Today’s message summary of December 11, 2016 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:
Today, we will discuss three different postures of praying. My goal in this series to discuss biblical characters and see that they reveal their experiences with God, and relate to their emotions.
- Prayer of Tears
- Prayer of Relinquishment
- Corporate Prayer
This is a timely discussion based upon what is going on within our own congregation.
Have you ever been cut to the heart? Have you ever had the opportunity to release your emotions? This leads us to our first posture of praying to God–the prayer of tears. It is an emotional pain. Many have experienced this, and may even experience it when receiving repentance from sin.
I am weary from my groaning;
with my tears I dampen my pillow
and drench my bed every night.
You Yourself have recorded my wanderings.
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your records?
My eyes pour out streams of tears
because people do not follow Your instruction.
Jeremiah is often known as the “weeping prophet” because of how he cared about Israel as they remained disobedient to God. He cared for them so much that he wept for them.
Jesus also cried for the people and prayed for even his own enemies:
During His earthly life, He offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence.
Jesus did not just share a couple of tears for Lazarus, he expressed his agony and felt the pain of Lazarus’ passing. This should show that Jesus indeed relates to us and understands what we go through.
Note that expressions of prayer and crying out is actually a renewal of yourself. It relieves stress and eases the pain of your life. Praying with tears is a measure of God’s grace. It is a gift from God. It is how He wires us to be able to cope under difficult circumstances.
The second posture is the prayer of relinquishment. It involves resting in the will of God. Whatever has happened in your life, whether you agree with it or not, is to be turned over to Him.
Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
When you think of this particular posture, ask yourself what it is that is holding you back and keeping you from giving the matter to God?
The third posture is corporate prayer.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.
This is the essence of the first church, and it is to be the same for today’s church. When a church gathers corporately (as a group), it is to pray in this way on a consistent basis.
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.
Corporate prayer is very important for the church. It is necessary to pray. I encourage everyone to pray for whatever is on your heart.