SERMON SERIES: “Teach Us to Pray”
SERMON TITLE: “We Pray for God’s Strength”
SERMON TEXT: Luke 22:39-46 and Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-10
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: September 29, 2019, at First UMC
A mother and father were aware that their 14-year old son was struggling with math, and they had been helping him with his homework as best they could. Being a religious family, the parents encouraged their son to pray for God’s help. On the night before an important exam, they overheard the teenager saying a variation on a childhood prayer: “Now I lay me down to rest, and hope to pass tomorrow’s test. If I should die before I wake, that’s one less test I have to take.”*
All through this month of September, we’ve been talking about prayer. We’ve talked about some prayer techniques like where to pray, when to pray, and what our bodies might be doing while we’re praying. We’ve also talked about what kind of prayer words we might speak or write or think or read. Using the lines of The Lord’s Prayer and other biblical prayers, so far we’ve covered praying for God’s holy will to come on earth as it is in heaven. We’ve talked about praying for our needs. And, last Sunday, we discussed praying for forgiveness.
Now, today, we’ve arrived at the last part of Jesus’ famous prayer: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Because the Greek word for temptation is also translated as test or trial, I thought of this scripture from Luke 22 about Jesus and his disciples just before his arrest, trial, and crucifixion. I invite you to consider this story of prayer with me and see how we might pray for God’s strength in our own times of trial.