Praying to Our Father – connection (Prayer day 13)

In praying to “Our Father in heaven” we have confidence in God’s sympathy (as His children), superiority (in power) and spirit (his loving generosity). 


Ephesians 3:14-21

14  For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Observations and reflections

  1. What is Paul’s POSTURE in praying this prayer to the Ephesian church? (v14) Why do you think it mattered to Paul?
  2. Note TO WHOM does Paul this prayer. (v14-15)  What do we learn about how we relate to God the Father | Christ Jesus His Son | and the Holy Spirit’s from this prayer?
  1. Note the CONFIDENCE in this prayer. Try find one descriptive word for Paul’s confidence in verse 16a and the reason for his confidence in verse 20?
  2. WHAT does Paul pray for the Ephesian church in verses 16-19? Again try single descriptive words.

Personal reflection and Prayer

The Ephesian church suffered from internal factions and external persecution. Yet Paul confidently kneeled to the Father in heaven and prayed for strength through faith, knowing that the God the Father loves His children, is generous and kind, and can do far more than we can imagine.

  1. Write down all your external pressures and internal, emotional struggles.
  2. Now slowly pray this prayer for yourself today: (Can you kneel down?)
  • Thank God the Father that you are HIS CHILD – you find your identity, destiny and security in him – he is responsible for you.
  • Tell God you pray CONFIDENTLY to him because of His supreme GENEROSITY and ABILITY. (stay here for a while)
  • Pray for STRENGTH to endure. (be specific)
  • Pray for FAITH to trust him for provision, to do his will not yours, and to know he is with you in these hardships (dependence, surrender, communion). Bring your needs to God here.
  • Pray that you may experience His LOVE – in your heart and in His church.
  1. Take a while and IMAGINE how God will solve all these issues. Tell God what you see, and how you believe he can do so much more than that!

Leaders should grow in the skill of showing hospitality

One of the primary requirements for Church leadership is showing hospitality (1 Timothy 3:2) – a trait not so common in leadership in the world!

Before going into a specific Word-study look at this insightful talk on showing hospitality in your small group by Ronelle Hauptfleisch.


Luke 7:44-47

44  Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon [the Pharisee who invited him for dinner], “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45  You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46  You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47  Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven–for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Observation and reflection questions

Context: This is part of the account of the immoral of woman (Mary) who walked into Simon the Pharisee’s house during a dinner party to anoint Jesus feet in demonstration of her remorse and repentance.

  1. Jesus honored Mary, an immoral woman who were note invited (not welcome!) at this dinner party, for doing some things culturally normative in showing hospitality in his days.
  • Why is it ironic that he honored someone who was not even invited for doing these things? (verse 44) [hint: who is he addressing?]
  • List the three things which Jesus commends Mary for doing. (verses 44-46)
  • Thinking beyond their cultural setting, what does each of these three acts reveal about the practice of hospitality? e. how did she show hospitality? [hint: foot-washing is a means of…?; kissing is a means of showing…?; anointing is a means of showing…?]
  • Note the measure of generosity shown (she poured a whole flask of expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet). What does this teach you about showing hospitality?
  • What was Mary’s reward for showing hospitality?
  • Reflect on this account. What does hospitality cause in the heart of the recipient, and what promise does it hold for the one showing hospitality?

Personal Reflection

Simon the Pharisee did not honor Jesus by showing culturally normative acts of hospitality. But an immoral woman entered this prestige company, humbled herself and doted on Jesus by generous acts of service, affection and honur.  And he opened up his heart and rewarded her with what was in his spirit – life, the forgiveness of sins.

  1. How deliberate are you in showing hospitality?
  2. How generous are you in showing hospitality?
  3. At the next event whereby you host people at your house focus on these four aspects of showing hospitality, as demonstrated in this account. (Don’t do what Mary did, do as she did by doing something culturally relevant and acceptable).
  • Serving the guests (“washing feet” Luke 7:44)
  • Show affection and endearment to the gests (“kissing” Luke 7:45)
  • Showing honouring and respect to the guests (“anointing” Luke 7:46)
  • Doing all these things with generosity and joy.


Pray that the Lord will open your spirit to show generous hospitality.

The Love of God 4 – generous

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the generous nature of the love of God.


John 3:13-18

13  No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.  14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15  that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Romans 8:32

32  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Observation and reflection

  1. Concerning John 3:13-18 (Don’t answer out of your head – use this Text)
    1. How do we know God loves the world?
    2. For what purpose did God send his Son?
    3. From where did God send his Son?
    4. How would God’s Son save the world?
    5. How would people be saved?
    6. In what state are individuals until they are saved?
  2. Concerning Romans 8:32
    1. What has God given us?
    2. What does that say of God’s generosity?
    3. What does that say of God’s love?
    4. What is the implied invitation and assurance in this Text?
  3. Reflecting on these two Texts, what do you learn about the love of God as demonstrated in the giving of his Son?

Personal reflection and prayer

God is not stingy – from his generous heart he has already given his most Precious Gift; what will he withhold from you now?

As little Oliver Twist, some people are afraid to upset God by asking for another helping.
  1. Picture yourself when you ask God your Father for things. Do you:
    1. See yourself delivering a formal letter motivating why this request would be beneficial for His Kingdom and for you?
    2. See yourself bowing at His feet pleading for the things you so desperately want or need?
    3. See yourself as the starving little Oliver Twist asking the evil orphanage master for another helping?
    4. See yourself popping God a WhatsApp?
    5. See yourself sitting on Daddy’s lap and talk about what you desire?
  2. Which desires in your heart has God granted you?
  3. Which desires in your heart are yet unfulfilled?
    1. James accused the church in Jerusalem “you have not because you ask not”. Could this be said of these desires in your heart as well?
    2. Take some time and meditate on Romans 8:32 (above). What convictions well up in your heart?
    3. Bring your requests to our generous, loving Father, with thanks for what He have already given you.



Stewardship 8 – generosity

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on God’s and faithful provision to us and our generosity to the poor.


Psalms 41:1-3

1  Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him; 2  the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. 3  The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

17  As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.  18  They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,  19  thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Observations and reflections

Note: Today we consider two short passages regarding the stewardship of our possessions in terms of generosity the poor.

  1. Reflect on Psalm 41:1-3.
    1. Summarize the three verses in one short phrase.
    2. List the seven blessings for “the one who considers the poor” – but state it in your own (contemporary) words.
    3. Are these blessings/ benefits of considering the poor in this life, or the life to come?
    4. What do we learn about God and our money in this Text?
  2. Reflect on 1 Timothy 6:17-19.
    1. Briefly summarize these three verses in your own words.
    2. In a table –format, what does this Text teach about what those with money should do / not do with their possessions.
    3. Is the benefits for generous sharing of possessions in this life, or the life to come?
    4. How is God portrayed in this Text?
    5. What does this Text reveal about God’s motive and measure in providing for us?
    6. What do you learn about stewardship in this text? [hint: consider temporal and eternal rewards]


  1. Who is the most generous person you know? Think about that person and see of you can recognize God’s blessings for kindness to the poor in his/ her life.
  2. How do you think and feel about the power the sharing of your earthly money can have in this life as well as the life to come?
  3. How do you feel about the fact that God watches what you do with your money?
  4. Do you think God sees you as someone who “considers the poor” or one who is “rich in good works” and “generous”? Why?  Why not?
  5. What can you “generously share” with a poor person today, that would count as a “good work”? [please be wise! don’t just give to an addict in a way that will further him in his bondage – there are MANY good organizations that have a good track record].


Thank God for his generosity and goodness to you.  Pray to God for grace and compassion and wisdom to generously share.  Do you have a stingy heart?  Confess it as sin and ask the Lord for a generous heart.

Motivational Gifts 6 – the giver

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the giver (or philanthropist).

If you have 5 minutes look at this good example of a giver at work: (


2 Samuel 24:18-25

18  And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19  So David went up at Gad’s word, as the LORD commanded. 20  And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground.

21  And Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be averted from the people.” 22  Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23  All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.”

24  But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25  And David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.

1 Chronicles 29:1-9

1  And David the king said to all the assembly, “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the LORD God. 2  So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble. 3  Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: 4  3,000 talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the house, 5  and for all the work to be done by craftsmen, gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver. Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the LORD?”

6  Then the leaders of fathers’ houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work. 7  They gave for the service of the house of God 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. 8  And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the LORD, in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9  Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly.


Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the generous character and motives of King David to better understand the motivational gifts of the giver. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) that each person is born with which drives his/her actions throughout his/her life.

  1. Giving motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in these two events from King David?  Comment and give references from the Scripture above.
    1. They have the ability to acquire resources but rarely use it for selfish purposes.
    2. They have the ability to anticipate future needs.
    3. Givers feel comfortable handling large sums of money.
    4. They are naturally gifted with wisdom in the area of business / acquiring wealth.
    5. They can see needs and practically meet it (not only financially).
    6. They see their own resources as “God’s temporary warehouse” where things are entrusted to them to steward, not own.
    7. They experience great delight in giving with great generosity.
    8. They give wisely and for just causes – not necessarily to everyone who asks.
    9. Their generosity frequently motivate others to give as well.
  2. From these two texts above, what of David’s giving stands out most for you?


Note: The gift of the giver is frequently called “the secretive gift” because their giving is often secretive, so people would view them as servants or some other motivational gifted person.

  1. Looking at David as an example of a giving motivated person – what should a person with this motivational gift be cautious of in engaging other people?
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider giving motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now:

  1. Are you a strong giver motivated person? Considering this example of David:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
    3. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that he would bless you greatly and grace you with wisdom to steward well and generosity to give freely where he leads.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly giver motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – for their liberal giving to you and to just causes, as well as their inspiration to live and give generously.
    2. Thank God for them and their good influence in your life. Pray for these people by name that God will bless them with even greater wealth with the wisdom to make it grow and the generosity to give it freely as the Lord wills it. Pray that their giving will inspire greater generosity in your life and the people around you so that we may be rightly known as children of the Generous God.