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Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

Jesus in prayer

Hebrews 5:7,8

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered…

If we want an example of how to live our lives, then we need look no further than Jesus. He was the perfect example of how we should live our lives. No, we will never be perfect, but Jesus gives us an example we can strive to imitate. In Hebrews 5:7,8 Jesus models for us three characteristics that we should incorporate into our daily lives:

  1. He Prayed– Jesus prayed. Not only did He pray, He prayed with fervent cries and tears. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com, fervent means felt very strongly: having or showing very strong feelings. Jesus poured out His heart to His Father in heaven. When Jesus prayed, they weren’t just monotone prayers, prayed with a feeling of apathy. Jesus had compassion for the people He met. I can imagine that His prayers were much like a parent praying for a wayward child; filled with deep love and compassion for that person. We need to pray for others with fervent cries and tears. Our prayers need to be filled with emotion. Our prayers need to be filled with that deep passion that Jesus felt.
  2. He was Submissive– Jesus was reverently submissive. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com, reverently means to show a lot of respect. Jesus had a deep respect for His heavenly Father and was submissive to His Father’s will. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com, submissive means that a person is willing to obey someone else. Out of His deep respect to His Father, God, Jesus was willing to do God’s will. Even when we can’t see down the road to what God is doing, we need to respect God enough to be willing to submit to His will.
  3. He was Obedient– Jesus was obedient. Even when facing death, Jesus was willing to obey God, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42) It is possible that Jesus didn’t really want to go through what He knew was coming. Jesus knew that God had a plan of salvation and that He must die, for that plan to work. Jesus was human. He had a choice. He could have been disobedient. He knew what was coming and still He obeyed, because God’s purpose is bigger and better than our own. We must live in a posture of obedience to God. Even when the request seems crazy or impossible, we must obey God and trust Him with the outcome. We must strive to ALWAYS put God’s will above our own.

I am challenging you this next week to live in a posture of prayer, submission and obedience. See what happens and how God blesses you because of it. If it was good enough for Jesus, it has to be good enough for us.

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prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray continually, 

Prayer is our line of communication with God. This verse tells us to pray continually, telling us to be in constant communication with God. God wants to have an open line of communication with us at every moment of our day. It doesn’t matter what we are dealing with, God is ALWAYS with us and wants us to share EVERYTHING with Him.

Jesus gave us the main components to prayer, when He gave us the Lord’s Prayer. Click here to read my blog post on the Lord’s Prayer. According to the Lord’s Prayer there are 5 main components to prayer:

1. Praise

2. Praying God’s will

3. Supplication

4. Confession (Asking forgiveness for our sins and forgiving others for sins done to us)

5. Praying for protection from evil and temptation

Below are a few other suggestions that might help in your prayer life:

  • Centering Prayer– Centering prayer is a way to empty your mind of every day distractions and really focus on God. Centering prayer helps us LISTEN to what God is saying to us.
  • The Daily Examen– The Daily Examen is an Ignatian exercise and is used to examine our daily activities and see where God is speaking to us. Is there any way we could have been a better example of Jesus? Were we impatient when we needed to be kind? The Daily Examen is a way for God to mold our character, as we pray for Him to reveal what we need to change.
  • Prayer Journaling– We can use prayer journaling with the Lord’s Prayer model and as a way to keep track of requests and answers to prayer. Writing out prayers can be helpful in emptying our hearts of worries and anxieties. Often, when I am done writing out everything on my heart, I feel at peace. I know that God is working in the situations involved.
  • Every Hour– Every hour, on the hour, say a prayer about a person, event, or situation that you have promised to pray about. You can also, take the opportunity to praise God and thank God for all that He has done in your life. Pray as the Holy Spirit leads. This is a great way to make sure we pray continually.

These are just a few ideas. The internet is full of different ways to enhance our prayer lives. I like to try different methods of prayer to enhance my communication with God. I have found that some things work and some don’t. I try to keep it simple. I don’t want to get to legalistic about my prayer life.

There are times when I can’t pray at all. There are times when words fail me and I can only whisper, “Don’t let me go, Jesus.” You will have times like this too. Don’t worry, God knows your heart and has sent the Holy Spirit to intercede for us.

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

I’m not an expert on prayer, but I do know that I could not live without that open communication with my Creator. I know that at any moment of the day, that I can praise Him or cry out to Him and He will hear me. I encourage you to go to God in prayer. He is waiting for you. If you have any suggestions or prayer methods that work for you, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

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teach me to pray

 

 

Matthew 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.

I don’t remember a time in my life when I couldn’t recite the Lord’s Prayer word for word. I don’t remember ever attending a church where it wasn’t recited on a regular basis. Over the years, it became rote and meaningless. This was not the way Jesus intended it to be. Jesus never intended this passage to be a prayer in and of itself. He gave it as an outline to use as a guide in your prayer life. To recite the Lord’s Prayer in the mechanical way that we have become accustomed to does not do it justice and we learn nothing from it. There are 5 parts to this outline:

The first 2 parts are all about God and His will:

1. Praise and WorshipOur Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. We acknowledge who God is to us by praying, Our Father in heaven. This establishes our relationship with God. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com the definition of hallowed is holy, consecrated, sacred, or revered. This tells us that God’s name is holy, sacred, and to be revered. We don’t have to use these exact words in our prayers, but we do have to give praise and spend a moment in worship of our heavenly Father. Jesus put this part of the prayer first, because it is the most important part. To give praise and worship to our God is the most important thing.

2. God’s WillYour kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We are to pray for God’s will in ALL things. I know how easy it is to slip into self-satisfying prayers, or prayers that push our own agendas instead of God’s. Jesus lived His life doing God’s will, seeking God’s will and obeying God’s commands. We need to do the same. It is okay for us to want things, but God knows what is best for us and we need to seek His will in ALL things.

In these days of unrest and evilness, it is important for us to be in prayer that God’s kingdom will come and we will live as God intended, in peace and harmony with each other. There is an urgency and we need to pray for an end to injustice, oppression, and hate. We need to be in prayer that all people will know God’s heart and that this world will be transformed by the love of God.

The last 3 parts are about us and what we need:

3.Our Daily Bread– Give us today our daily bread. Jesus is telling us to pray only for what we need today. This is consistent with God’s command not to worry about tomorrow, as found in Matthew 6:34.

For Ourselves- What needs do you have TODAY? Don’t waste your time on worrying about tomorrow, focus your prayer on your immediate needs for today.

For Others- What needs do family and friends have TODAY? If you know someone or a situation that needs immediate prayer than pray for that person or situation. I’m sure that Jesus prayed for the disciples and God wants us to pray for each other and events in our lives.

4. Forgiveness– And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. If there is anything on your heart that you need to confess and ask forgiveness for, then you better do it. Nothing keeps us separated from God more than unconfessed sin. Confession is good for the soul! So is forgiving others when they have wronged you. I admit that I have a tendency to hold a grudge. It is hard for me to forgive people who have hurt me. Sometimes the words, “I forgive you” is said between clenched teeth and God has to give me an attitude adjustment. We have to forgive others. Hanging on to the hurts of the past will only hurt us in the future. Let it go, give it to God and live the life you were meant to live. 

5. Temptation and Evil- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. This is so important and Jesus knew how much we would need protection from Satan. Temptations hit us from every side and we need to be prepared. We can not face them alone. Only with God, can we face down temptations, before they take us down. This part of the passage shows just how much God loves us. He knows that there is no way in the natural realm, that we will ever be able to face the evil one on our own. He will deliver us, if we ask Him to. 

Remember that Jesus intended this passage to be an outline to guide us in our own prayer time. Expand on each part as God leads and see where God will take you in your prayer life. Prayer is how we communicate with God and He has shown us how to do that in His Word. Our journey in prayer is an ongoing process and always evolving, so don’t give up. Keep pressing in and God will bless you abundantly!

 

 

 

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PRAYER-teachUS

 

 

Prayer is one of the most important of the spiritual disciplines, but one of the most difficult to implement in our lives. We make time to communicate with loved ones and friends, so why is it so hard to make the time to communicate with the one who loves us the most?  I know of people who can sit for hours at a time in prayer and meditation. I don’t believe that we are all called to this type of prayer life. We are, however, called to pray without ceasing. I can tell you from personal experience that God does answer prayer. I love to talk to God during the day. I love to share my life with my heavenly Father through constant prayer. I encourage you to go to the Father in prayer and see what happens.

1 John 5:14-15

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

James 4:3

3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:5-13

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

James 5:13-15

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

Mark 9:25-29

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t  we drive it out?”

29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Acts 9:40

40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.

Ephesians 6:18

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Psalm 145:18

18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

 

 

 

 

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11-Jehovah-Nissi

 

Exodus 17:15

Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.

The Amalekites had come against the Israelites and had lifted up hands against the throne of the Lord (Exodus 17:16). As a result God came against them and Joshua wiped them out by the sword.

In my lifetime there have been times when the enemy, Satan, has come against me. He has used fear, low self-confidence, and lies to keep me from fulfilling God’s purpose for my life. Satan has used my past against me. I believed the lies. I believed that I was not good enough to be used by God.

Over the years, the Lord has healed my heart and I no longer believe the lies of the enemy. I believe the truth of God’s Word, that I am to walk in courage knowing that God is with me. I believed God’s Word that I am loved and cherished by my heavenly Father. As Jehovah Nissi, God has been my banner. He has been the won who fought for me and won my battles against the enemy. My Lord Jesus has been my victory and has given me victory.

God is our banner. He fights our battles for us, giving us the victory. What is your battle against today? Is it drugs, pornography, fear, low self-esteem, false sense of identity, abuse? Whatever it is God will fight this battle with you, giving you the victory. He only wants you to trust Him with it. He wants you to be willing to let go and place the battle into His more than capable hands. Saying the prayer below may be a place to start:

Jehovah Nissi,

I know in my heart that you are my banner, my victory and I give my battle with_______________ to you. I surrender it all to you and trust that you are fighting the battle for me, giving me the victory. I know that I cannot fight this battle alone. I need you to fight it for me. I thank you for giving me the victory!

Amen

Keep praying and keep lifting up the name of the Lord our banner, Jehovah Nissi. You never have to fight alone. Our Father never expected us to have to fight alone. He is here to fight with us. Give it to Him and He WILL give you the VICTORY!

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A Woman Called Anna

inner courts

 

 

Luke 2:36-38

36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[a] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

I was anything but forgiving when I realized that my husband of 7 years was leaving me for another woman. I raged against them both, hatred filling my soul. I was terrified of being left alone to raise 4 kids. I was fueled by anger, bitterness and resentment; my only thought on how to cause them as much pain as they had caused me.

I was not a pretty sight at that time, far away from God and as far away from being an Anna as I could possibly get. I continued to hold on and 6 months after our divorce baby #5 was conceived. Although, I was driven by the fear of being abandoned, this pregnancy was a complete shock to me. My heart felt like it would break into a million pieces. I couldn’t seem to find my way out of the storm and sometimes I felt that it would just be easier to go to sleep and never wake up. It was in this time of darkness that I found compassion and sympathy in a co-worker. Although, it never grew past an emotional affair, I knew it was wrong and God convicted me of my sin. Eventually, I quit my job and turned my heart to God. I began a journey of seeking God’s face and in turn, he healed my wounded spirit.

When I first read about Anna, I connected with her immediately. Here was a woman who knew grief, but in her grief, instead of remarrying, which was expected in her culture, she found comfort in God’s arms. She ran to the temple, where she spent the rest of her life in night and day prayer and worship. This is what I seek now. I have found my refuge and never want to leave the shelter of my heavenly father’s arms. It took me years to get here though, and I am here to encourage you to seek God first. If you are going through the storm of a broken relationship or dealing with the grief of a husbands’ death, I am encouraging you to run to God. Before you find yourself in another relationship, run to God and let his love and mercy heal you. We are so quick to jump into earthly relationships, seeking solace for our pain, when God is longing to shelter us from the storm. Run to God, get in the word, sit at his feet in worship and prayer.

We have an example in Anna in how to deal with the grief of a broken relationship or the loss of a husband. Become like Anna, run into the loving arms of our Father, he is waiting.

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gods-love-poured-out-grace-romans-5-8

 

I have always been prone to worrying. I worry about money. I worry about my kids. I worry about vehicles breaking down. You name it, I worry about it. God wants us to trust him with our burdens. Nothing is to big for him to carry for us. God loves us and wants us to live peace-filled, joyful lives. The next time you feel anxious about something, meditate on one(or more) of the verses below and let the peace of God fill your heart. Give it to God, he can handle it!

Jeremiah 32:17

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and your outstretched arm. Nothing is to hard for you.”

Matthew 7:7-8

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

1 John 5:14-15

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.

Hebrew 4:16

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Matthew 17:20-21

He replied, “Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 21:21-22

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Luke 17:5-6

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

James 1:6

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

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