I usually find that I just can’t get everything I’d like into a sermon. But not giving everything is a good thing. Sermon overload makes it hard for people to actually hear, understand, believe, and obey the Word that’s being preached. So, it seemed like a good idea to begin offering “sermon overflow” posts. These will be posts that give some direction and resources related to the sermon that will help people better understand and apply the passage.
Yesterday I preached on Luke 18:1-8. In the previous verses Jesus had taught on the now and not yet nature of the kingdom. God’s kingdom has come in Christ, but it has not yet fully come. The fullness of the kingdom will not be revealed until the return of Christ. So, we live with struggle during the in between. We are the people of God, but we live in the sinful world.
Now, Jesus tells his disciples how they can remain faithful as they wait—they ought to pray and not lose heart (18:1). Jesus tells a parable to explain how his disciples ought to pray and why they should pay that way. In the end, Jesus points to God as Father—just, loving, and wise—as the encouragement we need to not lose heart in prayer. We have every reason to believe he loves us and wants to answer us.
Juan Sanchez will help you better understand how Jesus brings us into fellowship with God and gives us confidence in prayer. It is because of our faith in Christ, that we have not just been saved, but adopted by God. This means that we have been brought into the intimate, eternal fellowship of the triune God. What an encouragement to prayer!
This talk—“How to Enjoy Your Prayer Life”—is the single best message I have ever heard on prayer. Michael Reeves provides theological and practical encouragement to understand, delight, and preserve in prayer, highlighting the trinitarian nature of prayer. You can also buy a copy of the print version of this talk here.
If you’re convinced but want some more practical help on just getting started and being sustained in prayer, consider some of these links:
- Kevin DeYoung has a short, practical article on how to make the entire Bible your prayer guide.
- If you’re not convinced by DeYoung’s article, Andy Naselli will give you 12 reasons for praying Scripture.
- Garrett Kell shows you why and how you should be praying for your fellow church members.
- “This Is How We Pray for Our Children” is an article and prayer guide for parents by J.D. and Kim Crowley.
- Prayer Notebook app for iDevices. The best one I have found for phones or tablets.