April 12, 2017 (H2BEC: Prayer 1)

I’ve started lifting weights and running. I can do this all day long but if I don’t eat the right diet, I won’t get the results that I am hoping for. Won’t get right nutrients, energy. Plus I can’t just eat junk food all day long and expect to see any real change in my body. In anything that we do, we have to discipline ourselves to be effective in what we do so that when we pursue something we see real results.  In working out, diet is the most important thing we do. In our Christian life, the most important thing that we can do is to pray

Prayer:

·         What is Prayer?

·         a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God

o   An Exercise of Faith: (Complete trust or confidence in someone)

James 1:6-7
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. For that man out not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

o   An Exercise in Persistence: (Pressing on through something despite the difficulty or resistance of others)
1 Thessalonians 5:17
“pray continually”

§  Not just repetitious prayers, but changing our mindset so that we are constantly aware that God is with us all the time. It is the knowledge that despite the circumstances, God is involved and engaged in our lives so that we are never alone. Everything that we do is offered up to God, the good and the bad. So this allows us to consider our actions and if that is something we want to present to God in prayer.

o   An Exercise of Community: (A group of people having a particular characteristic in common)
Acts 1:14
“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”

§  Any time we look at scripture when it deals in a positive light with community there is this environment of praising God, encouraging each other and prayer. Community is very important when it comes to prayer because we have the privilege of praying for each other and them praying for us. It builds unity in the community and lightens our own burdens.


o   An Exercise in Obedience: (Submission to another’s authority)

1 Timothy 2:1
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people”
Ephesians 6:18
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

 

 These two verses touch on intercessory prayer. Praying for one another. It goes along with the community aspect because it is a great feeling knowing that someone else is praying for you. It shows that the other person cares about you enough to spend part of their day praying to God on your behalf. 

 

·         What Does Prayer Do?

o   An Exercise in Patience: (to be able to accept delay or trouble without getting angry or upset)
Habakkuk 2:1
“I will take my stand at my watch-post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.”

§  There are times that we may pray and God doesn’t immediately answer. Sometimes the response is to wait. As Habakkuk stood like a faithful watchman, we should wait on God to answer instead of asking once and then trying to do it in our own strength.

o   An Exercise in Power:
1 Timothy 4:8
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

Matthew 26:41

o   "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

§  These two verses are good reminders that there is weakness in our physical body no matter how much we exercise or work out. There are physical limitations to our flesh. Godliness is not just an external thing. Lifting weights and running may help us to get in better shape but until we begin to eat right we will not see drastic change. We can be an external Christian who says and does the right things, but until we begin to seek God in prayer, we will not grow to the place that God desires for us to be in our walk with Him. 

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