Join us Monday - Friday, 6:30-7:30pm at NRC for a guided prayer event each night
Monday 1/9 - I can pray more Effectively, 1 John 5:14
Join us Monday - Friday, 6:30-7:30pm at NRC for a guided prayer event each night
Monday 1/9 - I can pray more Effectively, 1 John 5:14
Saturday: I can persist in prayer
"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." (Luke 11:9)
Pray for strength to persist in prayer regarding challenges before you, critical needs, the salvation of friends and family members, remembering that all things are possible with God.
Are you persistent in your prayer life? Or are you like some people I’ve spoken with who say, “I’ve prayed over and over and I didn’t get an answer”? Have you ever become discouraged and wanted to stop asking? Maybe you have thought, “it must not be God’s will for me.”
When you are going through these times it seems like everyday brings more questions and fewer answers. But, if we really believe our God answers prayers, it is the times we feel like giving up that we must pray even more. There is beauty in searching and discovering what God’s will is in your situation. The verse Luke 11:9 teaches us a powerful lesson on prayer. It helps us realize continued prayer is not a pointless act.
Have you ever seen the persistence of a small child in action? They will continuously ask for something over and over and over and over… It is as if they will not accept the answer no, or maybe they keep forgetting you have said no. In reality, small children know that if they keep asking they will eventually get a result. Will it be the chocolate cake with sprinkles for dinner or being sent to bed early? To them, the chances of getting chocolate cake for dinner is far too great to give up after the first “No.”
When we display the persistence of a young child in prayer something happens. God is always in teaching mode. When we pray He will teach us to draw us closer to him, to know Him, and to love Him. We are not praying persistently to repeat ourselves over and over again. His will for us is that we would grow a little more in faith each time we ask. And as we learn through our prayers, our communication with Him, we will begin to pray our prayers in a way that matches what God desires for us. He knows best. God knows what we want and need AND He already has plans to give it to us! His desire is for us to ask, seek, and knock until the answer comes. In this we grow in our relationship with our great Heavenly Father.
May we persistently pray! Pray like a small persistent child, and learn to change our requests from chocolate cake for dinner to chocolate cake for dessert!
Friday: I Can Pray in Petition to God
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
It’s no secret that we all worry about something. Some of us are more of worrywarts than others, but regardless of how much we worry we can all relate to the feeling. I wonder what has been on your mind lately? Is there something that keeps you up at night or is there an unresolved thought you can’t get out of your mind?
God is empathetic towards our thoughts and concerns. He has an invitation for us to grow in relationship with Him when we are filled with worry. He invites us to come to Him in EVERY situation. That means that there is no aspect of our life that He doesn’t care about. Through Philippians 4:6 He instructs us to talk to Him with thankfulness and petition. That means we can take a thought we are worried about and give it to Him, for Him to take care of. Here is an example of how to apply this Scripture to your life: You are concerned that you may be let go at your place of employment. You realize that this worry is affecting your thought pattern and your relationships with others. You can’t see how everything will work out. You take a minute to pause and thank God that He has provided you a job thus far and you are thankful for the skills and talents He gifted you. Then you tell him you are scared you might lose this job, and that the decision is out of your control. Then you ask Him to take control of the situation and to continue providing for you. If there is something specific you want to see happen, then ask for it. You do this anytime the worry comes to mind.
Don’t mistake this for some magical practice; God is not a genie in a bottle. The focus is more on our thought pattern. Whenever we worry, we have the invitation to turn our worry over to God and ask that He carry the burden for us. It is a practice of remembering who is in control, God, not us. We can rest in that truth, instead of turning the worry wheel. The following verse Philippians 4:7 says that if we practice this then the peace of God, which is too great for us to understand, will guard our hearts and minds.
I pray that 2017 would be a year that God’s peace would be the center of our minds and lives.
Thursday: I Can Pray in the Spirit
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." (Romans 8:26)
This whole week has been about Praying with Confidence. For most of us I believe that praying confidently is not easy. Sometimes we think that what we're praying for may be petty or too small for God, or we don't exactly know His plan so we pray things like, "I don't really know what is supposed to happen, so God please let it happen." That's not necessarily a bad prayer, but it definitely isn't a confident prayer.
I believe that the reason we lack confidence in our prayers is because we are constantly trying to have perfect prayers, but also because praying has become a chore. We all know and believe that we should be praying on a consistent basis, but in the busyness of life we use the phrase, "I can pray later because I don't have time now." Then when we finally go to pray we feel guilty because it's been so long.
We have to remember that when we pray, we are not praying to an object or a relic, or even a dead person. We are talking to a God who is alive and well and hears us when we call on His name. Our prayers do not fall on deaf ears. Also we don't have to have perfect prayers, or even eloquent words to pray. The bible says in Exodus 2:23-25, "During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew." God hears the cries and the groanings of His people and He remembers His promises and moves on our behalf. It's amazing to me that the Great Exodus of the people of Israel started with the cries and groans of slaves. Amazing.
What we need to know is that God has promised to move heaven on our behalf when we call out to Him. What is awesome about that is we have what the Israelites at that time didn't have. We have the promised Holy Spirit living and working in us! We can have confidence in knowing that when our words fail us, when we don't know what or even how to pray; God has fulfilled His promise, and the His Spirit will pray for us, and He will intercede on our behalf, how amazing is that?
When we ask God to fill us up with His Holy Spirit, He will. Then, the Spirit for us will pray when we don't have the words, and we can't formulate the thoughts. Have confidence to know that the Spirit of God that lives in you, knows you better than yourself, and He will lift our needs to the Father. We can trust that when we pray confidently in the Spirit, breakthroughs will happen in our lives, in our family, and in this world.
Take time today, and everyday to Pray in the Spirit!
Wednesday: I Can Pray with Authority
"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6)
Remember getting your driver’s license and driving your parent’s car for the first time? There is power and confidence with driving! Just as you received the car keys, Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom. We have been entrusted with the Kingdom keys and secrets, as well. Most Christians haven’t realized that we hold the tremendous power as a result of holding the keys to the Kingdom. Before we pray with authority, we must first understand our position with Christ.
In Ephesians 2:6, Apostle Paul encourages us as believers that our seat with Christ is part of our inheritance. This is where we are already seated, because when Jesus was seated in triumph, we were seated with Him. Our position with Christ is already an accomplished fact. But we need to exercise the authority that belongs to us in that position of reigning with Christ over principalities and powers before it will proﬁt us.
But how do we pray with authority? First, as a believer, understand and celebrate that Christ is with us and holds all believers above the power and principalities of the enemy. His power is much greater than that of the enemy. Like we electricity, we don’t own or control the power source (Christ), but rather have the power and authority to turn the light the light switch on. Secondly, we need to be bold, confident and with conviction cry out to the Lord. Put away the casual, timid and low-key prayers and grab God’s attention by commanding His power. I personally didn’t understand the power of this concept until I was with a group of believers who prayed in an authoritative, powerful, and convicting ways. It was beautiful – I felt as if the light switch turned on for me. If you’re not sure what this sounds or feels like, I encourage you to surround yourself with prayer warriors and feel the presence of the Holy Spirit!
Ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you through writing out the scriptures, taking intentional quiet time and put into practice what He is showing you through your powerful prayer time with Him. Be a Kingdom builder and warrior!
Tuesday: I Can Pray Consistently
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10)
Last night in our corporate prayer meeting I was struck with the realization that the greatest potency in prayer comes through understanding God’s will. As a Christian, we have a strong desire to know what God wants of us and what He has planned for us, but often our prayers feel so self serving. The Holy Spirit directed my heart to Romans 12:2 - And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed and progressively changed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
And this is how we understand His will! We set ourselves apart for God, forsaking the world’s ways, and daily seek to know His heart. Ephesians 5 describes that Jesus sanctifies, or set’s apart for Himself, His church “by the washing of the water of the Word.” Reading the Bible is vital in our discovery of who God is, and our understanding of His will for our lives. And to know Him is to know His will. And the more we know Him, the more we will naturally spend time talking to Him and hearing His voice.
Jesus never taught His disciples to preach, but He did teach them to pray. In scripture we see that Jesus regularly made time to get alone and pray, and it was evident in the power he wielded through His life. Our verses of the day (The Lord's Prayer) are so much more than beautiful Words be memorized and recited on cue. I tend to be easily distracted, but I have found consistency in prayer so much more attainable by using this glimpse into the way Jesus approached His Father as a pattern, or outline, for prayer. My 3-5 min prayer times are easily multiplied by 10! Here is an outline for you:
1. Our Father in heaven, holy is Your Name. WORSHIP HIM!
2. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. SURRENDER TO HIM!
3. Give us this day our daily bread. TRUST HIM FOR DAILY PROVISION!
4. Forgive us as we forgive. THANK HIM FOR HIS GRACE -- AND SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!
5. Deliver us from the evil one. BATTLE IN PRAYER!
6. For Your’s is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever! PRAISE HIM! TRUST HIM!
As often as you can, pray the scriptures! You will unleash the power of heaven on earth!!
Monday: I Can Pray More Effectively,
Effectiveness, getting to the point, seeing success, being productive: these are all great business terms but why is it important to pray effectively?
1 John 5:14 - This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
Take notice that John assumes his audience has confidence in approaching God. He is merely reminding them at the end of his letter that God ALWAYS hears our prayers when they are according to His will. The key is to pray according to God’s will. Effectiveness in prayer happens because our prayers line up with scripture and God’s will.
It is very easy for us to “whine” to God. I define whining as praying for whatever I want, in the way I want it, when I want it. These type of prayers, although cathartic to us, are not effective prayers. Whenever we are asking God for something in prayer we should be sensitive to pray like Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane. He said: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me;” Jesus asked his Father that if there was any other way besides his tortuous death on the cross to please let that happen instead. A fair request for someone knowing what was about to happen. But then Jesus ended his prayer with, “yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42). This is the sign of a someone approaching God with confidence! Take time to not just read scripture but to use it to help you pray effectively, to ask God for His will to be done!