Prayer For Grace To Live As God Intends

6 Manifestations Of God’s Grace In Your Prayer Life

Prayer For Grace To Live As God Intends

Oh, the grace of God expressed in the cross of Jesus Christ!

Paul describes the Gospel as ‘the grace of Christ.’ (Gal 1:6) Grace—the unmerited, undeserved favour of God. [1] This favour is not based upon anything we have done, but upon what Jesus has done.

The revelation of God’s grace towards us personally has tremendous power to break the hold of any sin or condemnation in our lives. We look to Jesus’ finished work, to His death on the cross and His resurrection. And simply believe.

This power of grace can be gloriously experienced in our personal relationship with God. Here are 6 ways that grace will manifest in your life of prayer.

1. It is Easy to Return to God’s Presence

So you missed an appointment in prayer. Perhaps there was a specific devotional or prayer time you planned to take. Maybe you have felt the call of God to pray for a while, but have been distracted or failed to respond to the Holy Spirit. It could be that the last time you spent some significant moments with God is a distant memory.

Now you respond, drawn by the Holy Spirit and sure of His open invitation. There is no condemnation about prayer or entering God’s Presence. You begin to share with Him the things that are on your heart, having a clear sense of Father’s welcome and His pleasure at your desire to be with Him.

2. Failure is not an Obstacle

‘…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience…’ (Heb 10:22a)

You blew it. Allowed a weakness or temptation to get the better of you. You know that your behaviour has been less than God’s best for you.

But in spite of this, you know that the best place for you, the place you can sort out the struggles you face, is in prayer, focusing on God’s Presence. There is nothing holding you back.

The right you have to be in Father’s Presence is not won by your behaviour, but what Jesus has accomplished on the cross.

Your blemished record has been exchanged with Jesus’ perfect record and forgiveness is freely yours.

3. You Can be Yourself

You know that prayer is not about doing something to gain God’s attention or to please Him—you already have your Father’s attention and His pleasure. He loves you. What a relief! You do not have to be something (or someone) that you are not in prayer. You can just be yourself, your own style, and way of communicating. You can be completely honest.

You can talk to God has your Father, your Friend, or your intimate Beloved. [2]

That intercessor, or person whose spiritual life you admire, does not intimidate you or hold you back. You do not feel you have to copy anyone else or attain some standard of spirituality in prayer. You can be real. And you know that being uniquely yourself is not only acceptable to God—it brings Him joy.

4. You Don’t Need to Rely on Formulas

‘…They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God this loving you, you can pray very simply…’ (Matt 6:7b-8, MSG)

There is no fear that if you miss praying something a certain way, God won’t answer you, or come through for you. You are not relying on a formula or method to have your prayer answered. You know that beyond any words you speak, the cry of your heart is eloquent to Him. You have complete confidence that He is faithful, that He loves you, and that He is true to His Word.

When the Holy Spirit does lead you to use a prescribed prayer, Scripture, method or formula, you do so with confidence, knowing that your prayer life is about intimacy with Him. Where He leads, faith rises, and you will follow.

5. Your Prayer Life is Characterised by Confidence and Gratitude

‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ (Heb 4:16)

You know that you already have Father’s favour and that you don’t have to do or say anything to earn it. Secure in this knowledge, you are growing in confidence in your relationship with Him, and boldness in what you ask for and receive. In times of spiritual warfare, Who your God is, and what He is saying, is of much more significance than anything that the enemy may be doing.

Your prayer life is characterised by a state of thankfulness. You are learning more about your inheritance in Christ and what is available through Jesus. Prayer is primarily about discovering Father’s intention and agreeing, receiving and entering into what is already yours by His word of command. You have faith and boldness in the Name of Jesus.

6. You can Pray Anytime, Anywhere

‘And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.’ (Eph 6:18a)

Your prayer life is without limits. It is about connecting with God in the moment, as well as special times with Him. Whether you are in a moment of celebration or are under pressure, quietness or busyness, you naturally turn to your Father.

Just as Jesus had times of appointment alone with God, and prayed throughout His daily life, you are open to be led of the Spirit in your daily life, as well as be drawn to times apart with your Heavenly Father.

Notes:
[1] For an extended definition of the Greek New Testament word for grace, charis, see http://biblehub.com/greek/5485.htm
[2] See ‘Relational Pathways to Intimacy with Father, with Jesus and with Holy Spirit.‘

Related Posts:

How To Fall In Love With Your Devotional Life Again

8 Signs Your Devotional Life May Be Caught In A Performance Trap

7 Signs Of Spiritual Dryness

More Prayer Resources:

The eBook, ‘Pray for the Lost: Impact the Eternal Destiny of Your Loved Ones Through Prayer’ is available from our eStore in both PDF and ePub format.

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Источник: https://www.enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2014/04/22/6-manifestations-of-gods-grace-in-your-prayer-life/

The Prayer God Always Answers | Grace Evangelical Society

Prayer For Grace To Live As God Intends

I felt I failed them when I went away to Bible college—“them” being the men I had been ministering to and witnessing to for several years.

They were American citizens imprisoned in Mexico for drug crimes. The pastor of a small Baptist church on the border got me started in this evangelism ministry shortly after I was born again.

I loved the work and prayed fervently for all of those men.

In time, God moved my wife and me so I could begin my studies. I looked forward to Bible college with glad anticipation, but the move was bittersweet. I was disappointed with the results of the prison ministry. There was no fruit. I had nothing to show for my efforts.

Two years later a letter landed in our mailbox that rocked my world. It was handwritten by a man who was doing a thirteen year stretch in that wretched prison. I could scarcely believe what I read.

A prison revival had broken out. Men by the dozens proclaimed faith in Christ. People were baptized. Bible studies were going on in every cellblock throughout the whole prison.

Hardened men who faced years of harsh confinement were walking with Jesus.

I was undone. I wept for joy and gratitude. For a brief moment, I savored what Jesus had promised: “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

That promise, found in John 16:24, is one of four such promises of answered prayer. We find them in John 14:13-14; 15:7, 16; and 16:23-24.

The Scope of the Promise

These verses are misread if taken as unconditional promises that anything and everything you can ever ask for will be granted.

Worried about putting your kids through college? Just pray and watch the money show up in your bank account.

Is a loved one desperately ill? Just pray and stand by to see him rise from that sickbed.

Wondering if you’ll have enough to live on in retirement? Stop worrying, start asking, and make the most of those golden years because Jesus will underwrite the whole thing.

Wouldn’t it be great if that’s what these promises actually meant?

Despite what prosperity preachers proclaim, Jesus had something dramatically different in mind. These promises are every other verse in the Bible. Their meaning is derived from the context.

Imagine if friends invite you over for a backyard barbecue. You show up a bit early, so the hostess graciously says, “Make yourself at home. You know where the kitchen is. You can have anything you want.” Now it just so happens that you want venison, so you wander into the kitchen looking for that succulent steak. After you rummage around you’re disappointed there’s none to be found.

Does that mean the promise that you can have anything you want was false?

Of course not!

You understand from the context that the promise is limited to anything you can find in the kitchen.

wise, Jesus’ promise that whatever you pray for shall be given doesn’t mean that you’re going to win the Powerball Lottery. In context, it means that God always answers our prayers for mission success.

Prayer for Greater Works That Glorify the Father

The promise in John 14:13-14 follow Jesus’s remarkable statement in v 12: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

At first glance, this stunning prophecy seems improbable at best. But in light of the history of Bible times, it makes perfect sense. Jesus’ work was confined to a small geographical area.

His followers covered everything from Great Britain to Southern Europe, North Africa, India, and perhaps even Southeast Asia. During His lifetime, Jesus gathered a handful of believers, perhaps as many as 500.

But within a few years of His departure, His followers had gathered hundreds of thousands of believers from all over the world.

Jesus’ followers did far greater works than He because the power of God was made available to them. All they had to do was to believe (v 12), and pray (vv 13 and 14). The evidence that God honored the promise to answer their prayers is written on the pages of history.

The Prayer for Fruitfulness that Glorifies the Father

Two promises are found in John 15. Verses 7 and 8 promise that if we live according to Scripture and walk in fellowship with Jesus, our prayers will be answered. The promised answer, which takes the form of fruitfulness which glorifies the Father, clues us into what is requested in these prayers: more fruit! That fruit is identified in the next promise.

The promise in John 15:16 is the linchpin for all four promises. Jesus put it this way: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

” This is a Johannine version of the Great Commission, with different details. These men have been chosen to serve in a specific fashion. Their form of service is to go and bear fruit. This entails the evangelism process that results in more people entering eternal life by believing in Jesus.

The fruit is new believers.

So the promises of answered prayer in John 15:7-8 and 16 are linked to the mission of winning people to faith in Jesus. Jesus promised that prayers for evangelistic success would be answered.

The Prayer for Steadfast Mission Commitment in the Face of Hostility

The fourth and final promise of answered prayer in John 16:23-24 takes a bit more digging. We start by observing the context. Notice that the first three verses of the chapter move the discussion to the opposition they would encounter on their mission. The chapter’s closing verses sound the same note.

Just before the promises are spoken, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would convict a rebellious world (John 16:5-11), and illuminate and guide them in the face of opposition (John 16:12-15).

So, whatever the promises in 16:23-24 mean, they must relate to the staying on mission even in the face of deadly opposition.

Verses 23 and 24 use two different words, both translated as “ask” in our English Bibles. These words, most others, have various fields of meaning, so I need to hold what I’m about to say a little more loosely.

The first “ask” in v 23 probably means “ask for information.” It says that “on that day”—the day they see the resurrected Christ”—they would no longer need to ask for information or explanation.

They would finally know that His power is sufficient to conquer all opposition, even death.

In that knowledge, when they encounter hostility to their evangelism, they would “ask” (the second “ask” in v 23 and both “asks” in v 24) for something. What would they be asking for? In light of the context it’s most ly they would be asking for the Holy Spirit’s help to stay the course of their evangelism work. It would be the prayer for boldness.

Acts 4

When Peter and John were ordered to stop preaching the gospel under threat of punishment, they reported back to the church. The believers all gathered and called out in prayer. They didn’t ask for protection.

They didn’t ask to be excused from the mission. They didn’t ask for favor with the Roman authorities.

They prayed for boldness in the face of hostility, the very prayer that Jesus promised to answer in John 16:23-24:

“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29-30, emphasis added).

As Jesus promised, their prayers were answered.

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness…With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all (Acts 4:31, 33).

The prayer for greater works (John 14:13-14) and for lavish fruitfulness (John 15:7-8, 16) was also answered! “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people…And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women (Acts 5:12, 14)…”

No Blanket Promises

I don’t find anywhere in Scripture a blanket promise to answer any and every prayer. But I do find Jesus’ solemn promise, repeated four times during his final hours in the Upper Room, that God always answers our prayers for mission success.

The answers don’t always come in our time. I had to wait several years for my prayers on behalf of those prisoners to be answered. Many of you have been praying for decades for your church’s evangelistic success—keep it up.

Nor do the answers always come as we expect. Paul’s prayers and plans to minister in Rome weren’t answered with a journey of fellow missionaries; they were answered in chains.

But we have Jesus’ solemn promise: prayers for new believers to be borne our faithful missional service will be answered.

____________________

Bud Brown is President of Turnaround Pastors (www.turnaroundpastor.com).

Источник: https://faithalone.org/grace-in-focus-articles/the-prayer-god-always-answers/

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