Today in our apologetics class, Lord willing, I will be showing the following video lecture by Abdu Murray titled “Does Prayer Really Help?”
Below is the note-taking form with discussion questions I will hand out to the class:
Does Prayer Really Help? Abdu Murray – 3/11/2018
Abdu Murray’s Testimony
- I thought I_________ was true, and that if it was true, you should believe it too.
- Relativism – “what’s true for you is true for you, what’s true for me is true for me” – Nonsense.
- He used to ask people, “Why are you a Christian?” Most common response, “I don’t know…” Another common response was, “Its tradition.” If its tradition, how do you k______ it’s t_____?
- Most Christians had no response to the objections Abdu would raise.
- Dave and Pete came to his apartment at university every Thursday to share their f___. He grew to love Dave and Pete, because they wanted me in heaven, and he wanted them in heaven.
- Abdu, looking for contradiction in the Bible, comes across Luke 3:7-8 (John the Baptist):
… do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.”
He was saying, you’re relying on your t_________ (children of Abraham) to save you, but t___________ doesn’t save, truth saves. Abdu realized that John the Baptist was agreeing with him, and those words applied to him as well – he was in love with tradition and not with truth.
- Apologetics is about p_______________ – why the Christian faith is true. It was the B___________ that got Abdu thinking about all this in the first place.
- May you never speak with lofty a_______________ and a closed Bible. Use that Word of God!
- There are plenty of things you can lose if you’re a Muslim and you become a Christian.
- He began to see the beauty of the Gospel and that God is a t_____ God, when all of that became real to him, not just intellectually, but also in his spirit/heart, he gave his life to the Lord.
Does Prayer Really Help?
- He studied different religious systems, Hinduism, Buddhism, atheism, Confucianism, Etc.
- He’s convinced that the Christian worldview is u______________ t_________. It teaches us who God is, and who we are in relation to God. It conforms to reality.
- Does prayer help? Depends on what you mean by prayer & depends on what you mean by help.
- George Carlin made some very serious challenges against the Christian faith.
- Carlin prayed to God, and got what he wanted half the time, so did an experiment. He prayed to Joe Pesci instead. The results were the same. Therefore, he concludes, maybe there is no God?
- Carlin says, when you don’t get what you want, you say “it wasn’t part of the divine plan”. That’s a c_________ o__________. You’re just “talking to the wall”.
- In your darkest times, you may think I’ve been praying the same thing for 15 years and nothing has changed. Am I just talking to nobody? Is anybody l____________________?
- George Carlin presents a caricature of prayer-he only has it half right. So, only having it half right, he gets it all wrong. God is not a “Divine v______________ m______________”.
- The common misconception of prayer: it is the avenue through which we ask God for “stuff”.
- Matthew 6:7-13 (The Lord’s Prayer). Unfortunate name for it-isn’t the prayer the Lord actually prayed, because the prayer requests forgiveness. Yet we know that He needed no forgiveness.
- Don’t babble & don’t pray a “f______________”. God wants your heart, speak from your heart!
- 2 examples of short, simple prayers: 1) tax collector: “God have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:9-14). 2) The father who prayed, “I believe, help me with my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
- If the Lord already knows what you need, then w_________ a_________ Him?
- Prayer not just about asking for a bunch of things, but asking for our needs, based on God’s w__
- Plenty of things we want, but only a f______ things we need. We have way more than we need!
- He wants to change what we think we need to c______________ us so that we seek Him.
- Familiarity breeds contempt. The more you h_______ something, the less important it is to you.
- Abdu comes from a worldview where it is considered blasphemy to call God your Father.
- It is it is Christianity alone that allows you to call the One who created the universe “D_______”. It isn’t just D_________, or father, but His very name is holy.
- It is only the Christian faith that allows for God to be father, and yet majestic, at the same time.
- You begin to see who you are through prayer. You are a c___________ of the k__________!
- The primacy is for God’s will to be done. But God gives us our needs every day. It’s God’s basic will that you have your n________ m_____. He wants to give you more, but that’s his basic will.
- What needs? Food & clothing – yes, but the very next words are forgive us our debts. Our most fundamental need isn’t food, but to be forgiven. We’re in desperate need of daily f___________
- Every other worldview says we can f__ ourselves. Malcolm Muggeridge said that the doctrine of original sin is the most hotly-contested doctrine of all, yet it has the most evidence in its favor.
- If you want evidence that humans are in need of a Savior, just turn on the news for 5 minutes.
- If I could put your t____________ for the last 24 hours on screen for everyone, how many of you would say, “oh no problem!” or how many of you would run out of this room screaming?
- Jesus does not tell you what you want to hear. He says, “out of the heart comes evil thoughts, adulteries” (Matt. 15:19). i.e. you’re evil, come follow Me! That’s a terrible recruiting poster. He’s not telling you what you w________ to hear, He’s telling you what you n________ to hear.
- Story about woman whose only son was murdered-ended up inviting that murderer to live next to her. He was so impacted by her example of forgiveness, that he gave his life to the Lord.
- Your job in prayer is not to get s_________ from God, it’s to get in c________________ with God. He wants to give you character, and not stuff. He wants to change the world through you.
- Prayer is not about conforming God’s will to your will, it is about conforming your will to God’s will. If this is what you mean by prayer, it a______________ w_____________!
- Example from Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (…there was given me a t____________ in my flesh…)
- Idols will eat you alive, what you need is contentment!
- The best thing you can get from God this side of heaven is c_______________. What a gift!
- Matt Chandler w/ brain cancer – “I now get to live the faith I preach”.
- Have I been treating prayer as my A___ machine? Or have I been seeking God’s will for my life?
- What God wants you have more than anything is to be l___________ His Son!
- What was the main point made by George Carlin related to prayer?
- Does unanswered prayer mean that God does not exist or Christianity is not true?
- What request that you’ve been praying to God for a long time about, where you’ve not received an answer yet? Have you wondered why there is no answer? Is it according to God’s will?
- What other Scriptures tell us about prayer? What are great examples of prayer in the Bible? (Philippians 4:6-7; Luke 18:1-8 [the persistent widow]; Luke 18:9-14 [the Pharisee & tax collector]; Psalms 55:22; Psalms 139:13-16,23-24; Psalms 86:11; Psalms 119:11; Psalms 51:1-17; Revelation 4:11)
- According to Abdu Murray, does prayer work? What about according to you?