Thursday, September 12, 2013

Prayer Bible Study

Here's a Bible Study I had the privilege of doing this summer:


Ø Pray

Ø Introduction: The Privilege of Prayer

Ø Ravi Zacharias’ plea for prayer:

“We must pray fervently. Pray for peace… for the sake of their children… for wisdom… for international leaders… for protection… for the message of the Gospel to shine amid the darkness and for hearts and minds to be opened to the truth… Only God is able to change this situation in the land.”

o What is prayer?

o Who is prayer for? Who benefits from prayer?

o How do we pray?

o What is the urgency?

Ø Francis Chan’s Crazy Love, Before the Throne (p.34-37):

“Many facets of God expand beyond our comprehension. He cannot be contained in this world, explained by our vocabulary, or grasped by our understanding...

In Revelation [4], when John recounts his experience of seeing God, it’s as though he’s scrambling for earthly words to describe the vision he was privileged to see… Using ordinary words, he does his best to describe a heavenly place and a holy God...

[In Isaiah 6 he writes:] ‘I saw the Lord seated on a throne.’ Wow. Isaiah saw that and lived? The Israelites hid themselves… They were scared they would die if they saw God… But Isaiah looked and saw God

Isaiah’s description is less detailed than John’s, but Isaiah shares more of his response to being in the throne room of God. His words reverberate in the wake of the smoky room and shaky foundation: ‘Woe is me…. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’

… Both of these descriptions serve a purpose. John’s helps us imagine what the throne room of God looks like, while Isaiah’s reminds us what our only response to such a God should be. May Isaiah’s cry become our own. Woe is me… we are a people of unclean lips!”

o Have you pictured this before? How does it hit you?

o Does this change anything? Would this affect the way you pray?

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God… we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need

Every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins… Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you…’

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence… Being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation… designated by God a high priest.”
 Hebrews 4:14-5:10.

“We have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man… When Christ appeared as a high priest… he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption…” Hebrews 8:1-2; 9:11-12.

“God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:6-7.
o What does this mean for us? Does the picture change in the throne room?

o What’s the difference now that we can not only speak with God, but are his heirs?

Ø Types of prayer:

o Lord’s Prayer

o High Priestly Prayer

o Psalms—thumb through the Psalms

o Lamentations

o Living lives of prayer

Ø C.S. Lewis’ Prayer Poem:

“Master, they say that when I seem to be in speech with you,

Since you make no replies, it’s all a dream—one talker aping two.

They are half right, but not as they imagine; rather,

I seek in myself the things I meant to say,

And lo! The wells are dry.

Then, seeing me empty you forsake the listener’s role

And through my dead lips breathe and into utterance wake

The thoughts I never knew.

And thus you neither need reply nor can;

Thus, while we seem two talking, thou are One forever,

And I no dreamer, but thy dream.”

Ø The Spirit speaks for us when we have no words to say:

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26.
o What do you think?

o What… Who (for)… How… and When will you pray this month??

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