Episode 070 | Livin’ on a Prayer

June 20th, 2017

What’s so bad about wanting to be perfect? What’s the right way to pray? And how do you know when it’s time to step out in faith or wait for better circumstances? This week Pastor Matt tackles tough questions about perfection, prayer and preparedness.

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Watch Pastor Matt’s sermon on finding joy in your imperfections

Summary

After a lively introduction, the team moves into debriefing Pastor Matt's message, "How to Find Joy in Your Imperfections," discussing how we can be real with God through worship. The episode then moves into a conversation about the need for wisdom when planning a family and developing realistic expectations about work and family life. Pastor Matt continues to emphasize the need for us to have realistic expectations as he addresses perfectionism and how we can be real with self about our shortcomings while also giving ourselves grace. He then speaks about how perfectionism has robbed him of joy in the past and the way he has overcome his unrealistic expectations about life.

The second half of the episode shifts focus as the team addresses listener's questions about prayer. Pastor Matt speaks to the importance of asking God to change our circumstances, but also accepting the answer he gives. The team also talks about the way in which, through prayer, Jesus Christ mediates on our behalf to God the Father, how the Bible assures us that God hears our prayers, and the three basic answers God gives in response to our prayers. Pastor Matt then offers some practical advice about praying throughout the day and praying with your spouse.

To close the show, Pastor Matt shares the position of Sandals Church concerning speaking in tongues and talks about some of the things Christians will experience in the new heaven and the new earth one day.

This Week's Topics

6:43 When returning to church after a long absence, do the chills and goosebumps I feel during worship come from God?

Worship is intimacy and is an appropriate adoration of God. When we have an emotional experience during worship we are feeling the sensation of intimacy with God. Sin and imperfections can block us from God and the feelings of intimacy with him, because intimacy requires honesty.

8:47 How do married couples know when the circumstances are right to have children?

Sometimes people wait too long until the details are perfect in order to have children, however when a married couple is trying to make it on minimum wage they are not waiting for perfect timing, they are practicing wisdom, and bringing children in this world requires great wisdom. Couples who are not yet financially stable enough to have children should continue working hard towards reaching a more stable financial situation, or decide which spouse should stay at home while the other focuses on their career. Couples should sit down write things out and be real with one another as they plan out the future of their family.

15:28 What are some ways to face our imperfections and not let it turn into a downward spiral of self-loathing?

We need to understand that God does not expect us to be perfect. Perfectionists create standards that we can’t meet, and life doesn’t have to be even close to perfect in order for us to be happy. Sin can not always be equated to evil, in it’s most basic definition it means missing the mark, and we have to give ourselves permission to miss the mark. Romans 3.23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Paul is including himself and every person with the exception of Jesus Christ. Perfectionism ruins joy and happiness. The good news is that our imperfections makes us perfect for Jesus.

23:14 How can the pursuit of perfection rob of us of joy?

When we have unhealthy expectations of our children, marriages and lives, we don’t enjoy what we have. Wanting for more can rob a person from experiencing what they have accomplished. We live in a culture that calls second place a loser. If you expect it you aren’t going to celebrate it. What honors God is our best effort.

33:41 What do we do when we come forward for prayer for healing and healing hasn’t happened yet?

If we have continued to ask for healing and have come forward to have people prayer of the situation and nothing has changed our prayer should then shift to asking God what he wants to teach us in this. We should start to ask God how we can find joy in the midst of our suffering. Romans 8.28 tell us that “God will work for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Most of the time, God is doing something bigger than what we can see and understand.

44:32 How do we pray to God so he will hear us? How do we know he is listening and how do we know he will respond?

If we place our faith in Jesus Christ he will be our mediator before God, which is why we pray in Jesus name. Through Jesus we know that God hears us, that we matter and that he cares. Hebrews tells us that we can come boldly before God, because Jesus comes before us. God always responds with one of three answers: yes, no, or wait.

51:38 When should we pray?

We should pray whenever we feel anxious about something. Things outside of our control causes us to be anxious. We should also pray whenever we feel prompted. Some people can people can have set times of day if they need the reminder to pray.

55:54 What is Sandals belief on speaking in tongues and when and where is its use appropriate?

Sandals Church believes that the gift of tongues is real, alive, and that the same miracles that were seen in the Bible are here today. It is important to remember that not everyone who claims to have the ability to speak in tongues is doing so in a legitimate way, and that this gift is not easily explained to or understood by non-believers so often it is better used privately.

1:04:51 Is it selfish to pray for the health and safety of others, even if we know they are going to heaven?

It is not selfish to pray for the health and safety of others. Although we will go to heaven, we are not designed to live in heaven. We are designed to live forever, on earth. Revelation tells us that we will live on a new earth with Jesus forever, and that everything will be perfect.

Resources

The song Mediator by Ghostship, mentioned by Justin on this episode

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