PRAYER

DISCERNMENT

“For everyone whose sole diet is milk, is inexperienced in a message which is righteous in quality…solid food belongs to…mature, to those who on account of long usage have their powers of perception exercised to the point where they are able to discriminate between both that which is good in character and that which is evil” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p521, [Heb 5:13-14]).

FATHER, Your Son warns me not to judge (Matt 7:1).  But Your SPIRIT will reveal what is wrong in others for the purpose of intercession (ref#118, p77).

I first ask that You, LORD, keep me from thinking rashly of others; I do not want my intention in prayer to be simply passing judgment—to be the product of my own jealously or ill nature (ref#18, [Matt 7:1-6]).

FATHER, in intercession I want to bear up the life of the one I pray for until You, put the person right.  May I so lay hold of You for them that You enable them to turn away from rebellion and come to You (ref#118, p77).

May I “…get to work and pray, and God will get His chance with other lives;…God has based the Christian life on Redemption, and as we pray on this basis God’s honour is at stake to answer prayer” Oswald Chambers (ref#8, Nov 19th).

Even though I cannot know the heart, I can be sensitive to Your SPIRIT.  It is possible for someone to imagine they are Christians when they are not—especially when they decide that being a Christian is desirable.

“Professing the Christian religion is of no avail whatever unless there is something more added to it…it is a change that is known…known by works of holiness” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, March 6th AM).

Give me a spirit of gentleness; give me a spirit of humbleness lest I be tempted in like manner as they (Gal 6:1).  Make me candid and charitable (ref#18, [Matt 7:1-6]).  And also give me discernment and the boldness to admonish them, (1 Thes 5:14) when they have a false notion that they are already Christians.

PRAYER

A STATE OF UNBELIEF

“GLORIOUS GOD, I bless thee that I know thee, I once lived in the world, but was ignorant of its creator, was partaker of thy providences, but knew not the provider, was blind while enjoying the sunlight, was deaf to all things spiritual, with voices all around me, understood many things, but had no knowledge of thy ways, saw the world, but did not see Jesus only” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p62).

FATHER, increase my concern for Your yet-to-be regenerates for they are “ignorant and careless, and ready to perish for lack of vision” Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Matt 9:35-38]).  They are “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt 9:36 ESV).

“Misery is the object of mercy; and the miseries of sinful, self-destroying souls, are the greatest miseries: Christ pities those most that pity themselves least; so should we” Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Matt 9:35-38]).

So many people are following shepherds that fill them with vain notions (1 Tim 1:6) and burden them with the “traditions of the elders.”  Like sheep they have gone astray and are lost.  They are “helpless, shiftless, and exposed, or more unapt to find the way home again (ref#18, [Matt 9:35-38]).

FATHER, help me help them.  I was once lost and unable to find my way home again.  I was lost seeking to gain happiness from myself and not seeking the things of CHRIST.  I needed the Good Shepherd; they need the Good Shepherd.

FATHER, as I recognize the presence of JESUS and routinely recall His life, it makes me own my rebellious selfishness.  Even as a believer, comparing myself to JESUS makes me realize I am no different than the vilest sinner.  Give me such a loving heart that I, like CHRIST, take on their distress and poverty—their guilt and perdition.  I plead to You for them.  My work is to do vicariously what they cannot do for themselves (ref#10, p149-150).

FATHER, may I bear what CHRIST produces as He lives His life again through me (ref#100, p140).  “I am His branch, a part of Him whose resources are limitless for the blessing of those who are around me” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p141)!

Oh, that my loved ones “…Be having a change of mind regarding…[their]…life, and be putting [their] faith in the good news” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p80, [Mark 1:15], brackets mine).

SCRIPTURE

THE POWER OF SCRIPTURE

“…’the Book’…is a fountain for spiritual thirst, food for the soul, a revelation of God, a living power and a two-edged sword” John Piper (ref#220, p292).

FATHER, the more familiar I become with Your Bible the more I approach it with respect and fear.  One read through cements the fact that it is indeed a supernatural book.  Ordinary books inform or entertain; the Bible changes my very nature.  UTMOST LORD, I thank You for providing the SPIRIT who guides me as I read.

I can easily fall back into reading with the mind of my flesh, using my natural “sense and reason without the Holy Spirit…” (Rom 8:6 AMP).  But by reading this way I’m only looking for information to help me.  Without the SPIRIT to help, Your Word is external.  It does not change me inside.  It only gives me advice to act independently of You.

“…the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12 ESV).

“…the ‘word’ is pictured as God’s personal utterance, living, active, sharp, piercing, and discerning…with eyesthat expose….The Word of God then acts as God himself, so that one’s innermost thoughts and intentions are exposed.  This happens constantly in Christians’ lives” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2367, [Heb 4:12-13]).

If the ESV translation is hard to understand, try the Message: God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what” (Heb 4:12-13 MSG).

I praise You, LORD, that Your Word “is a sifter…of the reflections and conceptions of the heart” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p519, [Heb 4:12]).  Its energy seeks to get into and stay with me. It has the ability to stir me and work in me to a degree that I can’t get away from it. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#28, p83)

“We are being drawn more and more under the transforming influence of Scripture, or we are being progressively drawn into the web of an ungodly society around us” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p171).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Resisters

[We all have friends and family that do not want anything to do with Christianity so it is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

BRING CALAMITY

O LORD, Your children will walk in Your statues and they will be careful to obey Your rules when You “cause” them to do so (Ezek 36:27). I have many friends and family that know about You but still order their own lives. I pray that You do what is needed to cause them to abandon their own efforts to rule themselves.

Did not Your own Son learn obedience by suffering (Heb 2:10). Do You not say, “Spiritually prosperous are the destitute and helpless…” (ref #37, p9, [Matt 5:3])? ____ will never look for You unless You bring calamities that will cause (him/her) to question ruling (his/her) own life. Avert (him/her), making (him/her) realize that (he/she) is a sinner by nature (Matt 9:13), and not righteous in character (Mark 2:17). Exhaust (him/her) in (his/her) troubles, make (him/her) wander aimlessly so that (he/she) throws (himself/herself) to the ground in an utterly prostrate condition as a sheep not having a shepherd (Matt 9:36).

I pray for sorrow that leads to salvation—a sorrow that stirs up ____’s heart so (he/she) cannot rest until (he/she) finds pardon through Your mercy (2 Cor 7:10). My desire is that (he/she) turn to You in a wind-blown, out-of-control situation and find (his/her) heart regretful of (his/her) way and wishing to change it (2 Cor 7:9).

FATHER, cause ____ to labor through (his/her) days in vain. Turn (him/her) to see it is CHRIST who will cause (him/her) to cease from such useless labor.   CHRIST will take away (his/her) burdens and refresh (him/her) with rest (Matt 11:29).

You cause grief, but You will have compassion according to the abundance of Your steadfast love; for You do not willingly afflict or grieve (Lam 3:32-33). Every languishing soul You will replenish (Jer 31:25).

When ____’s pride is shattered and (he/she) is ready for love, (he/she) will not escape Your notice, will (he/she) (Ps 51:17)? O LORD, make it so that in (his/her) distress (he/she) seeks You, for You will be found (2 Chron 15:4). I pray all this to You—a faithful GOD (Ps 145:13).

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.]

HEALING – ASKING FOR POWER TO HEAL

…FATHER, You so generously revealed Yourself to Your people written of in the OT, advising them that You would not put any of the diseases on them that You put on the Egyptians—if they would diligently listen to Your voice (Ex 15:26). Now in our day, You reveal Yourself through Your Son (Heb 1:2). You have transferred Your healing power to Him. By His stripes all who diligently listen to His voice are healed (Isa 53:5).

CHRIST’s cross breaks the dominion of sin in us so that we are fortified against that which feeds disease (ref#18, [Isa 53:5]). Yet, we still are living in the world that You, FATHER, have subjected to futility and we groan (Rom 8:20,22), knowing we will sooner or later have to experience disease. CHRIST’s cross breaks the dominion of sin, but sin still has sway over us and its natural effect is sickness. When JESUS was here He began to “reverse the curse” by healing diseases. We can expect from JESUS occasions of immediate healing in our day.

With excited speed I usher myself into the presence of JESUS. Your Son, FATHER, has conquered sin and death (Rom 8:2). The NT writers reported often of JESUS healing someone physically. There were occasions when He healed everyone present. And wherever He came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored Him that they might touch even the fringe of His garment. And as many as touched it were made well (Mark 6:56). Healing was important to JESUS then, and it’s important to Him now.

“If we keep on asking anything for ourselves, [which is] according to His will, He hears us. And if we know with an absolute knowledge that He hears us, whatever we are asking for ourselves, we know with an absolute knowledge that we have the things which we have asked from Him” Kenneth S. West (ref#37, [1 John 5:14-15]).

FATHER, following a procedure, or even confessing sins, can be bypassed for possibly now the power is present for You, LORD, to perform healing (Luke 5:17). JESUS, I ask for Your healing power to come upon ____ whom I hold in my heart right now.

I understand that this time may not be Your timing even though I have absolute knowledge that I have what I ask for. If ____ is still in (his/her) sickness, then grant (him/her) sustaining grace while we all wait for Your timing.

PRELUDE TO PRAYER

Prayer Facts:

“…in everything by prayer whose essence is that of worship and devotion and by supplication which is a cry for your personal needs, with thanksgiving let your requests for the things asked for be made know in the presence of God,” Kenneth S. West (ref#37, p467, [Philippians 4:6]).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You are the Fashioner and Maker of all things (Jer 10:16), I will wait for You.

Because You make all the nations of men and determine their allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (Acts 17:26), I will wait for You.

Because there is no human wisdom or understanding or counsel that can prevail against You (Prov 21:30), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: Oct 7th – 13th

Oct 7     Ezek 42-44; John 1

Oct 8     Ezek 45-46; John 2

Oct 9     Ezek 47-48; Ps 64

Oct 10   Dan 5-6; John 3

Oct 11    Dan 7-8; John 4

Oct 12   Dan 9-10; John 5

Oct 13   Dan 11-12; John 6

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL TRIBULATION

[We all can think of a Christian sister or brother experiencing so much affliction they may not be able to pray for themselves. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

ARMOR OF GOD

screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-3-33-31-pm…FATHER, help ____ gird (his/her) “loins in the sphere of truth” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p457, [Eph 6:14]). Remind (him/her) that Truth is not found anywhere in the GOD-ignoring air of this world.

Help (him/her) clothe (himself/herself) with the breastplate of righteousness (Eph 6:14)—that is the sinless righteousness of CHRIST, full of power—power like You FATHER, exerted in raising CHRIST from the dead (Gal 1:1).

Help ____ sandal (his/her) feet with a firm foundation in the Gospel (Eph 6:15) by preaching it to (himself/herself) every day making it as much of a reality as the physical world (he/she) sees.

Cause (him/her) to remember to hold in front of (him/her) the shield of faith (Eph 6:16,17) and prod (him/her) to put on the helmet of (his/her) assurance of salvation.

Propel (him/her) to wield the sword of the SPIRIT that is Your infallible Word (Eph 6:17). (His/Her) shield, (his/her) helmet, (his/her) sword—surely this in where (he/she) will find (his/her) strength.

With all this armor that You, SUFFICIENT ONE, provide, (he/she) should be more than able to stand saying, “He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

CONFESSION

STANDING BEFORE THE CROSS

screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-3-12-06-pm “…the love which Christ has [for me] presses on me from all sides, holding me to one end and prohibiting me from considering any other, wrapping itself around me in tenderness, giving me an  impelling motive,…” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p424, [2 Cor 5:14]).

FATHER, this is how CHRIST’s love moves me—controls me. In words He is able to express His love for me. In words He draws me to Himself as I desire His closeness. Reviewing CHRIST at the Cross is a place where I am reminded again of His impelling love.

“What about the Son of Man…As we stand before the cross, we should feel as if we are standing upon a battlefield, the ground still wet with blood and pain. The screams, His cries of thirst, should still ring our ears” Michael Card (ref#137, p181).

In experiencing the strength of CHRIST’s love, it’s moving enough to dwell on His physical agony, but FATHER, paint a word-picture of His emotional agony that I may have a deeper concept of His willingness to offer me His love.

Jesus cried out, “Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt 27:46). FATHER, You separated Yourself from Him because You were too holy to look upon sin. I see CHRIST’s tear-filled eyes looking for You (ref#137, p181)…

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN, Resisters

[We all have friends and family that do not want anything to do with Christianity so it is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

FELIX-LIKE

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-4-01-20-pm“As Paul continued to insist on right relations with God and his people, about a life of moral discipline and the coming Judgment, Felix felt things getting a little too close for comfort and dismissed him….” (Acts 24:25 MSG).

FATHER, I watch ____ divert (his/her) attention from You whenever Your names comes up in conversation. I have to say affliction and prosperity have alike failed to turn ____ toward CHRIST. Tears and prayers and sermons have, so far, been wasted on (his/her) barren heart (ref#34, Dec 31st AM).

There must be something of You that ____ disapproves of otherwise (he/she) would not be hindered from acknowledging Your authority (Matt 13:57). (He/She) goes on hardening (his/her) heart when (he/she) puts CHRIST to the test for the purpose of approving Him (Heb 3:7-9). CHRIST does not meet (his/her) specifications as Messiah (Luke 9:22) because (he/she) does not yet have an experiential knowledge of Him (Heb 3:10).

Pride makes ____ critical of Your activities, FATHER. I hear (him/her) criticizing, disagreeing and correcting things of You (ref#124, p118).

Thus, I long to see (him/her) approach You with teachable humility (ref#124, p119). I long to see ____ great in Your kingdom.

“Unless you reverse your present trend of thought and become as the little children, in no case shall you enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, he who is of such a nature as to humble himself like this little child, esteeming himself small inasmuch as he is so, thus thinking truly, and because truly, therefore humbly of himself, this person is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”  Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p45-46, [Matt 18:3-4]).

CONFESSION

DAILY RENDERING FLESH INEFFECTIVE BY FAITH

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-59-48-pm“Give me to view a discovered sinfulness, to know that though my sins are crucified they are never wholly mortified. Hatred, malice, ill-will, vain-glory that hungers for and hunts after man’s approval and applause, all are crucified, forgiven, but they rise again in my sinful heart” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p71)

FATHER, sensitize me of the truth about myself so that I might, by faith, deal with myself correctly. The consequence of the fall is that I am wicked, corrupt, and fleshly. I have indwelling sin, which is the infection of my nature (ref#15, [Rom 6:6]). Correctly I am as truly slain as CHRIST was crucified in order that I am as truly raised from a death of sin to a life of righteousness as the body of CHRIST was raised from the grave (ref#15, [Rom 6:6]).

As much as this is true, remind me, LORD that this “destroyed” flesh still resides in me (ref#33, p103).

“The flesh with its fleshly nature abides perpetually in the believer. Whenever opportunity is provided for its operation, it at once will spring into action” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p103).

Flesh is forever flesh even though CHRIST delivered me from it. The moment I cease believing that in faith and fail to let the HOLY SPIRIT lead me, I do not walk by the SPIRIT as Romans 8 talks about. As soon as I make a decision without consulting the SPIRIT I am immediately engulfed in the experience of Romans 7 (ref#33, p102) and not able to triumph. Only by constantly appropriating the cross will I be liberated from the power of the flesh (ref#33, p101).

If I am to be freed from the oppression of the flesh, I must ‘put to death the wicked deeds of the body and walk according to the Holy Spirit” (ref#33, p102). FATHER, provide the faith I need to believe CHRIST’s deathblow to my flesh for I desire to take on the responsibly to give my flesh no further attention.

“…loved one…be constantly holding yourselves back from the passionate cravings which are fleshly by nature [fleshly in that they come from the totally depraved nature], cravings of such a nature that, like an army carrying on a military campaign, they are waging war, hurling themselves down upon your soul” (ref#37, p552, [1 Peter 2:11]).