40 Days of Prayer: Day 20
40 Days of Prayer: Day 19
"What is forgiveness?"
According to dictionary.com it is the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.
According to the Bible it is releasing or dismissing something. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we have access to forgiveness from God. He releases or dismisses all of the charges against us, releases us from the just penalty that we should have gotten by God.
Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 18
Matthew 6:13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
I grew up reading the Lords prayer and really didn't have a clue as to what I was actually reading. One day two or three years ago I was studying this prayer and when I got to this verse, I had an Aha moment !you mean I can actually pray that God helps me NOT be tempted? I do not want to sin, so if I can pray asking God to keep my mind away from tempting situations, thats powerful. I hear all the time the catch phrase “The Devil made me do it”, but I would remind us all that we have free will, and can choose what we are going to do. Just as God is not going to make us do what He wants the Devil cannot make you do anything either. So the responsibility falls on us. God sends His Holy Spirit to help us, to empower us to stand against the enemy, to walk away from sin, and to seek God and His truth in all things. Satan wants to distract us, even more he wants to steal Kill and destroy all hope and especially our relationship with God. God gives us weapons, with for defense and offense. We must watch and pray everyday as we battle against the evil that is in our world.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 17
Matthew 6:12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Forgiveness is a huge deal. We ask God to forgive us for sins that we commit as well as sins of omission, meaning things that we know we should have done but did not. But there is a condition on forgiveness according to this verse. God will indeed forgive us, as much as we have forgiven others. God is merciful and extends grace to us every day. But if we refuse to forgive others, how arrogant are we to expect God to forgive us?
40 Days of Prayer:Day 16
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
Bread:More than just food that we require on a daily basis, but Gods divine provision for ALL we as believers need. As we are surrendered or yielded to God on a daily basis, He provides the very sustenance that we need. Aa we pray for our daily bread, we are asking that God provide for all of our NEEDS for the day, mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, material and physical. This prayer can and should include, Family, friends, ministries, our community, leaders both local, nationally and globally, even praying for our personal needs. God is the ultimate provider, He provides ALL that His children need. We can have great confidence in that. Again, proper perspective as we pray, if we are praying daily for what we need for the day, we are not assuming or trying to take God for granted. We realize and acknowledge that He provides for us according to His mercy. Keep proper perspective EVERY time you go to the Father in prayer. It really is ALL about him and His will.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 15
Patterns of prayer continued Matthew6:10 …“Your will be done”…
Matthew 6:10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Can we really understand that Gods perfect will is always being done in Heaven? Its difficult to understand because we see the continuous human free will being done on Earth. Pride, selfishness, greed and evil. As we pray this we are asking that Gods will be accomplished on planet Earth. Really what the heart of this is that we pray that Gods will becomes our will. I have said it before, God, what do you want for me? Help me desire that and please provide all I need to accomplish your will. What does God call us to do as believers?
40 Days of Prayer: Day 14
Continuing with a pattern for prayer using the Lords prayer as an example. Look at the first part of Matthew 6:10-Your kingdom come...
‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
What is sovereignty? According to the dictionary it is supreme power or authority. It refers to the state or governments rule over others. Biblically, the Sovereignty of God means He has supreme authority in ALL things. Everything is under His control. Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines God's Sovereignty as His "absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure.” As followers of Christ when we understand and accept His sovereignty, we are literally welcoming Him to rule and reign in our lives. In doing so, we must commit to live in a God honoring way. His kingdom is here now and is to come at His return.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 13
As we continue in our study on patterns of prayer look at the end of verse 9.
Matthew 6:9 “ Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven,Hallowed be Your name.
What does it mean to be Holy? The word Holy is the description given to God who is exalted, worthy of devotion, and is perfect in goodness and righteousness.
Psalm 99:9 Exalt the Lord our God And worship at His holy hill, For holy is the Lord our God.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 12
The Love of the Father
Matthew 6:9 ...Our Father who is in heaven...
Do we understand what it means to call God Father? God is the author and creator of all we know. He gave us life, he protects and provides for those who call upon His name. We all are born with the desire to know our father and I know as a father I desire to know and care for my children. How much more does God want to interact with us? When we start by praying “Our Father” it changes our perspective on who God is. I watch how my Son in-law responds to my Granddaughters, he patiently listens and talks with them, holds a hand, hugs and even kisses them. He is lovingly inclined to respond to their best interests. The girls know that their father will answer. God is the same way with us. This is the instruction for us from Jesus, approach God as a child approaches their father, trusting and patient.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 11
Pattern for Prayer
We have already defined prayer as; simply conversation with God. When we pray it is based on our relationship with God. We have been looking at different aspects of prayer in the Bible. How then should we pray? What is the “best” way? Christians are the most wide spread group that prays. Jews are supposed to pray three times a day, Muslims pray 5 times a day, Buddhists meditate-they dont necessarily pray (and they do not pray to God), Hindus pray 3 times a day at their self made shrine, and those practicing Wicca use “prayer" for their spells. As followers of Christ our world view is based on Gods word and our faith in Him. Chants and repeated prayers are meaningless especially when the person that is doing them, is NOT a Follower of Christ.
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
40 Days of Prayer Blog: Day 10
Get Mad !
If something makes us angry, we have a choice. Stew on it and let it dictate our attitude and actions in a negative way, becoming bitter or even lash out and end up in worse trouble.
Or, Take positive action to resolve the issue. Can anger be a positive action?
16 There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
We all know that we can get angry but, but do we sin in that anger?
40 Days of Prayer Blog: Day 9
Are you feeling worn out?
We already know that Satan wants to steal kill and destroy. But do we think about the tactics of the Devil? If you have not taken an opportunity to read Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, I encourage you to do so. In it Lewis paints a picture of the subltle moves of the enemy to to distract us from our relationship with the Father. It gives a visual image of what some of the tactics the devil and his minions may use.
The main demon character, Uncle Screwtape says; "Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling; and never let them suspect how much success or failure of that kind depends on whether they are well or ill, fresh or tired, at the moment".
The most effective way that the enemy stops us is in our thought life. It is so easy for us to allow our current moods or feelings dictate how we are doing spiritually.
40 Days of Prayer Blog: Day 8
If you are to make that special family recipe you must use all the ingredients n the proper order for it to be successful.
25 fresh Pueblo chiles, 1 stick butter, 3 Lbs. pork cubed, 2-large onions, 1 TBS of salt, 1 3/4 TBS black pepper, 2-TSP oregano, 2-TSP of minced garlic, 10-large diced tomatoes, 3-fresh diced jalapeños, 1-cup of flour… guess what this makes? Green Chili ! Mmmmm!!! But you need ALL of the instructions in order to complete the recipe. (If you send me $19.95… Just kidding, if you want the recipe, let me know and its yours).
We have an ancient recipe for prayer and there are many pieces given to us from Gods word that require our attention. Here is a list of a few.
40 Days of Prayer Blog: day 7
We have been focusing on personal prayer so far, but what about corporate prayer?
That is us, the Body of Christ praying with and for each other.
When Jesus cleansed the temple he stated:
Matthew 21:13 ...“It is written, "MY house shall be called A house of prayer”
It the book of Acts we see fruit from praying together consistently.
Look at the first part of Acts 1:14;
Acts 1:14 "These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer…”
40 Days of Prayer Blog: Day 6
Provision for prayer; Trust and Help
Father, Son and Holy Spirit bring everything to the “Prayer Table” we need. God has literally given us everything we need to pray with confidence. If we did not have such amazing provision, we would shy away from prayer, or would most likely reject it all together.
As we pray two words bring the focus and power of prayer to the limelight, Trust and Help. Trust, means that we have the understanding and ability to boldly rely on God, and can be fully assured that our dependence on Him will not fall short. Trust is imperative as we pray and really effects our lives as Christians. In our walk with the Lord the state of trust must stay even keeled. We cannot be up and down or in and out of our relationship with God. If we are constantly in a state of flux with God, how can we ever be confident that He will meet us at the point of our need?
40 Days of Prayer Blog: Day 5
Resisting Satan Through Prayer
We see instruction on the defeat of Satan from Genesis to Revelation. In Genesis 3 we see that God cursed the Devil after the fall of Adam and Eve. Ultimately Jesus would crush Satan at the Cross. This speaks to the authority of God and that God will protect us and that Satan has NO authority over us.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 4
Once, twice, three times in prayer...
2 Corinthians 12:8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.
There is an interesting thing we see in scripture about taking something to the Lord three times. This doesn’t mean that we are only to pray about something 3 times and then move on. But, in the Garden Jesus asked the Father three times if he could be released from what was about to happen. His prayer was heard and He stopped praying, knowing that he was in Gods will and must fulfill it.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 3
Prayer requires work and dedication
Remember our train analogy from Watchman Nees book? Prayer is like laying the tracks for the train. Our main theme has been out of Ephesians 6:18; look at the first part of the verse; "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit”. As we pray, our prayers should be for many different things and continuously. There are times we pray specifically, but I don't know about you, but I find myself expanding my prayers to other things as the Holy Spirit leads. But in doing so, don't be complacent, don't pray weak prayers. The enemy wants to distract and weaken our prayers. Sometimes in my prayer time, I am distracted. That is the enemy, seeking to devour us.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 2
Just how free is free will?
God has created us all with free will. We are not a bunch of programmed robots. We consciously make daily choices. We exercise our will in what to wear, where to go, when to get out of bed, why we want to do something and how we will do that thing we want to do. Including our relationship and interaction with God.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 1
Prepare the way for the Lord
Prayer makes a way for us to have a relationship with God and helps to prepare the way for Jesus to be Lord of our lives, as well as for us to proclaim the gospel message to others. It is personal, first.
As we kick off our 40 days of prayer, I want to encourage you to slow down a bit. Start the day in prayer... and don’t stop.