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Bible Studies, Prayer
Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 declares that God's will for us is that we
[p]ray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks.
To pray unceasingly does not mean spending twenty-four hours daily in prayer. >b>Rather, it means being open continually to God, sharing our thoughts and hopes with Him in mental prayer, and so on. It means, as we face a problem, praying, in a sentence, "Lord, help me with this problem"; or, "Give me patience as I talk with this trying person"; or, "Thank you for seeing me through that mess," and similar prayers.
O. Hallesby years ago wrote, "We cannot breathe in the early morning in such a way that it will be sufficient until noon. Likewise, we cannot pray in the morning so as to suffice until noon."
Continual sentence prayers are simply Christian breathing. They keep us alive and strong.
Scroll down the page. There are several helpful quotes,scriptures & prayers.
Probably the number one reason why prayer malfunctions in the hands
of believers is that we try to turn a wartime walkie-talkie into a domestic
intercom. Until you know that life is war you cannot know what prayer
is for. Prayer is for the accomplishment of a wartime mission.... But what
have millions of Christians done? We have stopped believing that we are
in a war. No urgency, no watching, no vigilance. No strategic planning.
Just easy peace and prosperity. And what did we do with the walkie
talkie? We tried to rig it up as an intercom in our houses and cabins
and boats and car - not to call in fire power for conflict with a moral
enemy, but to ask for more comforts in the den. ~ John Piper
2 Corinthians 10:3-4
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war
according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare
are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
Forgive me if I simply seek easy peace and prosperity instead of
choosing to fight the good fight. There is a spiritual war raging. Keep
me alert and diligent to the wiles of the Evil One and help me to stand
strong as I pray forthrightly. Amen.
Promises, though they be for a time seemingly delayed, cannot be finally
frustrated... the heart of God is not turned though His face be hid; and
prayers are not flung back, though they be not instantly answered. ~ Timothy Cruso
Prayer, as defined in the NKJV Study Bible, is based on the Hebrew verb palal, as noted in God's words to King Solomon when the Lord appeared to him the second time following Solomon's dedication of the temple:
Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: 'I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 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 heal their land.
The word "pray," as used above in , means "'to intervene,' 'to interpose,' 'to arbitrate,' or even 'to judge.' The Lord was asking His people to intercede for others in their prayers." (NKJV Study Bible, Second Ed., p.671)
So, what does it mean "to intercede for others in prayer?" According to the NKJV Study Bible, based on the Greek words enteuxis and entugchano, translated "intercession," this term refers to "the act of petitioning God or praying on behalf of another person or group. The sinful nature of this world separates human beings from God. It has always been necessary, therefore, for righteous individuals to go before God to seek reconciliation between Him and His fallen creation. The sacrifices and prayers of Old Testament priests were acts of intercession that point forward to the work of Christ. Christ is, of course, the greatest intercessor." (NKJV Study Bible, Second Ed., p.1914)
Wrong questions are the breeding ground of doubt, despair and unbelief. I know; I've asked the wrong questions for almost sixty years. But, in the midst of those questions mercy, grace, atonement and the answer burst its way into my darkened questions. Tell Me Why is the most foreboding of all wrong questions.
Don't miss-hear me; questions are natural and a part of our God given DNA. But: to end up at Why? That wrong question is not a part of the likeness and image of God that we are all endowed with. It is the epitome of our fallen, darkened condition! So, how do we approach these unanswerable questions?
Before there are answers, there is a relationship you must have your heart opened to. There is a knowing that paves the way for sufficient answers. Here it comes! You must know that God's plan is God; revealed in a "baby wrapped in old dirty clothes", a Son of Man, a life lived exemplary for all generations, on a Cross-disfigured and murdered by His own and in an empty tomb. He is not a program, or an impersonal idea.
A verse that often comes to mind is James 1:5:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
When was the last time you asked for wisdom? I have been to a great many prayer meetings over the years, but I don't recall hearing many prayers for wisdom. Either church folk are content to be stupid, or else they assume that they are wise.
The interesting thing is that no strings are attached to praying for wisdom. We are simply to pray in faith. At the same time, we are told how important wisdom is: "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom" (Prov. 4:7). We are also told that wisdom is a blessing (Prov. 3:13); it is better than rubies and everything else (Prov. 8:11); it is the foundation of the good life (Prov. 24:3), and so on and on. Very obviously, God regards wisdom as necessary to the good life, and also promises to give it to all who ask for it.
Philippians 4:6 NRSV
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
I have a wonderful adopted aunt. (My parents were both only children, so I didn’t have any aunts or uncles by blood). She has now gone Home, but while on earth, she was a girlie-girl if ever there was one. I can’t ever remember her wearing pants . . . ever! She was always in a dress, with heels (at least small ones), her hair done up in curls, beautiful jewelry. She was a minister of God, speaking and writing music, traveling all over the world telling others about God. Today, I read something she wrote and saw these words:
"I find myself praying, 'Oh, God, let me be there when someone needs me!'"
I almost laughed. My wonderful aunt was marvelous at speaking and at music, but she was totally inept at cooking, cleaning, fixing, doing. Almost anything that required more than a piano or a pen. Who could she help? She couldn’t fix a meal, mend a dress, change a tire, even pick up a box to help someone move.
And then I read on. She wrote:
God's Will is for us to:
- 1) read His Word,
2) Consume His Word,
3) Participate In Communion,
4) Worship Him,
5) Pray Daily,
6) Share the Gospel With Those Who Have Not Yet Heard,
7) Care for the sick and elderly,
8) Exemplify Jesus in our life,
9) Do everything we do as if we were doing for God alone,
10) Obey the laws of our land,
11) Meet with other believers on a regular basis,
12) Prepare for the return of the Lord Jesus,
13) Love our friends AND
14) our enemies,
15) Love God with your heart, soul, mind and spirit,
16) Follow the golden rule and likely many more things I cannot alone think of.
According to John Bevere in his book,The Bait of Satan, the bait of taking offense is the number one trap that the enemy – Satan – sets for Christians. And the closer the relationship between the people involved in the offense taken, the deeper the wound and the deeper the offense, as seen in the depth of David's suffering when he expresses his suffering after being betrayed by one near and dear to him in Psalm 55:
Preserve me, O God:
for in thee do I put my trust.
O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD,
Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;
But to the saints that are in the earth,
and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god:
their drink offerings of blood will I not offer,
nor take up their names into my lips.
The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup:
thou maintainest my lot.