Psalm 119 in it’s entirety it’s called the ‘A-Z’ of God’s Word. List at least 5 things you learned from the passage about God, His Word and Connection to Him. Write down at least 3 things you will do differently Finally, tell someone of you decision and ask them to help keep you accountable in this new phase. The Three ‘R’s’ of ‘Wonder and Wisdom’ RestReadReflect Ravi Zacharias The Three ‘R’s’ of ‘Wonder and Wisdom’ RestReadReflect Ravi Zacharias

16 Prayer Survey The 15th chapter of John’s Gospel is quite compelling and worth a good long look, however I just want to focus on one verse for this exercise. “I am the Vine and you are the branches, he who abides in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus Christ. It looks at ‘face value’ as a totally unrealistic statement by Jesus, must have been having a bad day or an extreme ‘esoteric’ moment that none could possibly fathom. I mean it’s obvious people do volumes of things ‘apart from Christ’. Kerry Packer, Bill Gates, Paris Hilton, Ozzie Osborne and Madonna just to name a few, have achieved tremendous success, position, notoriety, influence and wealth… and with no acknowledgment or involvement of Jesus Christ at all! However, I wonder if the reference may not be in relation to the following two things… a) Grace – yes those above, along with it would seem at least 60% of the worlds population who don’t acknowledge Jesus Christ, are still given opportunity and liberty to do whatever they can. Yet I think it is the following that should be of greater focus; b) Eternity – could Jesus be saying that, ‘apart from me…you can do nothing of eternal value’? I wonder if this is not so… Nicky Gumbel, the public face of ‘Alpha’ courses once said this… “For the branch to be fruitful it must be preoccupied with the Vine and not the fruit, for when it is IN the Vine the ‘branch’ will simply, as a matter of course, bear fruit.” This survey is not meant to be yet another K.P.I, it is simply a personal evaluation that can, if prayerfully considered, bring a new level of recalibration and refocus which I know I need in this very demanding world of welfare work… The 15th chapter of John’s Gospel is quite compelling and worth a good long look, however I just want to focus on one verse for this exercise. “I am the Vine and you are the branches, he who abides in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus Christ. It looks at ‘face value’ as a totally unrealistic statement by Jesus, must have been having a bad day or an extreme ‘esoteric’ moment that none could possibly fathom. I mean it’s obvious people do volumes of things ‘apart from Christ’. Kerry Packer, Bill Gates, Paris Hilton, Ozzie Osborne and Madonna just to name a few, have achieved tremendous success, position, notoriety, influence and wealth… and with no acknowledgment or involvement of Jesus Christ at all! However, I wonder if the reference may not be in relation to the following two things… a) Grace – yes those above, along with it would seem at least 60% of the worlds population who don’t acknowledge Jesus Christ, are still given opportunity and liberty to do whatever they can. Yet I think it is the following that should be of greater focus; b) Eternity – could Jesus be saying that, ‘apart from me…you can do nothing of eternal value’? I wonder if this is not so… Nicky Gumbel, the public face of ‘Alpha’ courses once said this… “For the branch to be fruitful it must be preoccupied with the Vine and not the fruit, for when it is IN the Vine the ‘branch’ will simply, as a matter of course, bear fruit.” This survey is not meant to be yet another K.P.I, it is simply a personal evaluation that can, if prayerfully considered, bring a new level of recalibration and refocus which I know I need in this very demanding world of welfare work…

17 let ’ s survey ourselves Some instructions a) Simply circle the answer that best represents your current activity. b) Be totally honest, the only person who will see this is you and the Lord, use it to help you move forward. c) At the end tally your points and take up the challenge to grow in this imperative area. Be encouraged, be inspired…. ‘And you will seek Me and you will find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart, I will be found of you.” Jeremiah 29:13-14 “The effectual fervent prayer of a Righteous servant produces much” James 5:16b

18 Question One – If a ‘unit of time’ is represented by ‘ten minutes’, how many ‘units of time’ would you spend each day sitting at prayer? 12345More Questions Two – How many days a week do you spend those units of time? ? Question Three – How many chapters of God’s Word to you read daily? 123More? How many days a week is this done? ? Question Four – How often do you pray just about your service/ministry? DailyBi WeeklyWeekly Monthly Don’t know? Question Five – How often do you pray with your team/manager/staff? DailyBi-weeklyWeekly Monthly? Question Six – Do you know the differences between and purposes of INTERCESSION, SUPPLICATION, PETITION, and WORSHIP? YesNo Question Seven – Do you personally, have a team of intercessors praying for you, your team and ministry? Yes No Question Eight – Do you have a regular prayer requests that you send to this team? Yes No Do you and your team have times of PRAYER and FASTING for your ministry area? YesNo Which of the symbols below take up more of your focus and attention? A) + Prayer Or B) $ + Programme

19 Now let’s do a score check… remember it’s not a comparison with others, but a chance to find areas you can improve on/grow in? Scoring is simple When there is a number that you circled that is the point score you get i.e. if you circle a 6 or 4 then that is the score you achieved. (A ‘More’ Score is simply equal to the next number higher than the previous one i.e. if the last rating was ‘MORE’ and the previous number was three then the score would be four.) If it is a question relating to days then the following formula applies Daily = 10 points Bi-Weekly = 5 points Weekly = 2 points Monthly = One point ‘Yes’ answers = 5 points, ‘No’ answers don’t score. Last question is scored as follows – if you circle ‘A’ your score is 5 points. If you circled ‘B’, you don’t score. Highest possible score is 68 points and that puts you up there with the greats… i.e. Mother Teresa, Hudson Taylor, Jacqui Pullinger and George Muller If you, to quote Homer Simpson, just wanna get into ‘HEAVEN’ and not go for position of ‘JESUS’, then 50% gets ya there. Anything less, means you do not pass GO and get to go straight to Hell – If you believe in it of course, if not then you go somewhere less painful. (JUST KIDDING!) Seriously – I know I need to spend more time listening to and obeying what my Saviour and sometimes ‘Lord’ wants done. Without Him I can bear no eternal fruit.


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