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Archive for the category “Bold Prayer”

Day 10 – Bold Prayers?

Luke 11:1

           There has been considerable emphasis placed on bold prayers, and that raises an important question: Were Jesus’ prayers bold?

            Yes, on occasion. Consider the dinner prayer he once offered: He stood in front of a crowd of thousands and offered thanks to God for the food he was about to distribute to them – five small barley loaves and two small fish. That was bold.

            On another occasion he stood before the tomb of his friend, surrounded by mourners, and prayed: “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” He then called his dead friend back to life. That was a bold prayer.

            But most of Jesus’ prayers do not seem daring. He prayed for little children, whose parents sought his blessing. He gave thanks to his Father for acting wisely in his life. He asked for the unity of his followers. He prayed for Simon Peter, that his faith would not give way after a very public failure. 

            These are not what we think of as bold prayers; most of Jesus recorded prayers are not. And that will be the case in our lives, too. Bold prayers – those daring requests for God to intervene in our affairs in extraordinary ways – grow out of a life of daily prayer and intimacy with God.

            If we try to skip over the life of prayer and go directly to the bold prayers – to raise the dead or feed thousands – we shall have about as much success as the piano student who skips over practicing scales because he wants to play the Moonlight Sonata. And, just as that student will give up the piano in discouragement, we will give up on prayer.

            Bold prayers are unlikely to reach heaven unless they are rooted in the rich soil of a life of prayer on earth.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)

S. L.

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Day 9 – Bold Prayer

Acts 12

 What is it that makes prayer “bold?” Is it one’s volume in a reverberant building? Is it a loud and resonant voice? Is it insistent pleas with demanding language? 

In this chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, King Herod is furious with the members of the Christian church. He has the apostle James killed and then arrests Peter. But “while Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him.”

And what that quiet but confident prayer by his Christian friends brought Peter was his quite astounding escape, led by an angel, as chains dropped off his wrists and guards ignored their passing by them, as the iron door barring their way miraculously opened of its own accord.

Peter at first thought he was dreaming. But as the night air outside hit his face, the angel left him and Peter made his way to the house where his Christian friends were gathered. Hearing his voice outside the gate, they were amazed and concluded it couldn’t be him and that it was merely Peter’s angel. But Peter confirmed that the Lord had freed him, and encouraged them to tell others what had happened.

Prayer is believing the impossible into being. That may happen in ways we don’t expect. It may cause us to disbelieve when such miraculous change actually occurs. But prayer also becomes bold when others join with us in expectant conversation with God in Christ, recognizing the angels of God at work every minute of the day around us. Pray boldly, persistently, peacefully, and patiently while watching for the boldest move of all – by God.

 “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

S.B.

Day 8 – Bold Prayer For Peter

Acts 12:1-19

            This is one of my favorite passages in the New Testament because it could just as easily happen today. Step back and look at the big picture; Peter is arrested by a politically correct Jewish King. Hoping to curry favor with the Romans, Herod decides to be bold and move against the perceived uprising. Peter is guarded by 16 crack Roman soldiers in a secured prison awaiting his death sentence. Yet the king’s boldness is dwarfed by the believers who set themselves to pray boldly to God.

Christians by and large are unaware of their standing with God through the blood covenant cut on the cross of Calvary. By it our access to the throne of God Almighty is assured and the effectual fervent prayers of God’s righteous people make tremendous power available. (Js 5:16b) God responds to bold faith in prayer, boldness that doesn’t question “IF” God will act on His Word but is convinced that He “SHALL.” This bold faith in prayer never puts a question mark where the Bible puts a period concerning a promise.

God dispatches an angel to free the Apostle in a very bold fashion. Peter himself isn’t aware of the certainty of his new freedom and neither are his intercessors when they see him at the door. That’s the beauty of walking by bold faith in prayer; it works even if your mind isn’t sure how He did it. That’s because faith is of the heart and not the head.
Why not step out in faith and pray boldly, in agreement with the promises of God and experience the supernatural power of the covenant-keeping God for yourself? God can and God surely will move the mountains in your life if you will stand in faith for the impossible. Because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!

 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)

H.J.

Day 7 – Your Will Be Done

Daniel 9:1-4

             Has anyone ever made a promise to you? Or here’s a better question, have you ever made a promise to someone else? Doubtless you have. Having made a promise would you expect the one to whom the promise was made then begin petition for honoring of your pledge? No, you would expect them to have faith that your word would be kept. Right? At the appropriate time, you would do what you promised.

            An interesting thing about Daniel: When he discovered what God said through the Prophet Jeremiah, that the Babylonian captivity would last for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10), he checked his calendar, humbled himself and prayed for the fulfillment of promise. Daniel didn’t become passive; he became active, praying to see the Jews return to their land. He added to resolute prayer the spiritual discipline of fasting. Praying did not indicate lack of faith; rather it revealed a profound belief that God would indeed do what he said He would do.

            Daniel knew that return of the Jews was conditional. Repentance must take place first. He and his brethren had been forcibly removed from their homes in Judah because of multi-generational rebellion toward God. They had given themselves to pagan idols and to immorality. Prophet after prophet had warned them that they must repent or else face the consequences. Having failed to respond to the prophetic admonitions, God allowed the Babylonians to carry many of the Jews away to a distant land. God’s motive was to provoke repentance and spark spiritual revival among his people. Daniel knew that God would honor His promise, but sorrow and contriteness for sin must be shown first. So as Daniel prayed he confessed the sins of his people to the Lord.

            I believe there are times when we miss seeing God’s will realized because we fail to pray. Most of us can quote the Lord’s Prayer. But how many times do we stop to think what it tells us to pray? Have you thought about the line that says, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done . . .” (Matthew 6:10). That is a prayer that the will of God be accomplished. Passivity says, “If it’s God’s will, then it will happen – ‘Que Sera, Sera’.’” But Jesus commanded us to be active in praying for God’s will to be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven.

            Are our loved-ones not saved? Do we allow ourselves to be passive concerning their spiritual condition? Or do we understand the will of God concerning them (2 Peter 3:9), come into agreement with the Lord and pray until something happens (P.U.S.H.)?

            My suggestion for prayer is to read the Word of God and identify its promises. If they are conditional, make sure the conditions are met. Then pray for God’s will to be done. I enjoy praying the prayers of the Apostle Paul (Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:16-19; Ephesians 3:14-19 and Colossians 1:9-12). I know I’m praying according to God’s Word and will and have confidence that I’m praying in agreement with what God wants to do in me and others.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)

J.M.B.

Day 6 – The Practice of Prayer

Daniel 6:4-10

             Daniel models the prayer-filled life for us. In these verses we read that Daniel prayed regardless of personal cost. Daniel made and kept prayer appointments, and was known as person of prayer, whose prayers was filled with thanksgiving. Let’s meditate on these facts for a moment.

            His adversaries knew that Daniel was a man of such integrity that the only way to discredit him was to make criminal his spiritual life. Daniel was among those Jews taken into captivity by the Babylonians. Jerusalem lay in waste and the temple destroyed, yet Zion continued to be the focus for worship and spiritual life for the Jewish people. For this reason Daniel prayed facing Jerusalem, and did so three times a day. His prayer appointments corresponded to the moments, when in happier times, sacrifices were offered in the temple at Jerusalem. This was the norm for devout Hebrews of Daniel’s time, and the practice was continued by Jewish followers of Jesus in the book of Acts.

            Setting appointments for prayer and keeping them is important for us today. Whether you decide to do so three times a day, like Daniel, or just once a day, morning or evening, making and keeping prayer appointments is essential to the prevention of prayer neglect. I’m confident Daniel was in a prayerful attitude throughout the day; prayer was not limited to those moments when he bowed toward Zion. So we, in a similar way “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). However, having moments of uninterrupted, focused prayer is vital for spiritual lives.

            It must have been an anxious moment when Daniel bowed his knees to pray – his enemies had made it a crime to ask anything of anyone other than the king. Yet he remained faithful to his schedule. He knew they lay in wait to pounce, yet as he bowed facing Jerusalem, the Scriptures says, he “prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”

            Being anxious is certainly not unique to modern life, yet we Americans have perfected it to an art-form. In our current economic crisis we have no lack of things to be anxious about and we might struggle to find things to be thankful for, yet Philippians 4:6-7 tells us that thanksgiving and prayer is the antidote to anxiety. Let’s be like Daniel, and make giving thanks an important feature of the time we spend with the Lord. The results will be very therapeutic.

            Daniel was able to keep his daily appointments with God despite his circumstances because he had made it a habit since youth. If you choose a regular place and time of prayer and make it a priority, the practice will become so ingrained that missing it will become unthinkable.

 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

J.M.B.

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