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A Praying Life, Chapter 20

Chapter 20: "A Father's Love" | Week of July 22, 2018

“Jesus told them another parable. 'The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.'” – Matthew 13:33


Paul Miller uses chapter 20 of A Praying Life to tell a multi-year story about the effects of praying that his daughter's faith would blossom, and how God worked to build something more spectacular in his daughter than he ever expected. Like the parable above, which Pastor Sean preached this past Sunday, it is a 'leaven' story.

Miller says, "I slowed down and prayed, 'God, you have got to give Emily faith....' I was keenly aware of my inability to grow faith in her heart. God just had to do it. He didn't have a choice. He was bound by his own covenant." (Page 156)

In Philippians 1:6, Paul writes to the church in Philippi that “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Why? Because God is faithful to his covenant promises. A covenant carries the sense of an oath or obligation on the part of covenant partners, and God takes them seriously. If he says he will work, he will work.

Learning to pray in accordance with God's promises grows our faith the way that yeast works its way through a ball of dough. We might not see it happen at a speed we notice, but suddenly we realize we have been transformed. 


Pastor Sean challenged us in the sermon on Sunday to lean into loving the people God's placed in our life, trusting we would grow into being more kingdom-hearted. Echoing the apostle Paul, he said “it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more” (Phil. 1:9). Is there a situation where you feel like you haven't seen much spiritual fruit in your life? Take a moment to think about what praying God's promises might look like in that life situation.


Pray for God to work the leaven of his kingdom through your heart. Taking the situation above, pray that God would be faithful to his promises to you as one of his children. Your prayer project is to pray for God's kingdom work to be done in your heart, and for trust that even if you're not seeing it at work now, you will one day be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Phil. 1:11)


Please continue to pray this week for Pastor Walt, Bill and Amanda as they serve the teen center on the island of Tinian through the end of the month. They have already been able to pour concrete for a stage, but they have other projects to finish, too. Pray for safe travel, wisdom to share Christ's love well, and flexibility to adapt within an island culture that makes Oahu seem uptight!     


Talk to your kids about God's kingdom being like leaven, or yeast, in bread dough. You might even want to find an online video or bake some bread together to help this idea sink in. Encourage your kids to think about what being a godly adult would look like, and pray with them that they would see God's kingdom produce fruit in their hearts.