January 16: Isaiah and Unheard Prayers

Yesterday we looked at Psalm 66:18 and David’s recognition of unheard prayers. Let’s go to Isaiah and see what the great prophet says about unheard prayer.

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Isaiah 1:15-16

Blood! I’ve never murdered anyone! We’ve all done wrong, but murder – never!

But Jesus said being angry with your brother is just as bad (Matthew 5:22), and 1 John 3:15 explicitly tells us that hatred is equal to murder.

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

1 John 3:15

Is there anyone that you are harboring resentment against? Anyone that you feel disgusted by when you see them? Anyone who has offended you that you need to make things right with?

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

Isaiah 59:2-3

John says hatred is equal to murder, and Isaiah says bloody hands will separate you from God. Let’s make relationships right with our fellow man and then God will hear us!

January 15: David on Preventing Unheard Prayers

So far this year:

  • We’ve set reminders to pray throughout the day to break up our routine so we can remember our LORD!
  • We’ve looked at the shortest prayers in the Bible
  • We’ve set up a mnemonic to help organize our prayer requests

Now – let’s make sure we have a clear path to God! As the old song goes, there should be nothing between my soul and the Savior!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gRtrUxyxTk

How can we make sure there’s nothing between? Let’s repent of sin that we’re keeping in our heart.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Psalm 66:18

Has God pointed out some sin in your life? How can you deal with it? David’s Psalm 51 points out three key truths:

Admittance – God already knows about it. God knew Adam sinned, He just wanted to let Adam respond. (Genesis 3:8-13). Don’t blame others – just admit what you did.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Psalm 51:3

Brokenness – You didn’t make a mistake. You didn’t offend your neighbor. You sinned against God. You disobeyed the King of the Universe. Too often we try to minimize our sin and maximize ourselves. But God wants us to be broken.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Psalm 51:17

Cleansing – We got into the mess, but we need someone to get us out of the mess. Ask God to cleanse you from your sins. Ask Him to redirect your thoughts!

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Psalm 51:2

Take some time to repent of whatever sin God is bringing to your mind.

January 14: Thank God for unanswered prayers!

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

1 Kings 19:4
The Bible panorama, or The Holy Scriptures in picture and story

Sometimes life is rough. We can’t see a way out and pray for a quick escape. Why doesn’t God answer our prayers?

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume itupon your lusts.

James 4:3

Today, thank God for unanswered prayers and pray that He can change our desires to match up with His desires!

January 13: A seven word plea

For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

Nehemiah 6:9

God has given us a job to do, but sometimes we think we can do it in our own power. Nehemiah reminds us that if we want real success, we need God’s strength.

Today let’s make sure that we confess our pride and seek His power!

January 12: Saturday – Saints!

Welcome to the end of the first week of the mnemonic for growing in prayer! We’re now adding a seventh page to our weekly prayer list, and Saturday is for Saints.

Author’s Photo, Country church near the grave of Robert Sheffey

Who are the Saints?

Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

Acts 9:13

Ananias is calling the Church members in Jerusalem, saints.

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Corinthians 1:2

Those who are part of the church are saints. That means that you (if you are a believer) are a saint! No canonization necessary! But that means that you know many saints to pray for! Start with your church directory, or Sunday School class roster, or Prayer Meeting bulletin, and start praying for the people in your church. Health needs, school needs, spiritual growth, strength for the week, etc.

If you don’t have a church, please find a Bible-believing church!

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

No church is perfect, and unfortunately neither are we. For some reason God told us to gather with other fallen human beings, and even submit to other fallen human beings. If your church is full of hypocrites, gossips, and unfriendly people – don’t complain until you pray!

January 11: Friday – Family!

Eric Ward [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Continuing with our mnemonic, Friday is for Family! Now you’re already praying for your immediate family daily (and maybe even hourly if you have toddlers!). But you have extended relatives that you love. Log them on Friday in your notebook and pray for them.

Is a cousin thinking about getting married? Pray that they get the right kind of spouse!

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Proverbs 31:10

Is an uncle struggling with parenting? Pray for patience!

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Colossians 3:21

Does your niece have marital difficulties? 

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Ephesians 5:33

Does your brother-in-law need a job? Pray that he can fulfill God’s will!

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

1 Timothy 5:8

January 10: Thursday – Thanksgiving!

The First Thanksgiving, Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

Thanksgiving is not a holiday for football and food, it’s a daily opportunity for the Christian to praise the LORD! As part of our prayer time, let’s make Thursday a special day of Thanksgiving! What can we thank God for? How about His goodness and mercy?

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

1 Chronicles 16:34

Join with David and give thanks to the LORD and praise His name!

Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.

2 Samuel 22:50

Let’s add a page to our prayer list and as we go throughout the week, record the blessings God has given us. Especially the ones we haven’t thought of.

Have you had a pain-free day? Thank God! Barely making minimum wage? You’d be surprised what your global wealth score is

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:

Psalm 92:1

January 9: Wednesday – Workers!

This week we’re looking at practical tips to pray. Using our mnemonic, Sunday is praying for Salvation. Monday is praying for MissionariesTuesday is praying for Tasks. Wednesday is praying for Workers

And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

God’s Word commands us to support our pastors! Satan wants to bring ruin to the church, and every televangelist and pastor scandal is another feather in his cap. Satan wants nothing more than to remind your unbelieving friends that the church is a bunch of hypocrites. Pray for God’s protection of your pastor!

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Titus 1:5-9

While you’re praying for your pastor, remember that God holds them to a higher standard!

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

James 3:1

And it’s profitable for you!

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Hebrews 13:17

So on Wednesdays, pray for your pastors, deacons, elders, ministry leaders – everyone that is leading a ministry – Satan wants to take them down! And while you’re at it – pray for some of the nearby pastors as well. They may not be ministering to you, but if Satan can’t take down your pastor, he still wants a victory in your area.

January 8: Tuesday – Tasks!

Fabián Alexis [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This week we’re looking at practical tips to pray. Using our mnemonic, Sunday is praying for Salvation. Monday is praying for MissionariesTuesday is praying for Tasks that we have to do. We’ll distinguish tasks from the other days in that today we pray for projects, while the other days we’ll primarily pray for people.

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Luke 19:13

We are given resources while here on earth, and given a job to do. As we go thru our life, we have jobs to do at home, work, church, school, and elsewhere. Perhaps its a shed you’re building for the kids, or a set for Vacation Bible School. Maybe its classes for your degree. What does God say?

 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Philippians 4:6

By the way, pray that we can do it with the right attitude!

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men

Colossians 3:23

January 7: Monday – Missionaries!

This week we’re looking at practical tips to pray. We talked yesterday about on Sunday praying for Salvation. Today is Monday, so we can pray for Missionaries

  1. Look thru the missionaries your church supports, and add them to your notebook. 
  2. Browse some of the helpful guides for praying for missionaries online
  3. Send them an encouraging note – especially if God has been leading you to pray for them. 

Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country

Proverbs 25:25

What can you pray for missionaries?

Pray that they would be good teachers of the Word

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

Pray for Open Doors

Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

Colossians 4:3

Pray for God to call more people to the mission field

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will {i} send forth labourers into his harvest.

Matthew 9:38