Prayer – Just Do It! – Part 2

Sometimes, we talk too much about prayer but we do not pray enough. My goal here with these messages is not to teach you about prayer but to encourage you to pray. We just need to pray, just do it!

Besides what to pray for here are other aspects that we learn with Jesus about prayer.

2 – Pray With – This happens when two, three, or more gather together for a prayer meeting. People need to pray with other people. We learn how to pray by praying with people who know how to do it.

When Jesus was facing the most terrible time in his earthly life, He asked three disciples to pray with Him. Here is the text: “Matt. 26:36-38 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

It is important for us to gather for prayer on a regular basis. There is a program called triplets prayer that works very well all over the world. Three people get together to pray for themselves, their church, family, etc.

It is a simple meeting, not much talking, just praying. The agenda is given by the Holy Spirit. Everyone prays about what is in his/her heart. 

Sometimes a circumstance in the life of one of them will focus the prayer meeting, but the main goal is to pray for outsiders, church, mission, etc.

Find a prayer group and start participating, if you cannot find one, start one. Find people who would like to participate in a prayer meeting and start praying.

3 – Pray Any Way – One more thing that I would like to share with you about prayer is to Pray in Any Way. The important thing is to pray, it does not matter how you do it. This is what Jesus taught his disciples: “Matt. 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Ask, seek, knock, no matter how you do it, just do it. People will get familiarized with your personal style of talking to God. If you address God, the Father, in the Name of Jesus, the Bible says that chances are He will listen to your prayer.

If you are going to cry, to mumble, to talk too much, to be short, to be vague or very specific, to be loud, or more settled, if you will stand, or sit, or kneel, it does not matter, the important thing IN PRAYER IS TO DO IT!

Now, in case everything fails, we still have one extra help in the matter of prayer – The Holy Spirit.

When Paul wrote to the Romans and talked about prayer, he made sure to tell them that sometimes we do not know how to pray right, we do not know how to say the right words, and have the right attitude.

Because of that the Holy Spirit will help us in our weakness. Here is the text: “Rom. 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

God, through His Spirit, will search our hearts and find our needs, even when we do not know how to express them in words, and He will intercede for us.

So, no matter when you pray, how you pray, or with whom you pray, do not forget, the Spirit of God is present to make your prayer right in the sight of God.

The important thing in prayer is DO IT!

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

I know that it is very easy to talk about prayer, the biggest challenge is to pray.

People know the mechanics of it, everything that they have to do when they pray, even some words, or the right words. The problem is to pray.

People can say when someone is praying in the wrong way, or using wrong words, they can feel an insincere prayer. The difficulty is to pray.

People can detect when someone is preaching through his/her prayer, they can read between lines that there is message there. The trouble is to pray.

We must stop talking about prayer and we should start praying. Just do it!

In the Sermon of the Mountain, Jesus teaches about prayer. This is what He said: Matthew 7: 7-11 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

In this text Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray. His disciples saw him praying and wanted to learn how to do it. The same desire should be in our hearts. The desire to pray and to pray right.

Jesus shared with them three important lessons about prayer, what we should do, if we want to pray in the way that Jesus taught his disciples.

1 – Pray For

The first activity of prayer is to pray for someone. We should be able to pray for each other.

This is what the Bible tells us in James,

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Here are a few steps on how you should do that:

  1. Ask the person if you could pray for him/her.
  2. Ask him/her if there is a specific need that should be addressed at that moment.
  3. Tell him/her that you will say a short prayer.
  4. If you and him/her feel comfortable put your hand on his/her shoulder or hold his/her hand.
  5. Say your prayer out loud.

The next step is to know how to do it. Here are some elements that should be incorporated in your prayer.

Prayer Elements:

  1. Address to God: Dear God, Father, heavenly Father, Almighty God, and others. The Bible reading will give many other terms to address to God.
  2. Say the need and request.
  3. Close in the way that Jesus taught His disciples, I pray or ask IN HIS NAME, IN JESUS’ NAME, IN THE NAME OF JESUS. You need to be sure that these are not magic words that will open a door to the presence of God. You must believe that Jesus is the mediator between you and the Father

My challenge for you is to try these simple steps with someone. Just do it!

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

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Things You Must Know When You Talk to God – Part 2

In the Old Testament there is a very interesting text that has important lessons for us. Here is: “Jeremiah 29: 11-13 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

As we saw in our last message, in this text the prophet Jeremiah is telling the people what God has in mind for them and what they should know when they talk with Him. This text also helps us to understand other things that God wants us to know when we talk to Him.

2 – He Listens – The second thing that we should know is that He listens. Sometimes we do not pray, because we are not sure that there is a God out there, but sometimes we do not pray because we think that even if there is a God, He cannot hear our prayers.

Sometimes we think that it is because of us that He will not listen.

Sometimes we think that it is because of Him, that he will not listen. We think that He is too busy with the whole universe, and so many problems that He cannot pay attention to little people like us.

Let me tell you, He wants you to know that He can listen to you, if you are willing to communicate with Him, and follow the right procedures and channels that He made available for you, He will listen to you.

3 – He Wants to Hear Your Voice – The third thing that you should know is that He wants to hear your voice. Probably this is the most challenging aspect of prayer that we have nowadays, the prayer itself, opening our mouth and saying something to Him. We just do not feel comfortable doing that. It seems that we are talking to nobody, or to an invisible person who we are not sure exists.

If you dealt with the first two steps, this one will not be too complicated. But if you have problems with one of the two, then you will have difficulties with this one.

People do not like to pray in public because they do not feel comfortable with what to say, how to say it, and most importantly, what people will think about them.

God wants to hear your voice. Talk to him!

Circumstances will define our expressions before God. Sometimes they will dictate how we pray. Sometimes we will be quiet, sometimes we will be exuberant, sometimes we will just have a normal conversation.

I would like you to try something here that maybe you never did before. I would like you to say a prayer out loud to Him, wherever you are, right now. You can say something like this:

“God, I believe that you are real!

I believe that you are listening to me.

Lord, I want to say that I love you!

In the Name of Jesus, Amen!”

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

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Prayer – Just Do It! – Part 1

I know that it is very easy to talk about prayer, the biggest challenge is to pray.

People know the mechanics of it, everything that they have to do when they pray, even some words, or the right words. The problem is to pray.

People can say when someone is praying in the wrong way, or using wrong words, they can feel an insincere prayer. The difficulty is to pray.

People can detect when someone is preaching through his/her prayer, they can read between lines that there is message there. The trouble is to pray.

We must stop talking about prayer and we should start praying. Just do it!

In the Sermon of the Mountain, Jesus teaches about prayer. This is what He said: Matthew 7: 7-11 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

In this text Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray. His disciples saw him praying and wanted to learn how to do it. The same desire should be in our hearts. The desire to pray and to pray right.

Jesus shared with them three important lessons about prayer, what we should do, if we want to pray in the way that Jesus taught his disciples.

1 – Pray For

The first activity of prayer is to pray for someone. We should be able to pray for each other.

This is what the Bible tells us in James,

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Here are a few steps on how you should do that:

  1. Ask the person if you could pray for him/her.
  2. Ask him/her if there is a specific need that should be addressed at that moment.
  3. Tell him/her that you will say a short prayer.
  4. If you and him/her feel comfortable put your hand on his/her shoulder or hold his/her hand.
  5. Say your prayer out loud.

The next step is to know how to do it. Here are some elements that should be incorporated in your prayer.

Prayer Elements:

  1. Address to God: Dear God, Father, heavenly Father, Almighty God, and others. The Bible reading will give many other terms to address to God.
  2. Say the need and request.
  3. Close in the way that Jesus taught His disciples, I pray or ask IN HIS NAME, IN JESUS’ NAME, IN THE NAME OF JESUS. You need to be sure that these are not magic words that will open a door to the presence of God. You must believe that Jesus is the mediator between you and the Father

My challenge for you is to try these simple steps with someone. Just do it!

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

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Things You Must Know When You Talk to God – Part 2

In the Old Testament there is a very interesting text that has important lessons for us. Here is: “Jeremiah 29: 11-13 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

As we saw in our last message, in this text the prophet Jeremiah is telling the people what God has in mind for them and what they should know when they talk with Him. This text also helps us to understand other things that God wants us to know when we talk to Him.

2 – He Listens – The second thing that we should know is that He listens. Sometimes we do not pray, because we are not sure that there is a God out there, but sometimes we do not pray because we think that even if there is a God, He cannot hear our prayers.

Sometimes we think that it is because of us that He will not listen.

Sometimes we think that it is because of Him, that he will not listen. We think that He is too busy with the whole universe, and so many problems that He cannot pay attention to little people like us.

Let me tell you, He wants you to know that He can listen to you, if you are willing to communicate with Him, and follow the right procedures and channels that He made available for you, He will listen to you.

3 – He Wants to Hear Your Voice – The third thing that you should know is that He wants to hear your voice. Probably this is the most challenging aspect of prayer that we have nowadays, the prayer itself, opening our mouth and saying something to Him. We just do not feel comfortable doing that. It seems that we are talking to nobody, or to an invisible person who we are not sure exists.

If you dealt with the first two steps, this one will not be too complicated. But if you have problems with one of the two, then you will have difficulties with this one.

People do not like to pray in public because they do not feel comfortable with what to say, how to say it, and most importantly, what people will think about them.

God wants to hear your voice. Talk to him!

Circumstances will define our expressions before God. Sometimes they will dictate how we pray. Sometimes we will be quiet, sometimes we will be exuberant, sometimes we will just have a normal conversation.

I would like you to try something here that maybe you never did before. I would like you to say a prayer out loud to Him, wherever you are, right now. You can say something like this:

“God, I believe that you are real!

I believe that you are listening to me.

Lord, I want to say that I love you!

In the Name of Jesus, Amen!”

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

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Things You Must Know When You Talk to God – Part 1

When you are making a phone call, it is not the equipment that matters, even though sometimes it can make a difference. It is the number that we use that will connect us with the person with whom we want to talk. 

Talking with God is the same thing. People pray in different ways, such as: Screaming, singing, quietly, in other languages, standing, dancing, kneeling, with the eyes closed, with the eyes opened, or gesturing.

The key for the right communication is the right connection, in the case of the phone, the right number. Because I believe that you are a good person and I am a nice guy, I will give you the number for you to talk with God. Are you ready? Here it is: God’s phone number is: 537-87-6263 (Jesus’ Name).

In the Old Testament there is a very interesting text that has important lessons for us. Here it is: Jeremiah 29: 11-13 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

In this text the prophet Jeremiah is telling the people what God has in mind for them and what they should know when they talk with Him. Jeremiah will help us to understand what God wants us to know when we pray to Him.

God is talking to a people who left Him for other gods. A rebellious people, but despite that He has a plan for them, and He is willing to listen to them if they call Him and seek Him with all their hearts.

Let me share with you what God wants us to know:

1 – He Exists – The first thing that God wants us to know when we talk with Him is that He exists. He is not an idea – He is a person. He is not weak – He is a powerful person. He is not limited – He is unlimited, He has no limitations whatsoever. He is not a religion or creation of man’s mind – He is the creator of the universe, and our creator. He is not just a deformed force – He has character, feelings, ideas, plans, etc. He is not distant or absent – He is everywhere, even close to us. He decided to manifest Himself to humansHe decided to communicate with humans through His Word and through His Son. He is real.

My friend, when we pray, we converse with God, because of that it is extremely important to know and be sure that there is a God, a good God. When we pray, we do not throw words in the air, we are communing with God Himself. We believe that He exists and we are talking with Him. This should affect and improve your prayer life.

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

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Christian Growth III – Right Attitude

Have you ever found yourself in a service where the hymn was sung so slowly that you would like to stop the singing and ask for the hymn to be sung again in a different beat? Yes, we all have been there.

In our Christian growth we can have the right food and the right exercise, but if you do not have the right attitude, you will not go too far.

This is the challenge that everyone who begins the year with big resolutions faces. After a few weeks, they do not have the energy and will to continue with their decisions. They end up quitting, getting frustrated, and upset with themselves.

In the Christian life it is the same. We start a project or program, and we think that we will be able to keep up with that, but for our disappointment we will succumb and give up.

Churches try to motivate people to keep coming, giving, and serving, through the creation of many programs, and activities, to entertain and maintain their excitement and enthusiasm. .

So, the churches that have more entertainment activities and programs for their members, will win the race for a big membership. Because of that the churches need to come up with new stuff daily, so their members will stay connected.

In 1 Timothy 4: 13-16 we find the apostle Paul telling Timothy, his disciple, what he needs to do to keep growing in his Christian faith. Here is the text: “1Tim. 4:13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

Key words used by Paul:

Devote Yourself in sharing the message

Do not neglect your gift

Be diligent in these matters

Watch your life and doctrine

Persevere in them

That is the motivational speech that Paul gave to Timothy, there  are no gimmicks, no tricks, and no magic.

1 – It will affect our personal life – When we have the right attitude toward our Christian life, that will affect our personal life. We will pray in a different way, we will read the Scriptures in a different way, we will witness in a different way, we will serve in a different way, we will worship in a different way. Things will look differently and will sound differently.

2 – It will affect our relationship with God – We will see and understand God in a different way. Our relationship with Him will be exciting, alive. God is real, He is alive, and He is with us. Because of that our attitude will be different.

3 – It will affect our relationship with others – Finally, it will affect our relationship with others. People will notice that something is changing in our lives. We are learning things about God that we did not know, we are experiencing things in our spiritual journey that we never did, and people around us will be puzzled about that. Our family will see, our neighbors will see, our friends will see, and our colleagues will see. And they will ask us what is going on, giving us, in this way, an opportunity to witness about Jesus.

Dear brothers and sisters, sometimes, our Christian life sounds like the first time that we sang that hymn, boring and dead.

It is a different attitude, the right one that will change how we grow and show our relationship with God.

Sometimes we think that we need people to come and give, and serve with us. That is the wrong perspective. The people out there are those who need us. They need to know God, they need to cultivate a relationship with God, they need a church where they can learn about God, be trained in the Christian ministry, and to worship God.

We need each other, and all of us need God.

The world needs us! We do not need them, even though sometimes our attitude shows that. They are the ones in need here. And God decided to put you and me in their way, so we can help them to find Jesus.

We are the gift of God to them, and this revelation should change our attitude toward God, the Church, and ourselves. 

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

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Christian Growth II – Right Exercise

For us to have normal growth we need, not only the right food but, the right exercise. Nowadays we have an array of instruments for exercise. We have dumbbells, rope, machines, and applications and websites to guide us in every step. 

For you to grow you need to exercise, even where you are, right now, you can do some exercises, but we need to do it in the right way or we can get hurt.

In our Christian life we also need to exercise. Reading the Bible is an important spiritual exercise, but it needs to be done in the right way, if not we can get hurt.

It is crucial to know that only reading the exercise charts and manuals is not enough just as reading the Scriptures will not be enough. There are at least three steps toward growth that we need to take. And we should use our Mind, Heart, and Body.

In 1 Timothy 4: 6-12, Paul is telling Timothy something very interesting about Christian exercise, and in this verse, Paul writes this: “8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

He says, that godliness has value for all things. Let us see the steps that we need to take to make our exercise session productive.

1 – Understand – Mind – The first thing is to understand what we are reading. If we do not understand what we are reading we will not be able to do the exercise properly. Every movement will affect a specific group of muscles, and if you do not understand how to do it and why you are doing it, you will run the risk of hurting yourself.

We can apply the same rule with the Scriptures, if we read, but do not understand what we are reading there will be no benefit for our life.

2 – Believe – Heart – The second thing that we need to do is to believe in what we are reading. For us to be motivated to do the exercises we need to believe that they will be good for our body. When you read all the instructions about the benefit of those movements, and equipment, it is important that you believe in that information, if not you will not be motivated to do anything. You need to believe that those exercises will make your body healthier.

With the Scriptures it is the same, we must understand what we are reading, and we must believe in what we are reading. If we do not believe that God is the one talking to us, we will not do anything. It is important for us to accept the Scriptures as the Word of God, and act upon them. That will change our attitude toward the Scriptures. We will realize that the One who wrote it knows what He is talking about.

3 – Practice – Body – The next thing that we should do is to act, to practice, to do the exercise. If we read the exercise manual just for leisure and do nothing, our muscles will not improve. Even if we believe that exercise is good for our health but do not exercise, our life will not improve at all.

With the Scriptures it is the same, if we do not practice what we learn, we will not grow. We will have a good knowledge of the Bible, but our Christian life will be weak or nonexistent.

As you can see, for us to grow in our Christian life we must have the right exercise, a specific one for our needs. We must understand what it is and we must believe in what we are required to do and who is saying that. We have to practice, do it, if not we will not get any benefit from it, and we will not grow.

So, get ready and start exercising.

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

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Christian Growth – Right Food

Christian maturity is the result of many things coming together in the life of a follower of Christ. It does not happen suddenly, or in a weekend. It is a process that will take your whole life. Some of us will be able to grow faster depending on many circumstances.

One of the biggest problems in our world is starvation. People do not have anything to eat, the other problem is that people eat wrong. They have food but they do not know what to eat and how to eat. In the Christian life we see the same challenges: Some Christians do not have enough food, and starve in their Christian life. Some people eat the wrong food in a wrong way and develop a Christian life that is deformed and lacks productivity.

In Hebrews 5: 11-14, we read this: “11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

The author of the letter is writing to Christians who were supposed to know things and be mature by this time in their lives, but unfortunately, he cannot do it, because they are not ready to receive the kind of food that he wanted to give them. Let us take a look at the different kinds of food that we have in our Christian growth.

This is what the Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians, “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly — mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 1Corinthians 3:2.”

1 – Milk – The first food that we have in our Christian growth, is the logical one, the milk of our Mother. In our case the Word of God. Milk here represents the basic principles of the Christian Faith, such us: The Assurance of our salvation and eternal life, forgiveness, adoption, justification by faith, prayerthe importance of our daily devotionalthe importance of attending a churchthe necessity of sharing the good news, and a few others.

2 – Puree – When we start growing, we stop living only on milk, we need something more solid, but we are still not prepared to eat something totally solid. So, the option is a puree. That is something that comes ready for the parents to use. In the past, they had to prepare the whole thing for the children. In this phase the child will start getting deep in the aspects of doctrine, fellowship, studying of the Scriptures and practice the first steps in their journey of faith.

3 – Meat – The final stage is to eat solid food, represented here by meat. That is when the Christian starts to become a disciple, someone who not only listens to the Word, but practices the Word. They follow Jesus. They know God, they love God and worship Him. They love their brothers and sisters and serve them. They are committed to proclaim the Gospel everywhere.

In this letter the author is very upset with the readers since they could not follow his instructions. It was too complicated for them to understand what he had to say, so he had to go back and start to give them milk again.

It is our relationship with God’s Word, reading, studying, and acting upon it that will determine growth in our Christian life.

Do you know enough about the basics of Christian faith and Christian life? Are you able to practice what you have been learning from the Scriptures, Bible study, sermons, fellowship, etc.?

Is your life being changed through His Word? Are you able to see the difference? Are your friends and family being able to see the difference?

What kind of food are you eating, Milk, Puree, or Meat? 

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

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