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Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Before we say "amen"....

We've looked at the prayer Jesus gave us as our model and unpacked the topics to cover in our communication with the Father. Worship, allegiance to God's Kingdom, submission to His perfect will, petition for what we need (on a daily basis!), confession/forgiveness, supplication for help in trials.  Great stuff.  I hope it's helped our prayer lives, remembering that prayer is not to inform God of what we need (He already knows - see Matthew 6:32) but rather to strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly Father, increasing our intimacy with Him so that we are transformed into the image of His Son.

Looking at James 5:16b, The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working, I find myself wanting to address a few more things.  The familiar King James translation of this verse says "The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much".  We want to "avail much" through our prayer life - what are some other things we need to know?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Come boldly????

Today's thought on prayer is brief.  But significant.  Sometimes we act as though we are bothering God and we practically apologize for coming to Him.  We approach prayer as though we need to beg Him to grant our request. 

That's baloney and I want to help you change that stinkin' thinkin'.  God is the one that thought up the whole idea of prayer anyway!  It's His chosen means of communicating with us, of forging an intimate bond, of sharing His goodness, and of letting us participate in what He's doing. 

His plans for you and me are good, better than we could dream up ourselves.  And He possesses all power and controls all things so He can engineer anything He wants in order to accomplish His plan.

Do you need to make a decision?  Ask Him for wisdom.  Do you have a strained relationship?  Ask Him to show you how to repair it.  Is someone you love living dangerously?  Ask Him to show Himself strong on their behalf.   

Don't be deceived.  Come to Him, knowing the truth.

Matthew 7:11
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Hebrews 4:16
 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


    Monday, June 10, 2013

    What's the answer?

    Have you  ever felt like God didn't answer your prayers?  Well, I have!  Those feelings are not accurate, though.  God answers all prayers of His children.  (Not so for those that don't belong to Him, but that's a subject for another post).

    He always answers....but the answer isn't always "yes".  Sometimes He says "yes", sometimes He says "no", and sometimes He says..."wait."  But He always answers.

    Let's talk for a minute about how we handle those "no" and "wait" answers.  Both of those can be difficult. 

    Saturday, June 8, 2013

    Asking Daddy

    We have a close family friend who has two daughters.  Those girls are all grown up now, but when they were little, their Daddy did the sweetest thing with them. 

    Friday, June 7, 2013

    Closing prayer

    The final topic that Jesus instructed us in prayer says And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.  That sounds confusing, doesn't it?  Because elsewhere in Scripture, we are told that God doesn't tempt anyone (James 1:13).  Not just confusing, that sounds contradictory!!  Is it?

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    As we forgive others

    Forgiveness.  What is it.  Why we should do it.  And how.

    We've already seen why we should forgive.  But it's always good to remind ourselves.  When we forgive, we are acknowledging the forgiveness that God has extended to us.  If we refuse to forgive others, then we put our own relationship with God in danger. (Matthew 18:21-35) No, I'm not saying we lose our salvation.  But I am saying (because the Bible says so) that our prayers will be hindered and we subject ourselves to all kinds of emotional torment.

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Forgive us....

    This is an area we often overlook in prayer.  If we aren't careful, we will see prayer as a one-way conversation, a chance to tell God what we need/want and just look forward to seeing His answers.

    We would be grossly mistaken to view prayer that way.  And we would also find our prayer life sadly ineffective.

    Friday, May 31, 2013

    Scripture prayers link in place

    Chip is home.  So the blog now has a download of Scripture prayers.  See link to the right.  I may do more later but for  now, this is a 31 day format of short verses to pray for yourself, your husband, your children.  Or whomever!!

    Give us this day

    Give us this day, our daily bread

    Let's briefly recap.  The components of prayer.  Come into His presence with worship, acknowledging His character, His attributes.  Then aligning ourselves with His purposes, subjecting ourselves to His sovereign rule.  Desiring His Will, submitting our plans to His, above all.

    Only then do we make our requests, our petitions.  And we need to do it daily.

    Remember the story of the Israelites in the wilderness?  They were without food, desperate.  God sent them bread from Heaven, manna, every day.  Every day, He provided what they needed and every day, they were to gather what He sent.  What they gathered one day didn't last for the next - His provision was abundantly sufficient....for each day, one day at a time.  He didn't allow them to super-store once for all time.  Instead, He allowed them a daily reminder of not only their dependence on Him but also of His faithfulness to supply. 

    That's the principle at work here.  Every day, we ask God for what we need for that day.  The strength, the wisdom, the guidance for the needs of that particular day.  We can't store up on Monday and have it last til Friday.  We need a consistent "diet" of His provision in order to meet the demands for each day.  And we need the continuous remembrance of His faithful presence, of His abundant generosity and grace. 

    Which leads us to the second point here -- not just the "daily" aspect but also the "bread".  It is no coincidence that Jesus described Himself as "The Bread of Life".  He is our sustainer, our strength, our very Life.  HE is what we need when we lack wisdom or power or joy.  He IS all that and more.  All through the day I cry out to Him for the "bread" I need at that moment! For wisdom as I climb the stairs to address an issue with one of my children.  Humbling myself to ask forgiveness of my husband.  Trying to understand a passage of Scripture.  For financial provision...and the wisdom to handle what He sends.  For self-control when I really don't want to exercise but I do want to eat on entire bag of chocolate.  For compassion for others.  For meekness instead of anger.  For kindness towards someone who has hurt me.  For grace to extend forgiveness.  For faithfulness when I'd rather be self-indulgent.  On and on the list of my needs goes.  And on and on I ask for His bread.  Over and over and over.  And He gives.  Generously.  Without reproach.  Every day.  More than I ask.

    He does give good gifts.  But what He really wants us to have is Himself. He is all we need.

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    How can I know God's Will?

    The question of how to know God's will is one of the major concerns of a Christian.  Particularly for 20 somethings who want to know what to study in college and whom to marry!! All of us wrestle with wondering if this or that is what God wills for us.  How can we know? Do we just tack "if it's your will" at the end of our prayers to be "safe"?  If He is sovereign and accomplishing His purpose for the world, why even pray? If I just believe hard enough, can I have whatever I want? Is that what the passage in Matthew 21:2 means?

      And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Thy Will be Done

    Thy Will be done  sounds an awful lot like Thy Kingdom Come.  Is there a difference?

    Monday, May 27, 2013

    Thy Kingdom Come

    The first index, or topic, we find in the Lord's prayer is that of worship.  We acknowledge the holiness of God, His Worthiness.  We come as His beloved children, but we come aware that, apart from the righteousness of Christ bestowed on us when we trust Him to save us, we could not enter into His presence.
    That realization causes us to worship Him, in wonder and love and reverence. Knowing His name, we attest to the attributes that reveal His glory.  We praise Him for His majesty, His sovereignty, His power, His compassion, His provision, and on and on.   That's what it means to fear God.  We are so aware of our UNworthiness to be in His presence -- we realize that we deserve to be melted to nothingness in the fire of His Holiness.  And, yet, because of Jesus's righteousness and the mercy of God to accept His payment on our behalf, we can approach the Throne of God...confidently, even with boldness.  That's practically scandalous! 

    Saturday, May 25, 2013

    "Howard be Thy Name"

    Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name"

    This always makes me think of the story told of the little fella writing a letter to God - he addressed it "Dear Howard".  When asked how he knew God's name was "Howard", he replied - "The Bible says so.  'Our Father, which art in Heaven, Howard be thy name' ".  Don't you love that!!

    Maybe the little guy had the semantics wrong but I think he also had something right.  God wants us to know Him by name.  "Howard" or whatever!

    Friday, May 24, 2013

    Teach me to pray

    Don't you read passages such as
     I John 5:14-15 (And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15and we know that if he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him) and
     James 5:16 (The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working) 
    and wish you could pray with confidence that you would see results?  Me too! 

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    What is prayer?

    Probably a bazillion times, we will tell someone "I'm praying for you".  Probably less than a bazillion times do we actually do it.  Now, I'm not being cynical or critical...just honest.  We are well-intentioned and we really do care about the one we commit to pray for....but sometimes we just don't do it.  Or if we do, it's one of those "arrow prayers" that we shoot up towards Heaven - "please bless Bobby".  We'd be hard-pressed to know if God ever answered many of those.

    So I thought it'd be fun to do some posts on prayer.  God commands us to pray.  We want to pray.  We need to pray.  So let's find out about prayer.