Tag Archives: pray about everything
More Than A Story: Persistence
[Friend at Midnight: Luke 11:5-13 / Persistent Widow: Luke 18:1-8]
“Prayer is not an exercise. It is the life of the saint.” – Oswald Chambers
1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 – “Rejoice always; pray continually.” [NIV]
Pray without ceasing, pray constantly, never stop praying, continually be prayerful
Unceasingly – Adialeiptós (ad-ee-al-ipe’-toce) – unceasingly, without remission, without intermission
Philippians 4:6 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” [NLT]
Everything – pas (pas) – all, the whole, every kind of, each / every part that applies
Luke 11:8 – “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” [NASB]
Shamelessness – Anaideia (an-ah’-ee-die-ah’) – shameless persistence, no shame, unembarrassed boldness, without embarrassment, shameless audacity, impudence, importunity, sheer persistence, refusal to take a denial – used only in Luke 11:8
“stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors” [MSG]
Luke 18:5 – “Yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.” [HCSB]
Constant requests, continually coming, keep coming, constantly coming, unending pleas
Beaten black-and-blue by her pounding [MSG]
“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”
– Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God)
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
More Than A Story: Persistence
[Friend at Midnight: Luke 11:5-13 / Persistent Widow: Luke 18:1-8]
1) In the parable of the Friend at Midnight, the friend in need knocked and his friend answered, “Do not bother me…”
What were his excuses?
How is this different from how God responds to us?
Has there ever been a time when you felt like you were bothering God? Why?
2) In Luke 11:9, the Bible says—ASK and it will be given, SEEK and you will find, KNOCK and it will be opened.
What does this mean to you? What does this say about prayer?
How can we apply this to our lives?
3) Luke 18:7-8 says, “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
What does this mean?
How does it involve you? What can you do to take steps in the right direction? What does this look like?
More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.
One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:8; Paul tells us in this verse where we are to focus or to dwell. The Greek word for dwell is “logizomai” which means to count, to decide, to think, to reason, to take into account. In today’s passage, Paul tells us what to practice, and he also reveals the results if practiced – “the God of peace will be with you.” Yes, God will be with you. But this verse says the “God of peace,” reminding us all that our God is a God of peace. He is the only way we can truly have peace, and He offers a peace beyond comprehension.
So what do we practice? Let us read this passage again. The first part of the passage says to REJOICE IN THE LORD. That’s the first thing to practice. Rejoicing. Rejoicing in the Lord. Some translations say “always be full of joy in the Lord” (NLT). The Message says, “Celebrate God all day, every day.” One way I practice this daily is through worship. Our life is to be a continual worship of our Lord and Savior. In everything we do—worship God. Praise Him. Celebrate Him!
The next part of the passage says to be anxious for nothing. Instead we are to PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING. Prayer and Bible reading are the top ways our God communicates with us. We are to pray about everything, not just some things. Yes, that means we cannot pray about something too small. We should place everything in His hands. Just like our life should be continuous worship, our life should also be about continuous prayer. From when we wake up in the morning till our eyes close for the night, we can be in continuous communication with God. Brother Lawrence spoke to God while doing the dishes. I speak to Him as I sit at my desk at work. Prayer should not only be done once a day by your bed or in a church pew. Every day. Continuous. A life of prayer. Sometimes your mouth may not move, but your heart speaks—Oh the joy of recognizing you are in God’s presence every second of every day.
The verse continues, “with THANKSGIVING.” Did you know that it is impossible to thank God enough? As we thank God each day and live our lives with an attitude of gratitude, we humbly walk with Christ. We appreciate with what God has blessed us. We even love people more.
So what’s left? What we have learned and received and heard and seen—God’s Truth—what is true and honorable and right and lovely, we are to embrace. Yes, EMBRACE GOD’S TRUTH! As you practice these things, as you live a life of worship and thanks and prayer, as you embrace God’s Truth, you truly do have God with you—and He is the God of peace. It is a peace beyond understanding. And it’s yours when you do life with God. It is not an instantaneous thing, but it is something you live when you walk in Christ and practice these things!
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” -Philippians 4:4-9 [NASB]
This was a message I shared with a challenge for Lent. It can be a challenge for anyone at anytime of the year. At the end of the day, it is my prayer that we all will be relentless in our pursuit of Jesus as He is relentlessly pursuing us each day.
The Three R Challenge
1) REMAIN in God (John 15:8-12)
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; ABIDE IN MY LOVE. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” [NASB]
Challenge 1: Show Love through Acts of Generosity
With Will and Purpose – Sometimes this requires us to change /adapt. About putting God / people first.
With Actions – Act, not just observe. “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16 NIV).
With Possessions – “John replied, ‘If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry’” (Luke 3:11 NLT).
With Words – “Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out” (Colossians 4:6 MSG). “Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24 HCSB). “Say only what helps, each word a gift” (Ephesians 4:29b MSG).
With Love – “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions” (1 John 3:15-18 NLT).
With Faith – Philip taking the time to run to and speak with the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26-40). The Woman at the Well going into town to tell people about this man Jesus (John 4). Do you share your hope?
With Forgiveness – “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13 NLT).
2) RENEW yourself in Him (Romans 12:1-2) – Change the way you think
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, FIX YOUR ATTENTION ON GOD. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” [MSG]
Challenge 2: Dig deep into His Word – Daily Bible reading, Daily Devotion Reading, attend Sunday School & Small Groups.
3) REST in Him (Philippians 4:6-7)
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” [NLT]
Challenge 3: Daily Prayer – Go to God first with everything. Familiarize yourself with the Psalms.
Colossians 1:15-17 – “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” [NIV] —— YOU WERE MADE BY HIM AND FOR HIM