NEW BELIEVER TOOL KIT
Helping a New Believer find Strength for this New Life from the Lord's Prayer
Kit Tools: Bible App, Matt 6: 5-13, Daily Devotional, Adult Sunday Bible Class Book, link with times for Wed Prayer/Sat Bible Class most importantly include the time (10am) for Sunday Worship and website information. Put in a decorative pouch or professional envelope…be creative. THEN, give it to the New Believer.
Pastor Finley has asked us to pray to reach one person for Christ this year. This teaching is to help us lead a new believer into daily Bible Study and help them jumpstart their new prayer life after their conversion.
Background Luke 11:1 Matt 6: 5-9
Explain to our new Believer(s), Jesus is asked by his disciples to teach them how to pray Luke 11:1. When we enter this story, our eyes tend to move directly to the specific words Jesus used in His instruction. I want to draw your attention to the texts before the famous "Lord's Prayer" to help unlock a deeper experience in prayer that God is inviting you into. As well as giving a few points on how you might engage in (solitude-peace) and (silence-a no worry zone) within your daily routine of alone time with the Lord.
The first step in our process is choose or find or create a quiet place like in your car, office, laundry room, bedroom, breakroom, bathroom, while walking, exercising …. just a “me time” place. Then, we’ll invite the Lord into this space. For example: When we were growing up, Sis. Roe would go into Finley field across the road from our house and twirl around while singing and praying.
Share where you have made your quiet space with the Lord. For me, it’s 7:07am for many years. My alarm goes off and it’s time for me to say, “Good morning, Father, Thank you Lord Jesus for your sacrifice and Thank you Holy Spirit, in advance, for helping me to have a successful day.
Jesus begins teaching his disciples about prayer in Matthew 6:5-9 with instruction on how to posture themselves in prayer.
READ Verse 6 "Go to your quiet place" and "do not come with a long list of requests" would be how I might paraphrase that. But what jumps out even more is how tightly Jesus draws their attention to their relationship with God as their Father. Some mornings, I think about the wonderful things our Father has done for me and just praise/thank him for a while. Eventually, I add my favorite songs/playlist and just have a grateful attitude. Before too long I’m singing, laughing, or reading a scripture from “The Daily Devotional” and speaking loving words to our Father. Depending on your schedule, you can do this in 5, 10, 15 minutes, as you dress, commute or for longer periods as your schedule permits. You can jumpstart--- leap into your prayer relationship with the Father. There is latitude because you’re learning!
READ Verse 8 Jesus is emphasizing their intimate presence with a God who "already knows". Example: Have you ever hurt yourself right in front of your Mom? She would immediately hug me and say, I know it hurts…. sweetie while giving me hugs and kisses and saying it hurts, but you’re going to be alright. That’s what I’m talking about. The Father fills my heart with comfort, reassurance, and the courage to manage my emotions and thoughts for the day.
The reality that "God already knows" has many implications for my life and for those I walk through life with. Including, those who do not already know God. Jesus does not suggest that we first "get our life together" before coming before the presence of God. The implications of the first part of this passage are that God is inviting us as we are into a quiet place alone with Him. In that space of solitude with God, there are reward(s).
What is the reward(s) that God extends to us in the Lord's prayer? Your experience will be unique rewards created especially for you by the Holy Spirit. So, I invite you to posture yourself into a solitude-peace and silence-no worry zone in your own life. I can testify that spending quality time in prayer has helped transform how I serve others at home, at work, and in my community. I am experiencing "reward(s)" and they are expanding every day. Psalm 91
Discussion and Practical Application: 5 easy steps to use the New Believer Tool Kit. Psalm 119:105
1. Get Alone, Get Comfortable
Solitude is the first movement in the Lord's prayer. For some, this looks like going into your office, sitting in your "prayer chair" and settling in. Whatever your space looks like, settle in it….our Father is there with you. Psalm 16:8
This may seem ridiculous to bring up, but when was the last time you paid attention to your breathing? We live in a world that rewards hustling. The more you do, the faster you do, the better you are rewarded. In prayer, I am invited to slow down and sit in the presence of God. (Did you just read that line? That's audacious, isn't it? To sit in the presence of the All-Mighty God?). So, to counter my culture, I pay attention to my breathing to help me slow down and pay attention to “my Father in Heaven.”
3. Pay Attention
I am beginning to think more and more that prayer is a practice of paying attention to God (who identifies as my Father in heaven and whose name is holy). That feels overly simplistic, but it is quite difficult for me to pull off. I see all these challenges in the lives of people I am serving as well as my own and I am waiting for God to notice those things and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! The Lord's Prayer teaches us to pay attention, first, to my Father in heaven and trust that He is working everything out according to His sovereign plan. Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Jeremiah 32:17
4. Listen and Watch
When I pay attention by being quiet and listen for a response, I notice the Holy Spirit is extending to me what I need (my daily bread). From that moment, I find myself listening to what the Holy Spirit is teaching me. Always, the Holy Spirit knows the best response to life’s situations. Be prepared to ask for forgiveness of my sins-wrong thinking; then, listen for correction to my path. Psalm 51:10-11, 119:102-105 2 Samuel 20:17 1Kings 4:34 Matt 26:41 (NIV)
Read Matt 6:9-13. Our Father invites us to participate in the world where He is at work. The final line in the scripted prayer points our attention to God's steady hand of protection as we enter those moments. It is in this moment that you become clear with what he is inviting us to do and what we are going to do in response to our time with God.
Reflection: Check your birth certificate. It formally says FATHER. Then, it lists a name or it’s blank. As you become more acquainted with your FATHER, you choose a more intimate name along with accolades and fond memories. As your relationship develops, Our Heavenly Father fills that blank space with the love and comfort of a dear faithful Father who you then call Dad, Daddy who becomes much like a dear trusted friend.
I find when I come out of silence with Our Father that I am more aware of His presence. More attentive to my response patterns throughout the day.
More focused-on how; and, who Our Father invites me to partner with so that he can bring rewards into their lives. Yes, you are becoming available to help others. The clarity of focus and the pace at which I engage are both sharpened for me. Eventually, I began craving this experience throughout my day as an essential practice of my daily prayer.
Questions: I leave you with these three closing questions to consider.
- Where are you most likely to be able to get quiet and still with God?
- When are the best times of the day for you to engage in silence?
- When are you going to start?
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