Wait on God 2 (Prayer day 27)

Waiting on the Lord is what transforms prayer from a ritual to a relationship.  Be bold – ask the Lord the difficult questions, and confidently wait for His reply.

Scripture

Habakkuk 1:12-13; 2:1-4 – the prophet’s conversation with the Lord about the cruelties of the Chaldean’s

12  Are you not from everlasting, O LORD? My God, my Holy One, we shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained [the Chaldeans] as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have marked them for correction. 13  You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?…

1  I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. 2  And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. 3  For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. 4  Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith…”

Observation

  1. Israel suffers under the cruelty of the Chaldeans. How does the prophet find comfort in verse 12?
  2. Paraphrase the prophet’s plea to God in your own words (verse 13).
  3. How does Habakkuk prepare himself to get an answer from God in verse 1?
  4. How does God tell Habakkuk to prepare for the answer? (verse 2)
  5. What is [the beginning of] God’s answer to the prophet’s question? (verse 4; to read the rest of the chapter)

Personal Reflection and Application

To wait on the Lord means to confidently expect God to respond to your plea, and to respond favourably.  It speaks of a trust in the faithfulness, goodness and power of God.  The prophet Habakkuk shared his troubled heart with God, and confidently waited for God to answer him.

Is there an injustice, a problem or crisis that troubles your heart? Let’s follow Habakkuk’s lead in prayer:

  1. Confess your confidence in Who God is: his nature and relationship to you (verse 12).
  2. Confidently share your dilemma with God, and freely ask what you want to know (verse 13).
  3. Resolve to wait faithfully “on your post” until the Lord answers you (verse 1). (i.e. come back daily, ask God and search the Scriptures until He answers you).
  4. When the Lord speaks, through either Scripture a vision, in a dream, through His Still voice, etc, write it down (verse 2)! Listen for any instructions.
  5. Thank God for the answer and continue the conversation. Share this experience with a friend.

 

Advertisements

Give us bread – provision (Prayer day 16)

The great Creator and generous Sustainer of his creation. He invites us to ask “give us this day our daily bread.”

Scripture

Psalm 65:1-13 – The Harvest Festival Song of David

1  Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed.

2  O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come.

3  When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions.

4  Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!

5  By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas;

6  the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might;

7  who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples,

8  so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

9  You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it.

10  You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.

11  You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

12  The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,

13  the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

 Observations and reflections

Picture this: This psalm is of a farmer, joyfully pulling his cart full of provision to Jerusalem for the Harvest Feast.

  1. Considering the Psalm’s context, what “vows” and “prayers” might the psalmist have in mind on the way to Jerusalem? (v1-2)
  2. What is his attitude towards his personal sins, as he approaches the temple? (v3-4)
  3. Try to find one phrase to describe for what the Psalmist praises God in
  • Verses 5-8a.
  • Verses 8b-13.
  1. How is each of these praises significant to the Psalmist’s present journey?

Personal reflection and Prayer

Our God is “the One Who Hears Prayers”, the great Creator and generous Sustainer of his creation.

  1. Can you recall a time when you asked God for something you (a) really needed and (b) just desired, and you received it? How did you feel? How did that shape your image of God?
  2. If you are honest with your yourself, would you say your image of God is generous, or stingy? (i.e. if you ask God for something “normal”, is he happy and generous is his response?)  Pray to God about that.  Ask him to show you his generosity.
  3. Read verses 8b-13 again. Then present the needs and requests to this generous Father God.

 

 

 

Biblical Faith 1

The Aim of this devotion is to grow in understanding of Biblical faith, to evaluate to which degree you “live by faith”, and to help put your faith into practice today.

Scripture

Mark 11:12-15, 19-24

12  On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.  13  And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.  14  And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

15  And they came to Jerusalem… 19  And when evening came they went out of the city.

20  As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.  21  And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”

22  And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.  23  Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.  24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Observations

  1. Why Peter was surprised when he saw the fig tree had withered so quickly?
  2. Jesus’ reply to Peter is a teaching on faith in action. Make simple points on Jesus’ teaching on faith.  Now summarize it as “my own principles of faith to live by.”
  3. Jesus’ first principle in his teaching is “Have faith in God.”  Write in your own words what it means to “have faith in God”.
  4. Jesus moves his conversation from “say to this the mountain” to “ask in prayer”. How does it differ in practice? (i.e. when, for what and how will you “say to this mountain”?  When and how will you “ask in prayer”?)
  5. Try a few synonyms for “faith” in this context.

Application

  1. Look at your “principles of faith to live by.” Think of you prayer life and daily activities and future aspirations.  Which principles do you put in practice, and which do you neglect?
  2. Consider your greatest “fig trees” or “mountains” in your life (relational, financial, personal weakness or sins, or some insurmountable situation – anything too big for you). Write a declaration against it, commanding it to be removed (if it is a situation too big for your) or to die (if it is a sin or stronghold such as addiction, anxiety etc).  Read this every day for the next week at least with the confidence “it will be done for you.”

Note: “Our battle is not against flesh and blood… but against spiritual forces” [Eph 6:12] therefore we do not speak death to people, but the situations and sinful habits.

  1. Considering Jesus promise in verse 24, make a list of things you really need or desire (also consider non-material things, and requests on other’s behalf!) Write the date on the top of the page, and leave space where you can write the date in which your prayer has been answered. Have it somewhere where you can ask that of God daily.

Prayer

Looking at your application of Jesus’ teaching on faith in this section, talk to God about your life of faith, and how you put it in practice – whichever way the Spirit leads.

Then look at that list of things you ask of God in faith, and start asking God boldly, with the assurance that he hears and will give “whatever you ask”.