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Sermon Recap, Feb 4, 2024

"Unanswered Prayers" by Pastor Mario Bolivar

We began the lesson with a reading from the Gospel according to Luke, specifically Luke chapter 11, verses 1 to 4, focusing on the Lord's Prayer and its significance.

The central theme of the sermon series is that doubt has a role in our faith journey. I stressed that doubt should not be seen as the enemy of faith but as a force that can lead us to mature in our faith. As Christians, we need to accept that we don't have all the answers and remain open to the One who does - God. At the center of the lesson is the suggestion that we shouldn't judge how we pray or what we pray for but rather recognize that we pray to our Lord through Jesus. It's essential to understand that prayer is not about the specific words we use but about the spirit in which we approach God.

I shared a personal story from my time as a hospital chaplain, where I experienced the profound impact of prayer during a husband's desperate plea for his dying wife. The husband's faith was shaken when she died in the middle of my prayer, but I highlighted the importance of being there in moments of grief and doubt, showing that God answers prayers in diverse ways.

We discussed the purpose of prayer and why God seems to answer some prayers but not others. I cited a recent example of a young woman (Cierra) whose life was saved through prayer, leading to her joyful wedding celebration (On Saturday), underscoring the mystery of God's responses to prayer, without forgetting that someone needed to die for her to receive this opportunity to live.

The sermon stressed that prayer is about embodying the spirit in which Jesus prayed rather than mechanically reciting words. While the Lord's Prayer was presented as a model, it should not become a rigid ritualistic formula.

I encouraged the congregation to adopt the right mindset when praying and to understand that disappointment in prayer often arises from false expectations. Prayer is not about instructing God on how to manage the universe but about turning our hearts to God, experiencing love, concern, and trust.

We explored the fact that Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach but did teach them how to care for others and how to pray. I shared my personal prayer structure, which revolves around seeking comfort, clarity, boldness, surrender, and courage, mirroring the sentiments found in Psalm 23.

In conclusion, I expressed my hope that our church community will continue to ask the Lord to teach us to pray and to open our eyes to God's presence. May we let God guide our words and prayers in the name of Jesus as we grow in our understanding of prayer and deepen our relationship with God through it.

Sermon Slides - Link below

Sermon Script 242024
Download PDF • 2.18MB

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