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Notes

Announcements:

HAPPY EASTER, week 5! Thanks for worshipping with Common Grace. If you are worshiping online, be sure to a moment to register your attendance on this page.

Please continue in prayer for the people of Ukraine who continue to be bombarded by Russia and pay the price for this senseless violence. And we share prayers of joy for all graduates and their families this weekend!

Want to submit a question for a future You Asked For It! sermon? You can do that here!

If you have someone in your family graduating, will you email your name and theirs to Pastor Kyle? Or share here?

Save the date for our Making Waves summer kickoff on Saturday, June 4. Let us know you’re comingMake Waves will also be our VBS theme this year. July 18-21 will be a highlight of the summer! Thank you to volunteers who have already signed up to help. You can help, too – by signing up here. You can also register students here.

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From the sermon:

Scripture Text: Our framing text for the next two weeks is Philippians 4:4-7.

We’re diving into YAFI again (woohoo!) and looking specifically at prayer the next couple of weeks. YAFI (You Asked For It!) is your chance to submit a question for a sermon. You can participate by sharing your questions about prayer – or anything else – at www.commongrace.church/yafi.

Today, as we begin with prayer, we’re talking about what we talk about when we talk to God. The full text of the four submitted questions we’re talking about today are:1) Is it ok to pray for certain outcomes or results?2) How does Jesus ask us to respond when our prayers go ‘unanswered?’ Understanding within the context that He wants the best for us/better for us.3) Sometimes it feels like God isn’t hearing my prayers. What can one do while waiting for God’s answer?4) I don’t believe God causes bad things to happen, and so I don’t believe good things are a measure of God’s faithfulness (God is always faithful), nor that God caused the good to happen, so is it wrong to pray and thank God for those good things?

I think a great, accessible book on prayer is Adam Weber’s Talking with God: What to say when you don’t know how to prayI referenced him in the sermon.

This week, I read through some notes from Pastor Craig Carter of Lynn Haven UMC. He shares a really interesting parallel between the Lords’ prayer and Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane. You can read it in it’s original context about 75% of the way down this page, under the section heading 3) Be honest with GodBelow is a copy of the parallel:

In times where we struggle with prayer, and the answers (or seeming non-answers) that our prayers garner, I think about this quote from 19th century theologian Peter Forsyth : “We shall come one day to a heaven where we shall gratefully know that God’s great refusals were sometimes the true answers to our truest prayer.”

In all, I hope that my message doesn’t feel dismissive to those who struggle in the waiting and hoping for supernatural intervention to some of life’s most painful circumstances. Certainly, this is one of the most challenging journeys for a person of faith. If ever you would like to talk one-on-one about, please reach out to me by email or through the website and we’ll find an opportunity to connect.

Questions for Reflection and Conversation:

  • What scripture, phrase, or idea is capturing your attention?
  • When has an ‘unanswered’ turned out better than you had initially hoped for?
  • What are five things you’re grateful for in your life today?

Sources:

Talking with God by Adam Weber.

How to Deal with Unanswered Prayers by Pastor Craig Carter, Lynn Haven UMC, Feb. 6 2022.