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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Praying in Response to the Promises of God

by Brad Houchin
Relevant Ministry visits families in their homes to assess needs they have and to consider how we might be able to assist them. We are privileged to be able to hear many of their life stories; and often these opportunities open the door for ministry through prayer. I have yet to be turned down by anyone, when I have asked if I could pray for the needs they have shared.
There will always be a time in which we need to stop what we are doing immediately, and just pray. These times may be from an unexpected phone call regarding a loved one being rushed to the hospital, a disaster just struck somewhere in the world or you’re running late for an important meeting and you are stuck in traffic.  The list can go on and on. Often in these times, one of our first reactions is to pray, “Heavenly Father, I need your help!”

There is something about prayer, even for those who do not have an intimate relationship with God. It often makes sense to pray or at least receive prayer in times of crisis and need. But as children of God, prayer should be so much more than crying out of a feeling of hopelessness.

Our prayer, even in times of crisis and need, should be in response to the promises of God.

1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
  • What confidence comes from knowing that you are a child of God?
  • Do you believe you have permission to approach him boldly?
Hebrews 4:14-16, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

Being a child of God gives us direct access to his throne. We can trust that our Heavenly Father hears our prayers and that his grace will be sufficient for our needs.
  • Do you believe that you can boldly enter into His presence and ask anything of him?
  • How does this confidence encourage your prayer to be that of a response to Him rather than a reaction to a circumstance?
1 John 5:1-5, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Prayer becomes responsive when we understand the promise that we have already overcome the trials and temptations of this world. Through our belief in Jesus Christ our requests and cries out to him should be prayed in confidence that we can trust His will and in His way.

Hebrews 4:13, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

He already knows every need. How will you respond in prayer today?

Prayer is one of the "7 Marks of Spiritual Health" in life and ministry.  The RM team will be writing about all seven, the topic this month is prayer.  Please feel free to comment and join in on the conversation.

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RM’s vision - to equip leaders to minister relevantly in churches that will be healthy and thriving.

Relevant Ministry Inc.
Training future leaders - Building healthy ministries - Serving on the Gulf Coast

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