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!

Stewardship 3 – affections and security

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on security and affections relating to possessions.


Matthew 6:19-21

19  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Observations and reflections

Note: Matthew 6:19-34 contain Jesus’ revolutionary teachings on possessions, money and security.  We will focus on one or two such teachings each day and consider our own thoughts and actions in the light of his words.

  1. Read the text above again and in your own words summarize Jesus’ teaching regarding money contained in these verses.
  2. Regarding the “treasures on earth / in heaven” metaphor:
    1. What are the “treasures on earth”? What does Jesus mean? Give examples of what earthly treasures could be for you.
    2. Why does Jesus say one should not store up “treasures earth”? He mentions two things – but what is his core motive?
    3. What are the “treasures in heaven”? [hints: (1) what are the things God promise to reward eternally? (2) what remains beyond this life?]
    4. What two reasons do Jesus give to motivate the gathering of “heavenly treasures”?
    5. What is the link between one’s treasure and one’s heart?


  1. Consider the material possessions you cherish most – list it.
    1. In which ways can it be lost or destroyed?
    2. In the light of our eternity and the temporal nature of earthly things – how significant is this “earthly treasure”?
  2. Consider your [attempt at] monetary savings – why do you [desire to] do it?
    1. In the light of Jesus teachings in the text above – how should you consider your money now?
  3. What will you do today to “store up treasures in heaven”? Write it down as to-do list.


Ask the Lord to give you an eternal perspective that permeates through to your daily decisions.  Pray about your heart’s affections and security regarding earthly treasures.  Bring your desires from more and trust in much to God.  And commit to obey Him and store u treasures in heaven.

Overflowing Joy 2

The aim of this devotional study is to grow in longing anticipation and experience of God’s joy.


Psalm 16:1-11

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

2  I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

3  As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.

4  The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.

5  The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.

6  The [boundary] lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

7  I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.

8  I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

9  Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.

10  For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.

11  You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Observation and reflection

Note: In Acts 2:25-29 Peter quotes v8-11 of this Psalm with reference to Christ’s resurrection.

  1. Read through the Psalm again and mark all the references to positive emotions or experiences the Psalmist records that he has with or because of God. Then summarize these benefits in your own words.
  2. Now note all the negative emotions or experiences the Psalmist describes outside of God’s presence or preservation.  Explain why they experience these emotions.
  3. Record how many ways the Psalmist records (a) security and (b) joy in this Psalm. How dies that tie in with the conclusion of the Psalm (v11)?

Application and prayer

Knowing that God is the one who gave him what he has in life and God is the one who guides him through this life, the Psalmist finds pleasure and security in God alone.

  1. Look at the benefits of those who serve God in points 1 above (and what he protects us from in point 2 above) and thank God for those benefits he promises.
  2. Can you honestly say with the Psalmist “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you” ? (v2) Search your heart and talk to God about what you delight in – then surrender the delight in your heart to Him only. Ask him to help you.
  3. Spend some time in prayer and worship while seeking to find joy and peace (security) in God himself. [I spent some time in this point meditating and praying through v11]

Salvation and the Spirit 4

The aim of this devotional study is to understand and appreciate the Spirit’s participation in our continuing salvation.


Ephesians 1:7-14

7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10  as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12  so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

13  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.


  1. It is very helpful to replace key words or phrases with appropriate synonyms to better understand the fullness of a Text. Re-read the text out loud and replace the words in bold with synonyms (similar phrases).
  2. According to this text, what is a function of the Holy Spirit pertaining our salvation?
  3. What is meant with the phrase “sealed with the …Holy Spirit”?
  4. What do you understand is “our inheritance” that is kept for us?
  5. What does Paul mean when he says the Holy Spirit in us “is the guarantee” of our inheritance?
  6. What does Paul refer to when he says “until we acquire possession” of our inheritance?


Paul writes that we are “sealed” or “marked as God’s property” through the Holy Spirit.  He adds that we have the Spirit as our “guarantee” or “engagement ring” – the promise that we will forever be united as through marriage.  Thus the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer brings security that He is united with God in Christ through the indwelling of His Spirit, and therefore his eternal salvation is certain – he is now and forever one with God, the Source of Life.

  1. How do you know that the Holy Spirit lives in you?
  2. How do others know that the Holy Spirit lives in you?
  3. How confident are you that your salvation in God is certain and secure?


If you have the gift of praying in tongues, spend significant time praying in the Holy Spirit and asking God for interpretation now, otherwise ask God to fill you with His Spirit and ask Him for spiritual gifts you desire from Him.