Thursday, October 20, 2011
"PRAYER AND BIBLE STUDY"- Disciplines of Holiness and Christian Living
Good Evening to All!
As I stated in my post Tuesday, I am expounding on the basic disciplines which are integral parts of Christian living according to God's Word. Remember, having a Bible does NO GOOD if you don't read it.
The First one is Prayer. There are several passages that back this up. I will quote some of them, but a lot of the passages are so long, I thought it might be better to allow you to look them up as you have the time to really concentrate and think about what God is saying. This list begins with Matthew 6:5-15. Basically, this passage is saying how we should not make a "show" or spectacle of ourselves when we pray. It says those people who do that are as hypocrites. This passage also gives us an EXAMPLE of how to pray. Which is the "Lord's Prayer.
About this picture... it caught my eye because this is what all parents and grandparents should be teaching their children and grandchildren. How to pray. Children learn by examples. What kind of example are you setting as far as your relationship with God?
This is not saying that we necessarily have to say the Lord's Prayer word for word. It is a pattern on how we should pray.
(1) Praise and Sovereignty -Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed by thy name (means to revere Him) to regard with respect tinged with awe. (2) Submission and Invitation - Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, (We submit all of this to Him. It is an act of dependence.) (3) Petition and Provision - Give us this day our daily bread.
( I have heard two different meanings of this) (1) it is talking about the manna (provision-food), and also (2) referring to God's Word as "bread". (4) Confession and Forgiveness - Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. (Confession, and forgive is in the same measure ) In other words, we must forgive just as much as we need forgiving. (5) Spiritual Protection - Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. (6) Praise and Agreement - For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory for ever. (7) Amen - So be it. I give you permission and agree with your ways.
This being said, there are several other scriptures that we need to look at on this subject. Ephesians 6:18 (I will also include the 17th verse as verse 18 starts in the "middle of a thought". "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--...(supplication being an earnest and humble request). 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing. This doesn't mean to constantly be praying aloud. We must always maintain a prayerful heart and attitude. style="font-weight: bold;"> Jude 20-21 states "but you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christi unto eternal life.
Prayer enable s a Christian to receive God's promises as well as spiritual direction and power. God promises to answer the Christian's prayers, supply his needs, deliver him from temptation, and work all things for his good. The scriptures which back this up are Matthew 6:33; 7:7; 17:20; 21:22; John 14:14; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:6, 19). I'm sure you recognize some of these scriptures from reading my other posts. There are several which I use on a frequent basis, such as Matthew 6:33 which is Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Philippians 4:19 is another: And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
To receive these promises, he must ask in faith, from a repentant heart, in God's will and not from carnal desires (Psalm 66:18; James 1:5-8; 4:2-3; 5:16; 1 John 3:20-22; 5:14-15).
The Next one I would like to discuss is Bible Study. I think this may be one of the least talked about by people but is a VERY IMPORTANT one. The scriptures that speak to us about this subject are (Psalm 119:11, 16, 105; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17). To know truth, perform God's will, and overcome temptation, a Christian MUST read, study, meditate on, and learn God's Word. If we are not well-versed in the Bible, we make it too easy to allow ourselves to be deceived. If we don't read the Word for ourselves, then anyone could tell us anything, and we would not know any better than to believe them and they could be false prophets, or "wolves in sheep's clothing. I f you will remember, when The Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, His reply to everyone of Satan's enticements were "it is written . . . . meaning He knew God's Word, as should we when Satan comes against us.
These are just two of the seven Disciplines of Holiness and Christian Living, but I will expand on the others at a later date, as I don't want you to get tired and not want to read anymore about them, because these are definitely important points. I know a lot of you may be thinking that what I have been saying is common sense, and everyone should already know this, and you are probably correct. I am going over these things to put them fresh on your minds again.
I think it is possible for people to get so used to getting into a routine that we start doing it more out of habit, rather than for the purpose intended. We start just "going through the motions rather than really thinking about what we are doing and why we are doing it. I know because I have caught myself doing it and had to shake myself and remember what I was doing and why I was doing it.
Good Night to All and May God Bless!