Tag Archives: Prayer

Christ-like Prayers

September 30, 2013

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As we look in on the last prayer that Jesus offered before being taken prisoner, (Luke 22:39-46) we can see that the priorities he taught still held up:

  • He made sure his disciples were taken care of, (Luke 22:40)
  • He asked for God’s will to be done
  • Only then did he ask for relief from what was before him.

To offer prayers in a Christ-like manner is to be continually prayerful and to put ourselves last. Most often it is more appropriate to pray for the strength to face what is going to happen than to pray for it not to happen.

As a challenge to yourself, try spending the day in a prayerful manner but not asking for anything for yourself. A great place to start is to pray for the benefit of others and for the Lord’s kingdom.

Daily Bible reading for September 30

Psalm 60
2 Samuel 20
Ezekiel 21
Luke 22:1-46

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Do Not Lose Heart

September 25, 2013


As Luke leads the reader into The Parable of the Unjust Judge, he tells us that we ought to always be in a prayerful state. (Luke 18:1) As God is being contrasted to the Unjust Judge, we are shown the power of persistence. (Luke 18:2-8)

When we are not regular enough with our praying, we risk being guilty of treating God like a gumball machine. In fact, when Jesus taught the crowd to “ask, seek and knock” (Matthew 7:7) he followed up by speaking of those actions as continuous in nature. (Matthew 7:8) Among the closing words of 1 Thessalonians, Paul reminds us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

When our prayers are not answered right away, we can know that we have been heard. Throughout the Bible, we see that God’s answers and promises were given in his own time. Although, when those prayers are for relief, it can be difficult to keep the faith. In those cases we can take comfort in what our Lord went through in comparison. (Hebrews 12:3)

Similar to the widow in Jesus’ parable, sometimes it is persistence that wins the day.

Daily Bible reading for September 25

Psalm 55
2 Samuel 14:25-15:12
Ezekiel 16
Luke 18:1-30

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Teach Us to Pray

September 16, 2013

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We have been studying the Sermon on the Mount in my 3rd-5th grade class the last couple of weeks. We used the opportunity to talk about and review how Jesus taught us to pray. (Luke 11:1-4, Matthew 6:5-15) The formula is so simple, everyone from the young boys to grown men can benefit from it when facing the need to give a public prayer.

Some people are deathly afraid to get in front of an audience to speak as it is, but add the weight of leading a group of people in prayer and it can be truly overwhelming. Sometimes we speak of someone’s ability to lead a beautiful prayer and it creates a false impression that God will only hear a prayer that is “beautiful.”

Luckily, we know that is not the case. Paul assures us that even when we misspeak, the Holy Spirit is there to tell God what we really meant. (Romans 8:26-27) We can take comfort that all of our prayers are powerful (James 5:16) and that God did not make it difficult to speak to him. Based on the lessons Jesus taught, here are a few pointers about prayer:

Praying need not be complicated or showy.

Praying need not be complicated or showy.

  • prayers should be short
  • prayers should acknowledge God’s greatness
  • we need forgiveness and deliverance from temptation
  • long showy prayers and vain repetitions are sinful
  • even Christians are sinful and need forgiveness
  • avoiding temptation is as important avoiding sin
  • Christians must be forgiving as well as forgiven

One last pointer that I have for the young boys that I have taught over the years (which works for grown-ups too!) is to pray aloud even when we are alone. This helps tremendously to get used to hearing our own voice in that context and keeps us focused on our prayer while we are talking to God.

Daily Bible reading for September 16

Psalm 46
2 Samuel 6
Ezekiel 6
Luke 11:1-36

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5 Invitations to Pray for our Needs

August 18, 2013

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As you prepare for worship today, consider making an extra effort to really concentrate on the prayers led during the service. That is a time that we can come together as a group and talk to God as one.

God wants us to talk to him and has given us plenty of reason to. He has invited us countless times to pray for what is needed for ourselves and for others. Here are just five:

Praying hands

Praying hands

  • Matthew 7:7-11 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:…
  • John 14:13-14 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
  • Philippians 4:6 Be careful [NKJV: anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
  • James 1:5 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.
  • 1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Daily Bible reading for August 18

Psalm 16
1 Samuel 3
Jeremiah 48
Mark 15

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Praying for Our Labors

June 30, 2013

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Previously, I outlined my suggestions for daily Bible study. A key ingredient to an effective study is prayer. When we invite God into our efforts he will provide us with the wisdom we lack (James 1:5)

When Jesus was about to send the disciples out to teach, he asked them to pray for the harvest. (Matthew 9:35-38) As his followers, one of our biggest opportunities is to go out and teach and make others aware of him. (Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:2) This is a big responsibility! Whether it is for Bible studies, door knocking, vacation Bible schools or even our routine worship service we need to follow Jesus example and pray for the laborers.

Daily Bible Reading for June 30

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18
Deuteronomy 31:30-32:47
Nahum 1
Matthew 9

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