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Powerful and Effective Prayer力強くて効果的な祈り

With the start of our after-service prayer ministry, I’d like to focus on prayer.
A couple of months ago, I spoke on prayer and I’d like to quickly review that before I go on.

I talked about ‘RICH Prayer’. 先ず初めに’RICH Prayer’と呼ぶことの紹介をしていきます。
R – Relationship R とは関係のことです。
I – Integrity    Iとは誠実のことです。
C – Content   Cとは内容のことです。 
H – Hours (time) Hとは時間のことです。

R – Relationship. When we pray to God, we need to know who it is that we’re praying to. He is our Father, and we are His children.
I – Integrity. It helps us to approach God with the right attitude and with the right priorities. Iー誠実。それは私達が正しい姿勢でそして正しい優先順位で神に近づくのに役立ちます。
C- Content. The essence – the content – of our prayer is essentially God’s will, not ours. We pray “Your Kingdom come, your will be done”. C—内容。本質の内容ー 私達の祈りは本質的に神の望みです。私達の望みではありません。私達は『神の御国が来ます様に、神の御心が行われますように』と祈ります。
H – Hours (time). You can measure a relationship with God in more abstract ways like fruits of the Spirit. But you can also measure a relationship with God in concrete terms. Money is one marker. Time is another. H-時間(時)。聖霊の果実のようなもっと抽象的な方法で計る事が出来ます。しかし具体的な条件で神との関係を計ることも出来ます。お金は1つの印です。時間もそうです。

Let’s move on today.
The further we look at prayer, the easier it can be to lose one of the most important principles of prayer: simplicity. Yet the closer we get to God, or at least the more we want to get closer to God and know Him, the more we will want to know about praying “powerfully and effectively”.
Today I’m just going to focus primarily on one foundational element of prayer and one method of prayer, to add to those I’ve just briefly reviewed.

The foundational element of prayer is humility. It doesn’t matter how young or old we are in Christ; it doesn’t matter if we are not yet a Christian and still seeking God, or an old-timer who knows God well, we cannot come to God without humbling ourselves before Him. We don’t need fancy words or techniques. What we need, first a foremost, is a humble heart.

Jesus emphasises this in the following parable:
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Luke 18:10-14/ルカによる福音書18:10-14
10 「ふたりの人が祈るために宮に上った。そのひとりはパリサイ人であり、もうひとりは取税人であった。
11 パリサイ人は立って、ひとりでこう祈った、『神よ、わたしはほかの人たちのような・欲な者、不正な者、姦淫をする者ではなく、また、この取税人のような人間でもないことを感謝します。 12 わたしは一週に二度断食しており、全収入の十分の一をささげています』。
13 ところが、取税人は遠く離れて立ち、目を天にむけようともしないで、胸を打ちながら言った、『神様、罪人のわたしをおゆるしください』と。
14 あなたがたに言っておく。神に義とされて自分の家に帰ったのは、この取税人であって、あのパリサイ人ではなかった。おおよそ、自分を高くする者は低くされ、自分を低くする者は高くされるであろう」。

Understanding this, I’d now like to focus on one particular method (or tool) for prayer: the words of Scripture.

There is real value in using the words of Scripture in prayer. I want to emphasise that it’s not about the words, it’s about the heart, but the words of Scripture can lead us to the right heart. It’s in Scripture that God teaches us how to pray. 聖書の言葉を祈りに使うことに本当の価値があります。
Again, I want to emphasise that this doesn’t mean just reading prayers to God to get the job done, but rather modelling the cries of our heart on the words of the Bible. Paraphrasing scripture in our own words.

And what I would like to do today is introduce to you different Scriptures which are particularly suitable for prayer in certain circumstances. I will be giving you these and more in a handout for you to take home and use in your own quiet times. Today, I’m just giving a small sample in 7 areas of prayer. And I will be using The Message paraphrase of the Bible today to give an idea of how you can make familiar passages your own in prayer.

1. Adoration (praise) – the Psalms are great! 賛美
I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King! and I’ll bless your name into eternity.
2 I’ll bless you every day, and keep it up from now to eternity.
3 God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to his greatness.​
Psalm 145:1-3/詩篇145:1-3
1 わが神、王よ、わたしはあなたをあがめ、世々かぎりなくみ名をほめまつります。
2 わたしは日ごとにあなたをほめ、世々かぎりなくみ名をほめたたえます。
3 主は大いなる神で、大いにほめたたえらるべきです。その大いなることは測り知ることができません。

Even in times of sadness and loss, we can express our adoration for God. He never changes and He is always in control, regardless of how our circumstances appear, and He is always worthy of our adoration.

For a good example of this, look at the grand-daddy of suffering: Job. He lost everything but he continued to faithfully exalt God. He wasn’t in denial about his troubles or his pain and he expressed them very clearly to God, but he never forgot that God was always bigger than his circumstances and always worthy of praise.

2. Confession 告白
1-3 Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down.
God, make a fresh start in me,shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!​
Psalm 51:1-2, 10-12/詩篇51:1-2, 10-12
2 わたしの不義をことごとく洗い去り、わたしの罪からわたしを清めてください。
10 神よ、わたしのために清い心をつくり、わたしのうちに新しい、正しい霊を与えてください。
11 わたしをみ前から捨てないでください。あなたの聖なる霊をわたしから取らないでください。
12 あなたの救の喜びをわたしに返し、自由の霊をもって、わたしをささえてください。
Saul’s confession of his sins was not acceptable to God because it wasn’t sincere. David’s sins were just as bad but his confession was sincere and it was accepted by God. The result of a sincere confession to God is restoration.

3. Intercession – Praying for others とりなし-人のために祈る
Intercessory prayer is an act of communion with Christ, for Jesus pleads for the sons of men. – Spurgeon

​•​We can intercede for people: 人のためにとりなしの祈りをする
(Jesus) I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out.
Luke 22:32/ルカによる福音書22:32 わたしはあなたの信仰がなくならないように、あなたのために祈った。
​•​We can intercede for our church 教会のためにとりなしの祈りをする
“And now they’re at it again! Take care of their threats and give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message, as you stretch out your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Acts 4:29-30/使徒言行録4:29-30
30 そしてみ手を伸ばしていやしをなし、聖なる僕イエスの名によって、しるしと奇跡とを行わせて下さい」。
​•​We can intercede for the world 世のためにとりなしの祈りをする
Abraham confronted him, “Are you serious? Are you planning on getting rid of the good people right along with the bad? What if there are fifty decent people left in the city; will you lump the good with the bad and get rid of the lot? Wouldn’t you spare the city for the sake of those fifty innocents? I can’t believe you’d do that, kill off the good and the bad alike as if there were no difference between them. Doesn’t the Judge of all the Earth judge with justice?”
Genesis 18:23-25/創世記18:23-25
24 たとい、あの町に五十人の正しい者があっても、あなたはなお、その所を滅ぼし、その中にいる五十人の正しい者のためにこれをゆるされないのですか。 25 正しい者と悪い者とを一緒に殺すようなことを、あなたは決してなさらないでしょう。正しい者と悪い者とを同じようにすることも、あなたは決してなさらないでしょう。全地をさばく者は公義を行うべきではありませんか」。
As Spurgeon said, the act of intercession binds us closely to Christ and also to those we are praying for. It brings the blessing of God upon those we are praying for and it lifts our fellowship with those we are praying for. Personally, I find that in intercessory prayer, God shows me not only the words for prayer for the people I’m praying for but He shows me the things I can do to help those people in a practical way, too.

4. Supplication – praying for our own needs 懇願-自分の必要のために祈る
Then she made a vow: Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
If you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain, If you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me By giving me a son, I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you. I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.
1 Samuel 1:11/サムエル記上1:11そして誓いを立てて言った、「万軍の主よ、まことに、はしための悩みをかえりみ、わたしを覚え、はしためを忘れずに、はしために男の子を賜わりますなら、わたしはその子を一生のあいだ主にささげ、かみそりをその頭にあてません」。

I suspect a lot of our prayers are prayers of supplication. Prayers of supplication are good and God calls us to “cast all our anxieties on him”. But if we only pray prayers of supplication – if we only pray for ourselves – we are missing out on a lot in prayer. In this method of prayer (today), prayers of supplication form 1/7 of our prayer content. In the Lord’s prayer, prayers of supplication involve maybe 1/5 of our prayer content.

5. Renewal 新しくされる
This might be a new concept to some when it comes to prayer but prayers for renewal are an important part of gaining strength and maturity in our faith. When we come before God in prayer, we’re not just delivering a grocery list of requests. We ourselves are being renewed by God as we commune with Him.
Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:18-20/エフィソの信徒への手紙5:18-20
酒に酔ってはいけない。それは乱行のもとである。むしろ御霊に満たされて、 19 詩とさんびと霊の歌とをもって語り合い、主にむかって心からさんびの歌をうたいなさい。 20 そしてすべてのことにつき、いつも、わたしたちの主イエス・キリストの御名によって、父なる神に感謝し、

Every day, we should be praying for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. Jim Cymbala said, “I am well aware that Christians disagree today on whether the infilling (baptism, empowerment) of the Spirit is part of the salvation ‘package’ or a separate, subsequent experience. Long and intense discussions go on about that. Whatever you or I believe, let us admit that scripture shows bona fide Christians experiencing a fresh infilling. The apostles didn’t claim they already had everything they needed. When they were under attack, they received fresh power, fresh courage, fresh fire from the Holy Spirit.”
毎日、私たちは新しい聖霊の満たしのために祈るべきです。 聖書は正真正銘のクリスチャンが新たに聖霊の満たしを経験していることを示しています。

6. Affirmation 確信
There are many promises and assurances in the Bible and we will be strengthened and can strengthen others if we regularly pray through them. God wants us to be certain of our salvation, certain of our new life in Him, certain of our forgiveness, certain of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. And praying prayers of affirmation is an important part of this strengthening.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Romans 8:38-39/ローマの信徒への手紙8:38-39
わたしは確信する。死も生も、天使も支配者も、現在のものも将来のものも、力あるものも、 39 高いものも深いものも、その他どんな被造物も、わたしたちの主キリスト・イエスにおける神の愛から、わたしたちを引き離すことはできないのである。

7. Thanksgiving – start with adoration for the character and person of God, end with thanks for all he has done and is doing and will do. 感謝をささげる
Blessed be God—
he heard me praying.
He proved he’s on my side;
I’ve thrown my lot in with him.
Now I’m jumping for joy,
and shouting and singing my thanks to him.
Psalm 28:6-7/詩篇28:6-7
7 主はわが力、わが盾。わたしの心は主に寄り頼む。わたしは助けを得たので、わたしの心は大いに喜び、歌をもって主をほめたたえる。

I’d like to finish on a personal note with something that is really on my heart. When we spend time in prayer with God, something happens. It’s not just that God answers our prayers. It’s this: when we spend time talking to God, we become more aware of His love for us, and we fall further in love with Him. That’s what prayer does. It builds the love relationship.

Honestly, if we’re only praying prayers of supplication, then the focus is pretty much on us and us alone. But the more we can pray prayers of adoration and intercession and affirmation and so on as well, the more we will see the love of God, and the greater our love for God will be.