What’s Between Ask and Receive

This is a wonderful message!  If you’ve been praying for something for a long time and are feeling discouraged because you haven’t received an answer, you need to hear this message!

 

Prayer Series – Outline for Prayer

Outline for Prayer

I know that many of us struggle with having a consistent prayer life.  There may even be some who don’t really see the importance of prayer.  Yet, Jesus said in Mt. 6:5 “WHEN you pray.”  It becomes pretty clear that prayer is something that we should do; otherwise, it could have been stated “If you pray.”  Our Lord took time out to pray.  If the Master needed time alone with the Father, then shouldn’t we who are often so fleshly, and who so prone to sinning, need time alone with the Father as well?

We find the Lord’s prayer in Mt. 6:9-13.  I used to attend a church that would quote this “prayer” every time we attended service.  However, this isn’t really a prayer at all, but rather a model of how we are to pray.  You could easily make an outline from this model like this:
I.  Our Father in heaven, holy is Your name.
A.  Worship the Lord.
II. Your kingdom come, Your will be done.
A.   In my life
B.   In the lives of my family members
C.  In the lives of those who rule this nation.
D.   In countries around the world.
E.   In my church
III. Give us this day our daily bread.
A.   Pray for God to show me more of Himself today.
B.   For Him to provide for our physical needs.
C.   For our financial needs.
D.   For our emotional needs.
IV. Forgive us our debts.
A.  Take time to be still before Him.
B.   Be conscious of the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
C.   Repent of the sins that come to mind.
D.   Pray for His direction in making restitution and apologizing where necessary.
V.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
A.  For Him to put His word deep in my heart so that I might not sin.
B.  For His strength to help me remove myself from places of temptation.

We can use the above outline and pray a long or short prayer.  We can do a brief prayer and still cover most subjects, or we can MAKE time (it’s our choice), to pray longer.  This outline can easily be modified to fit the needs in your own life, or to fit the burdens that are on your own heart.

In Mt. 7:7-8, we come upon the scripture which mentions asking, seeking, and knocking.  From the Full Life Study Bible, p. 16, it says:  “Jesus encourages perseverance in prayer.  The tense of the Greek verbs in v. 8 designates continued action.  This means we must keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.  Asking implies consciousness of need and the belief that God hears our prayer.  Seeking implies earnest petitioning along with obedience to God’s will. Knocking implies perseverance in coming to God even when he does not respond quickly.  Christ’s assurance that those who ask will receive what they ask is based on: (1) seeking first the kingdom of God; (2) recognizing God’s fatherly goodness and love; (3) praying according to God’s will; (4) maintaining fellowship with Christ; and (5) obeying Christ.”
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Pick Your Battles Prayerfully

Pick Your Battles Prayerfully

I have often heard my pastor tell us to pick our battles with our children.  Some battles really aren’t worth fighting.  Others need to be fought at all costs.  It takes discernment to discover which battles are the ones we need to fight.

In Deut. 17:8-10, we see that Moses was told that if he had cases come before him that were too difficult for him to judge, he was to take them to the person whom God would choose.

As a mother, I have often found situations arising that leave me at a loss on what to do.  I learned very early as a parent that it’s wise to pray for three wise and godly women to whom I could go for counsel on tough issues.  They have been a great help to me, providing some wonderful insights.

In Judges 4:4, we see that Deborah was leading Israel.  In verse six, she sent for Barak, telling him that God wanted him to gather ten thousand men to go to Mount Tabor.  God was preparing to give Jabin’s army into their hands.  In verse 16, we see that all of Sisera’s troops fell by the sword.

The correlation to us, as women, is that we should be causing our spiritual foes to fall through using the Word in our intercession for our family.  It is a powerful thing to quote the Word when we are praying.  I remember one Sunday when our youth pastor used a machete, calling it a sword, and tossing an apple into the air, then slicing it in half.  It was a fantastic visual picture of how using the Word of God can slice our spiritual foes.

Saul and his servant were out searching for some lost donkeys.  The looked for hours with no success, coming to  the point where they didn’t know where else to look.  In verse six, the servant mentions a man of God.  He states that everything the man of God speaks comes true, so perhaps, he could tell them where to look for the donkeys.  As Saul agrees to go see the man of God, he not only finds his donkeys, but the man of God anoints Saul as leader over Israel.

Sisters, sometimes when we approach God, He not only answers our original request, but if we are careful to listen, we may find Him revealing much more to us.

The story of David and Goliath is a very familiar one.  We see that David is a brave man, a warrior, and most importantly, the Lord was with David.  God had delivered David from the paw of the lion and the bear, and David was confident that God would deliver him from this vile Philistine.  When David spoke to Goliath, he was careful to make mention that he was coming in the name of the Lord.  He knew that all of his success was from God alone, and he was certain to give God the glory for his success.

We also need to be constantly aware that every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord. (Jas. 1:17) Any battles that we win, we win because God is for us.  (Rom. 8:31)

Another battle in the Old Testament that is incredible is when God gives very clear instructions to the Israelites for going against Moab. (II Kings 3) After they followed the Lord’s instructions, the valley was filled with water.  As if that wasn’t awesome enough, in verses 22-23, the Moabites see the valley of water, only it looks like blood!  They head out to plunder, not realizing that they were walking into their own destruction.

When we pick our battles prayerfully, it can cause the plans of the enemy to be destroyed.

In Acts 12, the church was earnestly praying for Peter, who was in prison.  Suddenly an angel appears to Peter, causing his chains to fall off.

Sometimes when we pick the battle of intercession, we will cause chains of bondage to fall.

In Mt. 1:19, Joseph was going to divorce Mary quietly.  But once an angel appeared to him in a dream, he was encouraged to go ahead and take Mary as his wife.  He was given a clear revelation as to what was taking place within Mary’s womb.

In Acts 16:6, the Holy Spirit kept Paul and his companions from preaching the Word in Asia.  In verse 9, we see that Paul has a vision of a Macedonian man and he concludes that God had called them to preach the gospel there.

Sometimes when we pick our battles prayerfully, God will speak clear instructions to us through the stillness of our sleep.

Do you feel the need to pray about some battles?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Worship That Moves the Lord

Worship That Moves the Lord

Have you ever been so desperate in prayer that you begin to beg God for His help, yet feel as if He is ignoring you?  A Canaanite woman experienced that very thing.  In Matthew 15:22, she is crying out to Jesus as He passes by.  Yet, the Lord doesn’t even acknowledge her.

Now many of us become discouraged when we feel as if the Lord is ignoring us.  We may even fail to pray since we feel as if our fervent prayers are falling on deaf ears.  Yet, what this Canaanite woman does next fascinates me.  She refuses to give up.  She comes and humbly kneels before Jesus and again asks for His help.  Her humble posture speaks volumes to the Lord, for not only does He notice her, He speaks to her.  Her humble response shows her great faith in Him, even though He previously ignored her.  He commends her for her great faith and grants her request.

We can learn much from this story.  When we don’t get an immediate response, we must not get mad and become too proud to ask again.  We must humble ourselves before Him and keep asking, for the Lord will not reject a humble, contrite heart. (Psalm 51:17)  Our humble worship may be what moves Him to act quickly on our behalf.

© 2008, Stacy R Miller