Title: Getting High (Part 2)

Focus: When you are feeling tired, apathetic, and disillusioned in your faith, the first thing to do is what Jesus did. He took time to slow down and pray in order to maintain a godly perspective on life

Function: To motivate the hearers to spend more qualitity time in prayer with God, and together with family and brethren

Text: Matt 6:24-34

1.  What should I do?  Feel embittered, apathetic, almost not make it to worship
	a.  This death valley seems never ending
	b.  Sand of bitterness blinded me
	c.  Dry winds of apathy dehydrates my joy and strength
	d.  Cold nights numb my heart, sun heat up anger.  Where is the joy???
2.  Don't get discouraged
	a.  God is bigger than the valley
	b.  Instead of valley swallowing you up, God will swallow you up in his joy
3.  If can't see the way out, looking in the wrong place.  Where to look?
4.  Look to Jesus
	a.  Heb 2 - He shared in flesh and blood, made like us in all things
	b.  Heb 4 - He tempted in all things as we have
	c.  So he knows the way out?  
5.  How did Jesus keep from getting stuck in the valley?

I.  He slowed down
	A.  How does slowing down keep you from getting stuck?
		1.  Shouldn't  "doing more" help get you out?
		2.  Besides, how do we know Jesus slowed down?
	B.  ILL:  Came out one day, boys huddled around on the sidwalk
		1.  They watching a line of ants
		2.   Time seemed to stand still as they watched in wide-eyed 
		3.  Ever notice how children captivated by wonder of creation?
			a.  They stop and ponder the grasshopper, sparrow
			b.  They stop all they are doing, focus on one little thing
		4.  Some day will grow up & not notice these things
			a.  Will analyze and explain everything
			b.  Will strive hard to worry and understand
			c.  Wind up in valley
	C.  (Mt 6:24-34) - Notice HOW Jesus teaches us to stay out of the valley
		1.  "Look" at the birds; "Observe" or "consider" the lillies of the field
		2.  Tells us to slow down and contemplate quietly like a child
		3.  Can tell a lot about God from his creation
		4.  Jesus must have done this often
			a.  Lessons from sheep, hairs on head, seasons, trees
			b.  Jesus slowed down and considered
			c.  No wonder he wants us to be like children!
	D.  For many of us, slowing down means re-ordering our lives
		1.  Change way of thinking - You not lazy when slow down
			a.  Was God lazy when he rested?
			b.  Was he commanding laziness on Sabbath?
		2.  Slowing down good for physical, emotional, and spiritual health
		3.  The word we use is "retreat"
			a.  Need a periodic spiritual retreat
			b.  As a couple, family, congregation, or individually
		4.  But contemplation is not enough

II.  He slowed down so he could get in touch with God
	A.  Mere contemplation not enough
		1.  Purpose of "looking" at birds and lillies of the field?
		2.  To learn to "seek first his rule in your life and his righteousness"
	B.  Notice what Jesus does when he slows down
		1.  (Mark 1:35) - Early morning when dark, went away to pray
		2.  (Luke 22:39) - Going off to pray was his "habit"
		3.  Prayer kept him focused on way out of the valley
		4.  Never lost sight of his true love
	C.  ILL:  Like a marriage to God.  Pickles and Peanut Butter
		1.  God marriages don't just happen
		2.  Have learned I need to STOP and just BE with my wife
		3.  We periodically need to reconnect with God too
		4.  STOP, and devote full attention to God
	D.  I am convinced most of us do not pray enough
		1.  For some - To busy in the valley, we don't have time
			a.  For others - Just don't know how to pray to God
			b.  Hits home because I have never been satisfied with
			     my own prayer life
		2.  How to get prayer life where it is supposed to be?
			a.  "Spiritual DISIPLINE"
			b.  Like any other discipline, takes practice
		3.  Child not learn to express desire, emotions, thoughts overnight
			a.  With continued practice, they develop vocabulary
			b.  Over time, we develop spiriutal vocabulary
		4.  In the mean time, when don't know what to pray - Spirit does
			a.  (Rom 8:26) - Spirit intercedes with groanings to deep 
			     for words
			b.  He provides words when none will come

1.  If in valley, first step is to slow down, get in habit of praying
2.  If not in valley - Pro actively slow down and get in habit of praying
	a.  SLOW DOWN and "consider"  "observe"  "contemplate"
	b.  Not just nature, but everything
	c.  Jesus didn't contemplate just nature
		- Remember what happened when approached Jerusalem
		- He wept over the city!
		- He contemplated all those people, lost!
		- Kept him focused on his mission, and the way out of valley
	a.  Become prayer warriors - Take time out to do so
	b.  Elders and deacons to pray more as a group
	c.  Ladies to pray more
	d.  Fathers and mothers, pray with children more, and as a couple
5.  Suggestions for slowing down and contemplating
	a.  Do so regularly
	b.  Bible reading, and journal prayers and insights
	c.  Read from Psalms, Proverbs, Eccl, Job, Habbakuk, Lamentations
	d.  Read devotional classics - The Pilgrims Progress, My Utmost for His 
	      Highest, The Greatest Thing
6.  Doing so will enable you to face the challenge of the desert, valley

7.  Do you need to pray today?  (Invitation)