The third step to praying is
Knowing How You Are to be Before The Holy God.
What is your responsibility and the attitude of your heart to be? What is His Will that we are to agree with? How can we know His Will?
God tells us clearly in His Word what keeps Him from hearing us, and what makes Him hear us loudly. I have coupled God's Word as Warning and Welcoming.
Warning - The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Isa 29:13-16
Welcoming - A time has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." Jn 4:23,24
Warning - " 'Do not make idols or set up an image … for yourselves, … to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God. Lev 26:1
Welcoming -- What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 2Cor 6:16 But you, dear friends, pray in the Holy Spirit. Jude 1:20 Declares the LORD . "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10; 10:16
Warning - "Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me," declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. Jer 2:19
Welcoming -- Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, Acts 3:19 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12
Warning - But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His Face from you, so that He will not hear. Isa 59:2
Hears us loudly - If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples. "As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in My love. Jn 15:7-10 "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." Luke 11:28
Our Relationship with God is to be - Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps 139:23, 24 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, and He relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:13 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2Cor 7:10 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Rev 3:19 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD . "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isa 1:18
Warning - "Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD . Hosea 5:4
Welcoming -- After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.' Jer 31:19 Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Return to me,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'and I will return to you,' says the LORD Almighty. Zech 1:3 "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My Own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Isa 43:25
Warning -He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." Jn 8:47 "The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." Ps 14:1; 53:1
Welcoming -- See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. Heb 3:12 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Rom 8:26
Jesus tells us that every sheep
of God knows His voice… "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my
sheep know me-- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay
down my life for the sheep. … My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and
they follow me. Jn 10:3-27 So read God's Word, Know Him, and Learn His Voice!!
Welcoming -- Return to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Hos 14:1 I tell you that there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninetynine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Lk 15:7,10
Warning - "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; Matt 10:37
Welcoming -- Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Ps 27:10 "Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. Matt 10:32 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 1Jn 4:15
Warning - if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Mt 6:14,15
Welcoming -- If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Warning - "Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, … Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' For this is what the LORD says- I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said, 'Seek me in vain.' I, the LORD , speak the truth
Welcoming -- "Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. Isa 45:9-22 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1Jn 1:9
Warning - These men
are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires. Jude 1:16
They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD . Ps 106:25 "How
long will this wicked community grumble against me? Num 14:27
Warning - "O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." So they brought him. Mark 9:19,20
Welcoming -- Jesus said, "Everything is possible for him who believes." Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
Intercessory Prayer - When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:5
Warning - For I take
no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD . Repent and
live! Ezek 18:32
Warning - "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matt 7:21
Welcoming -- Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Jn 14:23
A wonderful way to speak with God is to pray is along with God's Word, making it personal for your life and needs. When you praying God's Word, you have guide for your heart, which will prove long term results in your prayer life. As you continue in God's way, you will be praying according to God's will - This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1Jn 5:14
There are at least three types of prayers, 1- Praying your personal petitions with God's promises, 2- Praying for others, and 3- praying in worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. These are listed in the hand out, and if you don't get one now, take one of my cards and I am happy to send it to you.
In the Bible, God encourages you to - Cry out to the Lord, Call on the Lord, Seek the Lord, Cast your cares on the Lord, Trust in the Lord, Ask, Seek, and Knock, And talk straight from your own heart, emotion and thoughts.
God speaks about raising children, what they mean to Him and should mean to parents, etc. About Husbands and wives and their relationship together. About attitudes in working for a boss; About temptation; praying for direction; For your country; For strength - For protection; For wisdom - Loneliness - Praying God's promises; Thanks giving - Seeking God's forgiveness; Expressing Joy of God's Forgiveness - and Praise and Worship of the Holy God. Many of these are listed on the hand out.
As we grow in our relationship with the Living God, reading His Word and acting in obedience to His Will, we will be able to hear His Voice and recognize His actions.
Jesus tells us that every sheep of God knows His voice… "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep. … My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Jn 10:3-27 So read God's Word, Know Him, and Learn His Voice!!
The purpose of prayer is to increase our relationship with the Living God. God is not a Santa Claus to do our wants, desire, and our will, but as Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew, Thy will be done. (Mt 6) The purpose we were created was to give God glory, and like any good relationship, we must know God and relate with God without ceasing (1Thessalonians 5:17)
In order to do this, God's Word must be applied to your own heart by investigating, chewing, ingesting and swallowing it for it to become a part of our being. Only then can "in Him we live and move and have our being!".. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13). Jesus says, "Apart from Me you can do nothing (of lasting worth)." (Jn 15).
In order to understand and digest God's Word, you have to meditate upon it. That means to think about it in relation to who you are and the way you live, and what you already know about God and according to who you are and how you live your life. If you find there are conflicts in your information, know that God's direct Word is the absolute authority, according to Jesus Christ, God Himself. However, you may need to read other passages of God's Word to help you understand and diffuse the confusion of your conflicting information. Also, know that God does teach us to walk differently than the world around us, so expect correction from Him, for He corrects those He loves. Pray, read, live it out, praise God, be in His Presence and Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!
Explore God's Word, discover its truths for yourself!! --- What about wrong interpretations, God says that He will lead you and teach you in all truth ( John 15:26,27; John 14:26). And that the truth will set you free (John 8:31,32,36) . Since the Holy Spirit is the teacher that indwells in us, (1Corinthians 6:19,Acts 4:31), ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind the thoughts that He knows you need to know (Romans 8:26,27; Ephesians 6:18).
Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you (Luke 12:12) as you read, to open your heart and mind to understand His Word for you. Do not be discouraged if you only get one sentence well understood. Then ponder it, treasure it in your heart and read again the following morning. The purpose of ingesting God's Word is to make you more into the image of Christ, so eat the meal He gives you so that you will change from inside to be like Him!! --- and believe me, you won't end up like you expect, but way better and different!! What you trusted and relied that wasn't favorable to God will be removed to trusting and relying only on God.
God says, those that obey my Word will have eternal life. Eternal life is not just in Heaven, it is for here on earth since it is a presence of God and a peace within your soul. --- So read, enjoy, grow, cry as He corrects you because He loves you, and rejoice to the new areas He is growing you to!! Watch the people you come in contact with be blessed, although they may not want to adjust to the change in you at first. But don’t worry, you have an eternal destiny, not just a momentary assignment.
(If you feel dead, dry and cold, then ponder about God, and Who He is, His qualities and characteristics that you know and have experienced in your life, ask God to search you heart and see if there is anything He needs for you to confess directly to Him. Confess, repent, trust His forgiveness since you will not be doing it again. Give God your sin, and know in your heart for next time that - No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1Cor 10:13).
Be real with God.He already knows all about you, so do not hide your innermost feelings from Him. Be specific with God, for He delights in answering specific needs. Look forward eagerly to what God will do after your interaction with Him. Be diligent to fulfill your part of His work in your life. "Give thanks to the LORD, call on His Name, and encourage others by telling what God has done in your life. " (Ps 105:1)
There are many examples in the Bible of prayers that God honored. Each of them were spoken by real people who spoke from their heart, right from where they were. They did not hide or conceal any part of their condition.
Only when we give our entire situation to God can He do something with it. Since God is completely sovereign and Love, why would we even want to keep our own control over it? Our meddling can only thwart God's work because we get in His way. However, when we give ourselves to God as vessels for Him to use, then we relinquish the control of our person to Him, and He can use us for His purpose, and our needs will be filled!!
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and
all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:.33
We will look at three people who prayed. Each of their circumstances and needs were very different. And each of them prayed with utter dependence on God for everything and every detail, knowing that God alone could change their circumstance.
Obey God's Word.
Allow God to change your understanding by His Wisdom, your behavior by His Spirit, and your heart by His everlasting Love. In this way, He will enable you to obey His Word and Holy Will.
Encourage everyone in your household in knowing the True God. Ask God to give you eyes to see them as He does, with compassion and discernment. Ask God to give you a heart for Him in Spirit and in Truth. Ask God for courage, joy, and hope to praise God for Who He is and watch for His effect in your world. Praise God for what He has done and will do, for His Glory alone.
Bring me to the beginning of Prayer Lesson.
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