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Article: "How I Got Here"

 

 

 

Understanding Prayer

A BIBLE STUDY OF PRIME PASSAGES TO HELP IN UNDERSTANDING "PRAYER":
How might we DEFINE "prayer" from Psalm 27:8? - The heart's sincere desire (for God).
What OBSTACLES to prayer are shown in these passages?
  Psalm 66:18 Unconfessed sin.
  Isaiah 59:1-2 Sin separates us from God.
  Matthew 6:7 Using "vain repetitions" (as in mantras, repetitive "bead" or "wheel" praying, etc.)
  James 4:3 Selfish requests.
  1st Peter 3:7

Disrespecting one's spouse.

What COMMANDS and PROMISES are given regarding prayer in these passages?
  Psalm 50:15 Call on Me / I will Deliver
  Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, Seek, Knock / Receive, Find, Have it be opened
  Matthew 18:19 Agreement with others yields a positive result.
  Matthew 21:22 Ask in Faith / You will Receive
(See *1st John 5:14-15 below to understand the limitation for Matthew 21:22)
  James 5:16 Pray for each others' healing / Ferventness is powerful
(But is not the same as "vain repetitions," and "persistence" IS encouraged
on our part.)
  1st Peter 5:7 "CAST" your cares ON God! / Because He does care about you
  1st Thessalonians 5:17
Romans 8:26
Pray without ceasing / God's Spirit makes it so!
See John 14:6, 13-14 to understand what praying "IN JESUS' NAME" means:
Faith in His Righteousness "FOR" us opens the door to God with Christ's own full authority and power and perfect worth.

What thoughts are given in these passages on GOD's WILL being done?
  Matthew 26:36-44 Jesus prayed for escape, but "conditioned" it BY His Father's Will
  John 15:7 "Abiding" in Christ and His teaching gives power to our requests and is the best way to
become familiar with God’s Will, so that we do not have to wonder so much what His will might be.
  Romans 8:27 God's Spirit ensures our prayers being kind of "translated" to God ACCORDING to
His Will.
  2nd Corinthians 12:8-9 God's Grace is sufficient in times of trouble and suffering.
  Philippians 4:6 God wills that our requests be made with THANKSGIVING.
  *1st John 5:14-15 If we DO pray "according" to His Will, God's GUARANTEE is to hear,
answer and give.
For WHOM or WHAT do these verses encourage us to pray?
  Matthew 5:44 Enemies
  1st Timothy 2:1-2 Our Leaders
  James 1:5 Wisdom
  1st John 1:9 Forgiveness
What "lifestyle" and ultimate blessing are shown in Acts 2:42-47?
Sharing and praying together yields growth for God's Kingdom.
Several more "COMFORTS" regarding prayer!
  Isaiah 65:24 Even before calling Him, God knows, hears and answers.
  John 14:12 Christians are great MIRACLE WORKERS! (This is so, because as Luther wrote on this passage, "The needs of all people on earth are met through the prayers of Christian believers.")
  Romans 8:33-34 Jesus Himself (as does His Holy Spirit, Romans 8:27) is also always interceding
for us.

An urgent "caution" is that PRESUMING UPON or DARING God is NOT the same as FAITH, nor is He our "puppet" or "at our command" - but rather, we are at His!

God commands in Scripture that we not put Him to the test, as Jesus also quoted and Himself obeyed in the example of His temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:7, Luke 4:12).

Of course "The Lord's Prayer" is our best model, Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-11, and Jesus gives further guidance/instruction/encouragement also in Matthew 6:5-8 and 7:9-11.

 

 

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