February 14: Knowing God – Wisdom

Who is this God we’re praying to?

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 1:25

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:17

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Jude 25

Our God is full of wisdom. Yet He does not hoard it. He offers it to us freely!

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5

It was obvious to secular rulers that God had given wisdom to His servants:

And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

Genesis 41:39

God told His people that He would fill people with wisdom:

And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,

Exodus 31:3

Let’s pray and ask God for wisdom today!

February 13: Knowing God – Righteousness

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith

Romans 1:17

God is righteous. But what does that mean?

1. Just; accordant to the divine law. Applied to persons, it denotes one who is holy in heart, and observant of the divine commands in practice; as a righteous man. Applied to things, it denotes consonant to the divine will or to justice; as a righteous act. It is used chiefly in theology, and applied to God, to his testimonies and to his saints.

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/righteous
Martin Luther

God is Holy, and is consistent with His commands. But the amazing thing is that God is willing to impute His righteousness to us!

Martin Luther discovered that God not only reveals His righteousness by faith, but that the just can live by faith (Romans 1:17). Then Luther read about Abraham:

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Romans 4:3

and then about David:

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

Romans 4:6

God imputes – adds to our account – His righteousness! Not by works, but by faith! Let’s thank Him for the righteousness He has – but that He has given us!

February 12: Knowing God – Transcendence and Immanence

Transcendence: “to exist above and independent from; to rise above, surpass, succeed.”

Immanence: “refers to His presence within His creation”

God transcends creation – He exists in Heaven. But He cares about man – lowlier than the angels (Hebrews 2:7). He wants to know you!

Sometimes its intimidating to enter into His presence. He knows everything you’ve ever done wrong. He’s serious about sin. He is Holy. But He wants to dwell with you!

Talk to Him today and invite Him to dwell with you.

For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Isaiah 57:15

That sounds a little familiar – God wanting to dwell with us? Yes He does! He renewed that promise in the New Testament!

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20

February 11: Knowing God – Eternality

2Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Psalm 90:2

Ever wish you could talk to your great-great-great-grandparents and ask them how life was like back then? Ever wonder if today’s challenges are so much worse than anything in the past?

Did you know that God is eternal? We might admit that fact if we took a test of the attributes of God, but have you ever pondered, that the same God who we pray to, was the God of our grandparents, and their grandparents? The same God that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob prayed to – you can call out to Him today.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun. God has seen it all. We can talk to Him today!

February 10: Knowing God – Truth

To talk with God better, we need to know Him better.

 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:6

God is truth. Eleazar recognized it in Genesis 24:27. Jacob recognized it in Genesis 32:10. Jethro saw that God-fearers are men of truth Exodus 18:21.

When God revealed Himself to Moses, He declared that He was abundant in truth!

And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

Exodus 34:6

Moses declared His truth in Deuteronomy:

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Deuteronomy 32:4

Our God is truth. But what is truth? The Englishman’s Concordance shows us that this word also is translated “verily,” and “faithful.”

The same word for Truth is used in Exodus 17:12 when Aaron and Hur were supporting Moses’ hands, so that his hands were “steady.”

We don’t build houses on unsteady surfaces, we look for solid bedrock. God is the solid bedrock, the Truth that we can build upon!

God is Truth – we can thank Him for being a constant around which we can direct our lives!

February 9: Knowing who we’re praying to – Love

One of the big hindrances in prayer is not knowing to whom we’re praying.

If we’re in line at our favorite coffee shop and a stranger starts a conversation with us, it can get awkward quickly – we don’t know his position on God, politics, sports – so we’re not sure what to say to him.

The key to talking with God better, is to know Him better. For the next few days we’ll look at how we can know Him.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:8

John chides those that don’t know God, noting that He is love.

God showed His love by sending His Son to take our place

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

What are other ways God shows His love to you?

February 8: Praying according to God’s Will

We’re blessed with many great resources for Christian growth. Dr. Henry Morris’ Days of Praise devotional is one such resource, and recently featured a great message on prayer.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 

1 John 5:14-15

This promise is comprehensive and unlimited—a tremendous assurance of answered prayer. But there is one proviso—according to His will! There are a number of Christians who, with all good intentions, have argued that it evidences a lack of faith to add the qualification “if it be thy will” to one’s prayer. But this can hardly be true in light of the example of Christ Himself, when he “prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39).

Read the rest of this devotional at https://www.icr.org/article/11049

Excerpt from Praying According to His Will © 1994-2019 Institute for Creation Research. All Rights Reserved. www.icr.org

February 7: Examples of Praying Men

E.M. Bounds
We'll be looking at excerpts from E.M. Bounds classic, Power Through Prayer as we go deeper into prayer. While Bounds is addressing himself to pastors, 1) use this to pray for your pastor, and 2) this applies to all who are in ministry, even if your field is "just" your family.

The act of praying is the very highest energy of which the human mind is capable; praying, that is, with the total concentration of the faculties. The great mass of worldly men and of learned men are absolutely incapable of prayer.—Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Payson wore the hard-wood boards into grooves where his knees pressed so often and so long. His biographer says: “His continuing instant in prayer, be his circumstances what they might, is the most noticeable fact in his history, and points out the duty of all who would rival his eminency. To his ardent and persevering prayers must no doubt be ascribed in a great measure his distinguished and almost uninterrupted success.”

The Marquis DeRenty, to whom Christ was most precious, ordered his servant to call him from his devotions at the end of half an hour. The servant at the time saw his face through an aperture. It was marked with such holiness that he hated to arouse him. His lips were moving, but he was perfectly silent. He waited until three half hours had passed; then he called to him, when he arose from his knees, saying that the half hour was so short when he was communing with Christ.

Brainerd said: “I love to be alone in my cottage, where I can spend much time in prayer.”

William Bramwell is famous in Methodist annals for personal holiness and for his wonderful success in preaching and for the marvelous answers to his prayers. For hours at a time he would pray. He almost lived on his knees. He went over his circuits like a flame of fire. The fire was kindled by the time he spent in prayer. He often spent as much as four hours in a single season of prayer in retirement.

Dr. Judson’s success in prayer is attributable to the fact that he gave much time to prayer. He says on this point: “Arrange thy affairs, if possible, so that thou canst leisurely devote two or three hours every day not merely to devotional exercises but to the very act of secret prayer and communion with God. Endeavor seven times a day to withdraw from business and company and lift up thy soul to God in private retirement. Begin the day by rising after midnight and devoting some time amid the silence and darkness of the night to this sacred work. Let the hour of opening dawn find thee at the same work. Let the hours of nine, twelve, three, six, and nine at night witness the same. Be resolute in his cause. Make all practicable sacrifices to maintain it. Consider that thy time is short, and that business and company must not be allowed to rob thee of thy God.” Impossible, say we, fanatical directions! Dr. Judson impressed an empire for Christ and laid the foundations of God’s kingdom with imperishable granite in the heart of Burmah. He was successful, one of the few men who mightily impressed the world for Christ. Many men of greater gifts and genius and learning than he have made no such impression; their religious work is like footsteps in the sands, but he has engraven his work on the adamant. The secret of its profundity and endurance is found in the fact that he gave time to prayer. He kept the iron red-hot with prayer, and God’s skill fashioned it with enduring power. No man can do a great and enduring work for God who is not a man of prayer, and no man can be a man of prayer who does not give much time to praying.

February 6: Much time should be given to prayer

E.M. Bounds
We'll be looking at excerpts from E.M. Bounds classic, Power Through Prayer as we go deeper into prayer. While Bounds is addressing himself to pastors, 1) use this to pray for your pastor, and 2) this applies to all who are in ministry, even if your field is "just" your family.

The great masters and teachers in Christian doctrine have always found in prayer their highest source of illumination. Not to go beyond the limits of the English Church, it is recorded of Bishop Andrews that he spent five hours daily on his knees. The greatest practical resolves that have enriched and beautified human life in Christian times have been arrived at in prayer.—Canon Liddon

WHILE many private prayers, in the nature of things, must be short; while public prayers, as a rule, ought to be short and condensed; while there is ample room for and value put on ejaculatory prayer—yet in our private communions with God time is a feature essential to its value. Much time spent with God is the secret of all successful praying.

Prayer which is felt as a mighty force is the mediate or immediate product of much time spent with God. Our short prayers owe their point and efficiency to the long ones that have preceded them. The short prevailing prayer cannot be prayed by one who has not prevailed with God in a mightier struggle of long continuance. Jacob’s victory of faith could not have been gained without that all-night wrestling.

God’s acquaintance is not made by pop calls. God does not bestow his gifts on the casual or hasty comers and goers. Much with God alone is the secret of knowing him and of influence with him. He yields to the persistency of a faith that knows him. He bestows his richest gifts upon those who declare their desire for and appreciation of those gifts by the constancy as well as earnestness of their importunity.

Christ, who in this as well as other things is our Example, spent many whole nights in prayer. His custom was to pray much. He had his habitual place to pray. Many long seasons of praying make up his history and character. Paul prayed day and night. It took time from very important interests for Daniel to pray three times a day. David’s morning, noon, and night praying were doubtless on many occasions very protracted.

While we have no specific account of the time these Bible saints spent in prayer, yet the indications are that they consumed much time in prayer, and on some occasions long seasons of praying was their custom.

February 5: A Praying Ministry Successful

We'll be looking at excerpts from E.M. Bounds classic, Power Through Prayer as we go deeper into prayer. While Bounds is addressing himself to pastors, 1) use this to pray for your pastor, and 2) this applies to all who are in ministry, even if your field is "just" your family.

The principal cause of my leanness and unfruitfulness is owing to an unaccountable backwardness to pray. I can write or read or converse or hear with a ready heart; but prayer is more spiritual and inward than any of these, and the more spiritual any duty is the more my carnal heart is apt to start from it. Prayer and patience and faith are never disappointed. I have long since learned that if ever I was to be a minister faith and prayer must make me one. When I can find my heart in frame and liberty for prayer, everything else is comparatively easy.—Richard Newton

IT may be put down as a spiritual axiom that in every truly successful ministry prayer is an evident and controlling force—evident and controlling in the life of the preacher, evident and controlling in the deep spirituality of his work. A ministry may be a very thoughtful ministry without prayer; the preacher may secure fame and popularity without prayer; the whole machinery of the preacher’s life and work may be run without the oil of prayer or with scarcely enough to grease one cog; but no ministry can be a spiritual one, securing holiness in the preacher and in his people, without prayer being made an evident and controlling force.

The preacher that prays indeed puts God into the work. God does not come into the preacher’s work as a matter of course or on general principles, but he comes by prayer and special urgency. That God will be found of us in the day that we seek him with the whole heart is as true of the preacher as of the penitent. A prayerful ministry is the only ministry that brings the preacher into sympathy with the people. Prayer as essentially unites to the human as it does to the divine. A prayerful ministry is the only ministry qualified for the high offices and responsibilities of the preacher. Colleges, learning, books, theology, preaching cannot make a preacher, but praying does. The apostles’ commission to preach was a blank till filled up by the Pentecost which praying brought. A prayerful minister has passed beyond the regions of the popular, beyond the man of mere affairs, of secularities, of pulpit attractiveness; passed beyond the ecclesiastical organizer or general into a sublimer and mightier region, the region of the spiritual. Holiness is the product of his work; transfigured hearts and lives emblazon the reality of his work, its trueness and substantial nature. God is with him. His ministry is not projected on worldly or surface principles. He is deeply stored with and deeply schooled in the things of God. His long, deep communings with God about his people and the agony of his wrestling spirit have crowned him as a prince in the things of God. The iciness of the mere professional has long since melted under the intensity of his praying.