Daily Discipline #7
By Colleen Donahue
"Thus says the Lord, 'Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, declares the Lord."
Finding quicker, more efficient, and productive methods of doing life's little tasks have been the means of revolutionizing cultures. Almost nothing has missed the scrutiny of scientists and engineers who have sought to make life easier or simpler by eliminating labor-intensive tasks.
For all the change, however, there is at least one thing that man has not been able to shorten or make "efficient". It still takes us as much time today to know another person. I'm not talking about casual acquaintances-- I'm talking about really knowing someone else. There are no shortcuts to time spent in expressing ideas, formulating opinions, coming to agreements, or sharing your deepest thoughts. It demands quality time-- regular, uninterrupted, and relaxed-- where two people can relate together by both speaking and listening.
If you want to know God, then you need to spend time with Him. God has no casual inquirers--- only diligent seekers. There are no shortcuts when it comes to spending quality time with God. Communication with God is called PRAYER.
Although many religious groups use the term "prayer", God has given us specific and direct insights from His Word on how to communicate with Him. The questions and verses I've listed about prayer are only a beginning but they can get you started on.....
COMMUNICATING WITH GOD THROUGH PRAYER
THE BASICS OF PRAYER
Day 1- When did men first begin to pray?
Day 2- Is prayer a command of God?
Matthew 7:7/ Luke 18:1 / I Thessalonians 5:17
Day 3- Who should pray?
1 Timothy 2:8 / Psalm 32:6
Day 4- WHOSE prayers will the Lord hear?
2 Samuel 22:7 / Psalm 34:15 / Isaiah 65:23-24 / James 5:4 / 1 Peter 3:12
Day 5- How long should our prayers be?
Ecclesiastes 5:2 / Matthew 6:7
Day 6- Are there physical positions that seem to be best for praying?
Genesis 24:26 / I Kings 8:54 / I Kings 18:42 / Matthew 26:39
Day 7- Where does real prayer take place?
Matthew 6:6 / Luke 6:12
Day 8- Is there a time when prayer should be offered?
Psalm 55:17/ Psalm 88:1 / Mark 1:35 / I Thessalonians 5:17
Day 9- These verses start to give us a picture of what prayer includes. What seems to be the main element?
Matt.7:7-8,11 / John 16:24 / James 4:2
As citizens in the Kingdom of God, we are "on assignment". We have a specific purpose that God has uniquely fitted us for and He wants to be part of it with us. He has infinite knowledge and wisdom, as well as unlimited resources, why wouldn't we ask Him for what we need? You might also call prayer, "government communication".
Day 10- Is prayer just a synonym for wishful, positive thinking?
Day 11- Is there any reason to join with others to pray?
CONDITIONS OF SUCCESSFUL PRAYING
Day 12- What are some of the conditions of successful prayer?
2 Chronicles 7:14
Day 13 -What are some of the conditions of successful prayer?
Day 14- What are some of the conditions of successful prayer?
Day 15- What are some of the conditions of successful prayer?
I John 3:22
HOW SIN AFFECTS PRAYER
Day 16- Is prayer ever refused?
Deuteronomy 3:26 / 2 Samuel 12: 15-23/ 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
In the first two passages, we see two great men of God suffering the consequences for their sin. Part of that consequence was God refusing their requests.
But in the case of the Apostle Paul, God knew that Paul's request was wrong and would open him up to pride and arrogance which to God were much worse than the torment he was suffering. It behooves all of us to have humility when we pray. So often we ask for things WE think would be good without even consulting God.
Day 17- Can we be punished for NOT praying?
Day 18 -What happens to our prayers if we are disobedient?
Deuteronomy 1:45/ I Samuel 14:37/ 28:6
Day 19- What does God do if we have "secret sin" in our hearts?
Day 20- If we pray but then doubt that God will really hear or answer us what will happen to us?
Day 21- What happens if we pray with the wrong motives?
This is another reason that God can't answer prayer.
GOD'S RESPONSE TO PRAYER
Day 22 -Will God always answers our prayers?
Psalm 91:15 / Luke 11:9-10 / John 15:7
Day 23- How does God view the prayers of his children?
Revelations 5:8 / Revelations 8:3-4
Day 24- What role does the Holy Spirit play in our prayers?
SPECIFICS OF PRAYER
Day 25- Should we ever pray for the physical needs that we have?
Genesis 28:20-21 / Matthews 6:11
Day 26- How often can we ask God for something we really want?
Abraham stopped asking at ten, but I believe if he had even gone down further God would have agreed. The point is that we should keep asking until we receive or until the Lord shows us our prayer is wrong.
Day 27- How did God answer prayer for Moses?
Day 28- How did God answer prayer for Gideon?
Day 29- How did God answer prayer for Samuel?
1 Samuel 7:9-10
Day 30- How did God answer prayer for Elijah?
I Kings 18:37-38
Day 31- How did God answer prayer for the early Church?
We should see in all these examples how practical God is. First, he knows where each of us is at in our lives and will answer according to our faith. Then, I hope you saw that God's answer was relative to their asking. They were all in specific situations beyond themselves and God drew near in partnership with them to answer. Now He wants to do that with you and me.
God, in giving us His Spirit to indwell our lives, gives us a "receiver". It's by His Spirit that we can know God's mind and heart about anything and this is what enables us to pray confidently and boldly. Asking God in prayer is vital to fulfilling our purpose. God has a "will" that He wants to accomplish through us but He won't do it without us. He will never violate our free will or just "take over". God waits for us to ask Him to partner with us and when we do, God gladly gets involved!
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