Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prayer 101: Prayer that Transforms Us

There are so many great things going on at WBC right now. We're a little more than a week away from voting in a new youth minister, Stephen Ray. I'm thrilled about him getting started. I think the search committee did an excellent job of sifting through some really strong candidates to find just the right one for us. Hope McNeil is off to a great start in our ministry to children. She begins a new summer kids' program this Wednesday, and VBS is right around the corner. Attendance is strong, our financial situation is very solid (in spite of the uncertain economy), and we've got some exciting plans on the horizon.

But none of it means anything without the power of God. Our buildings, our trained staff, our programs and our money are utterly useless if God does not choose to empower us. The only way to ensure that we will accomplish what is needed is for each of us to pray daily. That's why we're in the middle of this series right now that I am calling "Prayer 101." We are going to look at several types of prayer in this series (see the list of sermon titles in the previous post). But this Sunday's may just be the most important message of them all. We will discuss praying for spiritual transformation. We'll be studying Psalm 51, which the ancient scribes believed was written by David after he had finally come clean about his affair with Bathsheba, and his murderous attempts to cover it up.

As I was preparing the message this week, I felt as though God were saying to me, "You have no idea how many people are carrying hidden stuff in their heart that separates them from me. This message could help them get right." Please pray for this worship service. I know that in any group of Christians, there will be folks who have rationalized their own self-destructive sins. There will be others who are terrified to confront their flaws, afraid that God and His church will reject them. If David could get straight with God after the horrible things he had done--and in such a way that God would call him "a man after my own heart"--then there is hope for all of us. Let's talk about how to pray in such a way that we're not just forgiven, but transformed.

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