Pray, Pray, Pray – do not lose heart

A refresher or new believers Bible study part 4

If you have not read the other installments, please see Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3.

In light of what is going on in the world, many today are struggling with anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. So much evil activity and wicked people everywhere we look. Because of it, mayhem and wickedness abounds and the darkness seems to increase. Even though His Word called it far in advance, we still watch in unbelief as the wicked call evil good and good evil (from Is 5:20).

Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us. Selah

Psalm 62:8

Turn your eyes upon Jesus…

Keep your mind stayed on Him (Is 26:3). Pray and don’t lose heart!

EXAMPLES OF PRAYER

Here, in this example of prayer, we see Jesus teaching us to be persistent in prayer and not lose heart. Praying to Him, finding out what He says in His Word and trusting in Him, increases our faith.

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.  Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’  And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”

Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.  And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8

Remember, prayer really does matter, or He wouldn’t have asked us to pray so often in His Word.

Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. Psalm 116:2

Besides praying for our loved ones and friends, our brethren and those in leadership (both in the world and in the body of Christ); we can see some examples in His Word for others to Pray for. Please make this a study. Please look at each and every passage, (even if you know it), because whether the questions I ask, or the comments I may make — my words have no power. But His Word is living and powerful and will change you. I have linked KJV, NKJV and NASB. The latter two link cross references and you might continue to those for further edification.

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY AND WHO SHOULD WE PRAY FOR?

PRAYING FOR OURSELVES AND OTHERS

Praying for ourselves and those we love.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. Ps 46:1-2

Matt 7:7-11 gives us a nice little formula in prayer, if you were to synopsize it or make an acronym with it, what would it be?

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thess 5:16-18

Phil 4:6-8 tells us to be careful for nothing, but to pray for everything, making our requests known to God. What promise is verse 7? And what good instruction do we see in verse 8.

That we will acknowledge Him and trust in Him for more things (Pr 3:5-6)

  • That we will be thankful and always call on Him in trouble (Ps 50:14-15)
  • That we will edify, love and support other believers. (Phil 2:1-4; 1 Thess 5:11-15)
  • That we will shine our light glorifying God. (Matt 5:16)
  • For us to be wise, and our speech to have grace and salt towards unbelievers.(Col 4:5-6)
  • In our prayer closet, for our needs, to keep us from temptation, deliver us from the accuser of the brethren etc. What do we see as a type of outline in Matt 6:5-15?
  • That our love will abound in knowledge & righteous judgment & spiritual understanding. Look up Phil 1:9-11. List separately some of the things Paul was praying for other believers.

Besides praying with others in the church, it is also important to pray alone often, and for small things (without ceasing). We ought to always pray and faint not. We need to separate for a time alone with Him as Jesus did. We should choose to do it more like the humble publican, and hopefully not like the Pharisee in the square (sometimes we see this on FB – “I thank God I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or like > THAT PERSON”). I often see examples of this. Men/Women sadly using the mistaken argument of those who ‘practice sin’ won’t go to heaven. They always list only the ‘big’ sins, missing the obvious, that even one lie will keep us from God. So knowing it was impossible for us, God has done the work to save us. He is our righteousness, and the end of the law for those of us who believe, but not for those who are still seeking to establish their own righteousness (Rom 10:3-4).

HOW TO PRAY

We don’t always know how to pray, but Romans 8:25-27 tells us the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, makes intercession for us according to the will of God.

Pray before acting or speaking. Trust in Him with all your heart. Lean on Him and don’t trust your own thoughts, but acknowledge Him in more of the small things you do. He will direct your paths (Pr 3:5-6 pp).

Praying in His will. Jesus knew He could pray for legions of angels to come and deliver Him, but He also accepted whatever was not His Father’s will. We pray in the same manner — His will be done.

Be persistent in your prayer as in the parable of the loaves with the friend knocking and asking at midnight to borrow 3 loaves of bread (Luke 11:5-8).

Another example starts with the reason. That we might pray always and not lose heart. This is the story of the widow with the unrighteous judge (Luke 18:1-8).

Remember this:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Trust in His will and sufficient grace for your life

Paul had been caught up to what he called the third heaven. We assume it’s beyond our immediate heaven, beyond the outside galaxies but the place similarly to the vision John had. I can only imagine how this possibly could puff a person up with his greatness, and Paul understood that too, he knew the reason was that he not be exalted because of these revelations.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Cor 12:7-10

Praying for the one who might be reading. All that may come, that He might guide and instruct you in His Word (Pr 22:17-21; James 1:5-6). Love in Him!

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