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Encounter – Encountering God Through Prayer

February 18, 2024
Scott Wiens
Explore the transformative power of prayer with Pastor Scott Wines in "Encounter - Encountering God through Prayer," a journey into spiritual growth and community.

In the heart-stirring sermon “Encounter – Encountering God through Prayer,” Pastor Scott Wines embarks on an exploratory journey into the depths of prayer, drawing inspiration from the transformative narrative of Lee Strobel and the devout practices of the early Christian church. Through this exploration, Scott unveils the profound impact that prayer can have on our spiritual lives, echoing the sentiments and teachings found in Acts 2 and the Apostle Paul’s epistles.

Scott begins by setting the stage with Strobel’s quest to debunk Christianity, a journey that unexpectedly led him to a deep, personal faith. This modern testimony parallels the dramatic conversions witnessed in the early church, providing a contemporary framework for understanding the timeless power of prayer. By examining the early Christian commitment to prayer, Scott emphasizes its foundational role in fostering spiritual growth, community cohesion, and the indelible joy found in a life dedicated to faith.

Delving into the Apostle Paul’s writings, Scott highlights the extraordinary capacity for joy and thankfulness that Paul maintained, even while imprisoned. These epistles, rich with expressions of gratitude and spiritual freedom, serve as a beacon for believers today, encouraging us to encounter God through prayer with the same fervor and heart. Scott draws attention to the early church’s devotion to prayer, as outlined in Acts 2:42, and uses Paul’s prayer for the Philippians to dissect four key elements essential for a meaningful prayer life: thankfulness, joy, gospel-centeredness, and intercession.

The sermon further explores the integral role of thankfulness and joy in our prayers. By reflecting on the Jewish tradition of memorized prayers and the transformation of these prayers following a personal encounter with Christ, Scott advocates for a prayer life that is imbued with gratitude, recognizing the church’s imperfections while celebrating its significance as the body of Christ.

Scott also addresses the distinction between happiness and joy, illustrating how true joy, unlike happiness, remains steadfast regardless of our circumstances. Through stories of individuals like Paul Queen from the faith community, who maintains a spirit of joy amidst health challenges, Scott underscores the unshakeable nature of joy in the life of a believer.

As the sermon concludes, the focus shifts to the critical nature of intercessory prayer, rooted in genuine love and unwavering in its commitment to the gospel’s truth. Scott challenges us to pray with the intensity and affection exemplified by Paul, fostering a prayer life that not only seeks personal communion with God but also earnestly intercedes for others.

In “Encounter – Encountering God through Prayer,” Pastor Scott Wines extends an invitation to all—whether steadfast believers or those at the threshold of faith—to deepen their connection with the Divine through prayer. This sermon encourages us to embrace prayer as a transformative practice, rich with thankfulness, joy, and a commitment to the gospel, leading us to a more profound encounter with God and a strengthened bond within the community of believers.