Why Bother Pray? – Gateway Church

Today we began a new series called “Why Bother?” at Gateway Church in Austin. John Burke spoke at the McNeil campus, and Bruce Gilson spoke at the South campus.

Watch the message here:

Why Bother Praying? | October 16, 2011 from Gateway Church on Vimeo.

Here are some of the main points:

Prayer is not about getting what we want to get, but becoming who we were meant to be! Prayer is not about getting from God, but living with God.

When we approach God for what we can get then when God doesn’t seem to do what we want, we think: ‘Why Bother?’ Odds are it’s not gonna work, so we quit prayer except in cases of dire emergency. Why should we bother with prayer? Does it matter? Does it work? Is that even the right question?

Jesus’ closest followers asked Jesus, ‘teach us to pray.’ He taught them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” It’s really not a prayer but a way to pray—and I think it answers the Why Bother question.

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Jesus (Matthew 6:11-13)

According to Jesus, here are some of the reasons to pray:

1. To experience relationship with a loving parent. ‘Our Father in heaven….’ We can address the Creator in this very intimate, endearing, relational way. The Jewish people honored God’s Power and Otherness—they would not even speak this name God gave to Moses “Yahweh,” which means “I am.” God is the source of everything good I’ve ever experienced. I thought I could experience good things apart from God, and God might just mess all that up—but I wasn’t living in reality. Reality is that God has already given me and you everything good we’ve ever experienced (even if we misused that good gift) acknowledging God’s goodness leads you more and more into the experience of God’s love. He’s good, like a Loving Daddy.

2. To restore what’s broken. ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth like it is in Heaven.’ This world is broken and messed up—it doesn’t take much to see that. Do we seek God’s will and ways, or only our own? Do we really want to be a part of restoring what’s broken in this world, or do we really just want God to obey our will and ways? That’s often why prayer doesn’t seem to work—cause we’ve got the purpose upside down. Prayer is seeing what’s broken and wrong in the world for what it really is! We need God’s rule—his Kingdom.

3. To meet needs. ‘Give us today our daily bread.’ Sometimes our real problem is that what we think we need is not what we really need most. We must trust God to give not just what we think we need, but what we really need to be healthy, well
adjusted, loving, content people. God doesn’t get upset if we ask, even for things we want but don’t need. Ask him for what you need, even what you want specifically—but trust his answer either way and remember his goodness.

4. To Live in Forgiveness. ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’ When you start to experience God’s goodness, love, and kingdom ways—sin becomes unappealing. So we pray not to get, but to live clean with God and others. Each day as we pray, we need to ask God to help us live in forgiveness—to live clean and clear—with God and others.

5. To Overcome Temptation. ‘Help us not fall to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ We all face temptation in a multitude of ways. What we must realize is that it’s a spiritual battle we are fighting. There are real forces of evil that deceive and lead astray ordinary, hard working, well-intended people like you and me.

The biggest detriment to prayer is simply not making time. Choose to make the time to connect with God throughout the day in prayer!”

To watch or listen to the entire message, go to www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.

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