Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Woman After God's Own Heart ~ Chapter 3

A Heart Committed to Prayer

Psalm 121:1-2 ~ I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Count your blessings name them one by one

Blessing #1: A Deeper Relationship with God
  • Prayer increases faith
  • Prayer provides a place to unload burdens
John 16:33 ~ These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

1 Peter 5:7 ~ Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

"Corrie ten Boom offers a vivid image of this privilege:  As a camel kneels before his master to have him remove his burden, so kneel and let the Master take your burden."
  • Prayer teaches us that God is always near
"Oswald Chambers' words...'The purpose of prayer is to reveal the presence of God equally present all the time in every condition.'"

"Cultivating a heart of prayer is a sure way to experience God's presence."
  • Prayer trains us not to panic
Luke 18:1b ~ that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

"Grant that it may not be in the power of any to rob me of the peace that results from a firm trust in Thee.  Whenever crosses or troubles are met without, may all be well within. -- Susanna Wesley"
  • Prayer changes lives
Blessing #2: Greater Purity
"May I be incapable of rest or satisfaction of mind under a sense of Thy displeasure! Help me to clear accounts with thee... -- Susanna Wesley"

Blessing #3: Confidence in Making Decisions
"Make no decision without prayer."

"I wrote down every decision I needed to make and took each one to God in prayer."

Galatians 1:10 ~ Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

"A woman after God's own heart is a woman who will do His will (Acts 13:22)--not her own."

"Forbid that I should venture on any business without first begging Thy direction and assistance. -- Susanna Wesley"
Blessing #4: Improved Relationships

  • "You cannot think about yourself and others at the same time"
  • "You cannot hate the person you are praying for"
Matthew 5:44 ~ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
  • "You cannot neglect the person you are praying for"
  • "An end to self-centeredness, the dissolution of ill will, and an end to neglect--these results of praying for someone will inevitably improve our relationship with him or her."

Blessing #5: Contentment
"Over and over again, day after day, I placed everything in God's hands, letting it be His job to meet those needs--and another prayer principle was born: If He doesn't meet it, you didn't need it!"

Psalm 84:11 ~ For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Blessing #6: God-Confidence
"When we are filled with God's goodness, we are confidently and effectively able to share His love and joy."

Psalm 100:2 ~ Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Psalm 40:8 ~ I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

Blessing #7: The Ministry of Prayer
"...my infant prayers could make a difference in history!"

"Coming face-to-face with the fact that prayer is a ministry ended my feelings of uselessness and ineffectiveness."

"My heart took flight as I joined God in the vital ministry of prayer!"

"I know that as you bow your knees and heart before God and begin cultivating a heart of prayer, you will taste and know that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)."

How?
  • "Start a prayer log to record requests and responses as you travel your own personal journey of prayer."
  • "Set aside some time each day to linger with the Lord in prayer and remember that something is better than nothing.  Begin small--and watch for the mighty effects!"
  • "Pray always (Ephesians 6:18) and in all places, enjoying God's presence with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9)."
  • "Pray faithfully for others -- including your enemies (Matthew 5:44)"
  • "Take seriously the powerful privilege of the ministry of prayer."
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Dear Heavenly Father,
May I be more burdened to lift up others before you Lord.  Especially those who are living a hopeless life without you.  My heart aches for those who have not accepted your gift of salvation, repented of their sins and followed you.  
May I take the time daily to pray!
Pray for our country and its leadership, pray for the people of the church, pray for family and friends, pray for wisdom, guidance and growth, pray for our missionaries, pray for healing and health, pray for ministries, and pray for the lost.
In your son's name I pray,
Amen

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