Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WEEK ONE: Day 2..... The Blessing of Greater Faith

We're reading today from three passages...  I read them before starting the devotional today and suggest that you may want to as well.    They are: 

Matthew 7:7-8

New International Version (NIV)

Ask, Seek, Knock
    7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

John 15:7-8

New International Version (NIV)
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

1 John 5:14-15

New International Version (NIV)
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

(It might be a good time right now to pray to God and ask Him to give you complete understanding of the scripture passages and ask God to show you something today through His Word for your life.  Please pray for me that I teach His Word and not my own.  Thank you! )

Hearing from God
  1. An essential aspect of prayer is faith.   We must have faith when we pray that God does hear us and will answer our prayers.  These next two passages are about the images of David described by God.  Would you please write down what you see as the description?  Thank you!
   2.  An American car company advertises its trucks with the phrase "like a rock."  How has God been a   rock in your life?

  3.  We read now about Hannah who was a desperate woman who cried out to God.  Please read about her now in 1 Samuel 1.  Then would you please respond to the questions below?  Thank you!

    A.  What indications do you see that Hannah sought God with all her heart?

    B.  How did God respond to Hannah's prayer?

    C.  How did Hannah respond to God's gracious YES?

(At this point you might need to take a break now... stretch and breath in deep and let it out....  and come back when you are ready to do more!  Thanks!)

Here's some info. about how to stretch correctly... I really like this and want to share it with you.  You can skip by this if it doesn't interest you.   Thanks!

  • Warm up your muscles slightly before you stretch them. Walk or do some other light aerobic exercise for a few minutes, and then start stretching.
  • Ease yourself into the stretch, relax, and don't push or bounce. You should feel a stretch, but not pain, in the muscle.
  • Exhale as you do the stretch. While you hold the stretch, inhale deeply.
  • Try closing your eyes while you stretch. It helps you relax.
  • Take a moment to enjoy the good, warm feeling that comes after a good stretch. 
Welcome back!  I hope that felt good to you ...  I love it!    As a matter of fact... we should stretch more often in the day...  whenever you are stressed, take this kind of stretch...  maybe teach it to your friends or family members.  
I want to share some facts about some important people (well, they are important to me!)
"John Wesley spent at least 2 hours each day in prayer!"  (Wow, that's amazing...  I would really need to take a lot of stretches during 2 hours...  I'm not able to do this at this time.  How about you?)
"Samuel Rutherford rose at 3am daily to wait upon God."  (Well this I actually do, it's more like 2 am but then I go to bed super early too to get my 7-8 hours of sleep.  I really don't expect that you would do this, but maybe set your alarm clock to get you up 15 mins. earlier to spend time with God.  And when that is good, try another 15 mins. earlier...  and see how you can adjust to that.   Thanks!)

"Alexander MacLaren owed his success 'to the habit, never broken of spending one hour a day' alone with God."   (Now this would be a great goal for you!)

( As I read this all again for a second time, it's really speaking to me and reminding me that I don't pray enough.)

4.  Our faith in God grows as we pray and experience His answers to our prayers.   Here's what David wrote about the cries of the righteous.  (That isn't a word of piety but rather simply means, doing right by God.)   If you will read Psalm 34:15-18 with me and then please summarize in your words how God helps those who cry out to Him.   

5.  In the New Testament we learn how God hears the prayers of those who love Christ and abide in Him.  Please write down the truths that you have learned in the following passages with me.

6.  Sometimes we really mess things up with our praying by praying for the wrong reason.  Do you understand what that means?  There's a way to pray to God and not be selfish about your prayers.  For instance, you could ask God to help you win the lottery but should you really be asking that?  Just think about it.  Maybe you want to do it to "keep up with the Joneses."   That wouldn't be the right reason.   Maybe you're just poor in wealth like me...  and you tell him that would really help you out in your tight spot.  But God doesn't want us to be lazy.  He wants us to do things like cut back in what we spend.  Use coupons!   Keep a budget.  Plan your meals for the week before you go to the store.   Write down all that you need for that meal and try to use things from your meals in more ways than one.  Buy the foods that are on special that week in the store inserts.  Wow I really got off track, sorry!    Please read James 4:1-3 and identify this problem in our prayers.  Thanks!

Yes God...  I'm wanting to RESPOND TO YOU, but how?

7.  What things are getting in the way of keeping you from establishing and maintaining a regular prayer time and discussion with God?   For me it's the computer!  That's number one... and the TV would be the second thing.

8.  Praying with faith is easier said than done.  If you were asked to explain in simple words what "praying with faith" means, how would you reply?

9.  Do you know someone whose faith needs encouragement?  What can you do this week to encourage that person to pray with faith?  And for me that means to say it and not be bossy about it.  And make sure I'm doing it first before I tell someone else to do it.

Life Scene is going to be about me today.  I've been struggling for the past 9 weeks with my fibromyalgia.  Many of you already know that.  With degenerative bones as well, the two sometimes gang up on me!   I get to feeling really sorry for myself and maybe I share about it too much.   Does something in life ever pull you down like that and you need hugs?   Feel free to share about it, or just say that yes there is something and you don't want to tell us about it, but just pray generally for you.   Please let us know!  I need faith to trust God more that He knows how much I can handle and He will carry me through it.  Thanks for being here today!

You pick a song today...  a worship song... or a good solid family style song that speaks to you and share it with me please and I will try to add them to my blog each day!  Thanks!

Thank you Elle for getting the word out about my Bible Study!   This is for you!

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