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praytogod

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Pray To God

This talk we're looking at the song "Pray To God" by Calvin Harris and others. We'll have a look at the song and think about two things - what is truth - and look at prayer.

So let's try this here....

The song lyrics

Ooh, I remember when this road was my own
I pray to God, I just don't know anymore
I pray to God, I just don't know anymore
And ooh, I lost the feeling but I'm tryin'a hold on
I thought the end of love is what made you strong
I pray to God, I just don't know anymore!

When there's no getting through, I won't hold back
I will throw down everything in life, I know now
I've been laying on the floor, sweeping on the ground
I would give up everything in life, I'd know how!

'Cause I can't stop wondering
If I was too late to see the signs
If I could go back with hands up, I'd look up to the sky
I'd give it, I'd give it, I'd give it
I'd give it to you,
Give it to you!

Ooh, when the moon was shining bright before mornin'
I made a deal with the stars to keep holdin'
Shining bright to come and bring me back home
The lights in my eyes, they disappeared,
Visions in my mind about to keep me from fear
I won't let it hold me down, the other way around
I don't want the words 'til I can't make a sound

'Cause I can't stop wondering
If I was too late to see the signs
If I could go back with hands up, I'd look up into the sky
I'd give it, I'd give it, I'd give it
I'd give it to you,
Give it to you!

Can't hold back, reaching out
I-I-I was living in the heat of the moment
Between us, I told you that
I-I-I was living in the heat of the moment
I'd give it, I-I-I was living in the heat of the moment
I'd give it, I-I-I was living in the heat of the moment
I'd give it, I-I-I was living in the heat of the moment
I'd give it to you, give it to you!

I'd give it, I'd give it, I'd give it
I'd give it to you,
Give it to you!

I'd give it, I'd give it, I'd give it
I'd give it to you,
Give it to you!

On Your Own Road

Have you noticed that everyone around you seems to believe different things? Everyone has their own 'truth' and seems fairly happy thinking this is all good? Well, often apart from if you says something Christian or from the Bible - then some people get upset!

But is this really true? Can we really all go on our own road, have our own 'truths' and expect things to go well? You see, you may believe something really strongly or because it's something that someone you trust told you - but it doesn't mean that it's true!

Just think about this - if you got on a plane that was going to New York from Heathrow, you'd want the plane to go to New York properly and safely, right?! Imagine if the pilot said, "Well we're going to leave Heathrow airport now. I'm going to fly the plane according to what I think and feel. I've asked the ground staff to put some fuel in the plane for what I think we need. But hey, we'll just see. I'll fly the plane in the way that I think it should be flown. But don't worry, it's all good. I believe we'll get to New York. My beliefs and truths about getting to New York are just as good as the flight plan and air safety rules." You may want to get off that plane pretty quick...

So the question to ask yourself is - what is truth and where do we find truth?

One Way?

A few years ago, the band Hillsong United released a lively song called 'One Way' where the chorus says, "One way, Jesus, you're the only one that I could live for..." (Maybe play the song if people don't know it).

People have all kinds of 'truths' and think that their way is right. The problem comes when you say that you believe your way is right, especially if you're talking about God and the Bible. But the Hillsong track is spot on - the Bible tells us many times that there is only one truth and one way. And that way is Jesus. The Bible also tells us that God is true, that the Holy Spirit is truth and that the Bible is true.

Here are five Bible verses that may help you:

John 14.6 - Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 16.13 - When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

John 17.17 - Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

Acts 4.12 - Salvation is found in no one else (except Jesus), for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

2 Timothy 3.16 - All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in right living.

Some people don't like to hear what the Bible says. Even some Christians say they don't believe the Bible! These kinds of people like to take 'nice' verses (like Jesus going around being nice) but they don't like Bible verses that say that Jesus is the only way. But it's true - the Bible tells us it's true. The Bible is God's Word - it is the truth about God that God has given us and we can totally trust the Bible. We can even trust the translation of the Bible. In John 14, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind everything that God has said.

So we know that the Bible is truth. We know that there is only one way - that Jesus is the truth. Some people won't like this and get very upset. The reason they get upset is because this challenges them and forces them to make a decision - do they believe Jesus is the way or will they go down their own road. We all have to make that choice.

If you haven't made that choice, why not ask God to show himself to you today and speak to you. Just say, "God, if you're real, show me that your real in a way that I can see and understand. Amen!"

If you are already a Christian, then ask God to help guide you in his truth and in his ways. Ask God to help you show other people what it means to follow Jesus as the truth. This isn't about forcing anyone to believe anything - faith in Jesus only comes when we make a personal decision. But ask God to help you be sensitive to people around you - in showing God's love for them and in doing all the things that Jesus did.

John 14.12.14 says - “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

Prayer

The other thing that we'll look at from the song is prayer. We read this lyric from the song:

"I pray to God, I just don't know anymore!"

One day I came home from a day out and there were some family friends there looking very serious. When I got in the door, I was told that my brother had been killed in Africa in a road accident. It was like someone had punched me in the gut and in the head at the same time. But my reaction was like the song - I didn't know what to do any more and so I just went in my room and said, "God I need you. I can't get through this on my own." That day, God changed my life and helped me through that hard time and lots of other things ever since. I had been going down my own road but now I knew that God was calling me down his road. And it all started with prayer.

Many times when people are in trouble, they cry out to a God they don't believe exists! The amazing thing is that God always hears us. He longs for people to cry out to him for help - so he can help them set them free, give them a new life and turn lives round from a mess into a message!

James 5.16 - Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Prayer does many things - but it basically connects us to God so we can speak to him and he can speak to us. Prayer is very powerful and brings amazing change to people and situations. Prayer shouldn't just be an after thought - something we do after we've tried everything else. Prayer is powerful and prayer is the best place to go in any situation - first. Often when we pray about our day and situations, it actually stops things going wrong which can happen when we forget about God and do things our own way.

So How Do I Pray?

The incredible thing about prayer is that we can pray in all kinds of ways. The really important thing is to let God lead you in the ways that you best pray. We also want to pray in ways and times that God leads us in because it's all about him. If God leads us to do something, we know it'll be great. But it's also good to be spontaneous too!

There is a place called IHOP (International House of Prayer in Kansas City, USA). The leader is called Mike Bickle. He often tells about how he used to go to prayer meetings, love the worship but then get so bored in the prayer meeting time that was so dull he wanted to leave or go to sleep. I have been to prayer things like that! (And to other ones that were full of life)

So here are just 5 quick ways we can use to pray to God.

1. We can pray with quick prayers "Help Me God!". If you pray in tongues then this is also an amazing thing because we are speaking prayers direct from God back to God. When we speak in tongues we know that we are praying God prayers! Praying in tongues is for today, it is from God and it is very powerful.

2. We can pray through reading the Bible - with the Bible verses inspiring us to pray. So for example we read in Psalm 84.11 that God is our sun and shield, so we can pray saying, "God, you are my light and you are my shield, the one who defends and protects me."

3. We can pray in worship - Psalm 22.3 says that God 'lives in the praises of his people'. So we can communicate with and hear from God in worship times - just by feeling his presence, crying out to him and singing about how amazing he is. Bethel Church in California speak about writing songs about what God is doing or the things they feel God is leading them into. This is prayer! And very often the lyrics of songs become a prayer or God uses them to speak to us.

4. We can organise prayer meetings - or we can organise 24/7 type prayer. We can also 'schedule' a specific time each day when we pray to God - maybe in the morning when we get up or at the end of the day!

5. We can just thank God. In Philippians 4 it tells us to pray with all kinds of requests and to do so with thanksgiving. Saying thanks to God (and meaning it!) is like a door that unlocks things. I can't explain it but if God lives in the praise of his people then when we thank him it releases something. Often times it helps set us free too.

End - just to think about

Often when we listen to songs in the charts or being played on the radio, there are things that we can use to think about God and to connect other people to God. But it doesn't mean to say that every song we hear is good! We need to be wise about what we watch and what we listen to. Personally I love worship songs and Christian hip-hope because that's how God's made me. We're all different though. Let's not judge each other but encourage each other to love God more and to be part of God's kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven. That means we want to see God-things happen in our lives and others. And this happens as we follow Jesus and his truth and as we pray and obey what God says :)

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