PRELUDE TO PRAYER

Prayer Facts:

“The very powers of darkness are paralyzed by prayer. No wonder Satan tries to keep our minds fussy in active work till we cannot think to pray” Oswald Chambers (ref#23, p397).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You see my paths and count all my steps (Job 31:4), I will wait for You.

Because You know the way that I take, because You have concern for it, because You appreciate and pay attention to my way (Job 23:10), I will wait for You.

Because You hear my supplication and receive my prayer (Ps 6:9), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: Sept 9th – 15th

Sept 9      Jer 48-49; Ps 52

Sept 10    Jer 21,24,27; Heb 6

Sept 11     Jer 28-30; Heb 7

Sept 12     Jer 31-32; Heb 8

Sept 13     Jer 33-34; Heb 9

Sept 14     Jer 37-39; Heb 10

Sept 15     Jer 50-51; Heb 11

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SUPPLICATION

CHRISTIAN

[Because we are Christians and live in the world we will always need prayer for our walk and for witnessing to others about CHRIST. Here’s an opportunity to pray for others or even ourselves. Fill their name or your name in the blanks.]

TALK OF CHRIST NOT PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

“Salvation is all God’s thought, not man’s; therefore it is an unfathomable abyss” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 5th).

It is a common activity to speak of spiritual ideas as just that, ideas—facts that the listener can add or not add to his personal morals. FATHER, enable, ____ to be true to JESUS CHRIST and not a doctrine of Christianity (ref#118, p82). Energize ____ to keep the awesome fear of GOD in (his/her) witness by speaking only about the Person, JESUS CHRIST.

Constrain ____ to not speak of how one can be saved from hell or made moral and pure. Such will come automatically with redemption. Impassion ____ to speak simply of the good news of JESUS CHRIST. If (his/her) words bring (his/her) hearers to judgment then (he/she) has done (his/her) part. The SPIRIT will do the rest.

CONFESSION

WHO IS DOING THE DOING?

“Not all deeds done for God are His deeds. Doing for Him is not enough; the question is, who is doing the doing? God will not recognize any labor as His if it simply reflects the believer’s activity and is carried out in his strength” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#101, p44).

When the Apostle Paul says I am to work out my own salvation (Phil 2:12-13), he is not saying to me to get busy and convince You, FATHER, that I love You. If I have any thought of impressing You it signals my activities are birthed from ruling myself. Working out my salvation is not choosing Christian activities that I want to do.

FATHER, instead of permitting my perverse nature to work out my salvation, bequeath me that I may, with concentration and care work out the nature You have put in me when You changed my nature (ref#7, June 6th). I want You to dominate more and more of my life (ref#7, June 7th); I want to be more and more acquainted with Your good work, not my own good work—Your rule, not my rule.

“The moment we begin to feel satisfied that we are making some progress along the road of sanctification, it is all the more necessary to repent and confess that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags….God alone knows our good works, all we know is his good work. We can do no more than…carry on and rely on his grace,…and—sin” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p297).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

CHRIST’S MIMICS

FATHER, I pray for ____ who is sincere about (his/her) Christian faith. (He/She) is a pew-sitter eager to be a disciple of CHRIST but (he/she) falls short of (his/her) goal. (He/She) is all human-learning and human-doing. (He/She) is only a mimic of a true disciple.   A good mimic, however,—so good (he/she) never thinks (he/she) may be displeasing to You.

“There are many today who are sincere, but they are not real; they are not hypocrites, but perfectly honest and earnest and desirous of fulfilling what Jesus wants of them, but they really cannot do it because they have not received the Holy Spirit who will make them real” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p85).

LORD, send Your SPIRIT so ____ may realize that (his/her) self-centeredness is sinning against You even in the matter of serving and pleasing You. Self-confident strengths oppose Your SPIRIT.

“Whatever does not issue from waiting upon God, from depending upon the Holy Spirit, is unquestionably of the flesh…Whenever a heart of utter trust is lacking, there is the labor of the flesh” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p114).

“The bedrock in Jesus Christ’s kingdom is not sincerity, not deciding for Christ, not a determination to serve Him, but complete and entire recognition that we cannot begin to do it” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p86).

FATHER, awaken ____ to see (his/her) pathetic flesh so CHRIST can pour His disposition in (him/her). CHRIST must realize His will through (him/her) (ref#83, p86). By faith I know, FATHER, You will give ____ the ability not only to want to do His will but also the ability to do it (Phil 2:12-13).

SUPPLICATION

CHRISTIAN

[Because we are Christians and live in the world we will always need prayer for our walk and for witnessing to others about CHRIST. Here’s an opportunity to pray for others or even ourselves. Fill their name or your name in the blanks.]

CONSIDER THE TRAGEDY OF GOD

FATHER, inspire ____, when speaking of the spiritual world, to speak only about JESUS CHRIST. Make (him/her) able to make a distinction between what CHRIST did and the result of what CHRIST did.

“The effect of the Cross is salvation, sanctification, healing, etc., but we are not to preach any of these, we are to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Nov 26th).

Give ____ the ability to make CHRIST, and not man, the center of all things. It is easy to personalize what CHRIST did. “He died for my sins out of sympathy for me.” “It is a travesty to say that Jesus Christ travailed in Redemption to make me a saint” (ref#7, Feb 1st). In my natural depravity it’s easy to get mushy.

“We are acceptable with God not because we have obeyed, or because we have promised to give up things, but because of the death of Christ, and in no other way. We say that Jesus Christ came to reveal the Fatherhood of God, the loving-kindness of God; the New Testament says He came to bear away the sin of the world” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 29th).

 Impassion ____ to speak from Your prospective. “We have not brooded enough on the tragedy of Calvary or on the meaning of Redemption” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Nov 26th). The great point of Your spiritual energy is the cross. JESUS-talk may seem abrupt and even harsh but it will do its own work. FATHER, give ____ the ability to hash over and over all the effort You have put forth in Redemption. Captivate (him/her) to brood over Your tragedy in giving Your Son to die (ref#7, Nov 26th)

CONFESSION

COVETOUSNESS

“…when the Holy Ghost convicts He…gives us the deep conviction that we are living in independence of God…we find all our virtues and goodness…has been based on a…boundless inheritance of covetousness Oswald Chambers (ref#8, March 31st).

“Never lay the flattering unction to your soul that because you are not covetous for money or worldly possessions, you are not covetous for anything. The fuss and distress of owning anything is the last remnant of the disposition of sin. Jesus Christ possessed nothing for Himself (see 2 Corinthians 8:9)” (ref#8, March 31st).

FATHER, today I submit in Your presence and willingly ask the SPIRIT to highlight the things in my life where I spend money and time on activities only for my entertainment and comfort. Point out my activities that are competitive right down to my efforts to make myself better than others. Show me my covetousness in my shopping habits. Help me distinguish between my needs and simply pleasing myself. Reveal the vast difference between Your provision of my basic needs and my pursuit of selfish wants. I am totally at fault for being rich. I am living a worldly life. And the way I spend my time and money separate me from You. Even if I multiply my prayers, You will not hear me (Jer 14:12).

LORD, I stand before You in rebellion,

full of covetousness—

wanting to keep my own life—

exerting myself to maintain my rule.

 

I’m not envious of the possessions of my neighbor;

but I’m greedy for comfort and peace.

I passionately guard my soft bed;

I lust after tasty food—clothes—shelter.

 

I jealously surround myself with friends—

striving to keep them happy with me.

‘Tis true, I begrudge others who find success,

and envy ones who are better than I.

SUPPLICATION

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.]

REASONS FOR AFFLICTION – TESTING DISPOSITION

 “The proof that God has altered our dispositions is not that we persuade ourselves He has, but that we prove He has when circumstances put us to the test” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (ref#118, p31).

I pray this present situation show the well of sweetness You, FATHER, have placed in ____ (ref#118, p31). May it prove to (him/her) as well as all involved in the circumstance that You have changed (his/her) disposition.

FATHER, as I pray for ____ I ask that You grant (him/her) assurances of Your activities in (his/her) life. Strengthen ____ with Your own great power so that (he/she) “…will not give up when troubles come…” (Col 1:11 NCV). I ask not for a sign of better circumstances ahead but I pray that You give ____ “the sense of Thy blessing and approval” Oswald Chambers (ref#27, p65).

CONFESSION

STORMING HEAVEN

“Convince me that I can have no peace at death, nor hope that I should go to Christ, unless I intend to do his will and have his fullness while I live” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p167).

FATHER, heaven is not obtained except I violently take it by force (Matt 11:12). Since getting into CHRIST’s presence is never my natural desire, in the mundane or easy days I must power myself into CHRIST’s kingdom.

I default to the control of myself in a thousand different ways as I look for contentment. But, Oswald Chambers makes a statement that I must consider: “…we do not want to realize Jesus Christ, but only our enjoyment of Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, July 10th).

I can use prayer and Bible reading for the purpose of my enjoyment. I can serve the church for my own well-feelings. In honesty, I must ask myself, “Am I a Christian because it is pleasurable?”

FATHER, always clue me I am on the broad path that leads to destruction (Matt 7:13) if I avoid being stirred up or am not willing to face “injustice and meanness and ingratitude and turmoil” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, July 10th). I have to believe storming heaven will mean physical stress, but because of my willful resolve and determination I will reap a joy superior to all joy—a joy that cannot be found anywhere else but in fellowship with You (ref#16, [1 Cor 2:9]).

“Faith makes things possible, but not easy” (a church marquee).

CONFESSION

CHRISTLIKENESS IS NOT ME IMITATING BUT THE SPIRIT IMPLANTING

…FATHER, my previous understanding of the term “Christlikeness” has misled me. I thought I would become Christlike by doing more and more good deeds like CHRIST did. FATHER, it is my desire to walk by the SPIRIT, not imitate CHRIST by externally acting out my perception of His good works.

But, Christlikeness is not me imitating CHRIST. Instead, Christlikeness is the impartation of the holy qualities of CHRIST in me (ref#7, July 23rd). These “holy qualities” are Your qualities, FATHER, brought to me by the Person of the SPIRIT.

The HOLY SPIRIT transfigured the Son of Man, CHRIST, and He transfigures me. It is an internal change in me. Bit by bit—from one degree of glory to another—my life improves as You, FATHER, enter more and more into my life (2 Cor 3:18).

The length to which I’m willing to be molded into Your image is the length to which the SPIRIT will help me. As long as I keep calling out for His blessing and help, the SPIRIT has fully committed Himself to respond (ref#78, p38).

“Only when we are full of the Spirit do we feel the need for God everywhere we turn” Jim Cymbala (ref#78, p58).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

THE GIFT OF SALVATION

“No part of us is untouched by sin, and no action of ours is as good as it should be. Consequently, nothing we do is ever meritorious in God’s eyes. We cannot earn God’s favor no matter what we do; unless grace saves us, we are lost” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p781, [Original Sin and Total Depravity]).

FATHER, since You are a great GOD who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number (Job 5:9), I defer to You with my request. I observe ____ depending on (his/her) own good accomplishments to please You. But, “obedience is a response to God’s favor, and not a means of gaining itThe Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1732, [Col 3:1] underlining mine).

Your Gospel that You provide as a gift, given freely by Your grace, causes both intense longing or intense resentment. I fear ____ is comfortable with (his/her) own moral achievements and resents any other way of pleasing You. I see (him/her) in the following quote:

“I will give my life to martyrdom, I will give myself in consecration, I will do anything, but do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is to accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Nov 28th).

FATHER, I pray You cause ____ to come to the realization that (he/she) must receive salvation as a pure gift or do without it. As long as (he/she) is possessed of anything in the way of independence, You can do nothing for (him/her) (ref#7, Nov 28th).

You say, “the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands (Ps 9:16 ESV). So I pray for ____ that (he/she) turn and repent so (his/her) sins are blotted out (Acts 3:19). FATHER, please make ____ a person who has an intense longing for Your gift of salvation. Make (him/her) like one who was in the crowd listening to JESUS. “Now, all the tax collectors and those sinners stained with certain vices and crimes were continually crowding close to Him for the purpose of hearing Him” (ref#37, p176 [Luke 15:1]). These people reaped the benefit of JESUS’ presence by their lowly and contrite heart, I pray ____ does, too.