April 8: Back to Basics – Don’t be a stranger!

One of the most convicting songs that I hear on the radio asks how long has it been since you talked with your Friend! If it’s been too long, talk to Him right now!

How long has it been since you talked with the Lord
And told Him your heart’s hidden secrets?
How long since you prayed? How long since you stayed
On your knees ‘till the light shone through?

How long has it been since your mind felt at ease?
How long since your heart knew no burden?
Can you call Him your friend?
How long has it been since you knew that He cared for you?

How long has it been since you knelt by your bed
And prayed to the Lord up in heaven?
How long since you knew that He’d answer you
And would keep you the long night through?

How long has it been since you woke with the dawn
And felt that the day’s worth the living?
Can you call Him your friend?
How long has it been since you knew that He cared for you?

Can you call Him your friend?
How long has it been since you knew that He cared for you?
Do you know that He cares for you?

April 7: Back to Basics – What if I can’t pray?

We’ve talked a lot about prayer – but what if you’re feeling discouraged? You’ve prayed but never saw revival break out. You’ve prayed for years and haven’t seen an answer to prayer that you’ve begged God for. You’re not sure if you’re praying right. You feel depressed and don’t know what to do and some days don’t even feel like praying.

At times like these – be encouraged – the Holy Spirit of God is praying for you!

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Romans 8:26

This verse is a great encouragement – when we feel like we can’t even pray – or we don’t even know what to pray – the Spirit will intercede for us! But what will He pray for?

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8:27

He will be praying for God’s Will for us? But isn’t that dangerous? What if God wants me to do something impossible – or something that will hurt me? We can let fears run rampant – or we can keep reading!

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

The Spirit is praying for God’s Will – which is good. Here’s a reminder from our good friends at Patch the Pirate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3SPnJbHG3s

April 6: Prayer becomes work?

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Matthew 7:7

Charles Stanley points out a couple of observations here – we are commanded to ask – and to ask repeatedly!

He says “Ask, seek, knock” when you pray. That is, he says, ‘I’m giving you directions as to how to pray.’ You don’t sort of wabble and just say, “Now Lord, you know I’ve got some needs, and want you to bless him and her and Lord the Bible says you already know what I have need of before I ask, so I’m gonna just trust you and just sort of, you know”–and we just sort of mosey along and we don’t get down to business in prayer. Now one of the reasons Jesus has made this very clear and very specific in these steps he’s given us, is because that prayer is not really all that simple when you begin to evaluate it, on the one hand.

Secondly, prayer isn’t just talking to God, prayer becomes work. And prayer demands diligence. And when he says “Ask, seek, knock” Jesus is saying there’s a sequence of events. And there’s something going on here more than just something verbal. Now why did he put it in that fashion? And why did he not simply say, “Pray, and you will receive”–period, and let that be it? Because he wants us to understand the true nature of prayer, that it is more than asking. Because there are times when you and I ask and we don’t get exactly what we ask for. There are times when we ask when we don’t get what we ask for. There are times when we ask and there’s a delay. And so Jesus is teaching us here the very vital steps in an effective prayer life.

https://www.unityinchrist.com/prayer/bibleway.htm

April 5: Back to Basics – How to start the morning?

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Psalm 63:1

How do we start our day with God when its hard enough just to start the day?

I heard someone on Unshackled way back when use this method, and I’ve found it works for me. Sometimes when I realize I’ve gone too long without spending time with God, I pray to God asking Him to wake me up early the next day. Without fail, each time He has.

Now just because I’m up doesn’t mean the temptation is over – my flesh likes to convince me I can pray snuggled up in the nice warm blankets of bed, but the Spirit tells me my flesh is very weak.

If you’re finding it hard to start your day with God, pray to God right now and ask Him to wake you up early tomorrow so you can start your day with Him.

And when you wake up early – don’t roll over or stay in bed. Get out of bed and pray! Your Father wants to talk to you!

April 4: Back to Basics: What to pray for

When we sit down for prayer meeting, or in our prayer closet with the requests from friends and family, what do we pray for? Let’s compare that to what Paul prayed for.

It is remarkable that in all of his writings Paul’s prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in their circumstances. It is certain that they lived in the midst of many dangers and hardships. They faced persecution, death from disease, oppression by powerful forces, and separation from loved ones. Their existence was far less secure than ours is today. Yet in these prayers you see not one petition for a better emperor, for protection from marauding armies, or even for bread for the next meal. Paul does not pray for the goods we would usually have near the top of our lists of requests.

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, p. 19

None of these things are wrong to pray for – we’re commanded to pray for all our worries!

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

1 Peter 5:7

But what was Paul’s primary prayer request?

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

Ephesians 1:17

Before we ask Christ to do for us, we need to ask to know Him better!

April 3: Back to Basics – Who are we praying to?

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Romans 8:15-16

Prayer is enabled by the Spirit, directed to the Father. Not just the Father of Jesus Christ, but our Father!

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name

Matthew 6:9

Yes He is “Our Father!”

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

Ephesians 3:14-15

We have His name! But He is not the Father of all.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

John 8:44

If God is your Father – you can talk to your Father.

If God is not your Father – you can be adopted today!

April 2: Back to Basics – Theology of Prayer

We’ve been studying prayer this year – but I was reading a book that reminded us we need to get the basics down first.

What is your theology of prayer? What is your beliefs about its purpose, nature, and object? Sometimes we get caught up in what we can get from God, or what we want God to do for us, that we forget the basics.

“We should consider also the Scripture’s theology of prayer – the reasons in God and in our created nature that human beings are able to pray. We are told that Jesus Christ stands as our mediator so that we, though undeserving in ourselves, can boldly approach God’s throne and cry out for our needs to be met (Heb. 4:14-16; 7:25). We are also told that God himself dwells within us through the Spirit (Rom. 8:9-11) and helps us to pray (Rom 8:26-27) so that even now by faith we may gaze and contemplate the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 3:17-18).

Keller, Tim. Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God (p.3)

In your quiet time with God today, use a Bible search app or a concordance to build out your “theology” of prayer – what are truths from the Bible on prayer that we need to be reminded of?