Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Pray, Prayer, Praying!

I have hit my bible and looked up a bunch of scriptures concerned with praying!  One can never have too much information when it comes out of the Word.  Bearing in mind these are hardly all the verses with regards to praying, lets do this thing!

PRAY - entreat - call on - implore - beseech - supplicate - petition - PRAY

For me praying implies conversation with God.  It is often when we beg God for something we want, something we need, something we want to change, have done, etc.  It is often times very "me" focused.  But prayer is also about praising the Lord, worshiping Him, thanking Him, spending time in His presence, waiting on Him in faith that He will speak into your heart.  It is also about lifting OTHER people and their concerns up in prayer to the Lord.  Outwardly focused!

In my last post, Let us Pray, I laid out the Lord's prayer, a prayer Jesus gave His followers as a template of how we should pray.  It has two focuses to it.  Firstly, the focus is on Who God is, and desiring His will on earth, and the second focus is on our earthly needs.

Today I am going to just roll out some prayer scriptures and expand on each as I understand them.  I would love for you to comment and clarify anything you wish to add, that adds value and transparency and also helps us all have a greater understanding on what the Word says on prayer.

So here goes:

1 Sam 12 vs 23:  Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
A few things stand out for me here, firstly, to fail to pray for someone as you feel led to pray would be sinning against the Lord.  Secondly, the focus is on obedience to God, and thirdly, praying for someone else other than oneself.

Daniel 9 vs 4:  And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments...
Daniel first acknowledged how great and awesome our God is, how great He is in mercy and how He remains true to His covenant with those who love Him.  He prayed with humility.

Matthew 5 vs 44:  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
God wants us to pray for those who have hurt us, our enemies.  Those we are least likely to want to lift up in prayer before the Lord.  Why?  In doing so, it is easier to see them through God's eyes, see their hurts and needs, forgive them easier, and come to a place where we could extend grace to them, in the same manner God has extended it to us.  In truth, our enemies are no different than we are!

Luke 18 vs 1: Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart...
Prayer is a place of hope, its a place we come to for the Lord's strength, a place where we renew our faith and place it before the Father we trust.

Romans 8 vs 26:  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
In those moments of sheer terror, sheer helplessness, sheer "end-of-the-rope" moments, when we come before the Father in prayer, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.  Where we have no words, He makes our hearts known before the Father.

1 Thessalonians 5 vs 16 - 18:  (16)Rejoice always, (17) pray without ceasing, (18) in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Never stop praying!  It shows your dependence on God.  It shows your reliance on God.  It shows your faith in God.

Mark 11 vs 25 - 26:   (25)“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.  (26) But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Prayer is a place where we can forgive others, lay any offence given or taken at His feet.  We must do that as God says that if we don't forgive others, He won't forgive us.  That to me is terrifying!

Romans 12 vs 10 - 13:  (10) Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;  (11) not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;  (12) rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;  (13) distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Prayer should be part of our every day lives.  It should be something we just do as Christians, like serving, rejoicing, patient in tough times, and giving.  Prayer should be a part of, and along side of, all that living we as Christians should be doing.

This is far from an exhaustive list of bible verses pertaining to prayer.  There are many many more.  But I hope that you have been encouraged to include prayer more and more in your day to day living as a child of the Living God.

God bless

My SURRENDER verse for this post is:
Psalm 54 vs 2:  Hear my prayer, O God;
Give ear to the words of my mouth.
I acknowledge that God is the hearer of my prayers.
He and He alone will hear and answer.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Let us Pray!

I have been mulling over prayer and how important it is.  The topic comes up occasionally in my devotionals and I always think, I need to dig deeper here.  So, I decided to write out the Lord's prayer, the prayer Jesus gave us as a template of the perfect prayer, and expand on what each part means based on the study notes I find, and what it means to me.

So, here goes:

Matthew 6 vs 5 - 14

The Lord's Prayer

(5) “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  (6) But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

(7) “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.  (8) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  

(9) Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
God is our Father, we are His children, Holy is His name

(10) Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
May Your ways and order come to us, may Your plans and purposes be done, here on earth as it is where You are in heaven.  (May how Your perfect will is experienced in heaven, be experienced here on earth)

(11) Give us this day our daily bread, 
Give (please Lord would you supply) to us our daily needs, not wants.  (We acknowledge that You are our provider and sustainer and we trust You to provide for us daily)

(12) and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Forgive us all we have done wrong to others, to ourselves and to You, as we should/have/must forgive what others have done to us.  (Restore us to perfect relationship with You)

(13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Please don't allow us to be put into temptations way or be led into temptation by our friends, lifestyle, life, etc, but if we are, help us to recognize that temptation and give us the strength to overcome it in Your name, and deliver us from it and any evil intent connected to it.

(14) For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, (15) but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

PLEASE NOTE:  notes in BLUE are mine and what I believe the Lord's prayer means to me.  If I am wrong, I trust the Lord will open my eyes to it as it is my heart's desire to know what it is God's word would have me know!

My ESV notes state that the Lord's prayer has 6 petitions, the first 3 petitions focus on the superiority of God, and the next 3 petitions focus on our personal needs.  

I think this is a great passage of scripture for when one does not know how to pray.  It is a great start which emphasizes God's holiness and authority over our lives.  He is the source of anything good we have or need, and it is He who protects us from the evil one.  

There are many scriptures about prayer and I will seek them out and do another post on prayer so that I dig deeper into what the Word, God's manual to us, leads us to do and how to do it!

I would love to hear from you and what the Lord's prayer means to you.

God bless

 My SURRENDER verse for this post is:
Matthew 6 vs 11:  And give us this day our daily bread.  
We are completely reliant and dependent on God for everything!


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