Read part 1 here
The following is a summary of the two last preachings at OIC in the “prayer” series:
Karen Kang shared some wonderful testimonies with us about prayer, and what lessons she has learned about it in her walk with God. Here are a few of them:
Early stages of prayer
Before Karen became a Christian, she was introduced to church by a workmate. She found it interesting, but missed the song ”amazing grace” which she knew and liked so well. The fifth time going to church she said to God that if she wouldn’t hear the song this time, she would not come back. What happened was that the pastor before he started to preach, sung ”amazing grace”. It was an answer from God.
God knew us since we were in our mother’s womb. He hears our cries and longs for an intimate relationship with us.
Growing in our relationship with God
Karen explained how when the years went by she got to know God more and more. Like any relationships this one is also built upon getting to know one another, and it takes time. At times a part of getting to know someone entails frustration and anger. We can also talk with God about everything, what we are frustrated about, what we don´t understand and so on.
As we read God´s word, trust in him, ask him to help us to believe, and as we have fellowship with other people, our faith in him develops. He shows us more of who he is and who we are in him. We get to know him better, and it becomes more real to us.
As time went by, a new step for Karen in prayer was intercessory prayer. This is praying for other people just as Jesus prays for us.
In addition to seeing things happen as a result, she told us how it also helps keeping our focus on God. Another consequence is that it is a way of getting our focus away from ourselves. It is so easy to just be thinking about ourselves with all our problems. It can become overwhelming. Praying for others can help us shift focus.
Karen shared with us how she started to ask God about what was the things that burden him, and want her help with. This was getting into a deeper relationship with God, where she could see herself as a coworker with him.
Lastly Karen reminded us how great joy there is in rejoicing in God. See Phil 4,4-10
The last Sunday in our prayer series, Malika Bommen was visiting us.
Being changed through prayer
”Intercession changes things, but it also changes us!” she stated. As we spend time with Jesus, we also become more like him.
Malika reminded us how discipline is a good thing, but it’s more important to know that we are loved no matter what. If we love God, prayer will be a consequence. When we receive his love and love him, we will find time! It won´t be a struggle to find time, because we love it so much. Prayer also changes our perspective so we long for Him and don´t care so much about the ”race of life”.
Just start. You don´t need to be perfect
Further Malika gave us the advice to just start. You don´t have to know so much. God just wants us to pray, even if it’s selfish or strange. Gradually he will teach us to pray after his heart. Our calling is to have a relationship with God. Jesus is the door. We can think of prayer as the key. See Heb 10:19-22. We don´t need to be perfect to come to God in prayer. We can come just as we are. God wants to speak into our hearts. He want to teach us to pray and to have fellowship. He wants to know us, just as we want to know him.
Sometimes lies attack us, and very easily we start to believe in them. It may lead to feeling ashamed and don’t dare to come to God alone in prayer. Truth is that God really want to know and spend time with each and every one of us no matter what.
God is able to do more than we can imagine or ask for.
We have focused on prayer for four weeks now, but it does not end here. From now on, every third Sunday service will have a greater focus on prayer. There will also be a short gathering for prayer every Sunday at 16:30 in the church building.
May this be the year when OIC started to pray more than before.
May this be the year when because of diligent prayer, wonderful things happened, we grew in our relationship with God, and He did greater things than we could even imagine!
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph 3,20-21)