Prayer First: From Prayer to Action

Nehemiah 1:1-11

God specializes in restoration!  That is one of His signature expressions of His grace and strength.  During a time of ruin and humiliation in Jerusalem, God raised up a leader for His people who would be not only a wide leader, but also an amazing agent of restoration.  What is noteworthy is that the restoration project undertaken in Jerusalem began with a prayer – a prayer that was prayed by someone whose love for Jerusalem initially provoked both sorrow and burden. Interestingly, Nehemiah brought this burden to God in prayer.  And it was out of that prayer that Nehemiah was moved to action.  It’s not either/or.   God will call us to prayer, and then to action that is prompted in the place of prayer.  Join us as we give some attention to the link between prayer, action, and God’s beautiful work of restorative grace.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Prayer First: Breakthrough Prayer

Acts 4:23-31

Bold praying may bring bold breakthrough. What reason do followers of Jesus have to pray bold prayers?  During a time of great challenge and opposition, the first century church dared to pray a bold prayer.  It was saturated with truthful affirmation about who God is.  It was a prayer that was honest about the reality of the opposition.  Yet the prayer offered up was not ultimately about safety.  It was about gospel advance. There was request for enabling to be bold.  There was honest request for God to work supernaturally.  And it all resulted in breakthrough, and a powerful move of God.  What can we learn from the first century church? Join us as we consider this matter of breakthrough prayer.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Prayer First: Blueprint

Matthew 6:5-15

On one occasion in Luke 11, the followers of Jesus who had been around Him for some time brought to him a request.  They said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They had observed that prayer was a vital priority in the life of Jesus.  So in Luke 11, and Matthew 6, we have recorded for us a “model” prayer that Jesus gave to His followers.  This prayer which we generally refer to as the Lord’s Prayer is a prayer that Jesus would not have prayed Himself.  For example, He had no reason to ask for forgiveness, because as the New Testament writers make clear, Jesus was without sin.  However, prayer was a “fixture practice” in His life.  So when He gave a model for prayer to His followers, He helped us with a pattern for our praying intended to make our praying optimally relational and effectual. In this message we give attention to the pattern, the significance of the components of the pattern, and the sequence of the components in the pattern Jesus laid out for us.  Join us as we listen to Jesus teach us about meaningful praying.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Prayer First: One Cry

Psalm 133, John 17:20-23

On the night before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed for us.  It’s interesting to note that the theme of unity and oneness was splashed all over this prayer that Jesus prayed to the Father.  There is a song in Psalm 133 that focuses on this theme as well.  Unity was celebrated as good and pleasant a thousand years before the time of Jesus.  Unity – rooted in both truth and grace – was on the heart of Jesus the night before He went to the cross.  In some respects, what we commonly refer to as the LORD’s Prayer (Matthew 6:5-13) was not a prayer that Jesus Himself could have prayed.  That prayer was really a family prayer, or a model prayer that He taught His disciples to pray.  But this prayer recorded in John 17 could rightly be referred to as the LORD’s prayer.  Join us as we consider together the link between healthy unity and potent prayer.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Prayer First – Only By Prayer

Mark 9:14-29

On this Father’s Day, we want to consider the story of a dad who was seeking help for his son.  The disciples were perplexed as to why they were so ineffective in responding to this dad’s appeal for help.  Jesus intervened and had a meaningful interchange with the dad, and then completely delivered the needy teenage son.  Afterward, the disciples had a debrief with Jesus.  In that debrief, Jesus shared a critically important axiom for life and for fruitful ministry in a world where there is spiritual battle going on.  Join us as we lean in and pay attention to what Jesus shared with his disciples.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Prayer First : Whose Battle Is It?

II Chronicles 20:1-15

God is a strong and faithful LORD.  He generously displays His strength and faithfulness to men and women whose hope is riveted to Him.  One of the ways that gospel men and women demonstrate faith is in prayer.  Though few men and women of faith would dispute the importance of the discipline of prayer, practically there are many believers who in their most honest moments would admit that frequently prayer is a “last resort.”  In other words, after I have done all I can do, then I resort to prayer.  That is why the story of a king in Judah named Jehoshaphat can be so valuable.  Under siege, and in the face of a perilous challenge, he made prayer his first move.  In the face of a daunting challenge, he chose to pray first. The bottom line is that in his distress, he nevertheless had clarity about whose battle it is, and who has power to save and deliver.  What can we learn from this king of Judah?  Moreover, what practical encouragement can we offer one another as we celebrate the power and grace of God, and His resolve to work on behalf of people who wait for Him.  This is the first week of a 7-week teaching series we have titled, “Prayer First.”

Pastor Tim Haugen