Prayer Encourages Seekers

MAY 20

MATTHEW 6:5_thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are for they love to pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men…

Oh my goodness! Here we go with the hypocrites again! And, they are back in the synagogues and the streets! Jesus doesn’t want the praying there any more than He wanted the alms giving there.

Don’t get confused about this – the devil would love to deceive you into believing that you should not pray out loud. If you are a part of a youth group that prays together – stay with it and pray together.. 

Praying out loud is a part of the salt and light process. Prayer encourages seekers who may be a part of your group. Helping the seekers find their way is what salt and light are meant to do.

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead He prayed out loud. John 11:41-42 (KJV), “And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”

There was a large crowd gathered to comfort the sisters of Lazarus. Jesus purposely prayed out loud. Any unbelievers in the group would know first, that Jesus was sent by God, and second, that God always hears prayer.

The result was the greatest miracle Jesus performed in His earthly life!

PRAYER

God of Heaven, Please let my prayers give attention to You, not me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ’s prayers were salt and light—mine should be too!

Don’t Try to Live Without It!

  MAY 19

MATTHEW 6:5_And when thou prayest…

Prayer is a necessity in the Christian life. Don’t try to live even one day without it. I Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV), “Pray  without ceasing.”

No one wants to go a full day without speaking to someone they love. If you don’t love Jesus, talk to Him anyway – you may soon find Him to be your friend. It takes time to truly love. There is such a thing as love at first sight, but if that’s all there ever is and love goes no further than sight – that won’t get it done. You have to know the person who has caused your heart to skip beats. Time must be spent in communication. 

Prayer is communication. There is nothing in your heart you cannot tell Jesus. The fact that He already knows what’s there does not stop Him from wanting to hear your voice. Jesus desires your deep, intimate, communication – just as any two people who are in love.

Get to know the book of Psalms. They may be written for songs, but they make for some kind of awesome prayers! No matter your situation, there is a Psalm to express your heart. Pray a Psalm in first person.

If it is a prayer of brokenness, it’s okay to weep. If it is a prayer of joy, then sing praise. 

Simply let your heart express itself.  

PRAYER

Lord of All, Thank You that You hear my heart, and my feeble words. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ prayed—He will teach me!

In a Tight Spot

DECEMBER 14

MATTHEW 7:26_And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not…

In Mark chapter 8 (KJV) Jesus feeds over four thousand people with seven loaves of bread and a few fish.  “So they [the people] did eat, and were filled: and they [the disciples] took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.”

Later, when Jesus was wearied of the Pharisees’ nagging, He enters a boat with His disciples, “14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.” Jesus begins to teach the disciples about the character of the Pharisees. The disciples thought He was fussing at them for forgetting the bread. “17 And when Jesus knew it [that the disciples were nervous], he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?”

We feel like criticizing the disciples. They not only had witnessed the miracle of feeding over four thousand, and previously witnessed Him feeding over five thousand, but —Jesus used them to pass out the bread!

Let’s not be too hasty to criticize. In a tight spot, we quickly tend to side with anxiety over the power of our Rock.

PRAYER

Righteous Lord, Help me remember Your greatness and power every day. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ wants us to remember His power—I will!

Rock-Solid

DECEMBER 9

MATTHEW 7:24_which built his house upon a rock.

Previously we discussed the importance of a solid foundation. Any builder will agree the foundation makes or breaks the house. Being a stonemason, Jesus understands the strength of rock. Rock-solid, refers to something completely secure, built to last, totally dependable. Jesus says to hear, act, and become wise, gives life a rock-solid foundation. 

Perhaps we shouldn’t have favorites among the disciples, but mine have always been Peter and John. I’ve heard so many Bible teachers joke about Peter always blurting out and talking over all the other disciples. I see all his blurts as zealous passion for Jesus. I see devoted love—something he just couldn’t keep inside.

Peter’s name was Simon. Jesus changed it to Peter, which means rock. I believe Jesus saw the solidness in Peter’s love for Him long before anyone else saw it.

Matthew 16:18 (KJV) says, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock [Peter’s life] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  

Be like Peter and build your life on solid rock!

PRAYER

Rock of My Salvation, When I build my life on Your teachings I’m rock-solid. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ’s principles are rock-solid—I want them!

Your Heart Listens

DECEMBER 6

MATTHEW 7:24_heareth these sayings of mine…

As the Master Stonemason, Jesus works from the bottom up. Step one is to hear. Hearing the words of Jesus is important. You can be physically deaf and hear Jesus’ words. By the same token, you can rate perfect on your hearing test, listen to the Bible read by Alexander Scourby for an hour, and never hear a word. Where you think is where you hear—in the heart. The heart’s door where Jesus knocks, is a place of communication.

Jesus is very specific about what He wants you to hear, “these sayings of mine.” The word sayings here can be interpreted as a statement or declaration by God. If your ears hear, it is because your heart listens.

At least eight times in His teachings, Jesus says:                                                                   

Matthew 11:15 (KJV),”He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Matthew 13:9 (KJV), “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Mark 4:9 (KJV), “And he said unto them, he that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”                                                                              

Mark 4:23 (KJV), “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.”

Revelation 2:7 (KJV), “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith…”

Revelation 2:11(KJV), “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith…”

Revelation 2:29 (KJV), “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith…”                                                                                    

Revelation 3:13 (KJV), “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith…”

PRAYER

True Word, Please help my heart to listen so my ears can hear. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ speaks to my heart—I hear!