faith

bible study ~ growing through prayer

growing through prayer

Our ladies’ Bible study group consists of a wonderful group of women who desire to know more of God, and to build deeper relationships with one another.  We enjoy growing together in our walk with the Lord as we study His word throughout the week and discuss the ways He’s touched us when we meet for our study night.  We’ve, most recently, been working through Love God Greatly’s Growing Through Prayer study.

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I found these awesome Kraft paper spiral notebooks with the page of sticky notes at Sears.  They were only $5, but because they were closing (sadly), it turned out to be something like a dollar or two.  I scooped up one for each person at our study.
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Some of my journaling supplies: Crayola Twistables for highlighting in my Bible, mini stamp set (on clearance at Michaels), Micron pen, Illustrated Faith pens (from CBD), Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens, highlighters, file cards for writing prayer requests.

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The front was plain so I dressed it up with a sticker I had from CBD and I wrote the title of our study with a brush pen–not my best work, but hey…also we’re seven weeks in and its a little smudged.

The topic of prayer has been one that I’ve been thinking on for quite some time (see here and here amongst other posts on faith).  It is such a simple task and yet so complex in its fullness.

Prayer is communication with God.  Simple, right?  Yet, there is some mystery surrounding prayer.

God, knowing all things, already knows what we need, what we’ll pray for, what we’re thinking.  So what’s the point of prayer?  Do we change God’s mind when we pray?  Do we change our circumstances when we pray?  I confess I don’t really know the comprehensive answers to these questions.

What I do know is: prayer changes me.  Prayer helps me focus on my awesome God.  Prayer eases the burden I carry.  Prayer gives peace.  Prayer encourages a thankful spirit in me.  Prayer enables me to “do something” in a situation that I cannot work on physically.  And perhaps most importantly, prayer allows me to know God more fully.  It goes right back to communication–a quintessential part of relationship-building and nurturing.  I may know about God from the testimonial of others, but I cannot know God Himself unless I enter into a relationship with Him, experience Him through prayer and His Word.  God tells us that He listens to us and will answer us.

We are heading into our last week of our study, and I must say some of my questions remain a mystery; however, I am struck once again by the importance of prayer.

Prayer is a privilege and a duty.
It is not a religious ritual.

1.  Prayer is communication with God. I speak, He listens.  But it doesn’t stop there!  He then speaks to me as I wait on Him, as I read His word and by the whisper of the Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, prayer is:

  • praise and adoration
  • petitions and supplications (asking for my needs to be met and for others)
  • confession & help in forgiving others
  • spiritual protection, help in resisting temptation
  • confidence in God’s ability to answer
  • for His will to be done
  • for His kingdom-work to be done

I should pray with the right attitude:

  • with reverence
  • directly and simply
  • sincerely
  • unselfishly
  • confidently, boldly
  • with humility
  • with a repentant and forgiving heart

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2.  Prayer is powerful.  We pray to an awesome God!  He is able to do beyond what I imagine! I can pray boldly!  As I studied, I came across a story about Napoleon.  It seems there was a low-ranking officer who approached him with an extraordinary request.  Napoleon, without hesitation granted the request.  When questioned about his generosity, he responded, “He honoured me with the magnitude of the request.”

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3.  Prayer is an ACTIVE pursuit.  I must be diligent.  Vigilant.  Persistent.

 

 

4.  Prayer changes things.  Sometimes God does not change the situation, but He is still doing something.  He may be changing me.  I need to trust Him.  After all, He sees the big picture, I do not.  Sometimes I must wait. His timing is perfect.

 

 

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5.  Prayer is pouring out my heart to Him.  My worries,  My fears,  My praise. My thanks. My failures.  All of it.  The good, the bad and the ugly.

 

 

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These are a few glimpses into our study.  Perhaps I’ll share more in-depth thoughts later.

May we be a praying people!

I’m challenged to be more intentional about prayer.  Are you?

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