Devotionals

Week 3

Week Three, Day One

Prayer

Prayer is “two-way communication with God” and is one of the most basic and important spiritual disciplines. In scripture, Jesus is the best example that we have to follow when learning how to pray. He not only teaches us what to pray, how to pray, when to pray, and where to pray, but He models the correct attitude to take both when praying and when receiving an answer from God.

Let’s take a look at the most recognized prayer that Jesus prayed, what we commonly call “The Lord’s Prayer.”

For now, just read Matthew 6:5-13.

Notice that Jesus describes His prayer as a model to be followed, not necessarily a script to be repeated, although it is perfectly acceptable to repeat Jesus’ prayer if your attitude is sincere and you speak the words from your heart.

Over the years, believers have also developed other useful prayer guides. One of those is the “A.C.T.S.” acrostic.

A Adoration (Talking about God’s character, majesty and power)

C Confession (Admitting to God our sins)

T Thanksgiving (Being grateful for what God has done in our life)

S Supplication (requesting something of God)

Notice any similarities between the ACTS acrostic and the Lord’s Prayer?

By praying through the acrostic, a believer can be more thorough in their sit-down prayer time. Sometimes when you sit down to pray, you focus on just one area of prayer (like supplication or confession) and forget to be grateful and remember God’s power and majesty. The ACTS acrostic helps keep your prayer more balanced as you learn to pray. However, many times shorter, more casual, prayers that we pray throughout the day (over a meal, before a test, when you are upset at someone) seldom include more than one or two of the areas of prayer listed in the ACTS acrostic prayer guide and that’s just fine.

Because every day is new, the content of your prayers will vary from day to day. Some days, you may be full of questions for God. On other days, you may just need to vent to Him about the things that you are going through. Sometimes, things will be going so well that all you want to do is give God compliments and thanks. As long as you approach God with the attitude illustrated in Jesus’ prayer, there is really no wrong way to pray. The important thing is that you pray.

Pray:

In your prayer time today, follow Jesus’ prayer as a framework for your own thoughts or practice following the ACTS acrostic as a prayer guide.

FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Study Matthew 6:9-13 as individual verses.

 

Week Three, Day Two

Submission in Prayer

God Follower Study Matthew 26:36-44, focusing on Jesus’ attitude, actions, and words.

Pray:

Use one of the prayer guides we have discussed to pray as you feel led and include the following:

  • Ask God to be honored by your prayer.
  • Ask God for the courage to put your will aside in exchange for His will for your life / day.

FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Study Matthew 6:5-8.

 

Week Three, Day Three

Praying with a Humble Heart

Study Luke 18:9-14, keeping in mind what you learned yesterday.

Pray:

Keeping the prayer guides we have discussed in mind, include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Ask God to remind you of His perfection when you pray.
  • Ask God to give you a humble heart.

FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Study 2 Chronicles 7:14.

 

Week Three, Day Four

Praying God’s Will

Study John 14:13-14.

As we have discussed, when studying the Bible, it’s important always to look back on what you already know to be true and to continue to build on that. When people remove a passage of scripture from the rest and try to interpret that passage without considering the rest of God’s word, they fool themselves and others into believing things that are false. The Bible always builds on and reinforces itself. It is a unified whole that must be studied that way.

At first, today’s passage seems to promise that God will do anything that we want Him to. Now, using your journal, look back at the other scripture that we have read this week. Consider what you learned from those passages and take a fresh look at today’s passage.

Who is Jesus really talking to? What kind of prayer is He promising to honor?

Look at John 14:13. It’s important to note that the phrase “in my name” is more than a good luck charm or catchy phrase that you can add to the end of your prayer (“In Jesus’ Name, Amen”) to try to make God respond the way that you want Him to. In Jesus name means “as my representative.” When you pray it, you are saying, “To the best of my knowledge, I believe that what I just prayed is consistent with what Jesus would have me ask and say.”

Now read John 14: 12-14.

See what a difference it makes just to back up and read one more verse than before?

The Bible is our weapon against evil and should be handled carefully. Those who don’t study their Bible, meditate and test what they have learned are like children running with knives.

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Commit to pray according to God’s will, not your own.
  • Thank God for being more than a genie in a bottle to do whatever you want, when you want it.

FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Study Matthew 21:21-22.

 

Week Three, Day Five

God Answers Prayer

To review, prayer is “two-way communication with God.” God answers prayer. It is up to us to wait, watch, and listen. You will never pray a prayer that God does not hear. But, often our timing, our request or our desires are not God’s timing or path for us.

Study Psalm 91:14-16; Psalm 130:2-6.

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Praise God for His faithfulness in answering prayer.
  • Ask God to bring your desires in line with His and to help you respond appropriately to His answer to your prayer.

 

The Weekend

Suggested Reading: 1 Samuel 1.

This is the story of Hannah, a woman with a very specific prayer request. As you study this passage, think about how the story relates to what you learned this week about prayer. What can you learn from this woman?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This