Archive for 'Prayer'

Prayer Ideas:

 

©2011 – C Jill Reed

I had the following information in my “Prayer” file, which gives ideas on what a Christian can pray about related to growing closer to God. I don’t know who put together the list, if anyone does, let me know and I’ll add the appropriate credits.

Pray for a spirit of:

Lesson 01: Application

If there is anything I want you to take away from this lesson is a simple process:

  1. Pray First: Start this very day praying before you begin studying the Bible. Ask God to give you wisdom and understanding. Ask him to soften your heart so that you will receive the truth that he has for you.
  2. Focus: When you begin reading, don’t focus on the quantity of what is read (# of chapters), but instead focus on ‘What is God trying to tell or teach you through His word?’
  3. Pause & Discuss: Pause for a moment and talk to Him. Ask Him questions or discuss what you are learning.  If you feel convicted and know you need to ask forgiveness, stop and do it — right then, don’t wait!

I want you to have your Bible reading time to be a conversation. When you do this then God’s story begins to be woven into your life and it becomes your story as well. You’ll remember years later how certain verses sustained you through difficult times. How you were strengthened and challenged by your conversations over the Bible. It will be amazing how God can use a simple phrase or even just a word to speak into your life — if you’ll let Him!

Lesson 1: Pray over it . . . and through it.

How to Delight in God’s Word — Prayer

Printable Overview of Lesson 01

Printable Leaders Guide to Lesson 01

This seems simple and obvious, but I always considered prayer and Bible Study separate disciplines and never realized how important they were to be incorporated together.

I begin my quiet time by simply praying and asking God for wisdom and guidance and for him to soften my heart to receive his truths. Just by adding prayer before studying the Bible I found that God was faithful to hear my prayer and give me a deeper understanding of his Word.

1 John 5:14-15 (NLT): 14And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. 15And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.

So we know that if we ask God for something AND it’s according to his will, he will be faithful to give it to us.

James 1:5 (NIV) tells us: 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

We can see in this verse that wisdom is something that God tells us to ask for and he promises to give it generously, but we must believe and not doubt that God will provide it to us. This gives us confirmation that praying for wisdom and guidance before we study the Bible is indeed a prayer according to God’s will that He will answer.

The second thing I learned was to pray as I read the Bible. As I read God might reveal an area I need to change or I might learn something new from God and I pray immediately to respond to the message I have received. It may be that I need to ask for forgiveness; I’ll want to stop and praise him, to thank him, or whatever I feel I want to tell him, I do it right then and there.

Have any of you ever had a pen pal or other long distance relationship through the mail?

Did you find it more difficult to sustain a deep and meaningful relationship compared to in- person communication?

This is what my relationship to God was like a loving, but long-distance relationship through letters. I would tell him everything I wanted to say in prayer and then at a later time I would read what He had to say. It was never immediate or back and forth like a real in-person relationship is and therefore I could not reach a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Him.

Have you ever felt like God was distant?

Tips: Improve Your Prayer Life

Tip for the journey:

I know people pray in many different ways, but I wanted to give some thoughts and helps for improving your prayer life.

Whatever you say is OK!

There is no perfect prayer or prayer style. Often throughout the prayer time I pause , which allow me to listen to see if God is trying to speak, but sometimes I rush through it and just rattle on to God and hardly ever listen (I’m lucky He’s so understanding). When I first became a Christian (5/3/98) I prayed rotely, because I knew I was supposed to, but wasn’t sure what to say.  I think God honored these prayers, because I was wanting to know him more and that pleases Him! So don’t worry about what you say or even if you’re mad at God or confused about His plan – he’ll just be happy to hear from you. I think a sincere honest prayer is what God wants from us – not polished words or perfect poise, but a heart desiring to listen and follow Him.

Keep a notebook in hand:

This is a multipurpose tool, you can right down anything that comes to mind that is distracting you from your prayer time. Most of us have experienced that –  we get quiet to pray, then our mind suddenly fills with a bunch of stuff we should do instead. Take some time and write it down and get it out of your head. You may also notice other things showing up in the quiet, things you are frustrated about from your day and starting to worry about or decisions your not sure what to do about, relationships you need help in, goals that you are wanting to reach, people or things to pray about, etc. Often whatever is stirred up in this initial quiet will both make up your to-do list and your prayer list and that is okay. It is much better to work through it and then pray about everything then simply try to ignore all these thoughts, which should be making up your prayers.

Don’t Forget to Listen:

Often we ask and ask and ask . . . but do not stop to listen for directions or answers. It’s like stopping to ask someone for directions, telling them what a difficult situation you are in, tell them how much you need to find the right direction, tell them more and more about your hopeless spot, but not stopping to listen for the directions. That would obviously be foolish. We are also foolish to ask God to guide us, but never stop and listen for His guidance. What is God trying to say to you. Has there been a theme threaded through many areas of life, bible study, conversations, music, sermons? Are you wondering,  is this just a strange coincidence? No, more than likely, it is not a coincidence and is,  perhaps, God trying to tell you something (as long as it does not go against his revealed will through the Bible.) This is the opportunity to ask, Hey God, it seems like everywhere I turn I keep getting the same message is that you? Then give Him the opportunity to answer.

Pray through the Bible

Occasionally make the habit of combining your Bible Study and Prayer Time. When you read about a Bible Character and know that you are tempted to fail in similar ways, pray for strength, pray for the ability to overcome and stand under the temptation. If you see a characteristic that you would like to have more of in your life – ask for it. Let God know that you desire to be like ______ and what you are learning. If you are reminded of a character about God that you appreciate, let Him know and Praise Him for it.

Find Creative Prayer Times:

Our lives are so busy that it is useful to create a sanctuary out of the ordinary. You can redeem various times by combining prayers with other activities. I’ve heard many people say that their best prayer times are in a car during a long commute, while waiting in line or cleaning the house. Often activities that are mainly physical in form, but don’t require a great deal of mental processing make for perfect prayer times. These are all items that may be good times to include prayer in: Gardening, Exercising, Brushing your Teeth, Doing Dishes, Cleaning, . . . feel free to add to comments any others that you can think of.

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