He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. LUKE 18:1
Here is something I have learned about prayer that I have not seen mentioned in books on prayer I have read: prayer is meant to be preventative more than remedial. We usually treat prayer as remedial, meaning we pray when we have a need or are in trouble. But in Luke 18:1, Jesus says that at all times we “ought to pray . . . and not lose heart.” In other words, prayer isn’t the last thought; it’s the first thought. It is preventative, not remedial. Also, instead of praying when we are tempted, Jesus says we should pray that we may not “enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). When we are not under pressure and stress, we should be praying so that we might be shored up and defended against the pressures that will come. Until we come to the place of prayer, we will never find release from stress. If we treat prayer as just a religious ritual or option, then we are not truly living in dependence upon God. Prayer is the soul of man crying out in inadequacy to a God who is adequate, a God who is able to do what man cannot.
- Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” MATTHEW 20:28
Like any proud parent, Salome wanted her sons to have seats of honor in the kingdom Jesus was establishing. So she went to Jesus, knelt before Him, and made her request. Jesus recognized that this misguided follower was blinded by the values and ways of the world. He gently responded: “You do not know what you ask.” Then He asked the sons a question: “Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”—a cryptic reference to the cup of His imminent crucifixion and the baptism of His sacrificial death (v. 22). At issue was the radical difference between the kingdom of God and the systems of this world. The world tells us to look out for ourselves; God tells us to give ourselves away. The world tells us to rule; God tells us to serve. The world tells us to be first; God tells us to put others ahead of ourselves. The King of kings came to serve. The world will see Jesus in us when they see us serve. You cannot build God’s kingdom using the worlds methods and values. Let Christ show you where the world has crept in to your thinking, and your heart. - Blackaby Being Still With God
You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: Holiness To The Lord.
Lord God, help me to pursue holiness, without which I will not see You. You are Spirit, and those who worship You must worship in spirit and truth. I am like an unclean thing, and all my righteousnesses are like filthy rags. By those who come near You, Lord God, You must be regarded as holy; and before all the people You must be glorified. This is the law of the temple: the whole area surrounding the mountaintop is most holy. Holiness adorns Your house, O Lord, forever. For my sake, Jesus sanctifies Himself, that I also may be sanctified by the truth. Seeing that I have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, I come boldly to Your throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Thank You for cleansing me by the blood of Your Son. Thank You, Holy God, for welcoming me to Your throne of grace and being the Source of help whatever my needs— spiritual, physical, emotional.
EXODUS 28:36; HEBREWS 12:14; JOHN 4:24; ISAIAH 64:6; LEVITICUS 10:3; EZEKIEL 43:12; PSALM 93:5; JOHN 17:19; HEBREWS 4:14, 16 - Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15–16
These days we are bombarded with opportunities that entice us to invest our time and energy. Each day the voices of urgency cry out for every available moment. So many causes promise that time spent on them will reap great rewards; how can we recognize God's voice among so many competing voices? A fool makes unwise choices with his time. With every new opportunity that comes along, the fool chases off in a different direction, not questioning whether that is the best choice. The loudest voice gains his attention. At some point the fool discovers to his dismay that he has squandered the investment of his time. The days in which you live are evil. Marriages are under tremendous pressure; families are disintegrating. Multitudes are dying each year without hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Investing your life wisely is critical to you and to those around you. Foolishly spending your time in sinful or wasteful pursuits can cost you and others dearly. Often, it is not evil pursuits that rob your time. Rather, the temptation is to sacrifice what is best for what is good. The enemy knows that blatantly tempting you with evil will be obvious, so he will lure you with distractions, leaving you no time to carry out God's will. He will tempt you to so fill your schedule with good things that you have no time for God's best. You may inadvertently substitute religious activity for God's will, pursuing your own goals for God's kingdom instead of waiting for His assignment. Time is a precious commodity. Be sure to invest it wisely. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Yes there's a lot to consider after reading 4 devotionals. But look deeper at the importance of your priorities in life and how prayer is as important as breathing in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ.
I haven't left out Spurgeon. He was asked what's more important reading your Bible or Praying. His response was that very sentiment. What's more important, breathing in or breathing out?
In the first devotional we see Dr. Jeremiah talking about how prayer is a preventative medicine. Look no further than the entire book of Psalms. The Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart. Most of Psalms are prayers!
In the Second we read about right priorities. Servant Leadership is what Jesus did in practice teaching others to do the same. In the rare cases of experiencing it in my life the fruit of it touched everyone and everything towards peace and prosperity.
In the Third, written as a prayer, says :Seeing that I have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, I come boldly to Your throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Thank You for cleansing me by the blood of Your Son. Thank You, Holy God, for welcoming me to Your throne of grace and being the Source of help whatever my needs— spiritual, physical, emotional.
Before ever reading as far as the last devotional that is included today the verse it centers on is what came to mind. "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15–16
Breathing is only important to physical beings. Breathing and water consumption can keep your body going a good long time. Simple enough to understand that prayer is part of your breathing as a believer. Scripture says Jesus is the water.
Daniel writes of his 'practice' of praying three times a day. He kept no secret about it. His enemies in the government knew it and wanted to use that as a means to kill him.
Paul's letters all speak on aspects of his prayers or what's important to pray about, to focus on and to dwell upon.
Simply create an account with LinkedIn and you can easily find millions of misguided people on what constitutes leaders and leadership. The Biblical example is only found there to be read by others only when a Godly person dares to share that.
This world teaches you to value self above all other cares and concerns. To even pray ought to include the needs of others, not just yourself.
We read of the helmet of Salvation, it covers the whole head. That helmet helps keep the mind where it ought to be focused on. This is in Ephesians 6.
If you aren't praying at least daily, why are you Spiritually holding your breath?
When you do pray, is it only about your wants and desires?
When you do pray, are you praying for others?
When you pray...consider your priorities.
Jesus said whomever seeks to be first will be last and the last first.
Mark 10:43-45 "But it is not this way among you; rather, whoever wants to become prominent among you shall be your servant; and whoever wants to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
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