Prayer To Know Jesus Better
Knowing Jesus: Prayer
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THIS WEEK WE STUDY A BIBLICAL OVERVIEW on prayer as we all need to be repeatedly challenged to develop this area of our lives.
Most believers are very weak here, but effective prayer is the determinant factor in one’s eternal accomplishments! How is this daily discipline in your spiritual life?
As this relates to me personally, you, I commute into DC every week of Session, so my sleeping patterns, (give the three hour time zone change for Danielle and me) are very erratic. I have learned to live with that. Accordingly, when I am awake sometimes in the early hours of the morning, I take that as my signal to get up and pray. I have turned a negative into a positive. I look forward to these precious hours with the Lord. My prayers tend to be consumed with a now 19-year-old, persevering, God-given objective: To plant 200 effective ministries in 200 capitals throughout the world.
Looking forward to seeing you at this week’s study.
President & Founder
The purpose of prayer is to express our submission to the sovereignty of God and our trust in His faithfulness.
Prayer is the means by which we express all that is in our hearts to our loving and wise heavenly Father. Prayer is not to give God information, because God knows everything.
Prayer brings us into reverent communion with our Creator, worshipping Him and acknowledging Him as the Giver of all things.
A. FOR THE BELIEVER, PRAYER IS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE THAT MUST BE DEVELOPED INTO A SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE
1. What did the disciples ask of Jesus in Luke 11:1?
It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”
2. Read Romans 8:26
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
a. According to the Apostle Paul, who assists us in our prayers?
b. In light of that, what should we do when we are not sure what to pray for?
B. REMEMBER: CHRISTIANITY IS NOT JUST A BUNCH OF BIBLE KNOWLEDGE; IT IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD! PRAYER THEN, IS AN EXCHANGE OF INTIMACY WITH GOD! LEARN TO RELISH IN IT — NOT DRUDGE IT! THE SCRIPTURE TELLS US GOD IS VERY INTERESTED IN OUR PERSONAL STRUGGLES
1. What does Psalm 34:15 say about the Lord?
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry.
2. What did David bring before God in prayer in Psalm 142:2?
I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him.
3. How are we encouraged to approach God per Hebrews 4:16?
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
4. Though we have the privilege of access, what caution does Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 advise?
Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.
5. What comfort does 1Peter 5:6-7 offer believers?
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
C. PRAYER IS EFFECTIVE. PRAYER CAN CHANGE SITUATIONS — AND PEOPLE. WE ARE ENCOURAGED TO PRAY EXPECTING RESULTS
1. For whom and for what purpose did the Church pray in Acts 12:5?
So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.
2. How did God answer their prayers according to Acts 12:7?
And, behold, the angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell: and he struck Peter’s side, and woke him up, saying, ‘Get up quickly. And his chains fell off his hands.
3. Besides answers, what else does God grant to those who pray according to Philippians 4:6-7?
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.
“THE EFFECTIVE PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN CAN ACCOMPLISH MUCH.”
Are you a passionate prayer warrior or are your prayers reminiscent of cold mush? Reflective of this serious form of prayer is crying. No less than seven times in Scripture is crying associated with answered prayer (cf.
Psalm 18:6; 34:6; 102:1; Isaiah 24:14; Lamentations 2:19; Joel 1:14 and Matthew 15:22).
A. THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE, GOD ENCOURAGES AND COMMANDS BELIEVERS TO PERSEVERE IN PRAYER
1. Luke 18:1 states,
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart. The disciples were taught that they should always pray, and not . . .
2. What is God’s will for believers in Christ Jesus per 1Thessalonians 5:17?
Pray without ceasing.
3. When should believers pray per Ephesians 6:18?
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.
B. THE BIBLE IS GOD’S HANDBOOK ON PRAYER. IN IT YOU WILL DISCOVER MANY GUIDELINES TO HELP YOU DEVELOP THE PRACTICE OF PRAYER
1. What did Jesus teach His disciples to expect if they persisted in prayer per Luke 11:5-10?
Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.
’ “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. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.
2. What does Jesus teach as a requirement for answered prayer per John 15:7?
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
3. According to 1John 5:14, what is our confidence as we pray?
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
4. List some of the hindrances to answered prayer.
a. Psalm 66:18
If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
b. James 4:3
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
c. 1Peter 3:7
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
A. PRAYER CAN BE HARD WORK. THAT SHOULD NOT KEEP US FROM PRAYING, EVEN WHEN IT REQUIRES SACRIFICE
1. How long did Jesus pray before he selected the twelve apostles per Luke 6:12?
It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.
2. Describe the intensity of Jesus as He prayed in the garden per Luke 22:44.
And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
3. What should believers be careful to do when we devote ourselves to prayer per Colossians 4:2?
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
B. EVEN WHEN WE ARE FRUSTRATED OR DISCOURAGED, WE CAN STILL APPROACH GOD IN PRAYER
1. Why was David discouraged according to Psalm 13:1-2?
How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
2. What was David’s complaint in Psalm 22:2?
O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest.
C. PRAYER IS GOVERNED BY GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY, AND HIS PURPOSE DETERMINES HIS ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS
1. Read 2Corinthians 12:7-9.
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
a. What did Paul pray for?
b. How many times did he pray for it?
c. Did he receive what he asked for? Why or why not?
2. Read Mark 14:35-36.
And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”
a. What did Jesus ask of the Father concerning His “hour” of suffering?
b. Yet, what was He willing to do?
Compose a simple prayer following the ACTS model above.
SURRENDER YOUR REQUESTS TO GOD’S WISE AND LOVING PLAN, ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR WILLINGNESS TO RECEIVE HIS ANSWER WITH THANKFULNESS.
2Corinthians 4:16 states
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”
Secrets of the Saints: 5 Powerful Prayers to Jesus in the Eucharist
In the United States, today is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ!
The saints are unanimous in centering their lives on Jesus in the Eucharist. From their deep interior devotion, some of them composed prayers, left as examples for the rest of us. The five prayers below are words for us when don’t know what we ought to say.
Maybe try praying one of them today!
1) St. Ignatius of Loyola – Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.Body of Christ, save me.Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.O good Jesus, hear me.Within Thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.In the hour of my death, call me.And bid me come to Thee.That with Thy saints I may praise Thee.
Forever and ever. Amen.
2) St. Catherine of Siena – A Prayer to Jesus in the Eucharist
O boundless charity!Just as you gave us yourself,wholly God and wholly man,so you left us all of yourself as foodso that while we are pilgrims in this lifewe might not collapse in our weariness
but be strengthened by you, heavenly food.
O mercenary people!And what has your God left you?He has left you himself,wholly God and wholly man,
hidden under the whiteness of this bread.
O fire of love!Was it not enough to gift uswith creation in your image and ness,and to create us anew to grace in your Son’s blood,without giving us yourself as food,the whole of divine being,
the whole of God?
What drove you?Nothing but your charity,
mad with love as you are!
Pierce, O most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, mine inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of Thy love, with true, serene, and most holy apostolic charity, that my soul may ever languish and melt with love and longing for Thee, that it may yearn for Thee and faint for Thy courts, and long to be dissolved and to be with Thee.
Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee, the bread of angels, the refreshment of holy souls, our daily and supersubstantial bread, having all sweetness and savor and every delight of taste.
Let my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee, whom the angels desire to look upon, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor.May it ever thirst after Thee, the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the richness of the house of God.
May it ever compass Thee, seek Thee, find Thee, run to Thee, attain to Thee, meditate upon Thee, speak of Thee, and do all things to the praise and glory of Thy Holy name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with readiness and affection, and with perseverance unto the end.
Be Thou alone ever my hope and my whole confidence, my riches, my delight, my pleasure and my joy; my rest and tranquility; my peace, my sweetness and my fragrance; my sweet savor, my food and refreshment; my refuge and my help; my wisdom, my portion, my possession and my treasure, in whom may my mind and my heart be ever fixed and firm, and rooted immovably. Amen.
4) St. Padre Pio – Prayer After Holy Communion
Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light and without You I am in darkness.
Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and always be in Your company.Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me, Lord, as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.
Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close and life passes, death, judgment and eternity approaches.
It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You.
It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!
Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.
Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.
Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.
With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity.
5) St. Alphonsus Liguori – To Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
My Lord Jesus Christ, Who, through the love which You bear toward men, does remain with them day and night in this Sacrament, full of mercy and love, awaiting, inviting and receiving all who come to visit You, I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the Altar.
From the abyss of my nothingness, I adore You. I thank You for all the graces which You have bestowed upon me, particularly for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament, for having given my Your most holy Mother Mary for my advocate, and for having called me to visit You in this church.
I pay my homage to Your most loving Heart for these three ends: first in thanksgiving for this great Gift; second to make amends to You for all the outrages which You do receive in this Sacrament from all Your enemies; third I intend by this visit to adore You in all the places on earth in which You are present in this Sacrament and in which You are the least honored and the most abandoned.
My Jesus, I love You with my whole heart. I am sorry for having offended Your infinite goodness so many times. I purpose, with the help of Your grace, never more to offend You; and, at this moment, mniserable as I am, I consecrate my whole being to You.
I give You my entire will, all my affections and desires and all that I have. From this day forward, do what You will with me and with everything that belongs to me.
I ask and desire only Your holy love, the gift of final perseverance and the perfect fulfillment of Your will. I commend to You the souls in Purgatory, particularly those who were most devoted to the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary; and I also commend to You all poor sinners.
Finally, my dear Savior, I unite all my affections with the affections of Your most loving Heart; and thus united, I offer them to Your Eternal Father, and I entreat Him, in Your Name and for Your sake, to accept and answer them.
[See also: 5 Myths About the Eucharist that Too Many People Still Believe (Maybe Even You!)]
[See also: Where the Eucharist is Hidden in the Lord’s Prayer]