The Prayers of Jesus Companion resource for Wonderstruck Awaken to the Nearness of God book and Bible study

The Prayers of Jesus Companion resource for Wonderstruck Awaken to the Nearness of God book and Bible study

The Prayers of Jesus Companion resource for Wonderstruck Awaken to the Nearness of God book and Bible study

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Dear Friends,

Not only does God give us a voice, but He invites us to use our voices with Him anytime, anywhere. Through prayer we are given access to approach the One who holds all things together—a breathtaking invitation, indeed.God eagerly awaits every request, heart cry, desire, and expression of gratitude. No syllable, consonant, or vowel offered up in prayer escapes God’s notice. Yet despite the opportunity to bend the ear of God, many of us struggle with how we should pray, what we should say, and what a vibrant prayer life really looks and feels like. When asked how to pray, Jesus provided a specific prayer as a model known as The Lord’s Prayer. But as I’ve plied the Gospels to better under

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stand prayer, I’ve been taken back by the prayer life of Christ. The prayers of Jesus are marked by simplicity, brevity, and profundity. Only a handful of Jesus’ prayers are recorded, and Jesus’ teachings on prayer are limited, making every word all the more worth studying and savoring. Whether your prayer life is vibrant and active or struggling and inactive,
I’d like to challenge you to prayerfully consider and reflect on the following passages that reveal the prayers of Jesus. I’m still in the beginning stages of understanding prayer, plying its depths,
and laying hold of God. But my hope and prayer is that these passages will challenge and inspire you to go deeper in your prayer life than you’ve ever been before.

• As you read, circle or star any verses that pop off the page to you. Place a question mark next to those that beckon you dive deeper into God’s Word.
• Return to the question marked verses and dive deeper into the passages they come from to better understand the surrounding story.
• Reword these passages as a launching pad for your prayers and conversation with God.
• Ask God to increase your desire to pray each day.
• Ask God to take reveal anything He wants to add to your prayer life or remove in order to develop a stronger prayer life.
• Prepare to be astonished by the work God is doing in and all around you.

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Inspirational Prayers – Prayers From the Dead Sea Scrolls

Prayers From the Dead Sea Scrolls

Prayers From the Dead Sea Scrolls

I Have Reached The Inner Vision

I have reached the inner vision and through Thy spirit in me I have heard Thy wondrous secret. Through Thy mystic insight Thou hast caused a spring of knowledge to well up within me, a fountain of power, pouring forth living waters, a flood of love and of all-embracing wisdom like the splendor of eternal Light.

In Thy Mercy

Father, God, in Thy mercy, in Thy love, Be Thou with us now. For we know and we speak of Thy love. And help us then to put away, for the hour, The cares of this life; that we may know in truth That the spirit and the lamb say, “Come.” Let them that hear also say, “Come.” Let all that will, come and drink of the water of life.

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How To Be Sure God Listens To Your Prayers – Does God Really Answer Prayer? Yes, in Four Ways

Walkin in the Steps of Jesus - God answers Your Prayers

Do you believe God really answers prayer? Really and truly… that God hears your personal prayers and cares enough to respond? 

Your answer to those questions probably dictates if, when, where, and how you pray.

You know, prayer can serve many purposes, but generally speaking, it’s an intimate conversation with God. Prayer involves Him stirring our hearts, us communicating with Him, and then listening for how God may respond to us.

Now, when it comes to prayer, there are a lot of folks who have the idea that God doesn’t want us to ask Him questions. But that’s not true! God delights in His children asking Him questions. In fact, God was asked questions… big and small… all the way through the Bible.

One of the people who literally put God “on trial” was a man from the Old Testament named Habakkuk. Habakkuk was a prophet in Judah, and he felt the full weight of the problems, pressures, sins, and difficulties of his family and of his nation.

SEE ALSO: What Does God Promise You?

 

And although Habakkuk lived a long time ago, his story is extremely relevant…especially when you look at modern history and all that we’re dealing with in America and around the world.

In Habakkuk 1:2, Habbakuk asked the following of the Lord:

“How long, O LORD, will I call for help, and You will not hear?”

This was one of those big, deep, tough, “life” questions that Habakkuk was asking God. In the midst of all the chaos surrounding his life, he was basically asking, “God, where were you when I needed you the most?”

SEE ALSO: How to Find God When He’s Silent

Habakkuk was grappling with something each of us deals with as believers: unanswered prayer. He was complaining about the silence of God… and in his heart he desperately wanted to know why God wasn’t answering his prayers.

I’m sure you’ve probably felt this way before. Anyone who’s been walking with the Lord for any amount of time has. We want answers when we pray! And it’s frustrating when it seems like God is silent.

If you’ve ever felt this way, or even feel this way today, I have a word of encouragement for you. God does answer prayer. But He does it in four different ways.

“I can’t hear you.” Sometimes the Lord can’t hear us when we pray. And it’s not because we need to talk louder or speak more clearly. Sometimes God can’t hear us when we pray because according to Psalm 66 and Isaiah 5, there is sin in our life.   

“No.” Sometimes the Lord says “No” when we pray. And while this can be a very difficult answer to receive, it’s still an answer…regardless if we understand His decision at the moment or not. God is able to reveal His strength in you and me when we are broken and weak. So there is a purpose when God says “No.”

“Yes.” There is true power in prayer. And when we pray in Jesus’ name, He may also say “Yes.” “Yes, I’ll forgive. Yes, I’ll heal. Yes, I’ll step in to help.”

“Wait.” Sometimes the toughest answer to receive from God is “Wait.” When this happens, we need to remind ourselves that God is in control and can certainly handle our situation. We need to allow Him to continue working in whatever way He sees fit. And we can’t try to take back the situation, but must truly be patient and wait on God’s timing!

And this is exactly what God said to Habakkuk. He told him, “Even though you don’t think I’m listening, Habakkuk, I am working on a plan that is so much larger than you.”

The truth is, even though Habakkuk couldn’t see it, God was working the whole time! And the same is true in your life as a follower of Christ. If you’re in a holding pattern, trust that God is working, and that He is sovereign over all the details in your life.

 

God indeed does answer prayer…and, yes, your prayers!

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Prayers to Pray – Bible study – Bible Prayers – Pray These Powerful Decrees Over Your Unsaved Loved Ones

Pray These Powerful Decrees Over Your Unsaved Loved Ones

One of the most profound truths presented in Scripture is that Jesus Christ is a groom. His bride is the church. This is very good news as it suggests that the degree of intimacy, dedication, care and commitment Jesus offers His followers is that of a faithful husband to His beloved wife.

Although some passages display this marital imagery explicitly, like Ephesians 5:31-32 and Revelation 21:2-3, in other verses it often goes unnoticed. Here are six such examples:

  • “[The Magi] saw the young Child with Mary, His mother … they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11).
  • “I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29).
  • “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:3).
  • “Concerning that day and hour no one knows … but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36).
  • “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).
  • “Fill the water pots with water … Now draw some out, and take it to the master of the feast” (John 2:7-8).

Betrothal During Biblical Times

To see how these verses might relate to marriage, we have to understand how couples got betrothed during biblical times.

As I outline in my book In Love: The Larger Story of Sex and Marriage, a young Jewish man would propose betrothal by offering a young woman a cup of wine. He would say, “This cup represents a covenant in blood,” and she would accept the offer by taking a sip. They would not drink from that same cup again until their wedding night. At this point, the groom would typically give the bride a betrothal gift, perhaps in the form of a ring.

The two would then depart and not see each other for up to a year. He would return to his father’s homestead and build a room, or huppah, that would become the residence for the new couple. The father had to approve the completion of the huppah before the wedding took place. Thus, during this time, whenever he was asked about his exact wedding day, the young man would respond, “Only my father knows.”

When the room was ready, the groom and his family and friends would travel to the young woman’s house to claim her as his bride. The groom typically would dress in the same manner as a priest, wearing a seamless tunic that was sprinkled with frankincense and myrrh and, if he could afford it, a gold crown upon his head.

Once back at the groom’s father’s house, the couple would once again sip from that same cup of wine, and they would consummate the marriage. Wedding guests, if dressed appropriately, were invited to take part in a seven-day celebration, culminating in a grand feast. The groom was responsible for providing his guests with food and wine during this time.

Several New Testament passages refer explicitly to this betrothal tradition. For example, the parable of the 10 virgins describes the bridesmaids who watch for the arrival of the groom as he comes to claim his bride (Matt. 25:1-13) and Matthew 22:11-12 mentions the necessity of wedding guests to wear the appropriate clothes.

Reading in a New Light

With this Jewish betrothal tradition in mind, we can perhaps also read the six verses mentioned above in a new light.

  • Upon Jesus’ birth, wise men bring Him gold, frankincense and myrrh, which are items that would have been worn by a Jewish groom on his wedding day.
  • During the Last Supper, Jesus offers his disciples a cup of wine, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (1 Cor. 11:25b). He tells them He will not drink again from that same cup until He does so with them in His Father’s kingdom (Matt. 26:29).
  • Jesus then declares that He is about to depart from them; He is returning to His Father’s house, which has “many dwelling places,” where He will “prepare a place for you” (John 14:2-3).
  • When His disciples ask Jesus when his second coming will take place, he responds, “No one knows … but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36b). This is the response a groom would give when asked about the timing of his wedding day.
  • Also like a new groom, Jesus gives His bride a betrothal gift, although His gift comes in the form of living water. He approaches a woman at Jacob’s well—which, in ancient Israel, was a common setting for finding a bride as Jacob himself did with Rachel—and talks to her about husbands. He then offers this Samaritan woman “living water” as “the gift of God,” indicating that God wants to betroth not only Jews but also Gentiles (John 4:6-26).
  • At the wedding in Cana, when Jesus tells a servant to take water He’d turned into wine to the master of the feast, He exercises the role of a groom, who was responsible for providing the guests wine (John 2:1-11).

Each of these verses can bear multiple layers of meaning. Noting their connection with the Jewish betrothal tradition helps illumine the intimate, covenantal relationship Jesus has formed with His people. By understanding this ancient process of entering marriage, we can see with fresh eyes the kind of commitment and care that Christ offers to us. In short, the larger story of Scripture can be read as a love story with marital form.

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9b).

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