Sermon Summary for July 28, 2019 | Respectfully submitted by Brenda Worley
In the lesson from Genesis Abraham discusses with God the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God threatens to destroy all for their sinful ways. Abraham “negotiates” with the Lord about how many righteous it would take for the Lord to change his decision about the destruction. Abraham asks the Lord repeatedly to consider forgiving the people in the cities if 50, then 45, then 40, then 30, then 20, then 10 righteous souls were found. The Lord patiently agrees each time. Abraham’s conversation (prayer) with the Lord teaches us that God wants a relationship with us…a real one, based upon our truth and God’s truth.
Mother Mary asked “How did you learn to pray?” She shared that her parents taught her to pray at the dinner table: “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.” From this prayer she learned that everything is from God and that, in giving thanks, we learn to put these things to respectful use. This is demonstrated most clearly as we share Jesus’ body and blood at the Eucharist.
The necessity for prayer is based on God’s desire for us. He pursues us! He wants an intimate relationship with us. He is personal, cares for us, and wants to commune with us through prayer.
In Luke 11 Jesus teaches us to pray saying, “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.” In this prayer which we stand in community and pray every Sunday, we ask for God’s presence, food, mercy, forgiveness and guidance. Jesus then uses the examples of a good neighbor or a loving parent who answers the needs of those in relationship with them…the neighbor due to persistence of the one seeking help and the parent due to love for the child. Our Father exceeds these two examples through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
It is not that God can’t work without our prayers, but that he has established prayer as part of his plan for accomplishing his will in this world. A life of prayer means that nothing is done without God. God is impacted by our desire to be in relationship with him. That relationship gives him joy. His response to our shameless praying restores dignity so even when we do not feel worthy to speak, we should not stop praying. Sometimes no words are needed…just listen. Be in constant dialogue with the Father. Be in a relationship that calls you to constantly and shamelessly go to him in prayer. He will answer!