En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Archive for the ‘prayer’ Category

A Christian’s work…borrowed!

Posted by Scott on March 20, 2009

“The fulfillment of all our need is an activity of the Holy Spirit – and yet, mysteriously, He waits until we ask before He moves!”

“A Christian’s work in never anything but borrowed activity, based on borrowed authority – authority borrowed from God!”

Just remember that “We are forever in need – body, soul and spirit! Only as we walk in continual, step-by-step dependence upon the living God can any of these needs be adequately met. When we fail to pray, we fail to depend on Him. Thus, we condemn ourselves to physical, emotional, and spiritual starvation.”

-Ray C. Stedman “Talking With the Father”

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Don’t stand next to the edge and you won’t fall in!

Posted by Scott on March 18, 2009

Another portion of the model prayer that Jesus used to teach His disciples, is “Lead us not into temptation”. Luke 11:2-4 Jesus used a shorter version of the model prayer to teach them with. The first part of any prayer should deal with God, who He is, His character, His holiness and our relationship with Him. However, in the second part of the prayer we are to deal with our shortcomings, our sin, our forgiveness of sin as well as us forgiving others for their ills against us or even things owed to us, our attitude, our indebtedness, and our selfishness.

What is temptation anyway? I have found from the Greek original text can be an enticement, trial, trouble, an affliction, an adversity, to make stumble into a situation to sin, an examination. The “temptation” is not what the sin is, however, it is what we do with the temptation that can become the sin, the shortcoming, the unlawful act. As it is revealed to us, all Christians, will be tempted…there is no escape from it on a daily basis. It is a necessary part of the Believer’s life in order to become the instruments or vessels God will use. These most difficult and trying situations come in our lives to see how we will react and to build upon. These discouraging events in our lives are there to build us up in Christ, strengthen us in Him, and ultimately deliver us into victory.

Why should we ask God not to lead us into temptation if it is a necessary part of life? That is a very good question. So, let’s jump into that end of the pool for a moment. Remember, Matthew 4:1 it tells that “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil”. So, why should we ask not to be lead into temptation? Well, as one mentor would say he thinks Jesus meant, “we should pray to be kept from unrecognized temptations”. If we know a temptation is coming, then we can prepare for it in prayer and be resistant to it…as we resist it becomes a source of strengthening and growth. However, many places we go and find ourselves at we may not be able to discern a temptation in that moment without asking the Lord to keep us from that temptation in the first place. Many times we fall into temptation and end up sinning, because it has caught us off guard and we had not prayed.

Look at Peter the day Jesus was taken prisoner and crucified. Jesus asked him to pray with Him in the garden. What did Peter do, slept. Peter could not stay awake. Jesus was not asking Peter to pray for Him, but to pray for himself and to use the teachings on prayer that Jesus had taught Peter just days before. Peter was not “prayed up”, as some call it, for the events about to take place in his life and the life of Christ.

What happened that night in the garden…Peter ended up chopping off a soldier’s servant’s ear to which Jesus had to miraculously put back on the servants head. Then near the courts, when Peter was confronted, he failed again and cursed Jesus and denied any involvement with Jesus or that he knew Him at all. Peter should have prayed before all this, but he learned a valuable lesson on why he needed to pray daily and pray that he would not be lead into unforeseen temptations. In Peter’s case, Ray Stedman said “Satan wrung out his courage and hung him up to dry”. We certainly do not want to be caught in this same situation. Jesus has told us how to pray to our God, now, we must simply put that into action.

So, when we pray as we should, we need to think while we pray about what we are praying. Use this prayer a guide to keep us on track and in proper order to be in God’s will. I understand times when we are mumbling to God out of despair, when we cry out in a humble situation, and that takes on a different type of prayer. This is dealing with our daily communication with our heavenly Father. When we come to this part of our prayer time, we are simply recognizing that we are foolishly weak and that we constantly battle to stay out of trouble. We need to admit this and ask God for His assistance in keeping us from the edge of the “well of sin”…show us where the edge is, so that we can stay far away from the edge. If we are not playing at the edge, then it is good to say we will not fall in.

Scott Bailey © 2009

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What is behind that ugly scaffolding?

Posted by Scott on March 13, 2009

“Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never-failing skill

He treasures up His bright designs,

And works His sovereign will.”


Back in the mid 1980’s the United States underwent the straining task of rehabilitating the Statue of Liberty.  It had been around 100 years since much had been done to the statue.  Private donations were sought after years before and finally they had the money to get it started.  In 1984 the largest free-standing scaffold ever assembled at over 300 feet in the air over Liberty Island was assembled.  This metal scaffolding boxed the nearly 100 hundred year old statue in.  The scaffolding was ugly of course to anyone looking at the statue from the outside, but what a tremendous work was being done on the other side of it.  The crew that worked on the statue cleaned her copper skin, repaired holes and tears in her body.  On July 4, 1984 the original torch had to be removed and replaced with a new one, because the old one was beyond repair.  A major overhaul was underway.

In our lives, we can find ourselves in despair and tragedy.  We may find ourselves out of work, in a divorce situation, child very sick, a parent with an illness, or whatever trauma event you can fathom.  The point is, any of us Believers will find ourselves behind the scaffolding of God’s mighty and sovereign work at some point in our lives and possibly more than once. 

In our prayer life, in keeping with another portion of Christ model prayer to us, “Your kingdom come” is the cry to heaven.  We all dream and yearn for the day when God will rule in righteousness over this entire earth again…free from sin and torment.  Also, this cry out to God that His will be done now, in the middle of our torment, trials, sweat, blood, and tears in this life.  Our hope is not just our future home in heaven, but our kingdom hope concerns our trials right now being used as a greater part of God’s sovereign plan.

This kingdom, much of the time, is built by God in total secret.  Understand this, that God is much of the time accomplishing most of His plan when it is the least evident to us that He is even doing anything.  He puts up the scaffolding of what we can call trials, tragedies, turmoil, suffering, or despair.  Then in the midst of that, He starts cleaning us up, “building His empire of love and glory”.  We will catch ourselves thinking God is silent in our lives, He has removed Himself from us, He no longer likes us, we cannot sense the warmth of His presence anymore and so on.  It is at this juncture of our lives that we can rest assured God is at His greatest work accomplishing the greatest good for us, for others, all the while accomplishing His perfect eternal sovereign plan.

Sir Winston Churchill of England found himself behind a very ugly scaffolding system in the 1930’s.  He had served the British military most of his young adult life, served in the parliament for years, and finally found himself at 56 years of age banished from parliament altogether with no influence on his party and no favor left with much of the British people.  He went back to his home at Chartwell, built walls, painted, played with his children and grandchildren and occupied his time as best he could keeping up with what was going on around the globe especially in Germany.  This was to be his greatest wilderness time and being behind the ugliness of the scaffolding around him was hard to bear.  However, it would turn out once the scaffolding was removed to be he and Britain’s finest hour.  Churchill emerged in 1940 as the wisest man Britain had ever known with his foresight on Hitler.  In late 1940, Churchill was again back in Parliament and ready to take Britain on to victory in WWII.

For most of us, we may never see a time as great as Sir Winston Churchill’s.  We may never be known by the millions of people in our country or around the world.  But whatever scaffolding God has placed around you, rest assure, God is at work in your life and whatever emerges once the scaffolding has been taken down, will be of His sovereign perfect will…it will be of His perfect plan.  You will be made ready to take on whatever God calls you to do. 

Remember, the scaffolding is only temporary…it is the secret work in our lives by the Master Builder.  Much like on July 4, 1986, when the scaffolding around the Statue of Liberty had been removed, a tremendous piece of work emerged and a great celebration was given…our lives will be much the same way.  Our God never leaves His sheep, He never leaves His people or His Church to the wolves…He is always at work in our lives for our greater good and His ultimate glory.  Through this we pray, “Your Kingdom come”!



“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”  -Psalm 127:1

Scott Bailey © 2009

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What Are You Hiding in the Corners of Your Closet?

Posted by Scott on March 13, 2009

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” -Psalm 19:14

Some of the darkest areas of any house are in the closets, especially, a corner of the closet underneath the stairs. The kids love to play in the closet underneath the stairs. It is a secret place, dark, even cozy for some, a place to hide or get away from it all and a place to hide our most precious valuables.

In our spiritual life, think about the darkest corners of your life. What closet is it that holds the ugly smelly skeletons of our life we want no one to know about? I mean, most of us walk through life and especially, our prayer life with a closet or two that we do not want God to go into. We allow him in every other area of our life to clean up and make holy, but these dark, dusty, smelly corners of a particular closet we say…”God don’t go in that area, it belongs to me and I will take care of the corners of that closet.” Of course we do not verbally say that, but if we are really honest, that is exactly what our hearts and minds are saying to God each time we pray, “O Father, holy is Your name.”

We are talking with our heavenly Father, calling Him “Holy or Hallowed” yet we hold back certain areas of our life from Him when we pray. Think for a moment about certain areas that you really have not handed over to God for Him to make holy in your life. It could be a career move, your sex life (hey it is so good now, please don’t try to make my sex life holy that might be weird), money, serving in church, your “things”, your children, your friends and so on. You can name a hundred other areas that could be withheld from the holiness of God making us all hypocrites when we pray “O Father, holy is Your name.”

To pray, “O Father, holy is Your name” is really saying in all honesty, “May the whole of my life be a source of delight to You and may it be an honor to the name which I bear, which is Your name.” The quote above from Psalm 19:14 from David sums this up nicely. It is saying “may we be pleasing to God when we pray, because we have opened up every closet, pulled out every stinking skeleton from those closet’s to be laid out before a holy God, every oozing sin carcass left to rot in the far dark corners of that closet underneath our stairs”. As we go before such a holy Father, we must come to Him leaving nothing behind, holding nothing back, and not hiding anything in any closet. Coming to God and calling Him “holy” is allowing Him to examine every single aspect of your being. Let Him into the tiniest corners of your heart and mind in order to clean it all up. You are allowing Him to create within you a clean and holy life. Is this a perfect life? Absolutely not! However, we are to strive to be a holy vessel before a loving and holy God.

Until we really mean “O Father, holy is Your name” from a stand point of total commitment, total honesty, complete openness…we cannot and will not have any real contact with God, any real touch of the power of His Majesty, any genuine sincere experience of His glorious fragrance and wonder of Him at work in our life. We must place it all out before Him and desire the holiness of God in complete devotion to Him by allowing Him access to all of our lives not just parts of it. This is a cry of helpless trust in God. The focus is off ourselves and placed on a holy God as it should be.

Stand still at this moment in your daily prayer life. Be quiet for a moment after saying “O Father, holy is Your name”. Allow God this moment without rushing to get the prayer over and done with as someone would do a chore. Your prayer time should not be a chore…it should be an honor to even speak to such a holy God and further, to call Him “Father”. This is a moment that we are placing God first in our lives…we are not presenting our problems, our desires first…we are honoring Him first by bowing before Him in holiness.

When we pray with an attitude of total submission to our heavenly Father, we will come to understand that God will enter the darkest corners of our life, the places the stink from our sin is so bad we do not even want to go there and clean it up and our Lord, our heavenly holy Father will clean those areas out and make us a holy vessel He can now use. We could pray something like this:

“Father, there is no area of my life that I hide from You. Search me; illuminate the darkest corners of my life. Reveal to me the flaws and sin in my relationships, my social life, my sex life, my thought life, my business life, my school life, my recreation and vacation time, my ________ (you name the others).

This is getting brutally honest about our sin and our desire before God that we want to be holy, too. In 1 John 1:7, John tell us, “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” Well, to walk in the light means that we are willing to walk honestly and openly before God, so that the light of His truth can illuminate or light us up and clean the darkest of the dark corners of our lives.

So, when you pray next time, think about this small beginning in your prayer time. Open up to God by being honest. Let Him into those darkest parts of your heart and mind. Let Him clean those up for you. I think we will all see tremendous changes in our prayer lives and our daily lives we live for Him.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Prayer Time Starts with God!

Posted by Scott on March 11, 2009

Jesus told the disciples to start their prayers off by addressing our heavenly Father, our Dad! He should be first in our prayer life, always. By doing this it often exposes a few flaws or weaknesses in our own prayers, because how often do they start with us rushing in immediately spewing out before God our laundry list of troubles. Here are a few things to remember in the beginning of our prayers:

1. Slow down, stay calm and gaze upon our Father in all His greatness, holiness, and glory. By doing this, we receive an immediate calm spirit to go throughout the rest of our prayer time. He is our Father, our heavenly Dad, but remember He is holy most of all.

2. By starting out as Jesus taught by addressing our holy Father it helps to eliminate several misconceptions about God up front. Real authentic prayer is never coming to God as the Chairman of the Benevolence Committee, the Priest behind the vail during our confession session, or our personal Banker to help finance our latest projects or concerns. He is our Father and we must come to Him as a child comes to their earthly father, but with much more respect I might add.

3. Our God possesses a father’s heart, love, power, and concern for his children. This is an intimate conversation with our holy Dad, our heavenly Father. A child will isten for their father and run to him in complete trust and simplicity. But a young child is also very frank with their dad as well. God wants us to come to Him like a young child, with a young child’s faith…otherwise it is not faith nor is it true prayer.

4. By understanding that we are coming to our heavely Father, this shows us one of the truest natures of our God. He is a father, not some old blind man floating on a cloud or a force behind a curtain pulling levers and trying to keep everything on track, or an impersonal spirit that comes and goes. Our heavenly Father is very personal with us. He is all about love and relationships. He gives a careful listening ear to His children and what we say.

5. He is a patient and tender father we can really believe in. By addressing Him as our Father from our entire being not just our lips, it is saying we believe He is our Father and we are trying to relate to Him as our Father. Understand this belief is not some intellectual agreement with God, but we are actually committed in our entire life to Him from deepest parts of our soul.

This is where true authentic earth shaking prayer begins. Jesus taught His disciples to begin their prayer time like this and we should do no less. Start off as though you are setting down beside your dad and going to have an intimate, loving conversation with him…it is the same with our heavenly Father.

Scott Bailey 2009

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A Prayer for all us on Prayer!

Posted by Scott on March 10, 2009

“Father, what can we say in this hour but to cry out as the disciples cried out, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ Teach us our need. Tear away this vail from our eyes that makes us think we have any adequacy in ourselves. Deliver us from this satanic delusion, this widespread worldly philosophy that our knowledge, our education, our training can provide an adequate background for activity. Give us instead a conscious sense of dependence on You, an awareness that nothing we do will have any lasting value apart from daily, hourly, intimate communion with You.” -Ray C. Stedman

In Christ we all pray, AMEN!

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The Simple Prayer Life!

Posted by Scott on March 8, 2009

In learning how to have a Christlike prayer life, we need to approach every aspect of life in prayer…when we take a walk we can pray about it, when we are about to make a phone call-ask the Lord to direct what you say, when you type an email to someone-ask God to direct what you say and how you say it, etc. Approach each area of life by saying “Lord, I can’t do one thing apart from You. Father, with Your power and might, please, do this ‘thing’ through me.”

One time someone ask a dear older lady what her “prayer method” was? She simply replied, I don’t know nothin’ about method. I just pray like this:

When I wash my clothes, I pray, “Lord, wash my heart clean.”
When I iron the clothes, I pray, “Lord, iron out all these troubles I can’t do nothin about.”
When I sweep the floor, I pray, “Lord, sweep all the corners of my life like I am sweepin the corners of this floor.”

This is being in an attitude of constant prayer…and this is a real prayer life all day long.


Scott Bailey (c) 2009

*story was found in Ray C. Stedman’s “Talking With the Father” book.

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An Upside Down Prayer is Ok!

Posted by Scott on March 2, 2009

The tax collector’s prayer in Luke 18 was genuine, but many then and today may not think so. He did not take the proper position, was not loud and lofty as the Pharisee. His prayer simply went like this from a distance, looking down at the floor, beating his chest in shame he said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” How in the world could God listen to this prayer of such a vile sinner? I thought this little story was great in light of the tax collectors prayer:

“The proper way for a man to pray,” said Deacon Lemuel Keyes, “And the only proper attitude is down upon his knees.”

“No, I should say the way to pray,” said Reverend Doctor Wise. “Is standing straight with outstretched arms and rapt and upturned eyes.”

“Oh, no, no, no,” said Elder Slow. “Such posture is too proud. A man should pray with eyes fast-closed and head contritely bowed.”

“It seems to me his hands should be austerely clasped in fron with both thumbs pointing toward the ground.” said Reverend Doctor Blunt.

“Last year I fell into Higekin’s water well headfirst,” said Cyrus Brown. “With both my heels a-stickin up and my head a-pointin down. “And I made a prayer right then and there, the best prayer I ever said, the prayingest prayer I ever prayed, a-standin on my head.”

Cyrus Brown and the tax collector can identify with each other. God is not looking for elegant speech, breathy words, a particular position or anything of the kind…God is interested in a sincere and earnest prayer from deep within our gut that matters not where we are or who we are, just sincere…God is listening for us and wants to hear from us and act on our behalf.


Scott Bailey (c) 2009


*Story found in the late Ray C. Stedman’s book, “Talking with the Father”.

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It Isn’t Fair!

Posted by Scott on February 28, 2009

An old missionary couple was returning to the states from the mission field in Africa. After years of service, they both contemplated their situation. With absolutely no retirement put away since they did not belong to any mission boards, no job prospects, no friends in New York, etc. they just did not know how they would make it. Also, their health was not so good either, so they were beginning to worry.

As they began to pass by the Statue of Liberty a band started to play and a crowd of well wishers begin to cheer as another passenger on this ship was President Teddy Roosevelt. The old missionary told his wife, “Here we have served the Lord faithfully for years and for what? No one even knows we are here, yet the President returns from a hunting exhibition in Africa and everyone greets his return home. It just is not fair.”

The old missionaries wife just comforted him until they arrived at the port. Once at the port the crowd grew larger and louder for the returning President. The old missionary and his wife slipped through the crowd into the city unnoticed. They rented a little flat on the east side of town and began looking for someway to make a living. One night the old missionary snapped. He jumped to his feet and said that he had had enough.

“God is not fair. We have served Him for years, risking our lives without anything to show for it.”

The old missionaries wife told her husband that he should go and tell God about it. So, that is exactly what he did. After an hour or so on his knees struggling in prayer, the old missionary returned and seemed to be different…he was changed to the notice of his wife. He was calm and collected with a smile on his face. His wife ask him if he had told God of His unfairness to them.

“The Lord settled it with me”, he said.

The old missionary said further, “Yes, I did exactly that. I unloaded my entire years of trials, service, and thanklessness to Him. I told Him that no one welcomed us home, no crowds or cheers for serving Him. Once I was finished, it was just like God placed His big hand on my shoulder and said in a soft simple voice ‘But your not home yet!”

God does reward His people, but it is not always rewarded here on this earth. We may not have a fan fare here on this earth, but angels in heaven will rejoice when we finally return home to be with the Lord someday from this earthly mission field. All of our service for Christ has not gone unnoticed to the heavenlies.

Moral of the story here is that we have no claim on God by reason of service. We are not to try and hold God hostage because of some great things we think we have done for Him. Serving Christ is our duty and we have no right to demand anything of God in our prayer time because of some service we have done. Prayer is not about listing our accomplishment before Him, but of pouring out our hearts before Him and listening to His answer, His call. Receving His promises, His comfort, and desiring to praise Him and glorify Him even more. Prayer is a time of growing closer to our God and be instructed by His smooth voice.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009
Story found written in Ray C. Stedman’s book “Talking with the Father”.

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A New Testament Guide on What We Should Pray For in 2009?

Posted by Scott on January 1, 2009

What Should We Pray For?

One way to answer this question is to look at what the early church prayed for. Here is a list gathered from the New Testament. It can guide you in how you pray. I suggest that periodically you pray through this list just to test whether your prayers are leaving out anything the New Testament included. We don’t have to pray all of these each time we pray. But over time it would be good if our prayers had the breadth and depth of the New Testament prayers.

They called on God to exalt his name in the world.

Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name (Matthew 6:9).

They called on God to extend his kingdom in the world.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10 ).

They called on God that the gospel would run and triumph.

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

They called on God for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13; cf. Ephesians 3:19).

They called on God to vindicate his people in their cause.

And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? (Luke 18:7).

They called on God to save unbelievers.

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved (Romans 10:1).

They called on God to direct the use of the sword.

“Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying through all prayer and supplication on every occasion . . .” (Ephesians 6:17-18)

They called on God for boldness in proclamation.

Pray at all times in the Spirit . . . and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:18-19)

And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness (Acts 4:29).

They called on God for signs and wonders.

And now Lord . . . grant your servants to speak thy word with boldness . . . while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:30).

Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit (James 5:17 -18).

They called on God for the healing of wounded comrades.

Let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick man and the Lord will raise him up (James 5:14-15).

They called on God for the healing of unbelievers.

It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery; and Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him (Acts 28:8).

They called on God for the casting out of demons.

And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer” (Mark 9:29)

They called on God for miraculous deliverances.

So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church . . . When he realized [he had been freed], he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying (Acts 12:5,12).

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake (Acts 16:25-26).

They called on God for the raising of the dead.

But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up (Acts 9:40).

They called on God to supply his troops with necessities.

Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).

They called on God for strategic wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him (James 1:5).

They called on God to establish leadership in the outposts.

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed (Acts 14:23).

They called on God to send out reinforcements.

Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest (Matthew 9:38).

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off (Acts 13:2-3).

They called on God for the success of other missionaries.

I appeal to you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, (Romans 15:30-31).

They called on God for unity and harmony in the ranks.

I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:20-21).

They called on God for the encouragement of togetherness.

[We are] praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? (1 Thessalonians 3:10).

They called on God for a mind of discernment.

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more in with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9-10).

They called on God for a knowledge of his will.

And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9).

They called on God to know him better.

[We have not ceased to pray for you to be] increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10 ; cf. Ephesians 1:17 ).

They called on God for power to comprehend the love of Christ.

I bow my knees before the Father . . . that you may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:14,18).

They called on God for a deeper sense of assured hope.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers . . . that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:16,18).

They called on God for strength and endurance.

[We have not ceased to pray for you to be] strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (Colossians 1:11 ; cf. Ephesians 3:16).

They called on God for deeper sense of his power within them.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers . . . that you may know . . . what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1:16, 19).

They called on God that their faith not be destroyed.

I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren (Luke 22:32).

Watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21:36).

They called on God for greater faith.

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 ; cf. Ephesians 3:17).

They called on God that they might not fall into temptation.

Lead us not into temptation (Matthew 6:13).

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).

They called on God that he would complete their resolves.

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

They called on God that they would do good works.

[We have not ceased to pray for you that you] lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work (Colossians 1:10).

They called on God or forgiveness for their sins.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors (Matthew 6:12).

They called on God for protection from the evil one.

Deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13).

© Desiring God

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

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