DAILY DISCIPLINE #44
By Colleen Donahue
"LET US DRAW NEAR TO GOD..." Hebrews 10:22
One of our privileges as children of God is our continual access to the throne room of our Heavenly Father. It is a great privilege when we think that in times before Jesus, NO ONE except one high priest ever went into the Holy of Holies, and then only ONCE EACH YEAR! The God who was once far off is now so near, because His Son Jesus, through His atoning blood broke down every barrier - (Hebrews 10:19-22). It is for this reason alone that we can have confidence to go before God with any issue in our life?big or small.
The communication we share with our Heavenly Father can take many forms, but goes by a term called PRAYER. Sometimes, because of our upbringing, prayer may be thought of as formal, stuffy and pious poetry read aloud at services or out of a "prayer-book". But this is far from the real prayer that reaches to our Father's heart.
I think James Montgomery tells best what real prayer is in his famous hymn...
PRAYER IS THE SOUL'S SINCERE DESIRE
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
The majesty on high.
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice,
And cry: Behold he prays!
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air,
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters heaven with prayer.
O Thou by whom we come to God,
The life, the Truth, the way!
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod;
Lord! teach us how to pray.
Day 1- The lack of communication has been noted as the main reason for the breakdown of most relationships. The fact that God repeatedly COMMANDS us to pray reflects His wisdom and desire to have a growing relationship with each of His children.
I Chronicles 16:11 / Luke 18:1 / Ephesians 6:18 / Colossians 4:2 / Philippians 4:6 / I Thessalonians 5:17 / James 5:13
Day 2- Even Christ, who was ONE with His Father, made prayer a priority of His days.
Hebrews 5:7 / Mark 1:36 / Mark 6:46 / Luke 5:16 / Luke 6:12
Day 3- Christ's example in prayer became the standard for the early church. Jesus had left them physically and yet He had provided for their access to the Father which they used continually.
Acts 1:14 / Acts 2:42 /Acts 6:4 / Acts 12:5
Day 4- Prayer isn't just something for mature Christians. The Apostle Paul had only been converted a few days when he was found praying.
Day 5- In fact, it is our initial prayer of repentance that is able to save us from eternal death caused by our own sin.
Day 6- We see that talking with God and including Him into all of life became so natural to the early Christians and must be so with us.
Acts 16:25 / Acts 20:36 / Acts 21:5
Day 7- There is a universal need for prayer as men and women seek a "higher power" than themselves and find it in the one true God.
Psalm 65:2 / Isaiah 56:7
Day 8- In the Book of Revelation, we get a glimpse at how precious our Father considers our prayers.
Revelation 5:8 / Revelation 8:3
We communicate with our Father because we love Him. The fact that prayer is often synonymous with ASKING expresses our dependence as His children.
Day 9- What are we to do when we're in trouble?
James 5:13 / Psalm 91:15
Day 10- Today, when we're sick (either physically or mentally) the doctor is the first one called. Yet, God had a plan that has almost become lost in this century and would work just as well today if used!
Day 11- If we know something to be in God's will, then our prayer can prompt God to accomplish even the impossible!
Matthew 21:21-22 / Acts 12:5-7 / James 5:17-18
Day 12- The attitude that some have taken in regard to prayer is that if you ask God for one thing He'll most certainly give you the opposite! This can only be the thinking of a person who doesn't know God!
Day 13- In fact, who does God turn a special ear to?
Day 14- This means that even a person in the worst circumstances can receive from God if they turn from sin and seek Him with their whole heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 / I John 3:22
Day 15- Asking God without really believing He will answer us in a definite way is often the sad truth behind our prayers.
Matthew 14:28-31 / Mark 4:37-40 / James 1:6-8
Day 16- But what did Jesus say would be the result of BELIEVING prayer?
Day 17- Today, if we need wisdom for our business or personal affairs, we head for the books, call an expert, consult with a trusted friend. Yet, where should we turn first?
James 1:5 / Kings 3:7-12
Day 18- Our developed HABIT of talking with God about EVERYTHING in our life will leave us with a peace inside that will be beyond even our own understanding!
Day 19- How can prayer keep us from sin?
Day 20- Most of us deeply desire to know our direction in life?where we should move, which job to take, etc. God has promised to reveal His will for us if we pray.
This all sounds good, but will God hear anyone's prayers? Even mine? Yes! From the moment even the youngest child turns from sin to God and accepts Christ's death as his reconciliation with God the Father?that moment, he can freely go before "Our Father in Heaven" with the smallest or largest request! Prayer is open to us all and yet there are DEFINITE HINDRANCES which can prevent God's answer. The hindrance of UNBELIEF has been mentioned already (see Day 15 & 16) and here are a few more...
Day 21- What did King David clearly state would keep God from hearing his prayers?
Day 22- "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire..." but when it's done for show before men, it ceases to be the kind of prayer our Father can answer.
Day 23- Wrong motives behind our requests can never be honoured.
Day 24- The sins of pride, independence and self-righteousness keep many of us outside of God's grace. These verses illustrate a basic qualification for prayer.
Luke 18:10-14 / Daniel 10:12
Day 25- Our relationship with God and His answers to our prayers can often be monitored by our relationship with others!
I Peter 3:7-12
Because even the youngest child can pray and be heard, we can see that we don't need any special word or formula. God looks beyond all that to see our heart. Yet, there is helpful advice in God's word for our times of prayer.
Day 26- Our prayers must be IN FAITH - or not at all.
Day 27- Our prayers need to be SIMPLE and SINCERE.
Matthew 6:7 / Psalm 145:10
Day 28- We don't go to our bank and ask for some money. We say that we want a certain amount. So it is with God - we must go with DEFINITE REQUESTS. I Samuel 1:27 / Psalm 27:4 / Ezra 8:28 / Luke 1:13 / Acts 12:5
Day 29- At times we will need to be PERSISTENT.
Day 30- God can most certainly answer those prayers that are in ACCORDANCE WITH HIS WILL! This can give us great confidence. I John 5:14
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