Monday, January 8, 2018 The Meeting Place was Shaken
Powerful Prayer Responds to God from the Heart
Scriptures to Consider: Genesis 4:1-5; 2 Kings 3:1-14; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 5:8;
Matthew 13:15; Hebrews 10:22
A second biblical practice of powerful prayer was that prayer was always a response to God from the heart of the person or people praying. In the Bible, God did not separate the prayers to Him from the heart condition of the people praying to Him. For example, take a look at the offerings of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4 or the prayers of Jehoshaphat and Jehoram in 2 Kings 3.
Powerful prayer does not happen when we live as we want and then just cry out to God when we need something or when crisis hits. We must then cultivate a lifestyle of holiness that helps keep our heart turned toward God. We can do this by remembering the truths of God, the promises of God, and the actions of God toward His people. We can do this by reading Scripture. We can do this by striving to live holy lives.
We can respond to God in prayer as a reflection of God’s love for us and as an expression of our love for god. We can respond to God in prayer with the thanksgiving and praise that He rightly deserves.
Our response to God from our heart is an indicator of our worship of Him. Is it lukewarm? Are we worshipping God in Spirit and truth? Our prayers to God are telling of what we think of Him. Do we view Him as Creator of the Universe or do we view Him as a wish granter?
Our preparation of our heart for prayer and worship becomes important then. Whenever the people of the Bible appeared before God, there was preparation involved. Confession is one of those ways that we prepare our hearts for prayer before God. Confession of biblical truth and sin help us to prepare ourselves before coming to God’s throne.
Our hearts in coming to prayer before God should desire the mere presence of God rather than things, the will of God rather than our wants, and the heart of God rather than our feelings.
Prayer Focus: In your prayer time today, ask God to search your heart and to renew and transform it. Do you seek things from God or do you seek God to show you things? Are you prepared to confess your sin to God? His conviction of your sin is a sign of His favor of loving you enough to show you that you are not perfect but yearn for the One who is Perfect. Thank God for His blessing to you and your church. Let God know how much He is loved by you and how much you recognize His love for you. Expect Him to respond to your response through answered prayer.
Pray for Seventh Day Baptists in Australasia (Australia and New Zealand).
You can get the booklet in pdf format here: 2018 SDB Week of Prayer Booklet