“An Outline for Prayer” January 7

 

An Outline for Prayer - Do you ever feel inadequate or frustrated with your prayer life? If so, you're not alone. It appears even the disciples wanted more when they said, "Lord, teach us to pray." In our New Testament reading we'll talk about Jesus' outline for prayer and how we can use it during our devotional time. We'll also talk about our motives for praying and reading God's Word.Do you ever feel inadequate or frustrated with your prayer life? If so, you’re not alone. It appears even the disciples wanted more when they said, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

In our New Testament reading we’ll talk about Jesus’ outline for prayer and how we can use it during our devotional time. We’ll also talk about our motives for praying and reading God’s Word.

From our Old Testament reading, “How do you evaluate opportunities?,” we’ll see how not to make decisions and some ways to evaluate opportunities.

Also, today, “The Joy of Spiritual Prosperity,” “The Fear of God,” and “The Importance of Forgiveness.”

 

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 13 & 14
Psalm 4.4-8
Proverbs 2.1-5
Matthew 6.1-18

 

An Outline for Prayer

 

Matthew 6.1-18:

Motives

 

In the introduction to the “Lord’s Prayer,” Jesus addresses motives. Why do we do what we do, whether praying, fasting, giving, or reading through the Bible?

Our goal in anything should be the same as Paul’s was in 2 Corinthians 5.9.

“I make it my ambition [some translations say goal or aim] whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to the Lord.”

Paul was saying, I want to please God with my life whether through life or through death. There may be other appropriate goals, but pleasing God should be our primary goal in life.

When it comes to reading His Word, what would be pleasing to Him? Not to gather a lot of Bible knowledge so we can impress others. Not to say we did it. Not to check one more thing off our to-do list.

We are to discipline ourselves to read and study and meditate on God’s Word for the purpose of becoming more like Christ (1 Tim. 4.7) and, like Mary, so we will come to know Him better by sitting at His feet (Lk. 10.38-42).

So as we start this new year in God’s Word, let’s read more thoughtfully. Let’s take time to ask God how we should apply it to specific areas of our lives and pray for His grace to make those changes.

 

“Lord, teach us to pray”

 

Verses 5-13 contain a great outline for prayer. In the parallel passage in Luke 11, one of the disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” That request was followed by this model prayer. Rather than praying it repetitiously, try taking each phrase and expanding on it in your own words.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” – We should let worship be the starting point. You might pray one or more of the names of God or talk to Him about His various attributes. Continue reading

July 25 “Your kingdom come or His?”

images[5]

Jesus taught His disciples, and by extension us, to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” Do you pray that way? If so, is it sincere or merely words? Whose kingdom are you really committed to, yours of His?

Today’s Readings:
Nehemiah 1 & 2
Psalm 88.11-18
Proverbs 21.25-26
Acts 25.1-27

Nehemiah 1 & 2:

Nehemiah’s cushy job

Nehemiah reminds me of Moses who:

“… refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Heb. 11.24-26).

Nehemiah had a rather cushy job as cupbearer to the king (aside from the fact that if someone tried to poison the king he would drink it first!). But because of his job, he would have been a trusted friend to the king. He lived in the palace with many of its perks and benefits, but it didn’t stop him from grieving for and being concerned about the well-being of his people.

And he wasn’t just concerned, he was willing to do something about the situation—to give up his comfortable position and take a dangerous journey, go to a city that was largely unprotected, and undertake an enormous project.

What if …?

What if God called you to the mission field? Or to quit your job and work for Him full time? Or to accept a job with less financial benefits so you’re available to serve Him more? Would you be willing? Continue reading

Journal Prompts for your Prayer or Scripture Journaling

In his book How to Keep a Spiritual Journal, Ron Klug said:

“I consider the time spent writing in my journal as Sabbath time – a time of rest and solitude, a time to come apart to be with God and to reflect on his Word, to search for his will, and to record the insights I receive. My journal has been the channel of many blessings” (p.17).

Journaling

Throughout the centuries, some of the greatest men and women of God have kept journals. But journaling isn’t just for spiritual giants. It’s for you and me.

If you find it hard to concentrate in your quiet time, a journal can help you focus on God and His Word.

Recording Scripture in a journal can help you remember and meditate on God’s promises.

If you have a desire to leave a record of your spiritual journey for your children or others, a journal is a great place to do so.

A journal can be a great place to capture ideas and pray for God’s timing and will.

A journal is a good place to record prayer lists, concerns and answers.

So what about you …

Do you keep a spiritual journal? Maybe you call it something else: a prayer journal, a Bible study notebook, or a Scripture journal.

Maybe you’ve thought about keeping a journal. You hear other people talk about it, but you think it would take too much time.

Maybe you hated writing in school and you can’t believe you’re even thinking about writing in a journal.

But a journal can be anything you want it to be. It can be handwritten or in an electronic format. Smart phones and tablets have dozens of apps to fit every personality.

journaling

You can write a paragraph or a page, record a verse or a passage of Scripture, a prayer need or a prayer list. You can write everyday or only occasionally.

Here are some prompts to try as you journal or experiment with journal keeping:

Start with the simple word “Yesterday …” then record the events of the day. At times this may lead into prayer for people or situations.

Continue reading

January 7 “An outline for prayer”

Praying the Lord's Prayer

Do you ever feel inadequate or frustrated with your prayer life? If so, you’re not alone. It appears even the disciples wanted more when they said, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 13 & 14
Psalm 4.4-8
Proverbs 2.1-5
Matthew 6.1-18

Genesis 13 & 14:

How do you evaluate opportunities?

Chapter 13 contains an interesting story about Abram and Lot. We find them both prospering with growing herds and a growing need for water and pastureland. This caused strife between their herdsmen, so rather than allow that to happen, Abram suggested they split up.

Abram was the elder and certainly had the right to the best land, but he unselfishly gave Lot first choice of the land. Lot’s response was quite different, verses 10-13: Continue reading