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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

THERE IS A PATTERN DEVELOPING. . . A pattern of prayer

1) Paul prays for earthy, simple things like the desire to go see people he loves, and for people to get along with each other.
2) Then we see him praying for some abstract things as being happy in hope, being patient in tribulation and constant in prayer.  Hope is a continual theme.
3) We will see the next level coming in future blogs prayers for people’s relationship with God
4) Finally Paul prays for us to get the big picture.

Keep on the lookout for things to come. . .

HOPE, HOPE, HOPE

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

This is a first things first verse. “What does “. . .the God of hope…” mean! Real hope must be in someone or something that is secure, competent, reliable and trustworthy. I lost hope in my doctors in Dallas. They were none of the above. I had gone to many, many doctors there. I actually lost the will to live because I had no hope anyone could help me. Without a firm trust I gave up. Without a firm trust in the God of hope, we can become hopeless. But why or how can we trust in God.

                                     Processed with MOLDIV

 

But when John the Baptist was in jail, he started doubting, started feeling hopeless. He wanted to know if Jesus really was the person God had promised would come and save the people in world even though John baptized Jesus.. No governments had been overthrown. No freedom from the Roman rule had happened. Where was the kingdom of God? The disciples came back to John with Jesus answer, “Jesus answered them, “Go tell John what you hear and see: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them. Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me” (Matthew 11:2-6). One thing about God you need to know, He is full of surprises. Well. . . actually they only seem like surprises because we, like John are expecting one thing while God has told us something completely different. So we need to listen as well as talk with God. When we lose hope, we become poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3. We are impoverished of hope—clutching the bars of our prison cells with white knuckles, our once confident voices now desperately crying “Can anyone help me?”

Jesus, are you the one, or are we to wait for another?

In the post below “How to Have Hope When There is No Hope,” we saw that the one characteristic you can grab onto and hang on for dear life is God’s LOVE. Love is what motivates Him to help us. We can trust that. . . always. That is the security we have that God is “The God of hope.” The Bible says,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not die but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“. . . fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” Hopelessness is a curse. Every person who has gone through “Recovery” knows that the beginning step is to recognize a higher power. We gave have to look up and out of our selves. When we look to a God we can trust, absolutely, something beautiful starts growing.

I am reminded of the words of John Michael Talbot’s song “Be Not Afraid.”

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

When we find that place of rest in the center of our being JOY is our first response. It may be very quiet or it may burst out like stream out of our rocky hearts. Then a deep, quiet PEACE settles in that cannot be described. We feel this could last forever but there is a qualifier, “BELIEVING.” Staying here in this beautiful, restful, quiet center requires the constant exercise of believing.

BELIEVE! God is waiting to hear from you. Why not take a few moments right now and talk with Him.

We must use our minds and our spirits to do this new exercise of faith. We need the power of the Holy Spirit of God to help us in this new way of living. We cannot do this by ourselves. We need help to turn old, old negative thoughts, attitudes, moods and behaviors into hope, joy and believing. Then we can “. . . abound in hope.”. Odd little phrase. But it simply means that we get way more hope than we could ever imagine

If this has been helpful to you or if you want to comment, please use the COMMENT BOX below.

 

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SUFFERING BECAUSE OF PEOPLE WE LOVE

Romans 10:1. Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

Saved from what? Incredible as it seems the super religious people in Israel missed the point of Jesus’ message and Paul’s almost completely. We can see in the Book of Matthew the very earthy Jesus getting up every day and attacking the organized religion of the day. They did not understand “God is a spirit. . . worship Him in spirit and in truth” John 4:24

They did not understand the teaching of Jesus and Paul that true spirituality is a LOVE* based life. Moses gave them the great Shema “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6). We could say it this way, too “. . . you shall LOVE!”

LOVE! That’s the basis of true spirituality! A life of LOVE begins with recognizing that God IS LOVE! God’s LOVE is different than human love. He loves us just as we are. We do not have to try to be better for God to LOVE us. He already loves us.

Paul had a deep heartache over his people not understanding true spirituality. We see this pain over and over again in his writings in the New Testament.1 Jesus also expressed his agony over people.2 Both Jesus and Paul suffered physically.3. Both of them put their physical suffering second to their love and desire to help people. Basically the Jewish people of th believed that they had to have all their ducks in a row before they could please God.

We do not have to get our ducks in a row. Jesus and Paul were desperate to get this point across. Paul says, “Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does it all.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 The Message) The first step is recognizing that we are hopeless and helpless to help ourselves. Jesus tells us “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” (MSG). I, like most people thought I had to get my ducks in a row. Then God revealed to me that I DON’T HAVE ANY DUCKS!

It’s a gift! This salvation from ourselves and the wrongness within us is free, a gift from God. It has a name too, grace. Grace! I can relax. All the wrong things I’ve said. All the wrong things I’ve done. All the wrong choices I’ve made. All of it taken care of by the LOVE of Jesus. That’s why He left His Father. It’s why He left heaven. He chose to come to us messed up humans and save us. He did this by dying for us and taking ALL the wrongs of every human being who ever lived, you, me, your boss, your mother-in-law, the neighbor down the street, Hitler, the rapist, a murderer, yes, even an ISIS terrorist. No one is left out. All I have to do is accept this gift and decide to let Jesus live His life of LOVE in me.

There you have it. I cannot live the life of LOVE on my own. I don’t even know where to begin to LOVE my enemies. That’s work for Jesus. I just need to learn to let Him do it.  You can ask him into your life right now.

We see in Paul’s prayer for those he loved so deeply, an agony beyond words. I think he knew they would never “get it.” I think he knew they would always be proud of their spirituality which made them hate others who weren’t as “spiritual” as themselves. Their path was a polar opposite of the free gift to the “poor beggar” who comes to God with nothing.

*LOVE – God’s love as opposed to human love

1 Romans 9:1-5; Rom 9:30-33; Rom 11:1-2;

2 Luke 19:43-44; John 11:35

3 Matthew 27:32; John 19:1

Please let me know if this has been meaningful to you.

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PRAYING WITHOUT CEASING? WHAT? WHAT?

Rejoice always! (more…)

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THE LORD’S PRAYER as QUICK PRAYERS

The Lord’s Prayer is also called The Model Prayer and for a good reason. It is a quick, easy, foolproof way to pray for any situation, people, disaster, or even the news. Yes. Instead of wringing your hands over what you see and read, you can actually use parts of the Lord’s Prayer for the people and events as you watch them. You can know exactly how to pray for people you love, co-workers, friends, anyone.

HERE IT IS. . . 

 This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven: 

May your holy name be honored; 

may your Kingdom come; 

may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us today the food we need. 

Forgive us the wrongs we have done, 

as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us. 

Do not bring us to hard testing, 

but keep us safe from the Evil One.’ 

BREAKING IT DOWN

Let’s take it one section at a time to see how we can use it as a “Quick Prayer.”

1. “Our Father in heaven. . .” When someone is hurting one of the best prayers in the world is to pray that they will experience the love, provision, protection, and deliverance our heavenly Father gives us. These are things fathers do. You can think of others.

PRAYER: Father may (fill in the blank) _________________ experience Your love, provision, protection, and deliverance. May this circumstance cause them to know You are their heavenly Father.

2. “May Your holy name be honored. . .” Now this one is loaded. God’s name is not honored on the earth. People do not see God as the omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (everywhere at the same time), loving caring creator being that he is. Now when you see God, our Lord Jesus and/or Christianity put down, ridiculed, , or under attack you can simply pray this extremely powerful prayer and watch God work.

PRAYER: Father, I pray that You would cause these people to come to know You for who and what You are. Bring circumstances and people into their lives to draw them to know Jesus as their Savior.

3. “May Your kingdom come. . .” Jesus is teaching us to be active partners with God through prayer. The first word of the “Beatitudes” is a tremendous clue to the nature of the kingdom of heaven. In the Greek language of the New Testament the word for blessed is “makaroi”. It means characterized by the quality or nature of God. When one is indwelt by God and God’s nature is in him, he has the kingdom of God. When we pray this simple phrase, we are inviting God to come into the lives of people and situations (That’s how His kingdom comes). God is waiting for our invitation. He had chosen prayer as one of His tools to work in the world. So, understanding the nature of God is critical to the power of this four word prayer. We find descriptions of His nature in Galatians 5:22-23, John 14-17, James 3:13-18.

Jesus begins to explain the culture and nature of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 5-7. The culture of a country or kingdom is its way of life. What is expected of the citizens? How do they worship? What is the language of the kingdom? How to they speak and act with one another? What are the laws and rules to observe there? Things to carefully consider as we discover the beginnings of Jesus teachings. Get thoroughly familiar with these chapters especially chapter 5 to increase the power of praying these four words.

PRAYER: Father, may Your kingdom come to ______________________.

4. “May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This may come as a shock to you but God’s will is not being done on the earth. Murder, lying, stealing, terrorism, envy, addiction and on and are not God’s will. Can God use sinful people living against His will. Absolutely! We are instructed here to bring God’s will into people and situations where His will is not happening. Remember, sin is never God’s will.

Now here is the beautiful part. . . You do NOT have to know what God’s will is for the people and situations that concern you. You just have to pray for God’s will to be done and let God figure it out. What could be more simple?

PRAYER: Father I pray that Your will would be done in __________________ (Name the people, situations or news item).

5. “Give us this day the food we need.” In the middle of this majestic prayer is the very mundane request for food to stay alive today. I could pontificate (as Chris says) on this all day but there it is. Jesus tells us simply that we can ask our wonderful, loving caring Father for the things we need.

PRAYER: 1. Father I have real needs today (say them). I ask You to supply all my needs.

                  2. Father, ______________ has real needs today. I ask that You supply all

    their needs.

6. “Forgive us the wrongs we have done as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.” Oh my! This is scary. Could it be that Jesus is saying that IF I do not forgive other people, God will not forgive me? Yes, indeed that is exactly what Jesus is saying. Notice that these are flat statements with no explanation, theological debate or the sort. As so many say today “It is what it is.”. Psalm 66:8 tells that if we have sin in our hearts, God will not forgive us. Unforgiveness is sin.

Good news! Forgiveness may not be what you think it is. It is simply “letting go.” You do not have to feel warm fuzzies for the person who has wronged you, hurt you, or violated you. You do have to give it up to your Father and let it go. I use hot air balloon to visualize this process. I close my eyes and picture the person I need to forgive. I picture the wrong done to me. The I visualize that person getting into the balloon and see the balloon taking off toward my Heavenly Father. This is a process because once dies not do it, usually. I have to do it over and over until my heart and my mind truly can let it go. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. It’s quicker that way. Romans 8:26

PRAYER: Father, I confess my sin of unforgiveness for ____________(name the people). Help me to just let it go.

7. ‘Do not bring us into hard testing. . . “ Whew! I wish I’d understood this earlier in my life. Testing by God is a fact of life. He will test us to bring out our true character, to strengthen us and give us wisdom. BUT, if I can get alone with God as Jesus did in the wilderness temptations, He will give me His divine perspective on the situation. That’s what Jesus was doing for 39 days. Communing with His Beloved Father about what He was about to undertake for the people of earth. Facing something hard? Get alone with God. Stay there until He gives you peace. My Nazarene parents used to call this “ praying through.”. Whatever you call it, it works. Jesus needed this for strength as a human being to face Satan’s temptations on day 40. We do too.

PRAYER: Father help! I need to be with You. Please help me make time to get alone with you. Help me be prepared for whatever comes into my life.

8. “Deliver us from evil.” There is a devil. He has demons who work for him. They hate humans. In the movie “The Matrix” evil is represented by “Mr Smith” in a duplicate computer world. He hates humans, really hates humans. At one point he tells Neo “it’s the smell. . .” Now I don’t know if we stink to Satan but the Bible is clear about Satan’s attitude toward us. 1st Peter 5:7. Facing real evil is rare in most people’s lives. Mostly, we face stupid people, incompetent people, selfish people and maybe even a really bad person from time to time. These are handled by the forgiveness principle.

Christians in the Islamic State face real evil. We can see the stark contrast today between just being bad and being evil. The devil and/or his helpers are always involved in real evil. To face it down Peter tells us principal one in spiritual warfare – Humble yourself before God. Satan’s first sin was pride (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28). Pride (self assurance instead of complete and total dependence on God) will destroy you in spiritual warfare. James 4:10. Make no mistake physical wars of this world are based on spiritual warfare. As Child of God you are involved in spiritual warfare whether you like it or not and whether you choose to fight or not. Choosing not to fight leaves you open and defenseless to Satan’s attacks. You will not even recognize that it is a satanic attack on you, your family, friends, or even your country.

Your weapons are weird.

  • Be Spirit Filled. Romans 8
  • Let the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus fill you and control you. Galatians 5:22-23
  • Humble yourself. Rigorously examine your heart and mind for sin and confess it. 1 John 1:9
  • Obey what you know God is telling you to do. John 14:15
  • Know, understand and use the power of The Armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18
  • PRAY- Spend as much time with God as you can.

PRAYER: Father, I put on the whole armor of God today. I know I can’t do one single thing without You. Fill me so completely with Your Spirit that all the fruits of the Spirit would fill me up and pour out on all around me. Show me the areas of my life in disobedience to You so I may confess them to You. Thank You for loving me so much my dear Father.

Alright, I confess that last one was not so easy or quick. Some things require a bit more effort.

Some Greek manuscripts include the powerful benediction to this prayer “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory.”

God is, indeed all powerful, His kingdom will win!

Come join Him!

Love in Jesus,  Kathy

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