Sunday, 30 August 2015

Praying God's word. Rabqa

All Scriptures are from N L T unless otherwise stated.

The prayers of the Bible are an amazing gift from God & they have much to teach us how Jesus, Job, Moses, David, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Peter, Paul, & many others talked with God.

These prayers also help us to talk to God, just as Jesus used several of David's prayers in His final moments on the cross.

Matt 27:46
At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Ps 22:1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Lk 23:46 Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.

We find in the Prayers of Scripture, help carry our thoughts & emotions to God. When we use the prayers from God's Word humbly & expectantly
they encourage us in our own prayers,& we open our hearts & lives to deeper faith, renewed strength, fresh blessings, & God's power.

True faith is humble & humility is the opposite of the proud selfishness & self-centred ambition that characterises this present evil age. self~centredness is the essence of worldliness. Therefore to be a self-centred person is to be at enmity with God.

God invites us to come closer to Him through the prayers of His Word. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness Rom 8:26
As we pray God's Word from our hearts, the Holy spirit breathes new life into our prayers & also into us.

We can use God prayers to praise & honor Him. Love prompts action, which reflects what God did for us in the incarnation. Because of love & for the sake of restoring relationship, God in the person of Jesus came near. Ps 37:4 tells us that as we delight in the Lord He awakens desires within us that reflect His heart.

True praise, that is praise with active faith that is greater then emotion, it is a daring thing, because it challenges us to leave old old paths of the human heart behind & reach for something beyond ourselves, giving ourselves up to God.

God commands us to take delight in Him as we see in psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord & He will give you the desires of your heart. The command confronts us & calls us to a higher way of thinking, That isn't easy, it costs us something It may begin as hard work but it doesn't end up that way.
God never leaves us where we are. With every effort we make to draw nearer to Him we are promised that He will come close to us James 4:8
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

When you dare to delight in the Lord He will not only give you your hearts desire but He becomes it.

When you pray God's Word you will discover that God Is moving in your life. Some of the Scriptures you can pray to praise & honor God are Ex 15:6&7
Your right hand, O LORD, is glorious in power. Your right hand, O LORD, smashes the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty, you overthrow those who rise against you. You unleash your blazing fury; it consumes them like straw. Ps104:1-10 Let all that I am praise the LORD. O LORD my God, how great you are! You are robed with honour and majesty. You are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds. You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind. The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants. You placed the world on its foundation so it would never be moved. You clothed the earth with floods of water, water that covered even the mountains. At your command, the water fled; at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away. Mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed. Then you set a firm boundary for the seas, so they would never again cover the earth. You make springs pour water into the ravines, so streams gush down from the mountains
Ps 145:1-7 I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendour and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

 Jer 32:17-20 O Sovereign LORD! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! You show unfailing
love to thousands, but you also bring the consequences of one generation’s sin upon the next. You are the great and powerful God, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. You see the conduct of all people, and you give them what they deserve. You performed miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt—things still remembered to this day! And you have continued to do great miracles in Israel and all around the world. You have made your name famous to this day.

Luke 1:68,70,74-75Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people
Luke 1:70 just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago Luke 1:74-75 We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.

It is so good to praise the Lord for He has done great things for us, the main thing He did was to rescue us from satan's clutches He deserves all the glory, praise, & honour.

We need to pray to confess our sins & humble ourselves before Him.
Jesus has many names & titles but the one I like best of all is the one the Pharisees gave Him Friend of the sinners. He said in Lk 19:10 that He came to seek & save those who are lost. A true friend will love you even when you don't deserve it & will look out for you when you have lost your way.
John 15:13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Brotherly love in this verse summarises the entire duty & direction of Jesus. The direct simplicity of this statement establishes the priority & the path we are to follow. Our priority is to love one & another. & Our path is to love as Christ loved us. Laying down His life.

Who can measure this love? Christ gave up the comforts, joy, & adoration of heaven to be sullied by the soil of the earth & carry the sins of sinners. His bearing of agonising pain through beatings, nails in His hand, the spear in His side, the thorns on His head, all exemplify His love, We must follow His example. We see the manner of His love & are called to to bear with others' sins with inflicted pain with stabbing cruel remakes & treatment. This I know sounds impossible to our human nature, but as temples of the Holy Spirit who has poured out the love of God in our hearts we can ask for & receive the grace & kindness to love as Jesus loved.

I know we love to think as Jesus as our friend But friendship is a two-way street. We need to ask ourselves what kind of friend am I to Jesus? If we are some ones friend then we are going to care for our relationship & be mindful of the things that could be hurtful or cause distant between us. Nothing caused Jesus more pain then sin. we need to draw near to God Heb 10:22-23

Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Faith excepts the Bible record of who Jesus is & what He has accomplished on our behalf. It also draws near to God & clings to Him tenaciously. the believer accepts the benefits of Jesus' sacrifice & enters God's presence with confidence Faith believes the Bible implicitly, knowing it is God's living self-expression & submits to it's judgement. & faith is willing to suffer with Christ knowing it will receive a good reward.

Remembering how much our sins cost Jesus helps us to be a better friend, including the prayer of the Word of God of confession &
humbling ourselves before God.

2 Sam:7:20 What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like, Sovereign LORD.
 Ps 19:12How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.

In these prayers there is real humility & a description of what sin does does to us. Ps31:10 I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within. Ps 40:12 For troubles surround me too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out they out number the hairs oh my head I have lost all courage.
2Sam 7:20-22 tells us that He knows us completely & yet He still loves us. You know there is There is none like Him.

Some Scriptures we can pray when confessing sins & humbling ourselves are found in Ps 38 1-4
O LORD, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage! Your arrows have struck deep, and your blows are crushing me. Because of your anger, my whole body is sick; my health is broken because of my sins. My guilt overwhelms me— it is a burden too heavy to bear. also Verse 18 But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done Ps 131:1-2
LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. Ps 51:7-9 Purify
me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. One of my favourite verse in Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Ps 119:169-179 O LORD, listen to my cry; give me the discerning mind you promised. Listen to my prayer; rescue me as you promised. Let praise flow from my lips, for you have taught me your decrees. Let my tongue sing about your word, for all your commands are right. Give me a helping hand, for I have chosen to follow your commandments. O LORD, I have longed for your rescue, and your instructions are my delight. Let me live so I can praise you, and may your regulations help me. I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands

God loves us so much that He is concerned about our everyday needs. It is a tendency for us to rush in to the throne room with a shopping list of wants. Throughout His Word He encourages us to come boldly into His throne room. (Heb4:16) I can only imagine what it looks like in heaven. Our Heavenly Father is seated high upon His throne & exalted, around His throne are Seraphs hiding there faces in worship before the awesome wonder of the Ancient of Days (Isa 61:1-2) & like children we come rushing in making our wants & wishes known.

That is a rough picture but there is still grace & beauty in it, for we are all children of the Father saved by faith in His crucified son (1Jn 1:10-12)
We can come boldly & without fear because God is Abba Father, He is our Dad, our Daddy God (Rom 8:15). He knows our daily needs & cares deeply about them. He is concerned about them. We need to be concerned about the condition of our heart, & the more our heart matures the more it will beat in rhythm with His. It is God's deepest desire that we grow & mature in our understanding of what it means to have a relationship with him.
Here are some Scriptures we can pray for our every day needs.
Ps 23:1-6
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk
through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD FOR EVER 

Ps 104:24-30 LORD, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures. Here is the ocean, vast and wide, teeming with life of every kind, both large and small. See the ships sailing along, and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea. They all depend on you to give them food as they need it. When you supply it, they gather it. You open your hand to feed them, and they are richly satisfied. But if you turn away from them, they panic. When you take away their breath, they die and turn again to dust. When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the earth.
 Ps 68:7-10 O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people.
Ps 69:16 Answer my prayers, O LORD, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful We will now look at prayers for direction & guidance. The Bible tells us that God guides His children through all kinds of circumstances.

He went ahead of Israel through the wilderness, leading them with a pillar of cloud by day & a pillar of fire by night. (Ex 13:21) He sent angels to lead Lot & His family out of Sodom (Gen 19:16) &
Peter out of prison (Acts 12:7) Both David & Isaiah describe God as affectionate as a Shepherd ( Ps 23; Isa 40:11) & Micah prophesied about Jesus " He will stand to lead His flock with the lords strength" (Mic 5:4)
It is surprising to note that no where in the Old or New Testament do we find a step by step process by which we can determine God's will.

God's guidance stems from our relationship with Him. Our Shepherd wants to feed us, carry us in His arms, hold us close to His heart, & gently lead us. (Isa 40:11). We are to pray continually (1Thess 5:17) Because it is impossible to discern God's leading in our life without prayer, they are to be relational prayers, relational prayers don't just seek His will but also His face, they put us in a place where the Lord can help us discover His leading & to respond with deeper obedience & love. God reminded His people in Isa 30:15 Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.

All to often we want to run ahead of God, running our own lives, then ask God to bless us. Oswald Chambers says: "If we could see the floor of
God's immediate presence, we would find it strewn with toys' of God's children who have said "this is broken, I can't play with it any more, please give me another present." Only one in a thousand sits down in the midst of it all & says ' I will watch My Father mend this'.

Some Scriptures to pray for guidance & direction. Ps 25:1 O Lord I give my life to You. 3-4 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.

Ps 119:129-136 Your laws are wonderful. No wonder I obey them! The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. I pant with expectation, longing for your commands. Come and show me your mercy, as you do for all who love your name. my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by evil. Ransom me from the oppression of evil people; then I can obey your commandments. Look upon me with love; teach me your decrees. Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because people disobey your instructions.

Now we will look at prayers to say thank you & give praise. Take a moment to think where would you be without Jesus, Ephesians 2:12 sums it up nicely
In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope.

Without Christ describes the estrangement we had before He was in our lives, He is the fountainhead of futility & hopelessness. I can never go past the prayer in Ephesians 1:18-21 (NKJ)
the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

We can't thank God enough & praying His Word cultivates us & opens our eyes to the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints. It is like praying all the blessings that God has ever given you.

Jesus met ten lepers at the Samaritan boarder but only one came back to say thank you. What about the other nine? probably to caught up in themselves, & the gift of healing they had just received then to remember the Giver.
The one who came back fell at the feet of Jesus, giving thanks for what he had done, he was a Samaritan, Jesus told him to stand up & go, his faith had made him whole. Lk (17:15-16;19).What Jesus was in fact saying was that his faith had saved him.

True gratitude makes us come back to God, we have a choice, we can go our own way & be distracted by all God has given us, or we can come to Jesus & worship Him for all He has done for us.

Some Scriptures we can use to offer up our thanks. 1Chron 29:10-15 O LORD, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.
“O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.

Ps 28:6-7 Praise the LORD! For he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving Matt 11:25-26 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!

Remember our walk with the Lord is by faith. Be encouraged; His Word will not return to Him void. It always accomplishes that for which it was sent.

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