Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: Body Building – Building the Body that Matters Most
Week 4: Do you lift?
- Week 1 – Spiritual Aerobics: Walk by faith, Run with perserverance, and Stand against the enemy.
- Week 2 – It’s Your Serve: A look at what motivated Jesus to serve others.
- Week 3 – Shape Up and Ship Out:
- Today – Do you Lift?
Icebreaker: What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to staying physically fit?
- Read Ephesians 4:11-16:
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
What do you notice as you read this passage again today? What jumps out at you?
- One important way that God intends us to play a role in building up the Body of Christ is given in Colossians 4:2: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
The 6 C’s of Devotion to Prayer
Prayer is the Charge of all Christians
- The word “devote” is a verb. Look at the following passages where the word “devote” is used, noticing how it is translated:
- Acts 2:42 – “devoted themselves to… prayer”
- Acts 1:14 – “joined together constantly in prayer…”
- Acts 2:46 – “they continued to meet together…”
- Acts 6:4 – “give our attention to prayer…”
What do these passages add to your understanding of what the word “devote” means? What does it mean to devote ourselves to prayer? Describe how that would look in a person’s life.
Prayer is Core to the life of the Church
- Why is prayer so important to the life of a local congregation? What happens if a church drifts away from devotion to prayer?
Prayer is a Corporate practice, not just private
- Why is it important to pray with other people, rather than only praying alone?
Prayer should be Continually practiced
- Have you ever experienced a time when you intended to improve your prayer life, but then you didn’t notice an immediate result, so you gave up? Just as with physical exercise and dieting, prayer’s impact comes we practice it over a long period of time. We won’t necessarily see results in a few days. What can help a person stay faithful to prayer over the long haul?
Prayer is actually a Commandment
- Read 1 Samuel 12:23a:
“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you.”
What does this passage add to your understanding of the importance of prayer?
9. Prayer is a commandment, but God has bigger reasons for wanting us to pray than just, “because I said so!” What are some of the benefits that come from being devoted to prayer –both as an individual and as a church?
Prayer requires a Commitment of time, attention, and effort
- A true story recorded in Exodus 17 gives a great illustration about prayer. Moses held up his staff during a battle, representing his prayers for God’s help. As long as Moses held up his arms, Israel won the battle. But whenever Moses got tired and started to drop his arms down, Israel began to lose the battle. So Aaron and Hur helped hold up Moses’ arms, so that his arms wouldn’t drop when he got tired. What can we learn about prayer from this story?
- Describe (based on Exodus 17) how prayer impacts the results of the daily battles in our lives.
- How do you feel about the idea that the results of your daily battles depend on your prayer life?
13. Pastor Trevor said, “God’s prevailing power is released through prayer.” Share a personal story where you experienced this principle in your own life.
14. Bishop Sundo Kim, the pastor of the largest church in the world in Seoul, South Korea said the following to Pastor Trevor about church ministry: “Money means nothing. Prayer means everything.” What did he mean by that? How should that truth change what you do in your daily life?
15. What keeps you personally from praying more?
- Pastor Trevor suggested the following steps into devotion to prayer. Consider which of these could help you.
- Just start praying!
- Prayer is just talking to God, so just start doing it.
- Use a prayer List to help you
- If you have prayer request that you want the rest of the church to pray for, email them to this address, and our email prayer team will join you in prayer for that request.
- Come to our Prayer Meeting at Community of Hope this Tuesday, August 2 at 7pm