Portraits of Kingdom Living – Lesson Eleven
Power Through Prayer
_____________’s Life of Prayer
(Write your name in the blank.)
We are concluding our study on the Portraits of the Kingdom by concentrating on making our life a life of prayer. We looked at the life of prayer of Jesus, and that of Elijah. This week the study is going to be very different. The goal this week is to help you establish a consistent time of prayer. Each day there are pages to guide you in your own person time of prayer. The title this week has YOUR name on it. This is probably the most important lesson of the study thus far. Will you take the time to work on your prayer life? It’s not that hard, it just takes discipline…and praise God that we have been given a Spirit of discipline and self control (II Timothy 1:7).
Listen to these words written by Andrew Murray:
“Lord teach us to pray.” No one can teach like Jesus. A pupil needs a teacher who know his work, who has the gift of teaching, who in patience and love will descend to the pupil’s needs. Blessed be God! Jesus is all this and much more. It is Jesus, praying Himself, who teaches us to pray. He knows what prayer is. He learned it amid the trials and tears of His earthly life. In heaven it is still His beloved work. His life there is prayer. Nothing delights Him more than to find those who He can take with Him into the Father’s presence, clothing them with power to pray down God’s blessing to those around them, training them to be His fellow-workers in the intercession by which the Kingdom is to be revealed on earth.
Isn’t that encouraging? We studied this in Lesson 9, and now we are going to put it in to practice! (See Matthew 7:24.)
Remember, Satan does not want us to pray, so he is going to fight hard to discourage you in the next seven days. . . .but resist and he will flee!
Listen to these words of Samuel Chadwick:
Satan dreads nothing but prayer. The church that lost its Christ was full of good works. Activities are multiplied that meditation may be ousted, and organizations are increased that prayer may have no chance. Souls may be lost in good works, as surely as in evil ways. The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.
So, the challenge is to pray every day, for at least 15 to 30 minutes, for seven days. You will soon discover that fifteen minutes is not enough! But, let’s start there. To help you get started, decide right now:
- When I am going to pray?
- Where I am going to pray?
- If I miss my preferred time, I will pray:
Andrew Murray also said, “No man can expect to make progress in holiness who is not often and long alone with God.”
But when you pray, go in to your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
–Jesus, Matthew 6:6
There have been many great tools taught on how to pray. One of the easiest ways was presented by Jill Briscoe. For this week we will borrow her pattern (which closely resembles that taught by Jesus). It is simply looking ABOVE, WITHIN, AROUND, ABROAD.
For this week, we will be writing out the main thoughts of our prayer, just so we can get the idea. This may be a habit you will enjoy keeping in the future. Don’t be afraid to write, this is between you and the Lord only.
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed (holy) be Thy Name.
This is our FOCUS time. Praising God for who He is and thanking Him for what He has done. It’s important to stay in this aspect of prayer until your mind is focused on the greatness of God. You may want to use the Psalms to help you praise Him.
Suggestions: Use any of the Psalms that help you to focus. Proverbs are great too.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.
Lead us not in to temptation, but deliver us from evil.
This is our time of CONFESSION, CLEANSING and COMMITMENT, making sure that we are clean before the Lord and that there is nothing hindering our fellowship with Him. The more specific and honest you are in this time, the deeper your intimacy will go with your Father. Remember, without honesty, there can be no intimacy.
Suggestions: Pray Psalm 139:23-24 and then wait quietly as the Lord speaks to your heart. Use I John 1:9 to assure you that you have been forgiven and cleansed.
Use Romans 12:1-2 as a guide to center you within God’s will.
Give us this day our daily bread,
This is our time we pray for those in our immediate circle. Our families, close friends, and those God has placed on our hearts. Pray for those who influence you directly; your teachers, pastors and leaders. We will use some of the prayers of Paul to help guide us with these loved ones. Record your requests daily. Remember to not only pray for their physical needs but also their spiritual growth. You may want to assign 2-4 people per day so you can thoroughly pray for their needs.
Suggestions: Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-20; Philippians 1:9-11; 2:1-16; Colossians 1:9-14, 3:1-17
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
This is the time to pray for the world. Pray for the lost, the hurting, the persecuted. Pray for missionaries you know or have heard about. Pray for our community, our government, our youth, etc. This is called prayer of intercession, and it is desperately needed. Don’t pray for every person every day, but spread them out over the week.
Suggestions: I Thessalonians 2:13; 4:3-8; II Thessalonians 2:16; 3:1-5; II Timothy 4:1-5. Pick up missionary prayer letters from church and pray for their specific needs.
Pray for the members in your small group, your pastors and church leaders.
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM
AND THE POWER AND
THE GLORY FOREVER AND EVER
DAYS ONE-FIVE “Lord, Jesus, teach me to pray!”
2. Father, I praise you for being. . . .
3. Father, I thank you for. . . .
1. Read Psalm 139:23-24; I John 1:9.
2. Lord, help me to… (Romans 12:1-2)
Today, I am praying for…
Be joyful always; pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18
- What if I miss my planned time? Find another 15 minutes later in the day. Plan to get up 15 minutes earlier tomorrow. Don’t just skip it! Ask God to show you some time you didn’t know you had.
- How do I keep my mind from wandering? Ask God to help you to concentrate. Talk to Him briefly about whatever it is that is distracting you; keep a scratchpad close by and jot yourself a note and then leave it until later.
- What about children who interrupt? Try to find a time where you can be completely alone, but if that is not possible, be creative. Talk to them about what you are doing and the importance of it. Let them join you if they want. Have a special toy that they only get to play with during your prayer time. Let them watch a Veggie Tales. Don’t give up!
- What if I still feel like my prayers are going nowhere? Keep praying. Don’t give up. (See Galatians 6:7-9.) It is not easy, and it is a process. Remember this is God’s time, not yours. Don’t be afraid of silence. Make sure you have no un-confessed sin, or that there is not a relational issue that you are ignoring. (See Matthew 5:23.)
IDEAS AND RESOURCES
1. Set aside one night a week to turn everything off—the phone, the television, the stereo, and the computer. You can use this time to pray, read, study, pray as a family, or just be still.
2. Start a notebook to record your prayers as outlined this week.
3. Read great books and biographies on prayer. Here’s a list to get you started:
With Christ in the School of Prayer by: Andrew Murray
Prayer That Works by: Jill Briscoe
Prayer by: E. M. Bounds
Praying God’s Word by: Beth Moore
Alone With God by: John MacArthur, Jr.
The Great House of God by: Max Lucado
Too Busy Not to Pray by: Bill Hybels
Partners in Prayer John Maxwell
4. Biographies on John Mueller or Hudson Taylor
The Apostle Paul knew what a battle it is to walk consistently with the Lord. Prayer is our strongest weapon and our biggest challenge. Listen to what he says from I Corinthians 9. Will this be your testimony concerning prayer?
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
ARE YOU READY FOR THE BATTLE? PRAISE GOD HE IS!
About the author
I've been a Bible Study teacher for years! I LOVE God's word and am thrilled when others fall in love with it too. However, I've noticed that too many of us stop at the 'information' part of study and don't take the time for the 'transformational' power of lingering with the Living Word. I hope you will journey with me as we listen to what the Spirit in us longs to teach us as we pay attention to His Voice. May God richly bless you with deep roots in Him.View all articles by: Grace Cabalka
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