The Prayer Plunge
This is the second week in our series Unbinding Your Heart, a series about unbinding the good news of Jesus Christ in our hearts and lives. This week’s sermon was titled “The Prayer Plunge,” and we talked about going deep with Jesus in prayer.
In Luke 5:1-11 fishermen work hard all night long to catch fish, yet the catch nothing. After they rowed into shore, Jesus tells one of the fishermen named Simon to go back out into the deep and drop his nets. Jesus invites the fishermen into deeper waters with him. Though he was exhausted from toiling all night long, Simon goes back out and drops his nets, as Jesus said, and the fish start overwhelming the nets- so much so that the nets were splitting and the boats were beginning to sink from all the fish. Before Jesus asks these disciples to follow him to catch people, he wanted them to understand that if they were going to be effective in this new work, they needed to follow his guidance. Hard work alone does not cut it, only going deep with Jesus will produce real fruit for the kingdom of God.
Many of us work really hard- we work hard at our jobs, at our activities, in our families, in our church. Like the fishermen, we often come home at night exhausted from working so hard. From this story, we can learn that hard work on our own strength is not fruitful, only going deep with Jesus produces good fruit for the kingdom of God. Prayer is one way to go into deep waters with Jesus. Martha Grace Reese writes, “Prayer is more about receiving from God.” Prayer is opening ourselves up to God and allowing God to guide us in whatever way God wants. We wonder, what would happen if we prayed as much as we worked?
Our Healthy Church Initiative Coach Jerry Roberson introduced the four disciplines of intention to our church a while back. These disciplines included spending seven minutes reading scripture, seven minutes in prayer for yourself, seven minutes in silence- listening to God, and seven minutes in worship- walking around praising God. This is a great way to connect with God in prayer, and we encourage you to get in the habit of practicing these four disciplines of intention so that you can be more receptive to God.
The next four weeks of our series, we want to challenge everyone in our church to pray daily for our church and community. Pray for us to go into deeper waters with God. Pray for us to be open to receive what God desires of us. Pray for God to guide our church, our ministries, and our missions in the direction God wants to go. We all lead busy lives, and we may think we don’t have time for prayer because we have so many other important things to get done. But we want to give you permission to let some stuff slide this month. Let’s be less responsible to the world and more responsive to God for the next month. Like the disciples, let’s walk into deep waters with Jesus, and pray like we have never prayed before.
Monday- John 14:16-26, Unbinding Your Heart pg. 134
Tuesday- Psalm 51:6-12, Unbinding Your Heart pg. 135
Wednesday- Colossians 3:12-17, Unbinding Your Heart pg. 136
Thursday- Genesis 28:10-22, Unbinding Your Heart pg. 137
Friday- Luke 15:1-10, Unbinding Your Heart pg. 138
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
1. What experience with prayer have you had?
2. What prevents you from risking to gather with some others in your church to pray together and see what God can do? Do you dare not risk it?