Wednesday, July 28, 2010

30 Days of prayer in the home -- Day 30

30 days worth of prayer practicals

1) Call a friend and set a time to pray together.
2) Memorize a scripture about prayer
3) Fill a pretty jar with thirty praise verses or thirty reasons you praise God or thirty names and descriptions of God; pull one out every day and praise God each day.
4) Write a letter to God describing why you love Him and why you are thankful to Him. Spread your letter before you and pray about it to God.
5) Write a journal entry or a note about how you see God. Describe how your upbringing, your past, or your present circumstances might be influencing your view of God for good or for ill. Pray through what you have written. Ask God to help you see Him as He really is and as He wants you to know Him. Ask Him to reveal and heal any misconceptions you have about Him.
6) Pick a particular passage from the Bible for each member of your immediate family and pray that passage periodically for them. For example, you can use Psalm 112 to pray for a husband or a son. Or, you could use the qualities of an elder to pray for a husband or son. Whether or not he become an elders, you can rejoice if God places these qualities in your husband or son. You might choose Proverbs 31 for a daughter, or you might pray that your daughter has a heart like Tabitha's, who was always doing good to others. Choose something that speaks to the desire of your heart for your loved one.
7) If you tend to worry, create a worry box. If something crosses your mind that troubles you, pray about it. Then, jot it down and put it in the worry box. If the worry comes back to you, tell yourself that you have already prayed about it and have give it to God, who cares for you. Open the box once a year or so. Clean out any worries that did not come to pass. If something you did fear did happen, write down how God got you through it. Sometimes, the act of physically putting your worry on paper and then tucking the paper away will allow you to release that worry mentally. Plus, when you clean out many papers of worries that never came to pass will strengthen your confidence that God does take care of you.
8) For one day, devote two hours to thanking and praising God.
9) For one day, devote two hours to praying for your family members.
10) For one day, devote an hour or two to praying for the church and also for those who do not know Jesus.
11) Start a journal of thanksgiving with your children. Jot down things that you are thankful for. A bonus will be that you will be recording many precious memories to savor when your children are grown.
12) Pray about what it means to be God's daughter. Thank God for being your perfect Father.
13) Ask someone to pray with you about sin in your life. Be open.
14) Study the books of Luke and Acts and take special note of references to prayer. To whom was . Ask yourself questions of the text. Who were the original hearers of this passage? Who were the original people in the passage? Does this passage tell how they reacted in the situation? How would I have reacted had I been there? What happened? When? Where? What can I learn from this passage about God? What can I learn from this passage about myself? Is there a command for me to obey in this passage? Are there good/bad examples? How does this passage strengthen my faith?
15) Study the passages that tell us about heaven. Pray about these passages.
16) Read Luke 15:8, Luke 19:10 -- How did God search for you? What did He do to find you? What did it cost him to find you and to save you? Pray about that, with thanksgiving.
17) Read Luke 15:20 -- Do you see God as opening his arms to you, with compassion? What does that mean to you? Pray about that, with praise and thanksgiving.
18) Read Luke 15:20 again. To whom are you throwing open your arms? Who are you searching for? Is there anyone you find it hard to forgive, just as the older brother in this parable found it hard to forgive his younger brother? Or, are you broken-hearted, waiting for someone to come home? Whatever is the need, pray about it with passion.
19) Load Bible verses onto your MP3 player or similar device so that you can listen to the word of God throughout the day. If you don't have a player, jot the verses down on note cards and carry them with you.
20) Pray with your children every morning and every evening every day for a week.
21) Take a nature walk with your children and talk about the beautiful things God made. Take pictures. Pray about your walk that evening with your children.
22) Ask your husband if he would pray with you or for you today. If you like, ask him to pray for a specific request.
23) Think back through your life. Praise God for how He has taken care of you.
24) Think back through your life. Praise God for people He has put in your life who have shown you special kindness or were a good example in some way or who taught you something about God. Write a note of thanks to any of those people you'd like to thank.
25) Learn the name of your congressmen, if you don't already know, and pray for them periodically.
26) Skim through a gospel and praise God for the miracles that Jesus did.
27) Draw a little map of your block or neighborhood in your notebook. If you live in a rural area, the closest houses might be some distance away. Even so, draw at least ten of them. Pray for the people in each home. If you don't know the people in the home, God does. But, you can also pray for an opportunity to meet your neighbors if you don't know them. Take a walk through your neighborhood and pray about it.
28) Is there a high hill or a mountain near you? Can you see your area from the top? Drive or walk to the top and pray about your area as you look out over it. Take someone with you, if you like. If your children are old enough, involve them in your prayer.
29) Keep a prayer list for the sick and those in any other kind of trouble. Also keep a list of those who have a reason to rejoice, such as the arrival of a new baby. Church and neighborhood bulletins are useful to help you. Get your children to pray with you about needs and joys. Then, help your children to write notes to the people you have prayed for. Or, involve them in preparing and taking a meal to someone who could use it.
30) Dream about what you'd like your life to be like in five years. Dream about what it will be like five years from now, when your children have developed even greater love for God and greater character. Think of something daring you'd like to do, such as go on a medical mission trip. Lay out your dreams before God and surrender them to Him, asking that His will be done. Ask God what His dreams are for you. Dream with God!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

30 days of prayer in the home....

Day 29

One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4

A Lifetime of Prayer -- How many of us remember grandmothers or older women in our lives who were a godly influence on us? Perhaps, we were seeing the outward influence of their prayers. Our intimacy with God becomes in our life the fragrance of Christ, which to those who are being saved is a sweet savor. It's never to late to become passionate about the time we spend with the Lord. Even when age has slowed our body down, we can pray. And, the God who hears our prayers can do more than we can ask or imagine.

Throughout our lives, we can pray prayers that are

Prayers of Passion and Compassion:

During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Hebrews 5:7

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheves with him. Psalm 126:5-6

Prayers rooted in Dependence on the Lord

But blessed is the man who trusts in teh Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its root by the streams. It dose not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:5-8

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Praise

I will exalt you, my god the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Psalm 145:1-2

Prayers that are Mighty and that open doors for mighty service to the Lord:

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than tehse, becaue I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:12-14

Prayers that Influence The Leaders in our Land, including
those who will influence our families:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honest. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. I Timothy 2

Prayers of a devoted life:

Their leader will be one of their own; their ruler will arise from among them. I will bring him near and he will come close to me, for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?" declares the Lord. Jeremiah 30:21

Prayers that look forward to Heaven

"Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed em the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. Revelation 21:9

Prayers of humility

But, who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. I Chronicles 29

Prayers of Godly Fear

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaiken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29

Prayers of Joy

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace." Isaiah 55:1-2

Prayers of intimate, childlike trust

He tends hs flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

"Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them." Daniel 10:12


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

30 Days of prayer in the Home

Unanswered prayer? Part II

What are some other reasons that we might face unanswered prayer?

1) Some prayers will be answered in God's good timing, not ours. Acquaintances of mine knew a woman who shared her faith with a young lady who was not, at that time, ready to become a Christian. Sometime after the first woman died, the young lady began searching for God. She pulled out a scrap of paper that the first woman had given her and tracked down the church that the first woman had gone to. The young lady became a Christian after the first woman's death. We must never give up!

2) Sometimes, our prayers are answered in the affirmative, but we are not alert enough to recognize or to be thankful for the answers. We all can grow in gratitude! One way to increase your faith and your thankfulness is to write down your prayers and jot down answers to them. Others may not find this to be useful. Whatever works for you, be sure to be thankful. :)

Sometimes, we may not recognize the answer to a prayer until later. For example, the woman who prays for a friend may not realize that the unfriendly neighbor who moved in next is the answer to that prayer. Only after persisting in love to and prayer for her neighbor, does the neighbor's heart thaw and the two form a deep friendship.

3) We may not really be abiding in God or asking according to his will.

John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

1 John 5:14-15 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”


Monday, July 19, 2010

30 days of prayer in the home -- Day 27

Unanswered prayer? Part I:

Have you ever been mystified because your prayers were not answered in the way you thought they'd be at the exact time you expected? This subject -- akin to why God allows us to suffer at times -- is a) larger than the scope of a few blog articles and b) one that I'm sure others are more qualified to speak to than I am. However, I would like to throw out a few thoughts as a starting point for study.

What are some reasons why our prayers might not be answered exactly as we envisioned?

1) God is a loving Father. Fathers must sometimes say "no" or "not yet" to some of their children's requests. Any of us who are parents have been faced with choosing what is best for our child in the long run versus what our child wants in the moment. How much more does our Heavenly Father, who is all knowing and all wise, have our eternal best interests at heart?

Once, out of the blue, my husband was offered a job doing exactly what he loves to do, along with a large salary and a big signing bonus. The more we prayed about how much we wanted this job, the more circumstances pointed us in another direction. My husband declined the offer, and we moved to another town for family and spiritual reasons. Less than a year later, the company that had made the offer was re-organized, and the position my husband would have taken was eliminated. What had at first appeared to us to be "a dream job" probably would have been a nightmare if my husband taken it. We also have many other reasons to be thankful that we were directed down another path. Our Heavenly Father always knows what is best!

2) Our Heavenly Father cares about our attitudes and relationships. Sometimes, our prayers are hampered by sin that we have not dealt with either in our hearts or in how we treat others.

James 4:1-3 says, "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

I Peter 3 teaches husbands to be considerate of their wives so their prayers will not be hindered.

Mark 11 tells us, "Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe you will have it. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in Heaven will forgive your sins, too."

James Chapter I teaches us, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

This calls for prayer in itself. We can ask God to show us anything in our hearts and our lives that would hinder our relationship to him. Generally, we tend toward one of two opposing poles: 1) We are oblivious to our own faults and blame God and others when things don't go as we imagined they would or b) We assume that if a prayer is not answered in the way we thought it would be that it is because God is angry with us or disappointed with us. If we tend to be either under-sensitive or overly self-condemning, we will need help from God and, perhaps, from godly friends to help us put things in true spiritual perspective.

Likewise, we must be cautious about presuming that we know exactly what God is working out in our or another person's life. Job's friends, for example, sought to comfort him when he experienced a string of tragedies. They ended up being poor counselors, because they assumed they knew exactly why Job was suffering, and they voiced their theories in lectures. They failed to give Job true support. They placed undue blame on Job. God was not pleased with their presumption.

There is a time to lovingly confront others about sin in their lives, provided that we stick within scriptural guidelines for doing so. Though we are called to help each other, we must do so with gentleness and humility. Many a sensitive soul has been burdened because someone said to them, "Your prayer wasn't answered because you didn't have enough faith or because you must have some hidden sin in your heart." Oftentimes, when we say or even think such things, we are making a judgment that we should not make. Sometimes, we do so because we don't know what else to say to someone who is hurting. In such cases, it is better to listen and give a hug or pray with the person than to offer a hasty platitude.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

30 days of prayer in the home -- Day 26

A woman who prayed:

From Acts 16 -- On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.

What can we learn from Lydia?

1) She had gathered with a group of women to pray. While we all need one on one time with the Lord in prayer, there is power in praying together with others, as well. Since this account tells us that Lydia was a worshipper of God, we can assume that she regularly visited this place of prayer.

2) When Paul introduced the gospel throughout Macedonia, he always searched first for the Jews and God-fearing gentiles in every city. He looked for a place of prayer to present his message. Since Lydia was in such a place when Paul arrived, she had an opportunity to hear the good news about Christ. The Lord opened her heart to the message.

3)Though Lydia had been faithful to gather in prayer that day, she probably had had no idea that she was about to receive such an incrdible blessing. This account is one of many that show us how abundantly God answers the prayers of those who seek Him.

4) Lydia responded to the message with openness. She also had an impact on her entire household, for they were all baptized.

5) Lydia responded to the message by offering hospitality to those who had brought her such good news. Her gratitude for her salvation prompted her to love and kindness.


Monday, July 12, 2010

30 Days of Prayer in the Home:

Ten quotes to inspire prayer:
(Note: These are not scripture, but are views expressed by people of prayer. As with all things, measure these ideas by the word of God. Acts 17:11)

1) And, if we are not daily in the Word and praying for wisdom in our lies, we are regressing instead of progressing. It is only by practice that we can train our selves to know what is good and what is evil in the sight of the Lord. Lea Fowler.

2) Father, help us women to always want to do your will. May our lives be a lessing to your name, and may Jesus be glorified by our examples as mothers, wives, and workers. Please help us to truly love our homes more and to make the right decisions for them that would please you. Please be proud of us, your daughters. In Christ's Name, Amen. Lea Fowler

3) "We cannot allow ourselves to needlessly fret and worry over things that are beyond our control. It leads to nervousness, anxious and uptight behavior, or we become pushy and domineering...When I am concerned, I think about the situation, I pray about it and surrender it to God. I am able to show support, to give encouragement and, when it is appropriate, to give advice. When I become worked up and upset, I spread a dark cloud over everyone, and those I love feel even more despair." Geri Laing.

4) To be a Christian without praying is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. Martin Luther King, Jr.

5) Warm all the kitchen with thy love, and light it with thy peace, Forgive me all my worrying and make my grumbling cease; Thou who didst so love to give men food in room or by the sea, Accept this service that I do; I do it unto thee. Klara Munkres.

6) The great thing in prayer is to feel that we are putting our supplications into the bosom of omnipotent love. Andrew Murray.

7) When asked how much time he spent in prayer, George Muller's reply was, "Hours every day. But, I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk and when I lie down and when I arise. And the answers are always coming. Source Unknown.

8) Prayer should not be regarded "as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty." E. M. Bounds.

9) The great people of the earth today are the people who pray! I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor those who explain prayer; but I mean those who actually take the time to pray. They have not time. It must be taken from something else. That something else is important, every important and pressing, but, still, less important and pressing than prayer. S. D. Gordon

10) I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. Abraham Lincoln.