Praying with Our Eyes Wide Open

Praying with Our Eyes Wide Open

Does God want us to retreat from the world and spend all of our time seeking Him in prayer and solitude, or has He called us to go into the world as ambassadors of His coming kingdom? The answer is, “Yes!” For many believers, and most churches, the choice between practicing a prayerful, contemplative faith is always held in contrast and opposition to practicing an active faith. But Jesus not only called us to both, He spent His earthly ministry modeling the importance of each. At Southside, we believe the character of our prayers determines the character of our ministry. Join us for part three of Tightrope as we continue to explore our core values and how they shape who we are and who we hope to become.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

James 2:14-24 (ESV)

What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,

Romans 4:1-5 (ESV)

Core Value:

We believe the character of our praying determines the character of our ministry

  • Prayer (Faith) – Ministry (Works) = Dead Religion
  • Ministry (Works) – Prayer (Faith) = Self-sufficiency
  • Prayer (Faith) + Ministry (Works) = A God-ordained, Christ-exalting, Spirit-empowered ministry

Balance Check:

Questions:

  • Do you use prayer as a cover for inaction?
  • Are you so busy “doing” things “for God” that you’ve totally lost contact with Him?

Daily Readings:

Day 1: James 2
Day 2: Romans 4
Day 3: Ephesians 2
Day 4: Matthew 25
Day 5: Matthew 6
Day 6: Matthew 7
Day 7: Acts 1-2

Suggested Resources:

Books:

Radical, by David Platt
Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper

Other sermon series (visit the sermon page):

The Prayer Journey (2018)
Pray (2012)