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!

You don’t have to bear it all (Prayer day 6)

Our secular world prides itself in independence, and this has conditioned us to believe that we should handle all our needs and troubles by ourselves.  But we are invited to pray because we need God, and God delights in helping us, his children.


Psalm 86:1-10, 14-15A model prayer of David.

1  Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

2  Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.

3  Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day.

4  Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

5  For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

6  Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.

7  In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.

8  There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.

9  All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

10  For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.

14  O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seeks my life, and they do not set you before them.

15  But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

Note: Although only a portion of the psalm is used in this devotional study, Psalm 86 as a whole is a great model prayer.

Observation and Reflection

Notice how David motivates his requests to God (the lessons to the hearer/ reader).

  1. Why does David pray to God? What are the needs he brings before God?
  2. Why is David confident that God will hear him? What does he say about
    • his relationship to God? and
    • God’s nature and character?
  3. Think of how and why it helps one to pray in times of need, knowing that God is
    • Not merely “a god”, or “the God”, but “my God” whom you are devoted to?
    • Kind-hearted and generous (good and gracious);
    • Forgiving and merciful;
    • Patient (slow to anger);
    • Faithful (steadfast);
    • The powerful Creator of all.

Personal Reflections and Application

Psalm 86 is a helpful lesson on prayer: the psalmist comforts us to know that in times of urgent need we can and should bring our request before God who is merciful and kind, and all-powerful Lord of the universe.  We are never called on to live independently or carry burdens too big for ourselves – we were created to live in dependence on the all-powerful, loving Father.

  1. James wrote “you have not, because you ask not.” Consider your needs. Write it down.
  2. Before you bring your needs to God, remind yourself in prayer who God is – tell him who you believe Him to be – and what He is like. (Hint: you can start with Psalm 89 above; it was recorded by David for this purpose!)
  3. Now bring your needs to God in prayer, in all urgency and earnestness; he has your attention!





PRAYER 4 – God’s provision: The necessity of Prayer

The aim of this devotional study is to encourage you ask for God’s provision in order for His purpose to manifest in your life.


Luke 11:9-13

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  10 For everyone who asks receive, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks you for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?  OF if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

Observations & Reflections

Note how Jesus encourages prayer by reminding us of the nature of the One whom we are praying. The person of God is indeed the foundation of prayer. Note also how Jesus uses what is familiar to us – earthly fathers and children – to point us toward a revelation of who God is.

  1. What are the things that the children ask their fathers in this passage?
  2. What does He promise that our heavenly Father will give those who ask Him?
  3. How do the words “How much more” reassure us concerning our daily spiritual AND physical needs?
  4. Jesus instructs us to ask AND seek AND knock in order to receive. What does this imply about our prayer life?

Personal Application

  1. How often do you pray for or thank God for daily provision?
  2. Have you ever trusted God for specific provision – physically or spiritually? What happened?
  3. Is there something you believe God wants you to do but you do not have the resources to do it?
    1. Take some time and ask God to ‘feed where He leads’. Ask Him to provide for you in that specific area.
    2. Ask and wait on God for guidance concerning this in the next two weeks. Ask Him to make you sensitive to the opportunities He might be sending your way.

Thanks again to Ester Venter for this series of devotional studies on Prayer.

Prayer 2 – God’s Person as Prayer’s Foundation

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the Person of God as a foundation for all faith filled effective prayer.


Psalm 145: 1-21

  1. I will extol You, O God, My King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
  2. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
  3. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.
  4. One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.
  5. I will meditate on the glorious splendour of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.
  6. Men shall speak on the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness.
  7. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.
  8. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.
  9. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.
  10. All your works shall praise You, O Lord, and your saints shall bless You.
  11. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power,
  12. To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His Kingdom
  13. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
  14. The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down.
  15. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season.
  16. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
  17. The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works.
  18. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him in truth.
  19. He will fulfil the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.
  20. The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.
  21. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh shall bless His holy name forever and ever.

Observations and Reflections

David communicates with God in this Psalm about His greatness in various ways. Notice how he stresses the fact that prayer and praise is a deliberate and ongoing action, something to be done with your voice primarily!

  1. List the things that the author does or promises to do concerning God. [hint verses 1,2,4,5,6,7,10,11,12,21]
  2. List the things that the author contributes to God. (Take one verse at a time. For example: Verse 1 God is King, Verse 3, God is great etc.)

Personal reflection & Prayer

  1. Consider your own praise life.
    1. Direct Praise: When and how do spend time actively praising God for who He is?
    2. Indirect Praise: When and how do you purposely tell other people about what He does for you and for others?
  2. If you set your heart and mind to do this daily, how do you think it will affect your prayer life?
  3. Read this Psalm 145 as a personalized prayer of praise to God.  Take you time and insert personal examples from your own life.
  4. Choose two other Psalms that you can do this with during the rest of the week to get you started. [Consider Psalm 92, Psalm 103, Psalm 144, etc]

Stewardship 14 – power and rule

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on stewardship and God’s provision in power and authority.


Daniel 4:29-37

29  At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30  and the king said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” 31  While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32  and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.”

33  Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws. 34  At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 35  all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

36  At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. 37  Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Observations and reflections

Note: This account chapter 4 follows Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s dream with the essence ‘repent of your ways, and know that “heaven rules”’ (v27).  At the time this was recorded by Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar was a great emperor who ruled many kingdoms in the Middle East and Europe, including Israel. 

  1. From the decree by the “voice from Heaven” (v3-32) what do we learn of God’s providence and power in human lives (as in each of these phrases)?
    1. The kingdom has departed from you”
    2. “you shall be driven from among men”
    3. “your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field”
    4. “you shall be made to eat grass like an ox”
  2. What is the intended lesson from this account?


  1. How does this account challenge your attitude towards the ruler of your country?
  2. Consider your current circumstance – what is entrusted to you, your influence and your authority. How does it feel that God knows where you are at, and that he is the one that has entrusted to you authority and power, your relational influence, where you live and your mental faculty?
    1. How does that influence your perspective on the successes in your life?
    2. How does that influence your perspective on the challenges you face?


Pray firstly for the ruler of your country – for grace that He may recognize and serve God in his rules.

Then thank God for the authority, influence and even intelligence you have, and pray that you may serve Him well where you are.  Then bring the challenges you have in prayer to God.