Prayer: Praise, Petition, and Unleashing Power, Part One

Happy New Year!  How is your year so far? Mine got off to an unexpected start: thanks to icy interstates, my family and I are in a hotel room on the wrong side of the state, instead of home tonight!  Earlier today, we were all praising God for keeping us safe as a neighboring car spun out of control and stopped within a foot of our car.  Thankfully we are safe, and God can use this too!

We left off last time planning our New Year’s resolution: Getting Closer to God.

Spending time in prayer is our primary method of communicating with God. But, you may ask, how should I pray? Many verses in the Bible address this question.  Over the next five days, we will take a closer look at Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 6:9-13.

“Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,

give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.”

We may more commonly know the above passage as The Lord’s Prayer. While it would be completely acceptable to repeat it verbatim, let’s examine it more thoroughly. Let us break it down, noting what we are to say in prayer. 

The first two lines will be our focus for today. First, Jesus acknowledged who God is, and He is holy . Seasoned Christians might call this praise. We are often taught to praise God in prayer, recalling how wise and wonderful He is, and the fact that we, mere humans, are in no way on the same level.  Earlier today, our hearts stoppped as that other car slid recklessly on the icy highway, coming toward us.   Now, hours later, I can see how God protected us.

Jesus humbled himself before God the Father. By acknowledging His infinite superiority, we are again reminded why we worship Him.  Why we ought to obey Him, why we should serve Him.

A great exercise for today: in five minutes, list as many of  the characteristics of God that you can. (Feel free to post your lists!)

Now, look over your list.  I know the characteristics of Stefanie in no way compare to my list of God’s. Looking at the list is a great reminder of why He is God, and I am not, and why He deserves my praise.


New Year’s Resolutions

Draw Closer To Him is the title of this blog.  The “Him” being God, creator of the universe, and also our heavenly father. Most fathers would do absolutely anything for their children.  I know mine would.  For those without a loving relationship with your earthly father, I am so sorry.  Our first glimpse of our heavenly father is the love of an earthly father.

My dad lives in another state. Yet, we talk several times per week.  There was a time, a few years ago when my dad called me every weekday. The purpose?  He knew I was struggling.  I was in chemotherapy, and my prognosis was not encouraging. Thanks to the drugs, I felt I could not process information and my brain did not seem to function properly.  It was difficult following conversations, and remembering information. Dad did not mind.  He kept it simple.  I knew every afternoon at an appointed time, dad would call.  He was checking on me.  He was giving me something positive to anticipate. He was doing everything in his power to help me.

Like my earthly father with me, our heavenly father wants to supply all our needs. He loves us immeasurably and is just waiting to hear from us!  He wants us to come to Him.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:8  God promises to draw closer to each of us if we pursue Him.

How do we pursue Him?

This is a time when many of us make New Year’s resolutions.  This year, make your relationship with God a priority!

Join me in a challenge: schedule regular time in God’s word: The Bible.  Everyday is great, but let’s not overwhelm ourselves- strive for most days of the week.

Another challenge: talk with God.  He loves to hear from you!  He already knows what you are going to tell Him, but in these conversations, you will learn to pause and let Him talk to you. By regularly conversing with your heavenly father, you will become more spiritually minded- maybe even find yourself not taking the stresses of this world so seriously!

Please return on  Tuesday, January 3, God willing, for some words of encouragement.

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