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Devotionals

Prayer

( from The Battle Plan for Prayer published by Lifeway press)

Daily Devotional

OUR FATHER IS ABLE

 

Understanding the identity of our Father is a foundational principle concerning prayer.

God’s word is the best source to remedy our inadequate understanding concerning our Heavenly Father.  This week we will debunk some common myths and misconceptions about God.  The more we understand God’s character and how He interacts with His children, the more confident we will be in our prayers.

MISCONCEPTION #1: GOD IS UNABLE

Let’s continue to study what God’s Word says about our Heavenly Father.

As you read each verse, make note of what it teaches about the character of God.  In fact, before you read each verse, you need to pray and ask Him to reveal His character to you as study these verses. We don’t want to just know about God, we want to know God.  Keep praying.

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him;

1st Corinthians 8:6a

While this verse clearly tells us that all things are from God, what are some specific thing He has given you? Make a list and pray and thank God for them.

When the Scripture says, “we in Him,” it means that we exist for Him. Knowing that now, what does that mean for your everyday life?  How does that affect the way you approach family, friends, school, extracurricular activities, etc.?  Commit those areas of your life to Him in prayer.

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Ephesians 4:6

Your Father is above all. Are you thankful for this aspect of God? In what ways?

He is able to do all things because He is above all things. Praise Him for his sovereignty and authority.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Ephesians 1:3

What are the spiritual blessings that God has blessed you with?  List them out and thank the Father for these gifts.

Close in prayer by thanking the generous Father for who He is and what He has done.  He is the only God. All things come from Him and exist for Him.  He is above all things.  He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.  Thank Him that He is able to above and beyond anything we could ask of imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

OUR FATHER IS CARING

 

MISCONCEPTION #2: GOD IS UNCARING

Many people interpret circumstances in their lives incorrectly, believing God does not care enough about them to get involved.  Scripture paints a completely different picture of our Father.

Children want to be able to trust that their parents will continually care for them – that they will come through in their time of greatest need.  You may or may not be able to say that about your earthly father, but you can be confident in the steadfastness if your Heavenly Father.  Today we are going to thank God for His consistency and care in our lives.

Read Psalm 68:5 - A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. 

How does the psalmist describe our Father?

Holy means set apart.  It is different.  Better.  Special.  Unique.  This verse tells us that God has a set apart dwelling place.  It is a place where He chooses and desires to dwell (Psalm 68:16).  Many people think God is unaware of their everyday lives.  Believing that He is too lofty or out of touch with us down here on Earth, some people will live in such a way that ignores God’s involvement in their lives.  They ignore God because they believe God is ignoring them.  Yet even from His holy place, God cares for those in need.

From His holy dwelling, for what two groups of people does God show concern according to Psalm 68:5?

What does that tell us about His character?

The Bible teaches us that God knows how many hairs are on our heads (Luke 12:7), He collects our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8), and He promises to supply all of our needs (Philippians 4:19).  God is not unaware; He is not uncaring.

Read Isaiah 64:8 - But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. 

Notice how aware and involved God is in your life.

God has created you and sustained you in a unique way.  He has written every one of your days down in a book before anyone else had a chance to crack open the cover.

Thank God for how He has created you and how He has sustained you.  Before moving on, take time to praise Him for how He fearfully and wonderfully made you (Psalm 139:14).

Read Matthew 7:9-11 - 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

How is our heavenly Father compared to our earthly fathers in this passage?

James also reminds believers about the greater nature of gifts given by God compared to the lesser value of offerings given by the world.

Read James 1:7 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Can you think of three generous acts or perfect gifts that God has given you?

What does it mean that there is “no variation” with our Father?

Thank God for His care and awareness in your life.  Be honest with Him concerning your needs, acknowledging that He is near and available to help.  What is your greatest care today?  Cast it on your loving Father and eagerly wait to see how he responds. 

OUR FATHER IS CONCERNED

 

MISCONCEPTION #3: GOD IS UNCONCERNED.

While many people struggle with the idea that God is unaware of our difficult situations, many people struggle in a different way.  Some believe that God is unconcerned with our choices.  If we believe God to be too distant or too soft to concern Himself with our lifestyle, we can slip into complacency and unholy living.

Make no mistake – God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7).  He is concerned with your situation, but He is also concerned with your lifestyle.

Note how our Father is described in Deuteronomy 32:6.

Do you thus deal with the Lord, O foolish and unwise people?

Deuteronomy 32:6

In this passage, the people of God were not acting like the people of God.  They were foolish and senseless in their decisions and this type of thinking was leading them to live unholy lives.  The absurdity of their actions was pitted against the character of God.  How could the people act like this if they had such a caring Father?

What is important about God being our Father that should cause us to think carefully about how we live?

 

God is not only concerned with how we live, but He is a Father who cares enough that He will step in and stop us when we go too far.  He is a Father that disciplines His children.

Read Hebrews 12:9-11 and discover something about the concerned nature of our Father.

9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:9-11

What methods do your parents use to discipline you?

Even though it was difficult to receive, what benefit did you gain from their discipline?

How do you think God disciplines us?  What methods does He use?

What is God’s goal in disciplining us?

God’s wrath is designated for unbelievers.  God’s discipline is designated for believers.  The way to avoid wrath is to receive Christ.  The way to avoid discipline is to obey Christ.

Pray and ask God if there are some things He wants you to stop doing or start doing.  Commit these items to Him in prayer and submit to your Heavenly Father.

OUR FATHER IS FORGIVING

 

MISCONCEPTION #4: GOD IS UNFORGIVING.

We sometimes imagine God to be as petty as we are.  Assuming he holds grudges due to our previous mistakes., sometimes our prayers are stifled because we believe He doesn’t want to hear from us.

While our Father is diligent to discipline us, He is also eager to pardon us, He loves to show compassion to His children.  Do you remember the parable of the Prodigal Son?

The younger son asked for his part of his inheritance and squandered it in “foolish living” (Luke 15:13).  When he hit rock bottom and came to his senses, he reasoned to himself: “I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight.  I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.  Make me like one of your hired hands” (Luke 15:18-19).

As he made the long and humbling trip back home, can you imagine the scenarios that ran through his mind?

How could this young man’s father have responded?

Willing to accept the consequences and assume a demoted role with his father, he went home.  But instead of condemnation and speeches filled with “I told you so’s,” read how his father reacted in Luke 15:20.

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 

Luke 15:20

What words surprise you in this verse?  Why?

This father was eagerly longing for his son’s return.  Seeing him from afar, this father, filled with compassion, didn’t just walk to his son.  He ran to him! Overwhelmed with joy, he passionately threw his arms around his son’s neck and showered him with kisses.

This is not a picture of an unforgiving, detached father.  This is a picture of our Father in heaven who long for our return and rejoices when we come to our senses.

How does this image change the way you view your Heavenly Father?

As the nation of Israel emerged from 40 years of wilderness wanderings, Moses reminded the people of how God had persevered with them.  See how God is portrayed among the people of Israel before they entered the promised land.

30 The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’

Deuteronomy 1:30-31

What is so encouraging in this depiction of our Father?

Today, spend time thanking our Father for running to us with compassion.  Thank Him for fighting for us when all our strength is gone.  Thank Him for the way He carried us to this point in our lives.  Spend time expressing your love and gratitude to our Father.

Prayer Strategy Target

Before we continue our Prayer Strategy Target work, let’s recall the 4 general requests we discussed previously:

General Request #1: Pray that this person loves and obeys God.

General Request #2: Pray that this person loves God’s Word.

General Request #3: Pray that this person will love and serve others.

General Request #4: Pray that this person will have faith instead of doubt.

 

 

 

No we move to the last two general characteristics.  Remember, though, these are not the only things you need to pray for people.  Hopefully these will get you started.

General Request #5: Pray for the fruit of the Spirit to be manifested in this person’s life.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 

Galatians 5:22-25


These qualities and characteristics flow out of a person who is connected to God.  These are what God produces in a person who follows after Him.  Pray that the person would stay connected to the Lord and that this fruit would flow freely in his/her life.  Pray that the person would have peace through Christ Jesus.  Pray that the person would have self-control in his/her life.  Pray that the life of the person is marked by kindness and goodness.  This is what God want for each believer, so pray it along with Him!

General Request #6: Pray the Lord’s Prayer over this person.

As you think about how to really target this kind of praying, consider a strategy that actually works for all kinds of different settings and different people: using the Lord’s Prayer as an outline.  Instead of praying it for yourself. Pray it for your fellow believers.  Something like this:

Father in Heaven, I pray for my brother (my sister), praising Your name for them, asking You to fill their heart with worship for You today.  Help them to honor Your name above themselves.  May their primary desire always be to advance Your kingdom, wherever they happen to be, whatever they happen to be doing.

May they align themselves on the earth with Your will, just as surely as Your will is followed and accomplished in heaven.  Provide them, I pray, with their daily bread – with everything You know is required for them to thrive and be cared for.  And grant them repentance, forgiving them of their sins -even as You forgave me of mine- while also keeping their relationships free from bitterness and difficulty as they forgive those who’ve sinned against them. 

Please, Lord, protect them from temptation, from allowing them to be overloaded with adversity.  Deliver them from all evil – from every scheme and attack of the enemy, from every weapon intended to defeat and discourage them.  For Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, the power, the glory, forever.  You reign and rule and have already given them victory through the finished work of Christ. I pray for them today, and I pray in His name, amen.

Now that’s specifically targeting a prayer.  That’s biblical praying,  That’s using the Word – and where appropriate, using your specific knowledge of the person – to aim a prayer in such a way that it covers all aspects of their life and seeks God’s will for that person.

Praying Scripture

 

There is power packed into God’s Word.  Unfortunately, for many of us, the practice of blending prayer with the reading of Scripture remains unexplored.

If your heart is right with God and others and you are ready to pray, then what should guide your praying?  True, prayer can flow directly from your heart.  No script is necessary.  Nothing prescribed or recited.  Prayer is personal.  Completely unique.  Yet even with this much freedom involved, God does provide powerful resources to help us pray strategically and specifically.  These will help you know for certain that your heart is beating in step with God’s.

Perhaps the first and most comprehensive guide is to pray using the very words He’s already spoken in His Word.  We humans are fickle.  Hot and Cold.  Moods and emotions that flame within us today, can be nearly forgotten memories by the end of the week.  But when we pray with words and thoughts that are inspired by Scripture, we’re assured that our praying is anchored in bedrock truths that stretch back centuries.  They keep our praying steadfast and consistent.

You may think, “Well, I don’t know the Bible enough.  I wouldn’t know where to start.”  That is not a problem, you can even pray about that too.  God will guide you as you seek Him.

Praying God’s Word means reading or reciting Scripture in an attitude and spirit of prayer.  We let the meaning of the verses become our prayer. These scriptural prayers encourage, inspire and transform our minds and hearts.

Instead of picking verses randomly, we have listed several Scripture prayers.  Read through them and see of you can figure out the context and contest of each of them.

Acts 4:24-30

24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:

‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things?  26 The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’  27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus,  whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of  Your holy Servant Jesus.”

 

Philippians 1:9-11

9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Colossians 1:9-14

9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will  in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

1st Thessalonians 3:11-13

11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

Hebrews 13:20-21

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom beglory forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 4:8,11

8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”, 11  You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

 

Revelation 5:9-10

9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood.  Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

 

Which one of these prayers speaks most closely to your current situation?

What jumps out as especially relevant to you? Why?

Does this prayer lead you to pray other prayers of confession, repentance, or praise?  Are you challenged to pursue a new act of obedience?

How will you make this spiritual discipline of praying Scripture a part of your regular prayer life?

See that wasn’t too difficult, was it?  If you start to put praying Scripture into practice, it will bear much fruit in your life.

Pray and ask God to prompt you with specific verses to pray at specific times.  Ask Him to empower you with His Spirit and help pray in faith and trust His Word as you go through your day.

Praying God’s Name

 

Dr. John Smith is called different names at different times.  His father calls him “Son”; his wife calls him “Sweetheart”; his patients call him “doc”; and his friends at church call him “Brother Jack”.  At the hospital he’s “the doctor with the best bedtime manner”, and the waiters at a local restaurant refer to him as “that happy guy who leaves good tips.”  John is not multiple people.  He’s one man with multiple roles and character traits.

Each of John’s names or titles reveals a little more about who he is, what he does, and how he relates to others.  In like manner, the Bible reveals that our one God has many names.  When we pray to Him, we may come to Him for a wide variety of reasons.  Because He is eternal and limitless, the many titles and descriptions used of Him in the Bible are vast and astounding.  But that’s the point. Each name of God helps us to understand, value, and worship Him even more.

We are going to explore just a few of God’s many names today and discuss how to pray using the names of God as our foundation.  Psalm 91:2 states ,” 1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;”   In these two verses, the same God is referred to by multiple names and descriptions: Elyon (the Most High), Shaddai ( the Almighty), Yahweh (the Lord), my refuge, my fortress and my God (Elohim).

As you consider each of these names and descriptions, think on the significance of each one based upon Psalm 91:1-2.

1.Elyon (the Most High)

2. Shaddai (the Mighty)

3.Yahweh (the Lord)

4.Elohim (my refuge or fortress)

Yesterday we discussed praying God’s Word.  Today we are discussing the names of God.  Let’s combine the two together.  Below we’ve listed some names of God and some Scripture references.  Look up the Scripture passage identified for each name and pray to God thanking Him for this particular attribute.  Think about why this attribute is meaningful to you.

1.The Eternal God – Isaiah 40:28

2.The God of all Comfort – 2nd Corinthians 1:3

3.The King of Heaven - Daniel 4:37

4.The Lord of Peace – 2nd Thessalonians 3:16

5.The Light of the World – John 8:12

These are just a few of the names of God and Jesus in the Bible.  Even if you don’t remember any formal or Hebrew names of God, you can praise Him in your language by calling out to Him as the God of love, faithfulness, mercy, comfort, protection, justice, forgiveness, power, and salvation.  The list can go on and on.

The point is to seek Him, worship Him and pray to Him for who He is.  To acknowledge Him as the Creator, Your Father, and the One who is everything you need.  His love for you is great, and your love for Him is reflected by your desire to know Him and obey Him.

So, as you pray strategically, remember to call out to your God by His names as you learn them.  He loves to hear His children acknowledge Him for all He does and all He can do.  And doesn’t He deserve it?  After all, He is God our Salvation. “Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted;His glory is above the earth and heaven.”( Psalms148:13)

Pick out one of the verses from today.  Meditate on that passage today – write it out, memorize it, think about it. Use that verse as you pray today, thanking God for who He is.

Praying Offensively

Part of a good prayer strategy is knowing how to pray against evil.  We all know, of course, the dangers that lurk within temptation.  We’re well familiar with the enemy’s arrows of fear, anger, lust and jealousy.  Today we will focus on going on the offensive in a positive way, praying for the advancement of love, life and truth.

Sure, there are times when we need to play defense.  Not all the time though.  We need a game plan for offense as well – asking God to open doors for the gospel, to send forth laborers into the harvest field, to pour out His Holy Spirit in revival, to fill us with His love and the knowledge of His will, to use our spiritual gifts in His service, and to raise up a generation who will honor His name.  Spiritual warfare is about standing our ground against the enemy and taking new ground for the kingdom.

 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

 

Think of a particular friend or family member as you go through these questions:

What is the most loving thing you could request for them right now?

What are you praying for this person that has eternal significance?

How can you pray for this person to advance God’s kingdom?

How can you pray for this person in a way that would bring glory to God?

We find positive prayers and steps for taking ground all through Scripture.  In fact, God wants to help us and give us gifts along the way to encourage and assist us.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:11,” If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

When we love someone, we want nothing but the best for them.  John prays this type of prayer in 3rd John2, saying,” Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” If God is good and is preparing good things for us, then we need to be actively seeking and asking for these things.

Pray loving prayers.  We need to cover situations in prayer and ask God to bless, provide and be glorified as much as possible. . . praying that He would do more than we can ask or imagine.  Why? Because His glory is the goal of all praying.

We need to pray bold prayers for our friends and family.  Prayers that have eternal significance.  While we want them to be safe and satisfied with life, we need to be praying they will make a difference in the world for Christ, that God would call them out for service in His kingdom and they would accept that call.

Romans 12:21 says. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  The apostle Paul was a great example for this mind-set when praying for his new brothers and sisters in the faith.  He wrote in a long, uplifting terms in Colossians 1:9-12, “9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. “

Wouldn’t you want something prayed over you like that?  To be filled with knowledge, wisdom, and an understanding of God’s will?  To bear much fruit in your life fir God’s glory?

This is how to pray proactively and go on the offense.  Pray for someone right now in your family.  Ask for God’s richest blessings upon their life.

Praying Preemptively

If you were the leader of a country and discovered that you would soon be attacked by a brutal, invading army, what would you do?  If no terms of peace were possible, you would do everything plausible to quickly prepare for war.  Gathering resources.  Stationing troops.

This is also what we must do in prayer.  We must first fight our battles on our knees before the battle rages in the natural realm.  Let’s spend some time today looking at the enemy’s playbook so we can be preemptive in our prayer strategy.

DISTRACTION

Misdirection is Warfare 101.  David wrote,” I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted, because of the voice of the enemy” (Psalm 55:2-3).  Satan will constantly try to get you off track.  To focus on even good things which are not God’s best things.

In what areas of your life are you prone to distraction?  Spend a moment praying to the Lord about focusing on His best.

DECEPTION

Jesus said whenever Satan speaks a lie (which is all the time), “he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).  Strongholds, addictions, and sins are founded upon lies.  They are a perversion of God’s truth.  Promises never delivered.  False advertising.

Sin will fail you, let you down, and leave you empty.  But Satan’s temptations brazenly try to assure you that if you act now, your situation will be different.  It won’t affect you like it does other people.  He displays the pleasure and hides the consequences.  That’s why you can’t ever believe him.

In what areas of your life has deception taken hold?  Spend a moment praying to the Lord asking Him to help you in this area.

DERISION

When he’s not lying, he’s usually running you down or running down someone else in your mind.  Bringing up things from your past.  Falsely presuming someone else’s guilt.  Yes, you’ve been forgiven in the blood of Christ, yet he keeps you scraping old wounds.  Inciting doubt.  He’s the “accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10), accusing you of not being good enough.  In order for you to deflect these accusations, you need to be studying the Word, finding your identity in Christ, and praying for wisdom and discernment.  That’s how you refute his trumped-up charges.

Spend some time praying preemptively for the derision and mockery Satan may be trying to do in your life.

DIVISION

One hallmark of the gospel is the loving unity it brings to people of all nations, all backgrounds, all ages, and all demographics.  All in Christ.  One in Christ.  But Satan knows “if a house is divided against itself, that house will not stand” (Mark 3:25).  Anger and argument among God’s people may not destroy the gospel, but they can destroy your testimony and effectiveness in sharing it.  Disunity paints Christians and our faith as being weak and hypocritical.

We must not live foolishly “ignorant of his devices” (2nd Corinthians 2:11).  We should pray for God to help us stay focused on His will, for His Holy Spirit to keep us walking in truth, for false accusations to be thrown down, and for love and unity to reign in our relationships.

In what ways is Satan trying to divide you as a youth group?  As a church?  Pray against division and for unity in your family. Youth group and church today.

Praying Wisdom

You will notice that we are not spending time on the Prayer Strategy Target today.  That’s because we will be incorporating it into every day of our devotions next week.  For this last day of our week on praying specifically and strategically we are going to cover calling on God’s wisdom in our prayer life.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding (Proverbs 4:7).  Not many things in this life come with this kind of endorsement.  Whatever else you get.  Whatever else you do.  Yet anytime we hear this kind of heads up, we know something important is about to be said.  And when God is the One who’s making the proclamation through His Word, you can be sire His advice in worth listening to and then acting upon.

How often do you pray for God’s wisdom in your life and in your decision-making process?

What is one upcoming decision or situation in which you need to pray for wisdom?

Acquiring wisdom, He says, is of” principal “importance.  And prayer is one of the keys that unlocks it.  In fact, prayer yields wisdom, and then wisdom yields better prayer.  Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge to a given situation.  It gives you the ability to make the best choices with the data you have.  To take what you know and make it work really well.  To make you relationships with family work.  To make you relationships with friends work.  To make grand-slam, home-run decisions about your future.

Wisdom guides you to do the ethically right thing in the morally right way.  It unlocks everything – things that used to seem like a mystery.  When faced with dilemmas that once sent you swerving out of control, wisdom helps you locate the straight, sure path, so that “When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straightened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble” (Proverbs 4:12).

If you employ godly wisdom, you’ll be able to look back on vital moments of decision, and constantly see that you were protected from rashness and folly.  Wisdom will help you see things from God’s eternal perspective, understand the cause and effect of a decision, and constantly learn from any situation.  And God, knowing this promises to give wisdom to those who ask Him for it. That word “ask” in James 1:5, not only carries the idea of asking, but of begging, calling out for something, craving it.  God promises wisdom” generously”- especially to those who” seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures” (proverbs 2:4).  We should want it and want it badly.

He also says He’ll give it “without reproach”- without insult or condescension.  Without making fun of us for being so foolish up until now. He wants us to win, He wants to give us what we need for being successful in our families, in our friendships, in everything we do – “being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10).  Because this gives Him glory.  As much as He’s glorified through our spoken praise and worship, He is glorified also through our integrity, our honesty, our diligence, our humility, our purity, and out faithfulness.  He is glorified by us being good sons, daughters, neighbors, classmates, teammates, and friends.

How does knowing that God longs to give you wisdom help you in the current situation that you were thinking of earlier?

 

For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 2:6

 

As we close out the week, pray using this verse and ask for wisdom to help you navigate whatever difficult circumstances or important decision you’re facing.