PRELUDE TO PRAYER

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Read Through the Bible in a Year: January 1st – 7th:

Jan 1    Gen 1,2; Luke 1

Jan 2    Gen 3-5; Luke 2

Jan 3    Gen 6-8; Ps 1

Jan 4    Gen 9-11; Luke 3

Jan 5    Gen 12-14; Luke 4

Jan 6    Gen 15-17; Luke 5

Jan 7    Gen 18,19; Ps 2

Prayer Facts:

“It is not enough to remember [who God is and what His promises are]; we must hear it again. Prayer is the act in which we hear it again. It is not enough to carry memory verses around with us; we need daily encounter with the resonant voice of God. Prayer is that encounter. Situations change. Does God change? We pray. We listen. God speaks his word again—the same word!—and we are restored and renewed in our commitment….Resolve is essential but not enough. In prayer God provides renewal. Prayer is not so much the place where we learn something new, but where God confirms anew the faith to which we are committed” Eugene Peterson (ref#144, loc 1298-1311).

           

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You plant eternity in my heart—a sense of purpose which nothing under the sun but You can satisfy (Eccl 3:11), I will wait for You.

Because my blood is costly in CHRIST’s sight and because He has pity on me (Ps 72:13-14), I will wait for You.

Because You confirm and make me steadfast and established and endue me with the gifts of the HOLY SPIRIT (2 Cor 1:21), I will wait for You.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life (Ps 63:3), I will wait for You.

 

THANKSGIVING

GOD SIGHTINGS

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 2.37.45 PM…FATHER, my heart can become excited about what You say about Yourself in Scripture to the point of wanting to share the information with others. My heart can become excited when I personally feel Your touch of love to the point of wanting to share the experience with others. But, FATHER, when You allow me to encounter Your supernatural powers—I DEFINITELY WANT TO TELL SOMEBODY.

When I see You change the direction people are moving and realize I prayed for that change in direction, I become a part of what You are doing in this world. It is more than me telling about Your power, or feeling Your power, or observing Your power, but it is about me actually being in union with You through prayer.

GOD sightings of changed courses or changed hearts—all honoring to Your purposes—makes me anxious to open my mouth and declare Your excellencies (1 Pet 2:9). It moves me from what You do for me to You period.

By being a part of what You are doing makes me aware that I’m not the center of my existence. These GOD sightings keep me on my toes with an expectation of something going on and I don’t want to miss it. FATHER, keep me in wonder, so I’m quick to not move too fast and miss out on some beauty or truth or goodness that I have yet to recognize or understand (ref#58, p 28).

Eugene Peterson writes about the scene at the tomb Easter morning:

“I love the contrast between those Roman guards—insensible and sprawled on the ground, paralyzed by fear—and the two exuberant women kneeling on the same ground, energized by fear. It is the same word in both cases—fear.  But it’s not the same thing. There is a fear that incapacitates us for dealing with God, and there is a fear that pulls us out of our preoccupation with ourselves, our feelings, or our circumstances into a world of wonder. It pulls us out of ourselves into the very action of God” Eugene Peterson (ref#58, p16,17).

FATHER, these “GOD sightings” are like Corrie Ten Boom shaking the hand of the Nazi guard, or the crowd witnessing JESUS healing—happenings that can only be attributed to Your supernatural power. GOD sightings that I see and hear are Your blessings to me just like You blessed the crowds in JESUS day. They had to tell somebody—I have to tell somebody.

“‘O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours” (Deut 3:24 ESV)?

ADORATION

FEAR OF THE LORD

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 2.16.30 PM…FATHER, Your Son delighted in the fear of You (Isa 11:3) and Isaiah the prophet predicted it will be Zion’s treasure (Isa 33:6). It is my delight as well. This day give me the ability to recognize some aspect of You that will produce fear.

Understanding the fear of You is to receive Your words and treasure Your commands seeking them intently (Prov 2:1,4,5). You say, the fear of You is the beginning of wisdom—it is insight and understanding (Prov 9:10).

There are two kinds of fear—paralyzing fear and energizing fear. Paralyzing fear comes to people who have no relationship with You when they recognize Your authority over them.

Your presence produces energizing fear though, for a Christian. Fear becomes an excitement waiting for what You will do next.

FATHER, I ask that energizing fear pull me out of my obsession with myself and into Your world of Your surprises (ref#58, p17). With such fear I will easily understand I’m not the center of my existence; (ref#58, p28) nor want to be.

Without some comprehension of You and Your awesome activities, FATHER, everything I do is a self-help project. When You and I are not close I become comfortable with myself and go about my daily business of setting goals and evaluating myself. But energizing fear makes me cast aside my predetermined plans and make an all-out effort to stay close to You (ref#58, p30).

No wonder CHRIST’s delight was the “fear of the LORD” (Isa 11:3). As Son of Man, He needed You, FATHER, minute by minute; His energized fear kept Him receiving miracle after miracle that filled Him with joy as well as moved Him through His earthly life accomplishing all Your will. Energizing fear, obedience, and joy come bundled together.

May I be like the first century church: …in possession of unbroken tranquility, being constantly built up and proceeding on its way in the fear of the Lord… Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p295, [Acts 9:31]).

 

THE NEW YEARS RESOLUTION

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 11.43.47 AM“It is not enough to remember [who God is and what His promises are]; we must hear it again. Prayer is the act in which we hear it again. It is not enough to carry memory verses around with us; we need daily encounter with the resonant voice of God. Prayer is that encounter….We pray. We listen. God speaks his word again—the same word!—and we are restored and renewed in our commitment….Resolve is essential but not enough. In prayer God provides renewal. Prayer is not so much the place where we learn something new, but where God confirms anew the faith to which we are committed” Eugene Peterson (ref#144, loc 1298-1311).

Faith is the thing GOD renews in prayer. Sabbath faith is what He gives to prepare for the week ahead. We need to hear His promises again; we need to hear GOD jog our memory; we need encounters with GOD much more than we think we do. He commands us to keep the Sabbath for good reason:

“I need emancipation; I need to be lifted to another realm; I need a force and a strength and a power that I do not have myself. That is my need, and here is the answer: I am given faith—I am given an outlook and understanding—I am introduced to a source of power…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Dec 7th).

January 1st is for starting again with resolutions. Mine is to be more diligent in keeping the Sabbath holy. Beginning Sunday I plan to address the Sabbath Day with Sunday and Monday posts.

May GOD show Himself pleased in all your spiritual resolutions this year.

THANKSGIVING

FEAR OF THE LORD

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 4.27.09 PMFATHER, Your Son delighted in the fear of You (Isa 11:3) and Isaiah the prophet predicted it will be Zion’s treasure (Isa 33:6). It is my delight as well. This day give me the ability to recognize some aspect of You that will produce fear.

Understanding the fear of You is to receive Your words and treasure Your commands seeking them intently (Prov 2:1,4,5). You say, the fear of You is the beginning of wisdom—it is insight and understanding (Prov 9:10).

There are two kinds of fear—paralyzing fear and energizing fear. Paralyzing fear comes to people who have no relationship with You when they recognize Your authority over them.

Your presence produces energizing fear though, for a Christian. Fear becomes an excitement waiting for what You will do next.

FATHER, I ask that energizing fear pull me out of my obsession with myself and into Your world of Your surprises (ref#58, p17). With such fear I will easily understand I’m not the center of my existence; (ref#58, p28) nor want to be.

Without some comprehension of You and Your awesome activities, FATHER, everything I do is a self-help project. When You and I are not close I become comfortable with myself and go about my daily business of setting goals and evaluating myself. But energizing fear makes me cast aside my predetermined plans and make an all-out effort to stay close to You (ref#58, p30).

No wonder CHRIST’s delight was the “fear of the LORD” (Isa 11:3). As Son of Man, He needed You, FATHER, minute by minute; His energized fear kept Him receiving miracle after miracle that filled Him with joy as well as moved Him through His earthly life accomplishing all Your will. Energizing fear, obedience, and joy come bundled together.

May I be like the first century church: …in possession of unbroken tranquility, being constantly built up and proceeding on its way in the fear of the Lord… Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p295, [Acts 9:31]).

 

ADORATION

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Prayer Facts:

“It is not enough to remember [who God is and what His promises are]; we must hear it again. Prayer is the act in which we hear it again. It is not enough to carry memory verses around with us; we need daily encounter with the resonant voice of God. Prayer is that encounter. Situations change. Does God change? We pray. We listen. God speaks his word again—the same word!—and we are restored and renewed in our commitment….Resolve is essential but not enough. In prayer God provides renewal. Prayer is not so much the place where we learn something new, but where God confirms anew the faith to which we are committed” Eugene Peterson (ref#144, loc 1298-1311).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You plant eternity in my heart—a sense of purpose which nothing under the sun but You can satisfy (Eccl 3:11), I will wait for You.

Because my blood is costly in CHRIST’s sight and because He has pity on me (Ps 72:13-14), I will wait for You.

Because You confirm and make me steadfast and established and endue me with the gifts of the HOLY SPIRIT (2 Cor 1:21), I will wait for You.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life (Ps 63:3), I will wait for You.