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

Blessings Out of Brokenness: Brokenness Cultivates Great Faith

Matthew 15:21-28

Surprise gets our attention.  Jesus had a conversation with an unnamed Canaanite woman that was surprising.  This woman had come to Jesus on the behalf of her suffering daughter.  And the initial response of Jesus to the woman seems rather distant and even a bit dismissive.  Yet He was purposefully drawing out of the woman an expression of faith that was stunning.  Jesus called it, “great faith.”  In this passage we are going to see how the disposition of healthy internal brokenness cultivates “great faith.”  Though the term, brokenness, is not explicitly mentioned in this episode, the qualities of healthy brokenness are magnificently evident in this woman.  The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and that it is through the instrument of faith that we access the grace God wants us to receive and enjoy (Ephesians 2:8).  So in this passage, we want to give attention to the link between biblical “brokenness” and faith.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Blessings Out of Brokenness: Brokenness Prompts Grateful Love

Luke 7:36-50

The inward disposition of brokenness is counter-intuitive.  And yet out of the soil of that inward disposition can flow a beauty that is compelling.  A high profile religious leader once invited Jesus into home, but during that visit the host offered to Jesus none of the courtesies that a host of that day might offer.  However, a woman who was an uninvited guest to that party offered to Jesus an extravagance of kindness.  What was the difference?  The contrast between the two characters helps to illustrate a meaningful link between inward brokenness and what we might call, “grateful love.”  What can we learn from this New Testament story, and how could it impact the way we see and relate to Jesus in 2017?

Pastor Tim Haugen