Zach Simmons has led the last two personal worship training talks: "Built Up by the Bible & Built Up Through Prayer."

Built Up by the Bible

He introduced the session by saying,

"Christianity is about a person, not an ethnic idea."
- Zach Simmons

His goal for the session was for students to treasure the means God has given to them to relate to Him. 

Colossians 3:16 says, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God."

Simmons summoned three questions to the front of our brains:

  1. Why do we need the Bible to be true?
  2. What does it mean for us to dwell richly?
  3. Why should we want it to dwell in us richly?

Jesus is on every page of the Bible, whether or not we recognized that. We need to dwell richly in the Bible because it is required in order to stake our lives on it. We have to submit to it--sleep on it. Also, we should want and desire it to dwell within us in order to see God's glory.

He wrapped up the conversation by using an analogy between a window and chalet. Most of the time, we stand in the window looking at the Swiss Alps, aka. our lives or faith or anything really, but that was not what we were created for.

We were made for mountains, not mirrors.

 

Built Up Through Prayer

The goal of this talk was to establish how we treasure God's gift of prayer.

Colossians 4:2 states, "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." The Bible calls us to prayer, but why?

Simmons made three points.

  1. Why is it so difficult?
  • To experience God, we must be present.
    • Real moments evoke things we don't want to feel. There are three ways to push off feelings:
      1. Distract ourselves / capture feeling
      2. Dream of things we want / desire
      3. Divulge very little
    • We are afraid of God
    • We don't want to really feel God
  1. What is prayer?
  • Prayer is answering God
    • It is based off what we know of God - regardless of religion.
    • God is relational.
    • God demands a response to His glory.
    • Question: Am I worthy to pray?
  1. Why should we want to pray?
  • It is an invitation into the dance of God's glory.
  • It is an extension of His glory.
  • Who do we dance with? 
    • We dance with a King who is majestic, just, merciful, and gracious.
    • We dance with a Father who sees us as His delight, He is our friend, and His dependent.

God loves you just because He loves you. He does not have to love you, but He chooses to. 

Takeaway:

To be established in Christ, how important is it for you to continue steadfastly in prayer?

Prayer should be a conversation. It should be candid and completely honest. It should be consistent and specific.

Prayer should include:
A. adoration - what is praise-worthy
C. confession - how have I rejected God?
T. thanksgiving - how has He provided for me?
S. supplication - what are my needs and what do I need to resupply?

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