Responding To God's Invitation To Come




Final Prayer Thoughts

Respond to God’s Invitation to Come
(January - Week 3)


(1).  
Mark 6:31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

(2).  
Luke 18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

(3).  
Mark 14:34, 37 "Stay here and keep watch." ... Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.  "Simon," he said to Peter, "are you asleep?  Couldn't you keep watch for one hour?

(4).  
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.

(5). "We hear it said that a man will suffer in life if he does not pray; I question it.  What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him which is nourished not by food but by prayer."  
[Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest]

(6).  
Prayer thought: God encourages always to come and know him.  The invitation is not based on crisis or availability but on everything and always.

The Next Generation



Final Prayer Thoughts

The Next Generation
(January - Week 2)

(1). Exodus 3:15 God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has sent me to you.'"This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.

(2). Psalm 71:17-18 Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. 18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

(3). Psalm 145:4 One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.

(4). 1 Samuel 3:7-10 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8 A third time the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening.”

(5). Luke 11:1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

(6). “Praying Samuels come from praying Hannahs. Praying priests come from ‘the house of prayer.’ Praying leaders come from praying homes.” [E.M. Bounds, Praying and Praying Saints]

(7). Prayer thought: How will the next generation learn to call on God; hear of God’s mighty acts, or know how to listen to God? One must teach them to pray. Our generation is called to pray for and teach the next generation.

Prayer Leads To Action




Final Prayer Thoughts
Prayer Leads to Action
(January - Week 1)

(1). Genesis 12:24-15 Then he prayed, "LORD, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a young woman, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too'--let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder.

(2). Acts 10:30-33 Cornelius answered: "Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come.

(3). Acts 16:25-26 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone's chains came loose.

(4). “Action without prayer is arrogance, prayer without action is hypocrisy.” [Jose Zayas]

(5). Prayer thought: The church does not lack in action and ministry; it lacks in the prayer that precedes action and ministry. When we pray we find that God acts, does ministry, and invites us to participate with him.

Pray for Mercy



Pray for Mercy
(December Week 5)

(1). Isaiah 64:8-9 Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9 Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people.

(2). Psalm 51:1-4 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight

(3). Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(4). Lamentations 3:55-57 I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. 56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” 57 You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

(5). “Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful.” [C.S. Lewis]

(6). Prayer thought: Mercy and justice go hand in hand. We are called to forgive “seventy times seven” when wronged. Just as God forgave us and showed us mercy, so we must forgive others. We shouldn’t seek God for revenge on our enemies; rather we should do as Jesus Christ showed us, and that is seek God’s mercy and forgiveness on others who do us wrong. In the midst of our shortcomings, failures and sin, we must seek God’s mercy so that He may refresh and renew us. His mercies are new every morning - what an encouragement!

Pray Specifically




Pray Specifically for the Event/Occasion
(December Week 4)

(1). Luke 22:31-32 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
(2). 1 Kings 18:36-39 36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. 39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”
(3). Luke 11:9-13 9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
(4). Genesis 32:9-12 9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”
(5). Judges 16:28 28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”
(6). Prayer thought: Scripture is full of examples where God’s people cry out for a very specific need, and He is faithful to hear His people and gracious enough to answer according to His good will and purpose. What’s more, we see Jesus model specific prayer as an example and encouragement to all Believers that the Father is intimately involved and indeed cares about every situation in our lives. It is our Father’s heart to bless His children, and in so doing He wants to give us what we ask. What incredible power the Lord has given us through prayer!

Pray Without Ceasing



Pray Without Ceasing
(December Week 3)

(1). 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

(2). Romans 12:11-12 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

(3). Luke 6:12-16 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

(4). Luke 18:1-8 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

(5). As every day demands its bread, so every day demands its prayer - [E.M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer].

(6). Prayer thought: We are called to pray as Believers as naturally as we breathe in air. Just as we do not think about every breath we take, we should not have to think about continual prayer with our Lord. Our prayers need not be polished and neat, rather we should approach God with honest and open hearts and minds anywhere, anytime. As Scripture shows that Jesus did nothing other than the will of the Father, we know Jesus was in constant prayer with the Father to ensure that at all times in all circumstances He was perfectly doing God’s will. As we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ, our prayer life will become an automatic, continual dialogue with the Lord.

Intercession




Prayer: Intercession
(December Week 2)

(1). Exodus 32:7-14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’ 9 “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” 11 But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” 14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

(2). Acts 12:5-7 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. 6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

(3). John 17: 20-21 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

(4). Jesus Christ carries on intercession for us in heaven; the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth; and we the saints have to carry on intercession for all men. [Oswald Chambers]

(5). Prayer thought: We have graciously been given the right to boldly approach our Father through Jesus Christ for all things. The Lord hears the prayers of His people and will give what we ask according to His good will and purpose. God often places people and engineers circumstances in our lives for the purpose of intercessory prayer. If we take the time to recognize that and pray accordingly, He is faithful to hear us and answer us.

Intense Prayer - Spiritual Warfare



Intensity Prayer: Spiritual Warfare
(December Week 1)

(1). Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

(2). Daniel 10:12-13 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

(3). Luke 22:31-32 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.

(4). The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. [Samuel Chadwick]

(5). Prayer thought: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or magician with the same delight” (C.S. Lewis.  The Screwtape Letter. 1941, p. 3). Balance in spiritual warfare is experienced through prayer.

What Is the Fruit of Persecution?



What is the Fruit of Persecution
(November - Week 4)

(1). Acts 8:1, 4 On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria… 4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. (Fruit - evangelism)

(2). “To Mrs. Litovchenko, the paralyzed wife of the pastor whom we killed along the Eizovo River: I wish to tell you that I am sorry, more than you can ever know. To Nina Rudenko, the beautiful little teen-age girl whose life was ruined by my attack group, I ask, please forgive us. And, finally, to Natasha, whom I beat terribly and who was willing to be beaten a third time for her faith, …, largely because of you, my life is now changed and I am a fellow believer in Christ with you. I have a new life before me. God has forgiven me; I hope you can also.” (Fruit - conversion of persecutors) [Sergei Kourdakov, The Persecutor]

(3). “Philip James Elliot was an evangelical Christian missionary to Ecuador who, along with four others, was killed while attempting to evangelize the Waodani people through efforts known as Operation Auca. Elliot and his friends became instantly known worldwide as martyrs, and Life Magazine published a ten-page article on their mission and death. They are credited with sparking an interest in Christian missions among the youth of their time and are still considered an encouragement to Christian missionaries working throughout the world.” (Fruit - other missionaries) [http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/Jim-Elliot-Quotes/]

(4). “With tears in his eyes, (pseudonym) ’Pencil’ told Andrew the fate of his three friends. He shared how they had been bold witnesses for Christ, and how he had hid in fear as his best friends were taken away,” the report said. “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” Andrew asked, and “Pencil” told him, “I want to learn how to be brave like my friends, and unafraid to share Jesus.” … (“Pencil” was later arrested after he had returned to North Korea) His following interrogation quickly turned to torture, VOM said, as officers demanded to know the source of the Bible, and that “Pencil” recant… Beatings and torture, including pulling out his fingernails, followed… He was ordered to a labor camp. “Because of his endurance and how he shared the love of Jesus, many in the camp turned to Christ,” the VOM report said. “After two months in the camp, Pencil died. He never saw his 20th birthday. His body was removed from the camp, but the fruit of his short ministry there lived on.” (Fruit - courage to other believers) [Voice of the Martyrs - October 26, 2006 - Teen’s Testimony of Faith Unstopped By Death]

(5). Galatians 1:22-24 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: "The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.

(6). Prayer thought: Acts 9: 4-5 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5“Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,”. When one is hacking at the vine branches, they are hacking at the vine. When one is persecuting the Christian, they are persecuting Christ. There will come a time when those who have died for Christ will see judgment (Revelations 6:9-11). Yet now as we pray for both the persecuted and the persecutors, we give thanks that there is fruit to the glory of God and Jesus Christ.

Who Are the Persecutors?




Who Are the Persecutors
(November - Week 3)

(1). “There was no question that Moiseyev must be brought to a formal trial. For eighteen incredible months he had openly defied the Red army and withstood the most dedicated political efforts at reeducation. His insistence that he had not broken any Soviet laws but was suffering as a believer was a direct slander against the Soviet stated and social order.” [Persecutors: the Russian Army (Vanya - Chapter 11)]

(2). “A new report has just emerged on the treatment of Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh, a 44-year-old Mennonite minister sentenced last year to 11 years in prison for allegedly attempting to "undermine national unity." The charge is a common one used by the Vietnamese government to detain political prisoners, including pastors who refuse to stop conducting ministry work without government permission.” [Persecutors: the Vietnamese government (International Christian Concern - October 21, 2013)]

(3). In Israel - “Both Arab and Jewish believers are persecuted and harassed, sometimes violently. Muslim extremists periodically persecute Arab Christians, particularly those from Muslim backgrounds... In addition, there have been several incidents of persecution against Jewish believers by ultra-orthodox Jews within Israel. Well-organized and well-funded Jewish groups, such as Yad L’Achim, are dedicated to removing the witness of Christ from Israel, and these groups have influence within the Israeli government. These anti-missionary, ultra-orthodox Jewish groups have increasingly resorted to violence in recent years.” [Persecutors: other religious groups - Jewish and Muslim (Voice of the Martyrs - Restricted Nations)]

(4). “For the eleventh year running, this (North Korea) is the most difficult place on earth to be a Christian. One of the remaining Communist states, it is vehemently opposed to religion of any kind. Christians are classified as hostile and face arrest, detention, torture, even public execution. There is a system of labour camps including the renowned prison No. 15, which reportedly houses 6,000 Christians alone. But despite severe oppression, there is a growing underground church movement of an estimated 400,000 Christians.” [Persecutors: North Korean government - 50 Worst Countries to Live in if You are a Christian (Open Doors USA)]

(5). Acts 22:4 I (Paul) persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, ...

(6). Prayer thought: Matthew 5:43-44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Governments, religious groups, or individuals, we pray for the persecutors to come to know Christ.

Where Is the Persecuted Church?




Where is the Persecuted Church Today
(November - Week 2)

(1). One young woman in Eritrea was tortured in order to get her to recant. With that not working, the prison commander was able to arrest her visiting pastor, then told her that the pastor had denied Christ and had regretted deceiving those in the Church in following Christ. They told her that the pastor urged her to deny Christ also. She responded, “I do not believe my pastor would deny his Savior. But even if he did, I would not deny my Lord and Redeemer. I do not follow my pastor. I follow Christ, my Lord.” [International Christian Concern - 10/25/2013]

(2). A member of Afghanistan’s parliament has suggested that anyone who converts from Islam to Christianity should be executed in order to stop the rapid growth of Christianity among Afghans. The declaration by Nazir Ahmad Hanafi is the latest in a series of anti-Christian statements by Afghan public officials. An Afghan news service quoted Mr. Hanafi as saying, “Numerous Afghans have become Christians in India. This is an offense to Islamic laws, and according to the Quran, they need to be executed.” [Voice of the Martyrs - 9/19/2013]

(3). A number of Christians in Syria are deciding to stay behind and heed what they say is God's call to reach out to their Muslim neighbors despite the violent attacks against them. [The Christian Post Interview With Open Doors USA - 10/5/2013]

(4). Rebel groups and drug lords in Colombia thrive on violence and chaos. Hostile toward Christianity they threaten pastors and church-leaders who work to spread the peace of Jesus. Those who preach the gospel are given a choice; stop their activities or lose their children. Threatened, most choose to continue doing God’s work… in spite of the risk. [One With Them - Stories of Persecution - 2012]

(5). “The first request from persecuted Christians is often ‘Pray for us.’” [Voice of the Martyrs]

(6). 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned;struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

(7). Prayer thought: What is the cost for our brothers and sisters to be persecuted in the Church today? What is the cost for us to pray for these brothers and sisters?

Who Is the Persecuted Church?




Praying for the Persecuted Church

Who is the Persecuted Church
(November 2013 - Week 1)

(1). Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

(2). Hebrews 11:35-38 There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

(3). 2 Timothy 3:10-12 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings--what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

(4). John 15:18-20 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

(5). “Against the persecution of a tyrant, the godly have no remedy but prayer.” [John Calvin]

(6). Prayer thought: Jesus said we will be hated and we will be persecuted. We are promised blessing and reward in return. But if we are free from persecution at the present time, we are not free from praying for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted.

Praying With and For Our Leaders



Praying With And For Our Leaders

(October 2013 - Week 4)

(1). 1 Kings 13:6 Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.

(2). 1 Kings 14:7-8a Go, tell Jeroboam that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: “I raised you up from among the people and made you a leader over my people Israel. 8I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, ...”

(3). John 19:10-11a "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" 11 Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.

(4). Daniel 2:19-21 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said: "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. 21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

(5). 1 Timothy 2:1-4 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people-- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

(6). “We think it is incumbent upon this people to humble themselves before God on account of their sins... and also to implore the Divine Blessing upon us, that by the assistance of His grace, we may be enabled to reform whatever is amiss among us, that so God may be pleased to continue to us the blessings we enjoy.” [John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence]

(7). Prayer thought: There is a time for politics and there is a time for prayer. Our culture encourages us to spend more time with politics. Our God encourages us to spend more time in prayer and in praying for those in politics.

Praying With and For Our Friends




Praying With And For Our Friends

(October 2013 - Week 3)

(1). Luke 22:31-32 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

(2). Colossians 1:9-12 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

(3). Acts 4:23-24(a) & 31 23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God...31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

(4). Romans 15:30-32 30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.

(5). “George Muller a man of prayer and man of faith.  A definite prayer of importunity follows: ‘In November, 1844, I began to pray for the conversion of five individuals. I prayed every day without a single intermission, whether sick or in health, on the land or on the sea, and whatever the pressure of my engagements might be. Eighteen months elapsed before the first five was converted. I thanked God and prayed on for the others. Five years elapsed, and then the second was converted. I thanked God for the second, and prayed on for the other three. Day by day I continued to pray for them, and six years passed before the third was converted. I thanked God for the three and went on praying for the other two. These two remained unconverted.’ Those prayers? You ask. In 1897, those two men, sons of a friend of Mr. Müller’s youth, were not converted, after he had entreated God in their behalf for 52 years daily. But after his death God brought them in the fold.” [George Müller by Basil Miller, pg. 146]

(6). Prayer thought: Our prayer with our friends can help them find strength in God (1 Samuel 23:16). Our prayer for our friends can be part of loving them deeply, with a love that covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). (Peter learned this when he asked Jesus how many times he should forgive a brother who sinned against him [Matthew 18:21-22]). Praying with and for friends is a means of blessing that extends beyond our resources to the riches we’ve accessed in Christ.

Praying With and For the Children



Praying With And For the Children
(October 2013 - Week 2)

(1). Matthew 19:13-15 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

(2). Psalm 127:3-5(a) 3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

(3). Proverbs 2:1-6 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

(4). Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
(5). “Samuel came into this world and was given life in direct answer to prayer. He was born of a praying mother whose heart was full of earnest desire for a son. He came into life under prayer surroundings, and his first months in this world were spent in direct contact with a woman who knew how to pray.” [E.M. Bounds, Prayer and Praying Saints]

(6). Prayer thought: Acknowledging children as gifts from the Lord, we must seek to establish a genuine and consistent prayer life in them. We do so by instruction and training, however the greatest impact we may have is by example. By teaching and modeling the necessity of a strong prayer life, the Lord will establish a firm foundation within children so that they may always walk with Him.

Praying With and For Your Spouse



Praying With And For the Spouse
(October 2013 - Week 1)

(1). Matthew 18:18-20 18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.19 Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” [We are promised transformative power through prayer with our spouse and a guarantee that Christ will meet us uniquely as we come together to do so.]

(2). 1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers [We are warned of what can hinder the husband’s prayer. A husband who mistreats his wife will not be one who fully prays for her.] Genesis 25:21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.

(3). 1 Corinthians 7:3-5(a) 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. [Prayer with your spouse invites Christ into your marriage, strengthens the bond of marriage, encourages unity and deepens emotional intimacy.]

(4). “There is a power in conferring and covenanting, on the part of kindred spirits, to come before God, and plead together some special promise.” [J. B. Johnston, The Prayer Meeting and Its History]

(5). Prayer thought: The centrality of Christ within a marriage is displayed by coming together in regular prayer.

Learning To Pray From Other Christians



Learning to Pray From Other Christians
(September 2013 - Week 5)

(1). “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” [Martin Luther]

(2). "God was pleased to grant me divine sweetness in prayer; especially in the duty of intercession. I think, I never felt so much kindness and love to those who, I have reason to think, are my enemies,--though at that time I found such a disposition to think the best of all, that I scarce knew how to think that any such thing as enmity and hatred lodged in any soul; it seemed as if all the world must needs be friends. I never prayed wth more freedom and delight for myself, or dearest friend, than I did now for my enemies." [David Brainerd]

(3). “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will make a man cease from prayer.” [John Bunyan] “He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find him the rest of the day.”

(4). “Quit playing, start praying. Quit feasting, start fasting. Talk less with men, talk more with God. Listen less to men, listen to the words of God. Skip travel, start travail.” [Leonard Ravenhill]

(5). Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us...

(6). Prayer thought: We are surrounded by witnesses in history who taught us what they learned from praying, and who would encourage us to go beyond what they had learned.

Learning To Pray From the Prophets




Learning to Pray From the Prophets
(September 2013 - Week 4)

(1). James 5:16b-18 The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. [Elijah - learning to pray effectively and powerful out of living in righteousness.]

(2). Daniel 9:19-23 “Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name." 20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill-- 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, "Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.” [Daniel - learning to confess own sin and others, and being assured that we have been heard by God.]

(3). Jeremiah 42:1-4 Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, "Please hear our petition and pray to the LORD your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. 3 Pray that the LORD your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do." 4 "I have heard you," replied Jeremiah the prophet. "I will certainly pray to the LORD your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the LORD says and will keep nothing back from you." [Jeremiah - learning to intercede for others.]

(4). “When God has something to say, he takes hold of a prophet. So says Amos (3:7), who gives us insight into this line of work. For Amos, as for others, God is One whose voice cannot be ignored. He speaks often, and when he does, there is no recourse but to get up, go out, and deliver the message. God plucks his prophets from the temple, the orchard, and the marketplace, fuses his terrible love into their hearts, and sets them loose in the henhouse. Feathers fly.” [Dan Schmidt, Unexpected Wisdom: Major Insight From the Minor Prophets]

(5). Prayer thought: The prophets prayed and acted in response to what God spoke to them. 1 Corinthians 14:31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. If we are encouraged to prophesy, then we should expect to hear from God in prayer so we can respond to what God has said.

Learning To Pray From Peter



Learning to Pray From Peter
(September 2013 - Week 2)

(1). Luke 9:28, 32 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. [Peter got sleepy while praying.] Mark 14:39-40 Once more he (Jesus) went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. [Peter fell completely asleep while praying.] 1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. [Peter learned to be alert while praying and taught others to do the same.]

(2). Acts 10:9-14, 17-20 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." 14 "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." 17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. 19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them." [Peter prayed and listened.]

(3). Acts 9:36-41 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!" 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. [Peter prayed and acted from that praying.]

(4). “I thank God for the story of Peter. I do not know a man in the Bible who gives us greater comfort. When we look at his character, so full of failures, and at what Christ made him by the power of the Holy Spirit, there is hope for every one of us.” [Andrew Murray, The Collected Works and Sermons of Reverend Andrew Murray]

(5). Prayer thought: Though Peter knows that he is a sinful man, fears drowning in the waves, falls asleep while praying, and denies Jesus at his arrest, Peter recognizes Jesus’ authority and position as his Lord. After the resurrection Peter is filled with the Spirit, continues his relationship with Jesus in prayer, and confidently follows his Lord’s leading from that prayer.

Learning To Pray From Jesus



Learning to Pray From Jesus

(September 2013 - Week 1)

(1). Luke 18:9-14 9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' 14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." [Humble ourselves before God in prayer.]

(2). Matthew 19:13-15 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. [Pray for the children.]

(3). Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. [Praying is a battle with our weak flesh.]

(4). John 11:41-43 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" [Praying is knowing that God always hears us.]

(5). “I determined to learn to pray so that my experience conformed to the words of Jesus rather than try to make his words conform to my impoverished experience.” [Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline]

(6). Prayer thought: Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. We continually learn to pray from Jesus because he continually lives to pray for us.

Hindrances to Prayer - Disobedience



Hindrances to Prayer

Disobedience (August 2013 - Week 4)

(1). Deuteronomy 1:42-45 But the LORD said to me, "Tell them, 'Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.'" 43 So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the LORD's command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah. 45 You came back and wept before the LORD, but he paid no attention to your weeping and turned a deaf ear to you.

(2). Joshua 7:10-12 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.

(3). Luke 6:46 Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say?

(4). John 3:21-22 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

(5). “My case is urgent, and I do not see how I am to be delivered; but this is no business of mine. He who makes the promise will find ways and means of keeping it. It is mine to obey His commands; it is not mine to direct His counsels.” [C.H. Spurgeon]

(6). Prayer thought: Disobedience is my refusal to obey God, his word, commands, laws, and direction. Obedience is praying “God speak to me, and I will do it.” Our desire to hear and obey God should be similar to Cornelius in Acts 10:33 - “So I sent for you (Peter) immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

Hindrances to Prayer - Sin



Hinderances to Prayer


Sin (August 2013 - Week 3)

(1). Jeremiah 7:12-16 "'Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 While you were doing all these things, declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer. 14 Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors. 15 I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.' 16 "So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you.

(2). Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; ...

(3). James 1:13-15 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

(4). “He who seeks God and who yet is unwilling to forsake sin, will not find Him because he is seeking Him where He cannot be found. [Jeanne MarieBouvier De La Motte Guyon, A Short Method of Prayer]

(5). Prayer thought: Sin hinders prayer. The solution to resolving that hindrance is a prayer of repentance, seen in the example to Israel - 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Hindrances to Prayer - Disunity



Hinderances to Prayer


Disunity (August 2013 - Week 2)

(1). James 4:1-3 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

(2). 1 Corinthians 1:10-11 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.

(3). John 17:22-23 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one-- 23 I in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

(4). “Often we want people to pray for us and help us, but we always defeat our object when we look too much to them and lean upon them. The true secret of union is for both to look upon God, and in the act of looking past themselves to Him they are unconsciously united.” [A.B. Simpson, Christ is the Head]

(5). Prayer thought: Our pride always offends others resulting in disunity. The result is the tarnishing of Godly relationships leading to quarrels which distances us from God. As Christ is unified with the Father, so must every Believer be unified so that we may draw close in prayer to our Heavenly Father.

Hindrances To Prayer - Unbelief



Hindrances to Prayer


Unbelief/Lack of Faith (August 2013 - Week 1)

(1). Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

(2). 2 Corinthians 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight.

(3). Hebrews 3:12 See to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

(4). James 1:6-7 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

(5). “Unbelief is not a misfortune to be pitied; it is a sin to be deplored. Its sinfulness lies in the fact that it contradicts the word of the one true God and thus attributes falsehood to Him.” [John Stott, The Epistles of John]

(6). Prayer thought: Unbelief begins with “Did God really say ...” (Genesis 3:1). Faith begins with “And God said ...” (Genesis 1:3). Prayer is listening through what faith began.

Praying From the Position of Unity



Praying from the Position of:
Unity (July 2013 - Week 4)

(1). Jonah 2:5-10 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 6 When Jonah's warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." 10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.


(2). Acts 4:23-24, 31-32 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.

(3). Matthew 18:19-20 "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."

(4). “Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer.” [Charles Finney, Lectures on Revival]

(5). Prayer thought: Unity of prayer is answered by God to both unbelievers and Christians. But Christians shouldn’t be waiting around for unbelievers to start prayer meetings. Find two or three others, start agreeing together in prayer, and find out what God will do.

Praying From the Position of Persistence



Praying from the Position of:
Persistence (July 2013 - Week 3)

(1). Luke 18:1-8 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' 4 "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually come and attack me!'" 6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

(2). 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

(3). Daniel 10:11-13 He said, "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you." And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

(4). It is not enough for the believer to begin to pray, nor to pray correctly; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray. We must patiently, believingly continue in prayer until we obtain an answer. [George Mueller]

(5). Prayer thought: How much do we want an answer from God? The focus of our praying is not just to get answers, but to know God. But to know God is to get answers to prayer.

Praying From the Position of Importunity



Praying from the Position of:
Importunity
(July 2013 - Week 2)

(1). 1 Samuel 1:9-16 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the LORD's house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, "LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." 12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, "How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine." 15 "Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."
(2). Mark 7:25-29 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27 "First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs." 28 "Lord," she replied, "even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." 29 Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter."
(3). Luke 11:5-8 Then Jesus said to them, "Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.' 7 And suppose the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
(4). “The word ‘importunity’ means literally ‘shamelessness,’ as if Jesus would have us understand that God would have us draw nigh to Him with a determination to obtain the things we seek that will not be put to shame by any seeming refusal or delay on God’s part.” [R. A. Torrey, How to Pray]
(5). Prayer thought: Do we pray to God only when it is convenient? Does the squeaky praying get the oil?

Praying From the Position of Faith



Praying from the Position of:

Faith
(July 2013 - Week 1)

(1). Matthew 20:21-22 Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
(2). James 1:5-7 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
(3). Matthew 8:7-10 Jesus said to him, "Shall I come and heal him?" 8 The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
(4). “It is not the intellectually great that the Church needs. Neither is it men and women of wealth that the times demand. It is not people of great social influence that this day requires. Above everybody and everything else, it is Christians of faith, Christians of mighty prayer, men and women like the saints and heroes listed in Hebrews, who ‘obtained a good report through faith,’ that the Church and the whole wide world of humanity needs.” [E.M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer]
(5). Prayer thought: Without faith, it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6. Our Christian life begins through faith in Christ (Galatians 3:26). God gives us his Spirit and does his work among us because of faith (Galatians 3:5). Our praying relationship with God is a communication of faith.

Listening for Others




Listening For Others
(June 2013 - Week 5)

(1). Luke 22:31-32 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

(2). Acts 27:23-24 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and
whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul.
You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given
you the lives of all who sail with you.'

(3). Daniel 2:26-29 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar),
“Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?" 27 Daniel replied, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is
a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream
and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying
in bed are these: 29 "As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind
turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed
you what is going to happen.

(4). “The Church has not yet touched the fringe of the possibilities of
intercessory prayer. Her largest victories will be witnessed when
individual Christians everywhere come to recognize their
priesthood unto God and day by day give themselves unto prayer.”
[John R. Mott]

(5). Prayer thought: God reveals himself to us as we pray. He then
reveals who we are. As we trust his revelation, he extends his trust
in us, by revealing things about others: those who cannot hear him,
those who may be learning to hear him, and those who do hear him
but God still desires to encourage through his body.

A Place Alone With God



A Place Alone With God
(June 2013 - Week 4)

(1). Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

(2). Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.

(3). James 4:7 Come near to God and he will come near to you.

(4). Mark 6:30-32 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

(5). “In quiet and silence the faithful soul makes progress, the hidden meanings of the Scriptures become clear, and the eyes weep with devotion every night. Even as one learns to grow still, he draws closer to the Creator and farther from the hurly-burly of the world. As one divests himself of friends and acquaintances, he is visited by God and his holy angels.” [Thomas A. Kempis, The Imitation of Christ]

(6). Prayer thought: Where is God calling me to spend time alone with him? I have other places to go, work to do, and people to talk to. But perhaps God has other places for me to go, different work for me to do, and people that he wants to talk to. He would like to tell me about it, in a place alone with him.

Being Still To Listen



Being Still to Listen
(June 2013 - Week 3)


(1). Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

(2). Lamentations 3:24-26 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

(3). Psalm 40:1-2 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

(4). “The goal of prayer is the ear of God,” a goal that can only be reached by patient and continued and continuous waiting upon Him, pouring out our heart to Him and permitting Him to speak to us. Only by so doing can we expect to know Him, and as we come to know Him better we shall spend more time in His presence and find that presence a constant and ever-increasing delight.” [E.M. Bounds, Purpose in Prayer]

(5). Prayer thought: It is wise to develop the ability to still ourselves and contemplate the holiness of the Lord. In an increasingly busy world, the virtue of patiently waiting on the Lord for his voice is one that must be cultivated if we are to hear from Him. God calls out to us continually, and if we are intentional about quieting ourselves and listening to Him, our knowledge of and delight in Him will grow exponentially.

How Does God Speak?



How Does God Speak?
(June 2013 - Week 2)

(1). 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for
teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(2). Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim
the work of his hands. 2Day after day they pour forth speech; night after
night they reveal knowledge. 3They have no speech, they use no words; no
sound is heard from them. 4Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their
words to the ends of the world.

(3). Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears
my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and
he with me.

(4). 1 Kings 19:11-12 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the
presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and
powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the
Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an
earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake
came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a
gentle whisper.

(5). “A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he
became more and more quiet until in the end he realized that prayer is
listening.” [Soren Kierkegaard]

(6). Prayer thought: Since the creation of mankind, the Lord has spoken and
continues to speak through various means and methods. The Bible is
God’s Living Word, ever speaking relevant words to His people. Creation
and the heavens declare His glory and speak of His power and might
continually so that man cannot say that God is mute. God speaks gently in
a still and quiet voice to those who will listen.

Who Are We Listening To?



Who Are We Listening To?

(June 2013 - Week 1)

(1). Genesis 3:1 He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

(2). 2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

(3). Isaiah 51:4 Listen to me, my people; hear me my nation...

(4). John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

(5). “We must listen to God, and be attentive to Him, forgetting ourselves and all self-interest.” [Madame Guyon, A Short Method of Prayer]

(6). Prayer thought: We don’t have a shortage of voices when training our ears to listen in prayer. Satan, other people, and our own thoughts compete for our listening attention. God calls us to listen to him, and the result of hearing his voice is spirit and life.

Continuing In the Spirit



Continuing in the Spirit
(May 2013 - Week 4)

(1). Galatians 3:3 After beginning with the Spirit, are you now
trying to attain your goal by human effort?

(2). Romans 8:5 But those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

(3). Galatians 5:16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

(4). Jude 20-21 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

(5). "The Church is the Body of Christ, and the Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. He fills the Body, directs its movements, controls its members, inspires its wisdom, supplies it's strength. He guides into truth, sanctifies its agents, and empowers for witnessing. The Spirit has never abdicated His authority nor relegated His power.” [Samuel Chadwick, Methodist Preacher (1860-1932)]

(6). Prayer thought: Our strength, our flesh, and our attempts to direct God in how to answer prayer are in conflict with the Spirit. We will not pray successfully if we do not pray in the Spirit. We’ve been given the Holy Spirit to live in us and the invitation to know and pray according to the Father’s will.

Praying In the Spirit




Praying in the Spirit
(May 2013 - Week 3)

(1). Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.

(2). Romans 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

(3). 1 Corinthians 2:9-11 However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived"-- the things God has prepared for those who love him-- 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

(4). God searches the heart where the Spirit dwells and knows the mind of the
Spirit. The Spirit who dwells in our hearts searches the deep purposes
and the will of God to us, and reveals those purposes and that will of God,
“that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” [E. M.
Bounds,
The Reality of Prayer, page 375]

(5). Prayer thought: pray in the Spirit for all kinds of prayer and requests, we need to know both ourselves and God. But we are not very objective. The Spirit of Truth intercedes for us, knowing both our weaknesses and God’s purposes. He teaches us to pray in the same way.

The Person of the Spirit



The Person of the Spirit
(May 2013 - Week 2)


(1). John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to help you and be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

(2). Acts 5:3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?

(3). 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

(4). “Clearly the Holy Spirit is not merely a quality to be found in the divine nature … He is a holy intelligent person.” [John Owen, The Holy Spirit]

(5). Prayer thought: As a person, the Holy Spirit speaks both to us and through us. Because the Holy Spirit is a person, he cannot be deceived by anything we may think, say, or do. He is able to show us how to pray, even as Jesus taught his disciples to pray.


Knowing the Spirit



Knowing the Spirit
(May 2013 - Week 1)

(1). Acts 2:17-18 "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy."

(2). Galatians 4:6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father."

(3). John 16:13 -15 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.

(4). You cannot work out God’s will, but His Holy Spirit can; and until the Church, until believers grasp this, and cease trying by human effort to do God’s will, and wait upon the Holy Spirit to come with all his omnipotent and enabling power, the Church will never be what God wants her to be, and what God is willing to make of her. [Andrew Murray, Collected Works and Sermons]

(5). Prayer thought: We’ve received the promised Holy Spirit and have become children of God. The Holy Spirit now takes from Jesus and makes it known to us. We also learn what Jesus is interceding for as the Holy Spirit makes it known to us.

Asking Whatever We Will




Asking Whatever We Will

(April 2013, Week 4)

(1). John 14:13-14 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
(2). John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
(3). John 16:23-24 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
(4). Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
(5). “Deep down, we just don’t believe God is as generous as he keeps saying he is. That’s why Jesus added the fine print - ‘ask in my name.’” [Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life, page 135]
(6). Prayer thought: “One of the best ways to learn how to abide is to ask anything. Jesus adds the qualifier ‘abide in me’ only once in the six times he told us to ‘ask anything.’ His primary concern was to get us into the game. Start asking. Don’t just ask for spiritual things or ‘good’ things. Tell God what you want. Before you can abide, the real you has to meet the real God. Ask anything. [Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life, page 138]

Know Jesus' Authority







Know Jesus’ Authority


(April 2013, Week 3)

(1). Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"

(2). Matthew 8:8-9 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not
deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

(3). Matthew 9:27-28 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone
indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that
I am able to do this?”

(4). Matthew 16:15 “But what about you?” he (Jesus) asked,
“Who do you say I am?”

(5). “As he stands at the foot of the throne, ready to ascend and
reign, He tells them, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth,’ and points them at once to ‘all the world,’ to the ‘uttermost parts of the earth,’ as the object of his and their desire and efforts... I am with you always.” [Andrew Murray, Collected Works and Sermons]

(6). Prayer thought: When we pray to Jesus, do we try to muster
up our authority or do we allow his authority to guide our prayer into what he
desires to do?

Waiting On the Lord



Waiting on the Lord
(April 2013, Week 2)

(1). John 13:7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.

(2). John 11:5-6 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

(3). Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

(4). Psalm 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

(5). We plan the whole answer to our prayer. It seems so easy to us. We think there can be only one thing for God to do if he is to answer our prayer. The answer must come now; it must come immediately. And it must come exactly the way we planned it. [O. Hallesby, Prayer, page 49]

(6). Prayer thought: Constant praying is not like ordering at a fast-food drive-thru. We must wait for God to reveal his answer. We can’t be in a perpetual hurry to go somewhere else.

Abiding In Christ





Abiding in Christ


(April 2013 - Week 1)


(1). John 15:5,7 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains (abides) in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 7If you remain (abide) in me and my words remain (abide) in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

(2). Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being.

(3). John 15:4 Remain (Abide) in me, and I will remain (abide) in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain (abide) in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain (abide) in me.

(4). To abide in Christ means to keep up a habit of constant close communion with Him–to be always leaning on Him, resting on Him, pouring out our hearts to Him, and using Him as our Fountain of life and strength, as our chief Companion and best Friend. To have His words abiding in us, is to keep His sayings and precepts continually before our memories and minds, and to make them the guide of our actions and the rule of our daily conduct and behavior. [J.C. Ryle - 1816-1900]

(5). Prayer thought: The more we abide in Him and grow to be like Him, the more his priestly life will work in us. Our lives will become what His is: a life that continuously prays for men. [Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer]

The Lord's Prayer - Lead Us Not Into Temptation




The Lord's Prayer - Lead Us Not Into Temptation.

(March 2013 - Week 5)

(1). Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

(2). Mark 14:37 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

(3). 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

(4). Luke 22:31-32 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

(5). It is a common temptation of Satan to make us give up the reading of the Word and prayer when our enjoyment is gone; as if it were of no use to read the Scriptures when we do not enjoy them, and as if it were of no use to pray when we have no spirit of prayer; whilst the truth is, in order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, and the way to obtain a spirit of prayer is to continue praying; for the less we read the word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray. [George Muller]

(6). Prayer thought: Don’t be surprised at our being tempted. Pray to deal with our weak flesh. Know that Jesus is interceding for us.

The Lord's Prayer - Forgive Our Debts



The Lord's Prayer - Forgive Our Debts.

(March 2013 - Week 4)

(1). Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven
our debtors.

(2). Matthew 13:32-35 "Then the master called the servant in. 'You
wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because
you begged me to.
33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow
servant just as I had on you?' 34 In anger his master handed him over
to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35
"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you
forgive your brother or sister from your heart."

(3). Luke 7:46 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--
as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little
loves little.

(4). “Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the
sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for
more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive
him....Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness....And so
I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our
goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells
us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love
itself.”
[Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place].”

(5). Prayer thought: The penalty for my debt to God would be an
eternity in the lake of fire. Am I willing to pray for someone to pay
that same penalty for his or her debt to me? Or do I pray for God’s
love to cancel that person’s penalty even as God’s love cancelled my
penalty?

The Lord's Prayer - Our Daily Bread




The Lord's Prayer - Our Daily Bread.


(March 2013 - Week 3)

(1). Matthew 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.

(2).
Exodus 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread
from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather
enough for that day.”

(3). John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who
comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will
never be thirsty.”

(4).
Matthew 6:31-33 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or
‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans
run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you
need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all
these things will be given to you as well.

(5). “When we pray, "Give us this day our daily bread," we are, in
a measure, shutting tomorrow out of our prayer. We do not
live in tomorrow but in today. We do not seek tomorrow's
grace or tomorrow's bread. They thrive best, and get most
out of life, who live in the living present. They pray best who
pray for today's needs, not for tomorrow's, which may render
our prayers unnecessary and redundant by not existing at
all!”
[E.M. Bounds]

(6).
Prayer Thought: We know how to give thanks in prayer for
physical bread/food. We don’t always give thanks for the
daily bread of what God is speaking to us or wants to
reveal through us. Let us continually ask God for what
bread he wants to give, today!

The Lord's Prayer - Your Kingdom on Earth





The Lord's Prayer - Your Kingdom on Earth.

(March 2013 - Week 2)


(1). Matthew 6:10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it
is in heaven.

(2). Psalm 145:10-13 All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful
people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak
of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts and
the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting
kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD
is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.

(3). Luke 12:30-31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to
you as well. 32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been
pleased to give you the kingdom.


(4). “Christ makes Heaven the standard for God's will to be done on Earth.
What a high ideal is this! What power it would take to bring such a thing
about! Nothing short of the Kingdom of God pulling down strongholds,
overthrowing bastions of deeply entrenched sin, and then conquering this
present world in such a way as to establish righteousness – nothing short
of such things as these can meet the standard that Christ sets before

us.” [Geoff Bannister]

(5). Prayer Thought: God is willing to do his work according to his standard
in heaven, not ours from the earth. Our desire is to pray for his kingdom
and will on earth, not man's nor ours.


Praying As Christ Taught Us To Pray



Praying as Christ Taught us to Pray.

The Lord's Prayer - Our Father in Heaven.
(March 2013 - Week 1)

(1). Matthew 6: 9 This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in
heaven…"

(2). Deuteronomy 4:39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that
the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
There is no other.

(3). Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love
endures forever.

(4). Matthew 6:10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth
as it is in heaven.

(5). “We knew our Father. There was no need for persuasion.
Would not His Fatherliness be longing to give us our hearts'
desire (if I may put it so)? How could we press Him as though
He were not our own most loving Father?” [Amy Wilson-
Carmichael, a Protestant Christian missionary in India]

(6). Prayer thought: Jesus came not only preaching that the
kingdom of heaven was at hand, but he also introduced our
Father, who rules both heaven and earth. Do we have
confidence to pray from our relationship as sons and daughters
of the Father?


The Sovereign God



(February 2013 - Week 4)

(1). Romans 9:20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'"
(2). Psalm 115:3 Our God is heaven; he does whatever pleases him.
(3). Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
(4). Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
(5). "Most Christians salute the sovereignty of God but believe in the sovereignty of man." [R.C. Sproul]
(6). Prayer thought: We initially think that God fits our perspective and answers our demands. He reveals to us that he does as he pleases. As we continue to come in prayer, we discover that our perspectives, attitudes and plans must conform to his purpose. We put our answers aside, listen to his direction, and begin to pray according to his will. Our sovereign God answers the prayer that he desired us to pray in the first place.

The God Who Does Not Grow Weary




(February 2013 - Week 3)


(1). Psalm 121:1-4 I lift up my eyes to the mountains-- where does my
help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven
and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not
slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor
sleep.

(2). Psalm 102:11-12 My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away
like grass. 12 But you, LORD, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures
through all generations.

(3). Isaiah 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is
the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow
tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives
strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths
grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who
hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like
eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

(4). “Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God. God handles
the world quite nicely while a hemisphere sleeps.” [John Piper, ©2012
Desiring God Foundation]


(5). Prayer thought: We are encouraged to seek an untiring God. We
find strength in his presence. We discover God is a rock, a fortress, a
pillar and a stronghold. When we are weak, he is strong. When we are
weary and carrying heavy burdens, in him we find a place of rest.

The Omnipresent God



The Omnipresent (The Everywhere at All Times) God.

(February 2013 - Week 2)


(1). Jeremiah 23:23-24 "Am I only a God nearby," declares the LORD, "and not a God far away? 24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD.


(2). Psalm 139:7-12 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.


(3). 1 Kings 8:27-28 "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 28 Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day."


(4). Prayer thought: “While the thought that God is everywhere present with his whole being ought to encourage us greatly in prayer no matter where we are, the fact that no one place can be said to contain God should also discourage us from thinking that there is some special place of worship that gives people special access to God: he cannot be contained in any one place.” [Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, page 174]

Pray To God - Who Is He?

February - Week 1 - The God of Covenant.
 -      1 Kings 8:22-23 - Solomon (when dedicating the temple) prayed to God and said: "Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below - you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way."  We are praying to God who keeps his covenant of love with us.
-      Psalm 25:14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
-      Hebrews 8:10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
-      In making the New Covenant, God said very definitely, "Not after the covenant I made with your fathers." We have learnt what the fault was with that Covenant: it made God's favor dependent upon the obedience of the people. "If ye obey, I will be your God." We have learnt how the New Covenant remedied the defect: God Himself provided for the obedience. It changes "If ye keep My judgments" into "I will put My Spirit within you, and ye shall keep." Instead of the Covenant and its fulfillment depending on man's obedience, God undertakes to ensure the obedience. The Old Covenant proved the need, and pointed out the path, of holiness: the New inspires the love, and gives the power, of holiness [Andrew Murray, The Two Covenants].
 
-      Prayer thought: God has established his covenant for us.  We pray to a covenant-keeping God who honors his covenant even when we don't always keep that covenant.

American Revolution



A Christian Response to the American Revolution from Bay Ridge Christian Church on Vimeo.

Human Responsibility & The Will of God

How do you reconcile Romans 14:23 which basically says that if we do anything when we have doubt about whether we should do it or not than it's a sin, when you said in your sermon that "If our goal and attitude is correct then we should choose as we please when scripture is silent". It seems scripture is not silent if we have any doubt at all. Read More...

Abortion

Question:

Concerning last Sunday's sermon about abortion, how would you respond to an athiest's rhetorical question:  "Given the starvation in developing countries and high infant mortality in overpopulated areas, isn't it far more practical to abort the fetuses than to bring babies into the world where the majority of them will die within the first year anyway?  The question sounds severe, but I have encountered it and would like to hear how you would answer it.
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John 16:5-11 Chart


Sin
Righteousness
Judgment
The World’s Idea of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment (The False Idea)
•No such thing as sin
•Sin is no big deal – only surface foibles
• We love God more than our ‘sin’
•We are truly righteous
•We are good compared to other people, especially really bad people like Hitler
•God is love – He will never judge
•On judgment day I have some questions for God – I will judge Him!
The World’s Actual State of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment (The Reality)
•Sin is real and will be judged
• Sin is at the core of who we are
• We reject Jesus to keep our sin
•We lack real righteousness
•Christ is the true standard of righteousness

•God is also holy – and He will judge!
•Satan – the ruler of this world – has already been judged
The Cure for the World’s Situation
•Admit the depth of our sin
•Repent and turn to Christ, begging mercy
•Admit our righteousness is as filthy rags to God
•Forsake our righteousness and ask Christ for His
•Admit we are worthy of being condemned
•Plead with God for mercy in Christ

If Jesus is Lord, why are Christians persecuted?

Since Jesus is Lord, not Nero, why didn't he exercise His authority and stop Nero from persecuting His people? Read More...

Jesus is more exalted than He was before the Incarnation?

Since Jesus was fully God when He left heaven, how is it a reward to Him when the Father exalted Him after his ascension since He is just getting back the same status as God that He already had? Read More...

Should I Act Humble When I Don't Feel Like It?

How do I respond in humility to help someone if I do not feel like doing so? Isn’t my own purity of motives important? If I act humble when I am not, isn't that hypocrisy?

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Humility - or Enabling Sin?

How do I know what is being selfish, and what is simply expressing my own opinions and desires? Do I always do what the other person wants, even if they consistently are selfish?

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Rejoice at Their Preaching

I have a question about your recent sermon (Jan 13, 2008). Paul wrote that he rejoices even when Christ is preached out of selfish ambition. You mentioned, however that Paul is the first to point out heresy. In modern day TV evangelism, the majority are preaching out of selfish ambition (greed, fame, self gratification, recognition, etc.), some actually proclaim the gospel, and a few hold to orthodox Christian doctrine. Are we to rejoice that Christ is being preached, or are we to point out the heresy of modern day false doctrine? In other words, do I need to rejoice that Joel Osteen is on television? Read More...

Philippians 1:18 Question


Bret,

You recently preached quoting this verse from Phillipians 1:18. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Can Paul's rationale be applied to other Christian endeavors as well? For instance, in my political science courses, I learned that foreign aid is given as a tool of diplomacy so that favors/paybacks can be obtained later on. Obviously, the important thing is that aid is given (i.e. to impoverished people). But Paul seems to excuse the false motives behind the act, which, in this case of foreign aid, might mean that the giver is merely buying power/influence.


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