Posts Tagged 'determination'

Autumn Thoughts: Can We Pray Like Jesus?

Can We Pray Like Jesus?

Mark 14:32-41

During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the Brethren assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not, faced harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp.
When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally they decided that the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ’s commands. Then they came together.
Francis Schaeffer, who told of the incident, asked a friend who was there, “What did you do then?” “We were just one,” he replied. As they confessed their hostility and bitterness to God and yielded to His control, the Holy Spirit created a spirit of unity among them. Love filled their hearts and dissolved their hatred.

To Pray Like Jesus, Ask Yourselves

Are We Distressed? ~ Mark 14:32-34

  • 33 Jesus felt overwhelmed. Jesus was troubled. Just because we’re followers of Christ doesn’t guarantee that we’ll always have a wonderful life. Suffering and trouble aren’t exempt from faith.
  • 34 interesting that Jesus both wants his friends close… and yet doesn’t want them with Him in the midst of His prayer. It’s okay for us to want conflicting things WHEN WE’RE CONFLICTED. How can we focus on the response, instead of the circumstance?

Are We Discouraged? ~ Mark 14:35-36

  • 35 Jesus asks what’s possible; He doesn’t want to face what’s coming
  • 36 Jesus knows God COULD change His plan – but defers to it anyway. IMO, toughest prayer to pray ever (and one we daily need to pray)

Are We Determined? ~ Mark 14:37-41

  • 37/38 Jesus is let down by his friends; unsupported
  • 39 Jesus REPEATS His prayer – He keeps asking
  • 40/41 Jesus is resigned to the hour at hand; He submits to God’s Plan (even the unpleasant parts) What are YOU facing? How willing are you to go along with what God plans for you, even though it’s not what you want?

No matter what are YOU facing, no matter how you’re feeling about it, remember: Jesus showed us how to pray IN Distress and Discouragement: with Determination. Let’s make the choice to pray like Jesus when we’re faced with suffering.

2 Corinthians: Captivating Thoughts

2 Corinthians: Captivating Thoughts

Jer. 9:23-24; 2Cor. 10:1-5

I’m reading a book called Getting Things Done, about a time management method, by productivity consultant David Allen. It describes a strategy for gaining balance between work and life. (If you can’t tell, I haven’t finished the book yet) The first step is CAPTURE – collect what has your attention. How do we do this in our lives of faith?

How Can We Notice Our Focus?

Weigh the Worth of our Base Values ~ Jeremiah 9:23-24
OT Principle:

  • 23 wisdom, strength, riches -all attributes which can be SELFish
  • 24 we understand the LORD based on WHAT HE DOES & WHAT HE WANTS; (we study the Word ↔ we hear His heart {thru prayer-worship-fellowship-service})

Work For A World Based On Christ ~ 2Corinthians 10:1-5
NT Practice:

  • 1/2 when we live by God’s standard, we can be meek (reflect HIS character); when we live by world’s standard, we’re stuck in SELF, which needs to be wrangled (boldness/confrontation)
    3/4 NOT like the world; “strongholds” = mental constructs

Consider how we “map” our surroundings based on structures/landmarks; e.g., drive south on 17 (from ML towards Othello) until you get to Pheasant Run; turn left. Go a few miles until you see Tires West; go 3 blocks past that, turn right just after the car wash on the left; go 2 blocks, and the church is on the right corner. How much more difficult would those directions be without landmarks/structures?

  • 5 a stronghold is a refuge/security; if a thought takes root in us, it becomes a part of our mental landscape –> a stronghold; to take thoughts “captive”=(taken by the spear), we have to take down the “walls” of our mental constructs before we can root out the core thoughts

One of our trustees, Curtis, said he was going to take down the little raised garden of bricks in our back “yard” to examine the foundation. When he showed up with an excavator, I knew he was serious!

What strongholds need to be taken down in your life? What needs to be built up? What excavator will you use?


Pastor Ed Backell

Flickr Photos

Pastoral Tweets

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 218 other followers


%d bloggers like this: