Project Prayer Giveaway Reminder

Only 12 days left to sign up!

Deadline is Monday, November 19, at 11:59 pm.
Don’t forget to enter the Project Prayer Giveaway to win a beautiful framed print
and note card set (We have 2 sets to give away!) by Bible Study Journey contributor and photographer, Cindy Snyder!

 

If you are just joining us for Project Prayer, you can begin (or browse) the series here.
Download all the Project Prayer extras here.

Lord, Teach Me to Pray

Have you ever gone to a prayer meeting and you sit there listening to others pray and you feel as though you will never measure up in your prayer? You feel “Oh, that person prays so eloquently. I love listening to them pray. I sure wish I could pray like them. I’d best not pray out loud…”

Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught His disciples.
∼Luke 11:1 (KJV)

Jesus’ disciples walked with Him on a daily basis and heard Him pray frequently, yet, they still asked Him to teach them how to pray. We have looked at many aspects of prayer during Project Prayer. Today we are going to look at few ways to pray.

Conversation with God

The most important thing to remember is that prayer is a conversation between you and God. You must pray from your heart. You may be thinking, “but God already knows.” He does, but He wants you to visit with Him. Part of prayer is talking to God; however, part of prayer is being still and listening to what He has to tell you.

Tell God what you are feeling, confess your sins asking for forgiveness, praise Him for Who He is and what He has done in your life, and ask Him for what others’ needs are as well as your own.

The Lord’s Prayer

Jesus taught His disciples to pray what we now call The Lord’s Prayer. (Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4). He started with acknowledging Who He was praying to (“Our Father in heaven”). He then praised His Father. (“Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”) After this time of worship, our Lord started asking for needs for all in His hearing (“give us this day our daily bread”). There was a time of confession. Jesus, as we know, did not need forgiveness, but He knew we did so He included “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Jesus then closed with another time of worship (“for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”)

ACTS

Another ‘method’ of prayer is similar but is broken down into an acrostic to make it simple to remember:

A – Adoration
Take time to acknowledge God and just worship Him, praising Him for Who He is and what He has done.

C – Confession
Confess your sins. Name your sins to God. Acknowledge you know what you’ve done and you are sorry for those sins. Remember, my friend, that God forgives those sins and separates them away from us. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12 – NASB).

T – Thanksgiving
There is so much for which we need to thank God. Come before Him with thanksgiving.

S – Supplication
Lastly, come before God with your and others’ needs.

Lord, Help!

And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, “Lord, save me.”
∼Matthew 14:29-30 (KJV)

I like to call this the “Lord, Help!” prayer. It is so very important to spend time in prayer with worship, confession, and supplication. However, there are times throughout our days where we need immediate help from God. It’s one of those quick “I need help now” type prayers. There is nothing wrong with these. “Lord, help!” is all we have time to pray. When Peter was sinking into the sea he looked into Jesus’ eyes and said, “Lord, help!”

Peter prayed from his heart with a very immediate and specific need. In this one short prayer, he acknowledged Who God was (the One Who could save him). He confessed his sin of taking his eyes off of God. And, Peter told God his need. It was a short prayer with so much packed into it.

Your Prayers

My friend, have you had a conversation with God lately? Have you prayed a “Lord, Help!” prayer? If not, God is waiting for you to come to Him and have a good visit. Just as a parent longs to hear from their child, so God longs to hear from you. There is so much more that we could unpack here but we are limited by time and space. Come today, friend. Talk to your heavenly Father. He’s waiting.

We would love to hear from you! Do you find a particular method or “formula” for prayer works for you? Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

Don’t forget to enter the Project Prayer Giveaway to win a beautiful framed print and note card set by Cindy!

Download all the Project Prayer extras here.

Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB),
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org

Taking Care of Those who Take Care of You

There are all types of Christian leaders. We have pastors, elders, Sunday school and Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) teachers, kids’ ministry leaders, women’s and men’s study leaders, youth leaders, worship leaders, and last, but certainly not least, missionaries.

What do all of these have in common? They are our spiritual leaders. They study for their messages and lessons. They minister to their “flock” (kids and adults). They get called out at all hours, day and night, and they have their own personal lives and struggles.

They care and minister to the people–to us. But, who takes care of them? When they have marriage conflict, financial struggles, personal struggles, loneliness, sickness, and death in the family, who do they turn to? Yes, they turn to God. But, did you know that God can use you to minister to them?

Maybe you’re saying, “How do I minister to these leaders? What can I do? I don’t know the Bible nearly as well as they do.” My friend, there are so many ways to minister. (Let’s not forget their families, too. Being the spouse and children of someone in ministry means you are in ministry also.)

Let’s look at a few practical ways to minister:

1. Pray for them. Pray for them. Pray for them. Pray for wisdom in their ministry. Pray that they would remain faithful to God and His word. Pray that they would make, and hold dear, their family time. Pray that they would be men and women of integrity. Pray that they would remain healthy. Pray that they would rest on God for all their needs. Pray for their families that God would protect them, use them, and encourage them. Pray that they would take time to allow God to minister to them also.

2. Realize that this is full-time (most pastors and full-time missionaries). They don’t just get up on Sunday, preach, and that’s it. There is much time and effort that goes into their ministry.

3. Give them space for family time. Most leaders have a scheduled day off; let them have this. Unless it is an emergency, try not to bother them on their day off.

4. Bless them with a meal. Contact them as to what they can and cannot eat (allergies), and either bring them a meal or have them over. They are in need of fellowship also.

5. Send a note of encouragement. There are times that they are discouraged and just need a little “pick me up.” It’s so encouraging to know someone cares.

6. Thank them for what they are doing. The task is not simple. There are attacks on every side, and sometimes the feelings of giving up become strong. God tells us in His word, “Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we will reap if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9 KJV) Sometimes though, the way is tiring. Sometimes, while they don’t look or ask for it, our Christian leaders need to be thanked. Yes, they are doing it all for the Lord, but they need to know they are making a difference.

7. Remember, not all those in ministry have families. There are many who are single. Make sure to care for them also. Sometimes, they need family time. Maybe include them with your family from time to time.

These are just a few ways to help take care of our Christian leaders. Let me challenge you to look for ways to encourage and take care of those in leadership. Don’t forget those on the mission field. These same principles apply to them also. You may not be able to have them over for a meal, but you can send them a care package. With the world we live in, we can minister to missionaries through emails. How wonderful to see you have an email and read words of encouragement.

Be creative and have fun ministering to those around you but especially to those who have been chosen by God as ministers of God and His word.

Let us hear (in the comments below) your ideas for how to take care of those who take care of you spiritually.


Praying for Christian Leaders 
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Visit here to enter the Project Prayer Giveaway.

Download all the Project Prayer extras here.

 

Announcing:
Project Prayer Giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Bible Study Journey contributor and photographer, Cindy Snyder, we have 2 prizes to give away! Each prize will contain a set of 6 blank inspirational note cards and an 8″ x 10″ framed print, featuring Cindy’s beautiful photos and God’s Words (with a total prize value of $ 30 each).

The Project Prayer Giveaway will open on September 19, 2018, and will close on October 31, 2018 at 11:59 pm. Two people will receive one of the packages shown above.

For more details, terms and conditions, and to enter, visit Project Prayer Giveaway.

Finding Your Way with GPS

Are you a GPS user, or do you just figure out where you’re going on your own? In the 80’s when my siblings and I got our driver’s licenses, gasoline was pretty inexpensive. Living in a rural town, we would often go cruising for our entertainment. Just driving around with nowhere to go; just taking an adventure to see if you could find your way back. We always found our way home and had a blast exploring the countryside.

One of the funniest trips was years later though. My sister and I loved cable TV decorating shows and really enjoyed a local show called Decorating Cents. They had a segment called “Trash to Treasure,” where the host would go to a resale shop called Sticks and Stones in Minneapolis, MN.  My sister lived within in an hour of there, so one day we took a road trip to visit the store. At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, we thought, “Huh, how hard could it be to find?” Well…let me tell you.

She had one of the first-generation, dash-mounted GPS units so we thought it would be a piece of cake to find the store. If you ever tried to use one of these units, you know that they were not always the most accurate (to say the least). She followed its instructions to the T—turn left, turn right, continue forward; and before we know it, we found ourselves on a dead end street. Well, that was obviously the wrong path! So, we turned around and tried again.

Just about the time we’re thinking we might not find the place, we saw a library sign. We pulled over to hopefully look up resale shops in the yellow pages. I got out of the car and got the address—only to find out that we’d been close and didn’t even know it. We went just a bit further, and she said, “THAT’S IT!” She whipped into an off-street parking spot, I jumped out and went up to the door, only to see a sign that said, “CLOSED FOR THE MONTH OF JULY.” What?! NO WAY!!! You are kidding me! I got in the car, told my sister, and we cracked up! Only we would get into the car to go to a town of 350,000 people looking for a small resale shop having no idea where it was. We still laugh about it today.

Do you ever feel your life is like being on a road trip and you don’t know the destination or which way to go? God doesn’t give us a map with a big X showing us our full journey with road blocks, construction, and other obstacles clearly marked. How are we supposed to know what journey he wants us on? Does our path ever change? How do we get where he wants us?

May I suggest using GPS–God’s Provision Steering. Jesus has gone ahead of us and prepared all we need to arrive in the Glory of God. “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105) I can only know what God wants for me, if I am in communication with Him. We communicate with God by prayer and reading His word. I verify my understandings of what God is showing me by seeking counsel from biblically-sound pastors, elders, and siblings in Christ.

Our paths and purpose do change from time to time. It is rare that our journeys are on a single, long straight road with no turns, hills, valleys, or obstacles. For each season of our lives, we may have a different route and purpose. Each of these routes have something in common with the others. That commonality is our specific gifts that God has given us.

Each of us have been blessed with a gift or an ability that shines God’s presence through it. For me, it’s a passion for people, a great sense of joy and laughter, and a discerning eye. As I go through each day making decisions and interacting with others, I try to concentrate on living life for God, using my gifts to shine His grace through me. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)

There have been many times in my life when I have not stayed on the path God had set before me. There were times I stopped going to church, stopped studying God’s word, and stopped engaging with other believers. At those times, I found myself struggling as if I was fighting with someone all the time. Each time I wandered, God so gently guided me back. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” (Psalm 91:11) I didn’t always realize it as it was happening; but once back in his arms, I knew it was where I needed to be. It becomes easier to stay on the righteous path as I mature in my relationship with Christ. The temptations to live in the world that are all around us each day bring speed bumps, potholes, construction zones, and detours in our lives and break down our efforts to live in Christ publicly.

Just as you need to make sure your car has what it needs for a road trip, you need to make sure you have what it takes to endure life’s journey. We need to have the daily fuel of God’s word, using his GPS to find the path he has laid down before us. We need regular maintenance checks to make sure we are running as we were designed to. And, we need to make sure we are ready to be used at all times.

As I pondered the subject of life’s journey, I studied God’s word and found comfort in these truths:

• “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalms 16:11)
• “My son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths.” (Proverbs 1:15)
• “Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” (Proverbs 10:17)
• “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and please to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
• “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)
• “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)

Where does your journey lead? Is it the path you are called to be on? Seek God, and you will find where you are to be. Set yourself on studying the Bible to see where God is leading you. If you need help in this, you can send us a message, seek counsel from elders or Pastors of your local church, talk with brothers and sisters in Christ, and pray. Let’s join together on a journey with God.

What are some verses you have found helpful as you try to follow God’s path for your life? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Prayer

Our prayers may be awkward.
Our attempts may be feeble.
But since the power of prayer
is in the one who hears it
and not in the one who says it,
our prayers do make a difference.

(Max Lucado)

 

What are your favorite Bible verses on prayer?