PRAYER

PRAYER IS ESSENTIAL

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6 ESV).

“Prayer opens our eyes to God’s glory, our hearts to His will, and our needs to His perfect provision.  It reveals, solidifies, and confirms the unity of the Spirit that we share with other Christians.  And it keeps us alert to the wiles of the Enemy.  Prayer is essential to a walk worthy of our high calling in Christ” J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p5).

“…in asking we must always truly feel our wants, and seriously considering that we need all the things which we ask, accompany the prayer with a sincere, no, ardent desire of obtaining them” John Calvin (ref#113, p567).

“Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath….Poverty of spirit enters into true praying.  ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’  ‘The poor’ means paupers, beggars, those who live on the bounty of others, who live by begging.  Christ’s people live by asking” E.M. Bounds (ref#54, p32).

“’Ask’ means beg….We will never receive if we ask with an end in view; if we ask, not out of our poverty but out of our lust.  A pauper does not ask from any other reason than the abject panging condition of his poverty, he is not ashamed to beg.—Blessed are the paupers in spirit” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 9th).

“The real beggar entreats in good earnest; he cries, he weeps, he heeds not the playing of the children, not the barking of the dogs; his wants pinch him, his stomach craves, nothing but food will please him….So it is the same with the upright and serious heart; he is really and deeply pressed down with sin, and needy of grace and comfort….and therefore let the devil or the world disturb what they can, or suggest what they will, he plies his business, he must have pardon and grace…” Richard Steele (ref#225, Sept 20th).

 “…’prayer is the falling of a tear’…Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven….Often a poor, brokenhearted one bends his knees, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears….that tear has been caught by God and is treasured in heaven.  ‘Put thou my tears into thy bottle’ (Ps 56:8) implies that they are caught as they flow.  The suppliant, whose fears prevent his words, will be well understood by the Most High” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 3rd AM).

PRAYER

WHAT IS PRAYER?

“…prayer…The word that conquers God” Clarence Edward Noble Macartney (ref#212, p10).

“The Christian’s trade is praying…” Martin Luther (ref#54, p167).

“…prayer…is an agony and entreaty, a pleading and striving, a wrestling and persistence” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p73).

“Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus.  It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honor of a Christian” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 2nd, AM).

“Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man’s disposition” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 28th).

“True prayer uncovers the emptiness in the petitioner but the fullness in the Petitioned” Watchman Nee (ref#101, p52).

“…true prayer is the breathing of the life of God in the soul of man.  It is the Spirit dwelling and breathing in him” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Apr 11th).  “It is more than asking, it is communion, fellowship, co-operation, identification, with God the Father and the Son by the Holy Spirit.  Prayer is more than words, for it is mightiest when wordless.  It is more than asking, for it reaches its highest glory when it adores and asks nothing” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p61).

“Prayer is the means of unleashing God’s power on earth and the means of laying hold of God’s promises” Kay Arthur (ref#12).

“Prayer is the condition by which all foes are to be overcome and all the inheritance is to be possessed” E.M Bounds (ref#54, p27).

CREATION

MAN IS IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

“The fact that man is in the image of God means that man is like God…”Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p442).  “The expression refers to every way in which man is like God” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p444).

“…when God originally created man, the reason, the emotions, and the will all worked in perfect harmony. Reason led the way in understanding the will of God, the will consented to God’s will, and the emotions delighted in doing it” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p125).

“…we are still in God’s image—we are still like God…but the image of God in us is distorted;…” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p444).

“…with the entrance of sin into man’s soul, these three faculties began to work at cross-purposes to one another and to God.  The will has become stubborn and rebellious and will not consent to that which reason knows to be the will of God.  Or, more commonly, the emotions get the upper hand and draw away both reason and will from obedience to God” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p125).

“These faculties were all implanted in man’s soul by God, but were all corrupted through man’s fall in the Garden of Eden.  Our reason (or understanding) was darkened (Ephesians 4:18), our desires were entangled (Ephesians 2:3), and our wills perverted” (John 5:40) Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p124).

“…the goal for which God has redeemed us is that we might be ‘conformed to the image of his Son’ (Rom 8:29)” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p445).  “…redemption in Christ means that we can…progressively grow into more and more likeness to God…(Col 3:10)…” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p445).

“With new birth our reason is again enlightened, our affections and desires redirected, and our wills subdued.  But though this is true, it is not true all at once.  In actual experience it is a growing process.  We are told to renew our minds (Romans 12:2), to set our affections on things above (Colossians 3:1), and to submit our wills to God (James 4:7)” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p124-225).

FATHER, thank You for the opportunity to work out all Your redemption has put in me. You give all I need, through CHRIST’s work, to gain back more and more of Your image.

“God’s highest aim in dealing with His people is in developing Christian character” E.M. Bounds (ref#64, p64).

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

Prayer Facts:

“Satan dreads nothing but prayer—The church that lost its Christ was full of good works….Souls may be lost in good works, as surely as in evil ways. The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from prayer….He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray” E. M. Bounds (ref#54, p186).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because Your mercy and lovingkindness endure forever (Ps 118:29), I will wait for You.

Because You will be gracious to the sound of my cry (Isa 30:19), I will wait for You.

Because You pardon my guilt (Ps 25:11), I will wait for You.

Because You are my hiding place (Ps 32:7), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: July 29th – Aug 4th

July 29      Micah 1-4; Rom 14

July 30      Micah 5-7; Ps 46

July 31       Isa 8-10; Rom 15

Aug 1          Isa 11-14; Rom 16

Aug 2          Isa 15-18; Eph 1

Aug 3          Isa 19-21; Eph 2

Aug 4          Isa 22-24; Eph 3

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL SICKNESS

[The majority of our prayers concern physical health. We all know someone who is dealing with the pain of sickness. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

DISCIPLINE NOT PUNISHMENT

“Punishment for sin will take place in the next world. God’s dealings with people in this world are of the nature of discipline….Trouble is no evidence whatever of the Diving displeasure” E. M. Bounds (ref#64, p50).

FATHER, whom in heaven does ____ have but You? (His/her) flesh and heart may be failing but You are the strength of (his/her) heart and (his/her) portion forever (Ps 73:25-26). Let nothing terrify (him/her); keep (him/her), please, from giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve (him/her) (1 Pet 3:6).

You warrant us to take our troubles to You in prayer, so assist ____ in doing that. Favor (him/her) so that she can calmly pray over (his/her) troubles and seek “to get the greatest spiritual benefits out of them” E.M. Bounds (ref#64, p58). By sickness and suffering, by silence and solitude You are giving ____ other than normal work to perform which shall not the less secure (his/her) usefulness and promote Your glory (ref#61, Aug 16th).

FATHER, how manifold are the ways ____ needs You. And in manifold ways You can be found (ref#27, p16).

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

 

Prayer Facts:

“Prayer is asking and knocking at a door for something we have not, which we desire, and which God has promised to us” E.M. Bounds (ref#54, p182).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because Your breath gives life (Job 33:4), I will wait for You.

Because You form the spirit of man within him (Zech 12:1), I will wait for You.

Because You teach me more than the beasts of the earth and make me wiser than the birds of the heaven (Job 35:11), I will wait for You.

Because You do great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number (Job 5:9), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: May 20th – 26th

May 20      1 Kings 7; 2 Chron 4; 2 Cor 8

May 21      1 Kings 8; 2 Chron 5; 2 Cor 9

May 22      2 Chron 6-7; Ps 135

May 23      1 Kings 9; 2 Chron 8; 2 Cor 10

May 24      1 Kings 10-11; 2 Chron 9; Ps 29

May 25      Prov 1; 2 Cor 11

May 26      Prov 2; 2 Cor 12

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL SICKNESS

[The majority of our prayers concern physical health. We all know someone who is dealing with the pain of sickness. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

GOD’S WATCHFUL EYE

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-2-43-41-pmFATHER, You do not forget the cry of ____ who is presently afflicted (Ps 9:12). Not only do You not forget but You set the boundaries of (his/her) tribulation. (He/She) will not “suffer too much or be relieved too late” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Aug 17th PM).

“The knife of the heavenly Surgeon never cuts deeper than is absolutely necessary. ‘He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men’” Charles Spurgeon (Lam 3:33) (ref#34, Aug 17th PM).

FATHER, deliver strength to ____ as (he/she) is tried and give (him/her) more power since (he/she) is weak (Isa 40:29).   Wise is (he/she) in the day of trouble who knows (his/her) “true source of strength and who fails not to pray” E.M. Bounds (ref#64, p47). “…God will supply every need…according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19 ESV).

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

 

 

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Prayer Facts:

“Poverty of spirit enters into true praying. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ ‘The poor’ means paupers, beggars, those who live on the bounty of others, who live by begging.  Christ’s people live by asking. ‘Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath’” E. M. Bounds (ref#54, p32).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because righteousness and justice is the foundation of Your throne (Ps 97:2), I will wait for You.

Because You give skillful and godly wisdom and from Your mouth comes knowledge and understanding (Prov 2:6), I will wait for You.

Because Your mercy and loving-kindness endures forever (1 Chron 16:34), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: March 25th – March 31st

Mar 25            Josh 23-24; Ps 20

Mar 26            Jud 1-3; Mark 14

Mar 27            Jud 4-5; Mark 15

Mar 28            Jud 6-7; Mark 16

Mar 29            Jud 8, Ps 42

Mar 30            Jud 9-10; Gal 1

Mar 31            Jud 11-12; Gal 2

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

 

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Prayer Facts:

“Conformity, to live one with God, is a far higher and more divine life than to live simply in submission to God. To pray in conformity—together with God—is a far higher and more divine way to pray than mere submission” E. M. Bounds (ref#54, p51,52).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You lift up the humble and downtrodden (Ps 147:6), I will wait for You.

Because You deliver the afflicted in their affliction and open their ears to Your voice in adversity (Job 36:15), I will wait for You.

Because You set on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn You lift to safety (Job 5:11), I will wait for You.

Because You have delivered and drawn me to yourself out of the control and dominion of darkness and transformed me into the kingdom of the Son You love (Col 1:13), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: March 4th – 10th

Mar 4  Deut 1-2; Acts 26

Mar 5  Deut 3-4; Acts 27

Mar 6 Deut 5-6; Acts 28

Mar 7  Deut 7-9; Ps 14

Mar 8  Deut 10-12; Mark 1

Mar 9  Deut 13-15; Mark 2

Mar 10 Deut 16-18; Mark 3