Prayer/Worship


  • James 4:2-3 You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 
    Because you do not ask. That is, you do not ask God's permission in humble and holy prayer. It is not good to engage in any undertaking without prayer. In prayer you ask God's permission and show that your action is not a contest with him. The families that do not call on God's name must be cursed; in their actions they say, in effect, that they will be happy without God. From this we learn that:
    (1) It is a false argument against prayer to say that God knows our requests already, and that God's decrees are immutable and cannot be altered by our prayers. That was the argument of the old heathen philosopher Maximus Tyrus and of many Libertines in more recent times. But prayer is not for God's information but the creature's submission; we pray in order that we may have his permission. And again, God's decrees do not exclude the duty of creatures and the work of secondary causes:"I will yield to the plea of the house of Israel" (Ezekiel 36:37). "'I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you.... Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you'" (Jeremiah 29:11- 12).
    (2) No actions must be taken in hand except those we can commend to God in prayer. Any actions that we are ashamed to ask a blessing on must not be pursued; we must not engage in any enterprises that we dare not communicate to God in our supplications:"Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD" (Isaiah 29:15)- that is, who plan their enterprises and never ask what God's will is or communicate their purpose to him in prayer.
    - From the commentary on James 4:2 from the Crossway Classic Commentary by James Manton.
  • In Eden, worship was not an event to attend, but a perpetual attitude; Adam and Eve were in constant communion with God. Because God is with you all the time, no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now. The Bible says, “He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.” - From the Day 11 reading from “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren.
  • Isaiah points the way out of our wars into God’s peace by helping us think in God’s categories. His categories are not traditional versus contemporary worship but, more profoundly, acceptable versus unacceptable worship. And he has told us what kind of worship he considers acceptable: “The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit” (Psalm 51:17, NRSV). Acceptable worship is sweetened with a spirit of repentance. Isaiah 1:10-20 is about two things at once: worship and repentance. In essence, God puts them together this way: “I want you to repent of your worship. Your worship is unacceptable unless it is the overflow of repentance.”   - Isaiah: God Saves Sinners, Location 475 by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.
  • False worship is unacceptable to God. When people truly believe and obey God’s Word, their worship is acceptable; but when they continue in sin, their worship is unacceptable. No matter how much they worship, their worship is meaningless, for they are just going through the motions. They are insincere and hypocritical. As soon as they leave the worship service, they continue in their sinful ways. They profess one thing, but live another. In truth, their hearts are far from God.  - From the reading about Isaiah 1:11 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  • A good prayer is for the following (per Ephesians 3:11-19):  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Ephesians 3:11-19 - ppg. 130-132.
    • The first request is for inner spiritual strength.  This is the fundamental work of God from His Spirit to our spirit.
    • The second request is for deep faith.  This is more than resident faith that comes with salvation.  This is Christ's being at home in one's heart.  In the place of such things as prestige, materialism, and lust, He puts humility, meekness, love and all other virtues for which believers are to hunger and thirst.  To have Christ dwell in our hearts through faith means for him to be at home in every corner of our life, because we believe His promises and therefore become obedient to his word.
    • The third request is a prayer for abundant love that finds concrete expression.  Love must become the dominant quality of life, the roots of your existence, the foundation on which all else rests.  Such love in your life comes from the divine love.
    • The final request is a prayer for God's fullness.  The inner strength of the Holy Spirit, which is a gift which God gives to those who pray for it, leads to the indwelling of Christ, which leads to abundant love, which leads to God's fullness in us. This is to be satisfied with God.   We all want to be filled up to the fullness of God.  The only way it will happen is if we pursue Him. If we pray for Him to strengthen us with power by his spirit be the inner man, Christ will be at home in each room of our heart.  If Christ occupies our heart, we will have a confidence and security, we are able to love others.  This ability to know God's love and thus love others, leads to the fullness of God in us.  His presence, his poser, his love, his life inhabit us.  We participate fully in his kingdom on earth.
  • God in his sovereignty may choose to do whatever he wills.  What he can do far exceeds anything we can dream or imagine, much less ask for.  God's sovereignty means our prayers can be answered far beyond even what we ask for. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Ephesians 3:20 - pg. 132.
  • There are times when we do not know the will of God, and when that is the case we must pray cautiously allowing the Holy Spirit to interpret our prayers aright. But when we know God’s will, as we do wherever it is revealed in Scripture, then we may pray confidently in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and know that we shall receive the petitions that we have requested of him.  - From commentary on John 16:23 from the Boice Expositional Commentary (27 volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  • Pray continuously that the Lord would strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, that Christ would dwell in your heart through faith, that you would grasp the love of Christ and be filled to the fullness of God. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Ephesians 3:20 - pg. 134.
  • What makes worship acceptable, through Christ, is repentance — in other words, cleaning up our lives with compassion toward people and tenderness toward God. - From location 592 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners  by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.
  • Answered prayer is the second promise of salvation (v. 19). In the Messiah’s kingdom, the prayers of believers will be answered immediately. But even today when genuine believers need the Lord’s help, all they have to do is cry for help. The Lord always hears their cry and meets their needs.
    “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Lu. 11:9).
    “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (Jn. 15:7).
    “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him” (Ps. 91:15).
    “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Is. 65:24).
    “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am” (Is. 58:9).
    “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Je. 33:3).
     
    - From the reading about Isaiah 30:19 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  • Pray with (1) diligence, (2) awareness and (3) gratitude.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Colossians 4:2 Pg 344.
  • "In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”  This is a quote from John Bunyan.  God knows our heart better than we do, so it is important that we direct our hearts towards God and the things of God thorugh our faith and obedience.  Remember that when you don’t know the words to pray, that if you have accepted Christ as your Savior, then you possess the Holy Spirit, who helps interpret the thoughts in your heart, that while you may not be able to pray them, the Holy Spirit interprets then to God.  However, if you do not have a heart for God, than your prayers are to be less effective, if effective at all.  Praying without really meaning what you pray with your heart can be empty prayers, used as more of a ritual or as a show to others.  God would rather you go to a quiet place and pray in private, when no one is looking and reveal your heart to God, who can do wonders in healing your heart for the better.  Of course prayer in public is not bad either, as if others see you praying it may remind them that they too should be reverant towards God and wish that they had a better relationship with Him. - Ken Little
  • Prayer in a believer's life is not just an option for occasional emergencies.  If believers are going to withstand the constant pressures of a fallen and unfriendly world, an attitude of persistence and perseverence in prayer is needed.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Colossians 4:2 Pg 344.
  • Be watchful or awake in your prayers.  Per C.S. Lewis - "No one in his senses, if he has any power over ordering his own day, would reserve his chief prayers for bedtime - obviously the worse possible hour for any action which needs concentration."  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Colossians 4:2 Pg 344-345.
  • Be thankful in your prayers.  Believers who pray with gratitude for God's blessing will be less likely to be led astray by the lures and lies of the enemies.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Colossians 4:2 Pg 345.
  • Believer's prayers are not to just be centered only on self.  Pray that God will open the door of opportunity to share His message.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Colossians 4:3 Pg 345.
  • Determine to be a prayer warrior. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Colossians 4 Pg 349.
  • Solomon reminds us that when we worship we go on a journey.  Worship leads us to encounter and experience the living God.  As worshipers, we do our best to prepare ourselves - purifying our hearts, clearing our minds, opening our ears, keeping our promises and humbling our posture before God.  
    The next time you attend a worship service….Prepare your heart so that the offering of worship isn’t just so much wasted breath.  Focus on the reality that “God is in heaven, and you are on earth,” understanding that you’re entering the very presence of a holy and awesome God who listens, watches and loves to hear worship.  A heart that’s properly prepared for worship doesn’t simply endure the journey.  It hopes for the memorable, not the mundane.  It prepares itself for a marvelous adventure in the presence of the God of the universe, and it expects and works toward a deeper relationship with the Creator.
    - From devotional reading on Ecclesiates 5:1-7 on page 692 of the New Men’s Devotional Bible (NIV) published by Zondervan.
  • Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  From the Maxwell Leadership Bible I Thessalonians 5:16.
  • Pray continually.  This means never stop praying.  It refers to the attitude of prayer, or reverence before God.  The Christian's life of righteousness and his approach to relationships and responsibilities should be such that he maintains a constant attitude of being in God's presence.  Such a person will pray often and about many things, including requests, praise and thanksgiving.  This command also means that we should never quit praying.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - I Thessalonians 5:16  pg. 74. 
  • We should pray for the unsaved and for one another.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2  pg. 115. 
  • We should never reach a place in our Christian maturity or service where we progress beyond the need of prayer.  Prayer remains essential to the life and work of all believers, not as a ritual, but as an honest interaction of longing and trust with our Lord.  Prayer that agrees with Christ's will will always result in divine empowerment.  We are foolish to assume that the work of God can be carried forward without prayer.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 3:1  pg. 124.  
  • Prayer is not only a gift but hard work in which the believer must engage for the welfare of others and the continued progress of the gospel.  We need to develop greater compassion and self discipline in this area. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 3  pg. 133.    
  • Rather than become discouraged when people reject the gospel, we must pray more fervently that God will open the minds of unbelievers. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 3  pg. 133.    
  • What you must know is that there is a Redeemer. Go to him with honest dealings about your real problems. He will save you from them all. - Isaiah: God Saves Sinners, Location 735 by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.
  • In our public worship, prayer should be our first order of concern and participation.  Prayer is not to be a filler between hymns or a routine before the sermon.  Paul wrote to the Philippians, "In everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. present your requests to God" (Phil 4:6).  He urged the Colossians and us, "Devote yourselves to prayer" (Col. 4:2).  Prayer is a uniting with God.  It is to be entered into with awe and joy, with respect and a sense of responsibility.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 2:1 pg. 164.
  • Often prayer is a ritual - a routine before meals or bedtime.  But God never calls us to empty habits.  He never instructs us to pursue form without content, action without purpose or result.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 2 pg. 174.
  • Prayer does make a difference, in ourselves, in our world.  To picture this imagine two overlapping circles.  Circle #1 represents our prayers.  We ask for a lot of things, often very personal things.  We may ask for a healing, a job, the restoration of our marriage, a new home.  Our requests cover a wide variety of concerns.  That is what God wants us to do.  He desires that our hearts be open and our trust childlike.  Circle #2 represents God's will.  These are things he wants to accomplish.  The intersection of these two circles signifies answered prayer.  Where our desires overlap God's intentions, we can be assured our prayers will be answered.  Sometimes it's a matter of being able to participate and enjoy working alongside God in the purposes ad events he has already determined.  At other times his actions and our involvement depend on our asking.  At times he tethers his will to our willingness. Perhaps most intriguing are those things in circle #2 which would occur if we would only pray for them.  These "unclaimed blessings" seem an oxymoron, yet they are those things which we "do not have, because [we] do not ask" (Jas. 4:2) - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 2 pg. 175.
  • Much of what passes for unanswered prayer is simply an exposure of the selfishness of our hearts.  This does not mean we hide these from God.  He knows our condition better than we do.  But we can learn to recognize our selfish tendencies and have these cleansed by God.  This will result in more powerful prayer as our narrow desires expand into God's desires. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 2 pg. 175.
  • So, how do we pray?  Spray our prayers heavenward ike buckshot. hoping we will hit God's will once in a while?  This is not the right approach.  Here are some conclusions we can reach about prayer:  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 2 pg. 175.
  • We should keep praying.  Whether God responds with "Yes," "No," or "Wait," our part is to expose our hearts and wills to the Father and to participate continually in his work in our lives through prayer.
  • We should not become discouraged if we do not get what we asked for.  God is infinitely wise, while our understanding is limited.  Often, we think there is only one possible course of action.  Only later may we recognize that God knew the situation better than we did.  Prayer can be a submission to the magnificence of God's wisdom and power.
  • That God listens to us and answers prayers at all is a wonderful gift of his grace.  He welcomes us into his presence.  He allows us to join with him to work in our world.  For that we can be humbly thankful.
  • God's will is centered on creating godly character in us and in extending his active reign throughout creation.  We ought to focus on that kind of praying.  This does not mean the humdrum of daily life is unimportant to us or him, but that it all fits within the greater purposes of his kingdom. 
  • We should oppose those teachings that claim we can demand from God, as though he is under obligation to our whims and desires.  That is simply not the case.  It may work for vending machines where we put our coins in and claim a prize, but God is not in the heavens to cater to us.  We are here for him.
  • Our prayers will intersect with his will as our spirits grow and develop in step with his Spirit.  As we come to value Christ above all else, we will find our prayers following after the glory and purposes of God.  We will understand God's love for the world, and our requests will reflect this.  His answers will be welcomed with joy.
  • Nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.  The touch of God purifies.  In him there is no darkness at all.  Everything that comes from God is good.  In addition, prayer and Scripture go along with thanksgiving.  By these a transformation takes place as a believer acknowledges God as the source of all that is good. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 4:4-5 pg. 204-5.
  • For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. The food we eat is made holy when we offer thanks to God for it and pray his blessing upon it.   - RWP (Robertson's Word Pictures) - 1 Timothy 4:5 from MacSword program.
  • Jesus' Call to Pray without Ceasing - "Pray without ceasing…Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart…"And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him?" (1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Luke 18:1, 7)" Praying without ceasing is the way to relate rightly to the God of all grace.  The primary message of this parable would be that men should persistently pray at all times. "Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart."  Jesus' own life was an example of praying persistently. At times, Jesus was up before dawn for extended prayer with the Father. "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed" (Mark 1:35). On another occasion, He prayed the entire night through. "Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God" (Luke 6:12). In addition to His rich private prayer life, Jesus prayed regularly in public as well. "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes…Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them… Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me" (Matthew 11:25; Luke 9:16; and John 11:41-42). If Jesus, the Son of God prayed habitually, how clearly we are to do the same.
  • "Jesus, my Lord, I want to heed Your radical call to a path of unceasing prayer. I want to follow Your wonderful example of a life of habitual prayer—in private and in public. Lord, stir my heart to such prayer, by Your empowering grace, Amen." DBD 12/23 message in the MacSword Program.
  • Appropriate, by faith, the powerful spiritual resources that are ours in the Lord. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:10-11). These heavenly provisions are put on by looking to the Lord unceasingly in prayer: "praying always." This constancy in prayer can be done with "all prayer and supplication." God has arranged many appropriate ways for us to pray, such as confession, repentance, request, thanksgiving, rejoicing, praise, adoration, and more. Note, however, that every type of praying is to be done "in the Spirit." As in all areas of life, we must depend upon the Spirit. He will grant us guidance and wisdom for praying according to the will of God. DBD 12/24 message in the MacSword Program.
  • Godly praying also includes spiritual alertness: "being watchful to this end." When prayer is especially needed, we can be tempted to slumber. In Gethsemane, the disciples were not alert to the great need to pray. "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation" (Mark 14:38). Again, this highlights our need to be led of the Spirit. Further, a part of our need for the Spirit pertains to perseverance: "with all perseverance." Praying requires all kinds of spiritual persistence. Praying requires demanding spiritual labor. The Holy Spirit must sustain us in God's strength, if we are to engage in prayer to the extent that our Lord often desires. Some of this call to persevering prayer involves the battles and needs that others are facing: "with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." It is not wrong for us to cry out to God concerning our own needs. Our Lord invites us to do such. "Let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6). Still, the Lord wants to use us in the lives of people near and far through the wonderful avenue of intercession. The vision for prayer given here is quite expansive: "Praying alwaysall prayer…all perseverance…all the saints."
  • "Dear Lord, this extensive call to prayer humbles my heart. I see much room to grow in my prayer life. Yet, it stirs my faith as well. By Your Spirit of grace at work in me, such praying is possible. O Lord, please make of me such a prayer warrior, Amen.” - From the DBD 12/24 message in the MacSword Program.
  • An Invitation to Pray at the Throne of Grace
  • "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)"  If we are going to live by grace, we must relate rightly to the God of all grace: namely, by walking in humble dependence. Continual, Spirit-led prayer is the basic way to express humility and faith to the Lord. How fitting it is, then, to consider God's invitation to pray at the throne of grace.  The throne to which we are invited is the throne of God, revealed to the Apostle John. "Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne" (Revelation 4:2). This honored King of the universe is the Creator of everything, exercising His sovereign will by His infinite power. "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created" (Revelation 4:11). This is a throne of everlasting holiness, as declared constantly by angelic creatures. "And they do not rest day or night, saying: 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!'" (Revelation 4:8). For the godless, this will become a throne of judgment. "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it…And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God…And they were judged, each one according to his works…And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:11-13, 15).  If this throne were only characterized by sovereign power, holiness, and judgment, we could never approach it with any expectation of blessing. Yet, for those who will humbly receive eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, this is a throne of grace. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace." We can approach this throne with spiritual confidence, because Jesus is seated there with the Father. "And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne…stood a Lamb as though it had been slain…Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!" (Revelation 5:6, 12). The worthy one, who died for our sins, has opened the door to an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father. "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father'" (Romans 8:15). Dread of God is replaced with boldness, by the grace of Jesus Christ: "in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him" (Ephesians 3:12). Now, this throne is to us an altar of prayer for mercy and grace!  "Abba, Father, I bow before Your throne, acknowledging You as the sovereign Creator and the holy Judge. Yet, I boldly approach You as my dear, intimate Papa! Although I deserved judgment, now through Jesus, I humbly expect mercy and grace!" DBD 12/27 message in the MacSword Program.
  • More on an Invitation to Pray at the Throne of Grace
  • "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)" Seated upon the throne which rules this universe is the sovereign, holy Judge of all humanity. Yet, He is also the "God of all grace" (1 Peter 5:10). All who relate rightly to Him (through humble faith in Jesus Christ) can come boldly to that throne, praying with assurance that mercy and grace will be His response.  Truly, the Lord Jesus is the reason that we can answer the invitation to "come boldly to the throne of grace." His death on the cross opened the way for us to come into God's presence, allowing us to talk to Him directly in prayer. It is as though the Holy of Holies is now our family den. God is our Father, who delights to commune with His children as we pray to Him: "Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us" (Hebrews 10:19-20). This "new and living way" is the new covenant of grace. It is by the Lord's grace alone that we can come to His throne of grace, that we might live daily by His grace.  At this inviting throne of God, we "obtain mercy." Mercy is heaven's wondrous companion to grace. Mercy is God's provision for holding back from us the awful things that we actually deserve, due to our sin and rebellion. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:7). Now, each day, His children can benefit from the faithful mercies of God. "Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23).  Also, at this inviting throne of God, we "find grace to help in time of need." Our initial need was for the Lord's saving grace, which brought forgiveness for our ungodliness and made heaven our eternal home. "For by grace you have been saved through faith" (Ephesians 2:8). Our ongoing need would be for transforming grace for developing a godly life here on earth. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:11-12). In prayer at the throne of grace, we find God's continuing supply of grace. That grace is irreplaceable and sufficient to sustain us through, and use us in, the needy situations we encounter daily at home, work, school, church—wherever.
  • "O Lord, supplier of all mercy and grace, I rejoice that Your mercies are new every day. Have mercy on me, dear Lord! I praise You that Your all-encompassing grace is available through humble, trusting prayer. Pour Your grace out on me, dear Lord!"   - From the DBD 12/28 message in the MacSword Program.
  • We should pray consistently for others, especially those who do God's work.  - From the NIV Life Application Bible 2 Timothy Note 1:3 pg 2199. 
  • When doubts come, then, don’t try to hide them or pretend they don’t exist. Take them to God in prayer and ask Him to help you resolve them. Tell Him honestly that, say, you doubt His existence, or His being in Christ, or whatever doubt you may have. He cares for you and will help you. I love the prayer of the man who came to Jesus and cried, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). And what a comfort it is to know that Jesus accepted such a prayer and such faith and responded positively to it! When we have intellectual doubts, that is the time as never before to deepen our spiritual lives and seek the fullness of God’s Spirit.  - From the Kindle book - Hard Questions, Real Answers by William Lane Craig, location 488.
  • "O Lord, You are my salvation, from justification throughout a lifetime of sanctification. Forgive me for underestimating my need for You. Forgive me concerning the self-sufficient, self-confident ways by which I have often lived. I humble myself before You. I want to live by trust and confidence in You. I long to live by Your grace, not by my best efforts. Help me to know You, that humility and faith might develop in my life, Amen."  - From the DBD 2/4 message in the MacSword Program.
  • "O Holy Father, I humbly admit that I have foolishly thought, at times, that I could produce godliness in myself through my own best efforts. Lord, I see that I need Your Spirit as much for spiritual growth as I did for spiritual birth. As I seek You through prayer and Your word, please take me on with You in growth and sanctification by the work of Your Holy Spirit, through Christ, I pray, Amen."  - From the DBD 2/24 message in the MacSword Program.
  • God welcomes prayers of thanksgiving for meals, warm fires, games, books, relationships, and every other good thing. When we fail to acknowledge God as the source of all good things, we fail to give him the recognition and glory he deserves. We separate joy from God, which is like trying to separate heat from fire or wetness from rain.  - From location 3119 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  • We shouldn’t ignore or minimize God’s lavish, creative gifts, but we should enjoy them and express heartfelt gratitude to God for all of life’s joys. When we do this, instead of these things drawing us from God, they draw us to God. That’s precisely what all things and all beings in Heaven will do—draw us to God, never away from him. - From location 3124 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  • Every day we should see God in his creation: in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the friendships we enjoy, and the pleasures of family, work, and hobbies. Yes, we must sometimes forgo secondary pleasures, and we should never let them eclipse God. And we should avoid opulence and waste when others are needy. But we should thank God for all of life’s joys, large and small, and allow them to draw us to him. That’s exactly what we’ll do in Heaven . . . so why not start now? - From location 3126 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  • Christians should give thanks and set aside times of worship, focusing on God and his grace through Jesus Christ.  We should make it a consistent practice to acknowledge God as our Lord and Savior.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Titus 2, Applications,  pg. 370.
  • Prayer with God was Paul's place of utter abandon, a place where he could fully express his anxioties, concerns, struggles, hopes, and joys.  Prayer provided the stable center as well as the surrounding calm in every relationship and every endeavor.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Philemon vv. 4-5  pg. 402. 
  • To Paul, prayer was not ritual performance of religious duty.  He experienced prayer as a dialogue between man adn God in which the aspirations and longings of the human heart were exposed to the divine will and purpose.  He placed confidence in God's design to work through this channel of summons, in which God listened to his children, then acted on their behalf.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Philemon v. 22  pg. 410. 
  • In 4:16 Christians are to practice “confidence” in coming to the Lord for mercy and grace. In 10:19 Christians should be courageous in coming to God because of Christ's completed work. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 3,  at location 1422.
  • We are to come to God with all the reverence and awe which his worship demands.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 4,  at location 1877.
  • We come to the throne of grace. This is a reverent reference to God's presence. It is the place where God gives out his free favor. The term describes an attitude more than a place. The seeking sinner will find this throne of grace (Luke 18:9–14).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 4,  at location 1879.
  • We come in an attitude of confidence. Although we must approach God with reverence, we can enter his presence with freedom and without fear. The term describes a boldness based on an awareness that God has all the grace we need. It is the attitude of customers coming to a store seeking an important item which they know is plentifully stocked.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 4,  at location 1881.
  • We come for the purpose of obtaining mercy and grace. God's mercy prescribes pardon for our many failures. God's grace provides strength for the demands of God's service.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 4,  at location 1885.
  • Offer praise and thanksgiving to God for the greatness of the ministry which Christ has for you. Find hope in the fact that Christ is able to save you completely (Heb. 7:25). Cast the burden of your failures on Christ because his sacrifice has paid for all your sins. Make no excuses for your own failures but claim strength and forgiveness from Christ to move forward in obedience.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, Applications, at location 3457.
  • Jesus is in the business of perfecting imperfect people. That's what his high priesthood is all about. Jesus' death has paid for all our sins. In God's presence he is praying for us. When we confess our failures and repent of our sin, God offers us forgiveness through Jesus. Confession, forgiveness, and repentance are processes through which God perfects imperfect people. The perfect sacrifice of Christ, his godly character, and his permanent prayers can take weak people and move them toward God. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, IV. Life Application, at location 3472.
  • They must draw near in conformity to God, and communion with him, living under his blessed influence, still endeavouring to get nearer and nearer, till they come to dwell in his presence; but they must see to it that they make their approach to God after a right manner. (1.) With a true heart, without any allowed guile or hypocrisy. God is the searcher of hearts, and he requires truth in the inward parts. Sincerity is our gospel perfection, though not our justifying righteousness. (2.) In full assurance of faith, with a faith grown up to a full persuasion that when we come to God by Christ we shall have audience and acceptance. We should lay aside all sinful distrust. Without faith it is impossible to please God; and the stronger our faith is the more glory we give to God. And, (3.) Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, by a believing application of the blood of Christ to our souls. They may be cleansed from guilt, from filth, from sinful fear and torment, from all aversion to God and duty, from ignorance, and error, and superstition, and whatever evils the consciences of men are subject to by reason of sin. (4.) Our bodies washed with pure water, that is, with the water of baptism (by which we are recorded among the disciples of Christ, members of his mystical body), or with the sanctifying virtue of the Holy Spirit, reforming and regulating our outward conversation as well as our inward frame, cleansing from the filthiness of the flesh as well as of the spirit.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 10, v. 19-22.
  • Hebrews 12:28 - 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving  a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus  let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe..  How should we respond to this word of security and comfort about a kingdom which will endure forever?  First, we are to be thankful.  We must be thankful that God has put an unchangeable possession in our grasp.  Second, we must worship.  We must worship God acceptably, in a manner pleasing to him.  We must also worship with reverence for God's greatness and with awe for his mighty power.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12:28-29, at location 5409.
  • Hebrews 13:19 - We must bring into intercession the conviction that God can use our prayers to effect changes when, humanly speaking, change seems impossible. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, D. Prayer for One Another (vv.18-21), at location 5771.  
  • Hebrews 13 - May the prayer of our life be that God may equip us with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him (v. 21).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, III. Conclusion, Concluding Words Carry Weight, at location 5848.
  • The Lack of Prayer - And yet the reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it. JAMES  4:2.  If God is waiting to meet us and to give us power from heaven for His work, it is short-sighted to put other work in His place. If there is to be a significant experience of God's presence, there must be more definite and persevering prayer.  Dr. Whyte of Edinburgh said that, as a young minister, he thought any time left over from pastoral visitation ought to be spent with his books. He wanted to feed his people with the very best he could prepare. But now he had learned that prayer was more important than study. He felt as if it were almost too late to regain what he had lost and urged us to pray more. What a solemn confession and warning: We pray too little!   - From the February 15th reading of the Book: Teach Me To Pray by Andrew Murray. 
  • Pray Exceedingly - For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith? 1  - THESSALONIANS  3:9 - 10. When we are most cheerful, we should be most thankful.  When we are most thankful, we should always give ourselves to prayer.  Prayer is not only to be offered in the name of Christ, but offered up to Christ Himself, as our Lord and our Savior.  God our Father directs and orders His children where to go and what to do. Let us acknowl-edge God in all our ways, and He will direct our paths. - From the book: Grant Me Wisdom from Matthew Henry.
  • Let Your Requests Be Made Known - Let Your Requests Be Made Known Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. PHILIPPIANS  4:6 - 7. - From the February 19th reading from the book: Grant Me Wisdom from Matthew Henry.
  • The author recommends constant prayer. "In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." We must pray for every emergency, "in everything by prayer." When anything burdens our spirits, we must ease our minds by prayer; when our affairs are perplexed or distressed, we must seek direction and support. We must join thanksgiving with our prayers and supplications. We must not only seek supplies of good, but have receipts of mercy. Prayer is the offering up of our desires to God. Not that God needs to be told either our wants or desires, but He would like to hear of them from us. The effect of this will be the peace of God. The peace of God is a greater good than can be sufficiently valued or duly expressed. This peace will keep our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. It will keep us from sinning under our troubles and from sinking under them. - From the February 19th reading from the book: Grant Me Wisdom from Matthew Henry.
  • Prayer that moves God to respond must be marked by the constancy of unwavering faith.  - From the "Expositor's Bible Commentary, James 1, verse 6.
  • The reception of truth must of necessity be marked by humility or meekness (Gr., prayteti). This is not to be construed as spineless weakness. Instead, it is the quality of a strong man that makes him docile and submissive rather than haughty and rebellious. Only in such a spirit can one fully receive God's truth. That the Word is described as "planted in you" suggests the readers were believers who already possessed the truth. The phrase "which can save you" simply describes the truth as saving truth. James is not calling for an initial acceptance of that message, but for a full and intelligent appropriation of  the truth as the Christian grows in spiritual understanding.  - From the "Expositor's Bible Commentary, James 1, verse 21.
  • Jesus tells us to pray in secret, and God will reward us for that (Matthew 6:6). Yet gathering for group prayer is certainly important (Matthew 18:19-20). God wants us to pray secretly sometimes but not others. He also wants us to give secretly sometimes but not others. It all comes down to the motives of our heart.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4591.
  • We’re told to examine ourselves and test ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5). David prayed that God would search his heart and test him, then show him anything he needed to repent of and change (Psalm 139:23-24).  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4753.
  • Proverbs 3:6 - The next thing to note is that our trust should be constant: in all your ways acknowledge him. Take one step at a time, and make sure that each step is under God's direction. Always make your plans in total dependence on God. It is nothing short of self-idolatry to imagine that we can carry out even the ordinary matters of daily life without God's counsel. God loves to be consulted. Therefore, take all your difficulties to him. Before you consult your friends, consult God. In all your ways. This includes the small things as well as the big things. In all your concerns, temporal or eternal, let God be supreme. Have we not all found the unimaginable peace of taking to God things that seem too small or personal to be entrusted to the most confidential ear? In this way Abraham acknowledged God. Wherever he pitched his tent for himself, he always built an altar for God (Genesis  12:7; 13:18).  He will make your paths straight. If we go to the Lord every morning in true humility, knowing that we do not know how to order our day, light will come down to us. We are not looking for new revelations or visible signs. Study the Word with prayer, and note how God's Spirit sheds light on it. Make sure that your will is ready to move in the direction God indicates. No step well prayed over will bring ultimate regret.  - Proverbs, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, Charles Bridges. 
  • Nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:19-21).  Answered prayer is dependent on:   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 277.
  • our abiding in Jesus and his word abiding in us (John 15:7), 
  • our motives being right, not selfish (Jas. 4:3),
  • our righteous character (Jas. 5:16)
  • our consistent obedience  (1 John 3:21-22), and
  • our asking according to God's will (1 John 5:14-15).
  • In many areas where God's will is unclear, we must search our hearts for right motives, ask God for wisdom, and then come to the Father as a child and place our request before him.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 277.
  • It is only when men begin to worship that they begin to grow. - Calvin Coolidge.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 334.
  • Worship is reverence, honor, praise, and service to God.  A more expanded theological definition of worship is given as follows: "An act by a redeemed man, the creature, toward God, his Creator, whereby his will, intellect and emotions gratefully respond to the revelation of God's person expressed in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit illuminates the written Word to his heart.  To worship is to recognize God's authority and obey him.  The heart of Christian worship is the power of Christ's presence.  In the life of faith, the believer must submit to the authority of Jesus and worship him.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 361-362.
  •  Mark 11:17 - Prayer, at its simplest is communicating with God.  It is how we make contact with God and how he communicates with us.  Prayer takes many forms throughout Scripture.  It can merely be a request for sustenance or a curse on enemies.  It is praise to God and pleading for renewal.  It is confession and remembrance.  It is thanksgiving to God for what he has given - and forgiven.  It is a request for guidance and a plea for mercy.  There is only one thing that prayer is not: an attempt to manipulate God.  Often we think that if we pray hard enough or long enough or have enough faith, God will act.  We treat God as though he is a cosmic candy machine; if we plug in enough quarters, he will give us a candy bar.  Prayer is not simply asking God for the pleasant things which we may desire, but an earnest yearning for, and entering into, the will of God, for ourselves and others, whether it is sweet or bitter.  This is the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane, and such prayers will always be answered by God" (Cole, Mark, p. 255).  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Mark" by Max Anders and Rodney L. Cooper, VI. Deeper Discoveries, C. Prayer, page 194.
  • Prayer is not just a religious rite carried out to be pious and blameless.  Prayer is direct access to God's ear which allows God direct access to you.  A people united in prayer had better be ready,  There is no telling what you can expect from God.  He answers prayer.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Mark" by Max Anders and Trent C. Butler, page 20.
  • The purpose of prayer is not to inform God what needs to be done on earth; the purpose of prayer is to align ourselves with his realities in heaven. Prayer is not him coming down—he’s already here with us through his Spirit. Prayer is about us being lifted up; it’s choosing to look up and beyond, choosing to yield to his ways and not begging like a spoiled child for our own desires to be fulfilled.   - From location 894 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • This kind of prayer, this kind of refocusing our attention on eternal things, requires practice and patience. When we become too earthly minded, we usually end up dissatisfied and desperate, aware of the frustration that Solomon expressed about the limitations of life as we know it. We must learn to focus on heaven and pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” just as Jesus instructed us in the Lord’s Prayer.  - From location 897 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • One of my favorite prayers: Dear Lord, So far today, I’m doing all right. I haven’t gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent. I have not whined, cursed, or eaten too much chocolate. However, I’m going to get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot more help after that. Amen.  When we begin each day by communicating with our Father, then we’re going to feel a whole lot more connected to him. If we take the time to let him know how much we love him and to ask him for help, then we’re making a choice about how our day will go. Here’s an even better prayer to pray: “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).  - From location 1125-1128 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • When we begin the day by giving God thanks and worshiping him, we’ve grounded ourselves in what is real, in what matters most. No matter what happens that day, we know that God is in charge and working out his sovereign plan for good. When we acknowledge and appreciate what we have, we’re not as inclined to look for green grass over the fence. We know that God provides for us and wants to bless us with his abundant generosity.  - From location 1132 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).  - From location 1188 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • Notice that prayer and thanksgiving are gifts God offers us so that we may access his peace. - From location 1190 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. - From location 1386 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • As I’ve studied prayer in the Bible, I’ve discovered that most people today pray very differently from what’s described in Scripture. There’s not one place where it says that when you pray you should close your eyes. And there’s certainly not one place where it tells you to speak in a soft, quiet, reverent monotone, addressing God as if he were from England. (I think some people assume it must be more official if you pray like the King James Version—“thou knowest of what I speaketh.”) Imagine addressing your spouse and kids as if you’d just stepped out of one of Shakespeare’s plays! - From location 1413 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • Prayer is not nearly that complicated.  Honestly, you are simply talking with someone you know and love.  I'm a little embarrassed to share something so personal, but when I wake up in the morning, I tell God, "Good morning, Lord.  It's good to see you.  I've missed you.  I'm glad we get to spend a few minutes together here right now.  I'm so grateful for how much you love me.  You're my daddy, My Abba Father, and I love you today with all my heart.  If that sounds like something a child might pray, then I'm glad.  That's how I want to approach God, as a son who's excited to love and serve his Father.  When you pray, it really is just a conversation between you and the One who loves you most.  Prayer can be one of the most dynamic, life-giving, breath-of-fresh-air places in your entire life. - From location 1416 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • I'm not criticizing anyone for praying the Lord's Prayer as it appears in Scripture, only noting that the words themselves are not as important as the topics Jesus is covering in his model prayer.  Basically, what he gives to his disciples, including us, is an outline for our communication with God. - From location 1441 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • Notice how Jesus begins his instruction on prayer.  The first thing he teaches us to do is connect with God relationally:  Our Father who is in heaven.  It's so important when we enter into our prayer time that we do as Jesus does and begin by calling God something that's endearing. - From location 1441 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • You begin with the assurance that God is your Father and loves you like a daddy loves his children.  He wants to be in this relationship with you, not just as your God, but as your Father. - From location 1454 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • So much of our relationship with God depends on how accurately we see him.  If we view him as the loving daddy he is, with his arms wide open, waiting to hold us, then we're going to enjoy spending time with him in conversation.  However, if we view him as a faceless, angry giant with a club in his hand waiting to pounce on us, then it's no wonder we try to avoid him. - From location 1454 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • I studied the Bible and saw how close Jesus was to his Dad.  Jesus brought us the freedom to relate to God in this same way.  Paul wrote, "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, "Abba, Father'" (Romans 8:14-15).  The Greek word for "Spirit" here is pneuma, meaning God's breath of fresh air.  Consider my translation based on this notion:  God wants to put breath back in our sails through the fresh air of his Spirit because he's adopted us as his children. - From location 1465 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • Once we've established our relationship with God, Jesus tells us to honor our Father's name - "Hallowed be thy name."  God's names, and he has many, each expressing a different facet of his magnificent being, have incredible power.  According to proverbs 18:10, his names are places of protection; the righteous can run there and be safe. As you may be aware, there are many names for God throughout the Scriptures:  he is our Peace, our Protector, and the list goes on and on.  Each name carries with it a reminder of the distinct benefits we have in that aspect of God's relationship with us.  We call out to him and we remember that he is a God who provides, a God who gives shelter, comfort, and the peace that passes understanding. - From location 1465 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • Jesus lets us in on the real secret to our relationship with God - the key to how we talk to him.  "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."  In other words, we need to pray and seek God's agenda first.  Isn't it true that so often when we pray, we got our laundry list of things to ask him for?  But Jesus reminds us to first focus on what he wants done.  When we follow this way of doing things and allow him to guide us, then he takes care of us by listening to our needs, "our daily bread." - From location 1478 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • We tend to focus on the problems, the needs, the deficits, and the trials.  But we don't need God's help only when we give the big presentation at work; we need him while we're driving to work, interacting with our assistant, meeting with our boss, talking on the phone, and returning email.  Jesus told us to pray in a way that acknowledges our Source.  "God, everything I have comes from you.  You are my source for all that I'm entrusted to steward.  I wouldn't even get to work if you didn't give me breath to wake up this morning.  You're my source for everything.  So, Lord, give me today, and all that I need throughout it."  - From location 1503 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • If we want our lives to be propelled by God's breath and to move forward effortlessly, then our hearts must be right with God and with other people.  One of the most liberating, energizing things we can do each day is go to our Father and ask his forgiveness.  - From location 1503 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • Ask him to point out any blind spots or areas that you may not realize need attention.  If there's any part of your life that's offensive to the One you love the most, then you surely want to know about it and deal with it.  - From location 1516 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • I encourage you to ask God to keep you sensitive to sin, aware of his ways and not your own or your culture's.  Not only do you need to ask God for forgiveness each day, but you also need to make sure you're right with other people.  Jesus basically said, "You'll be forgiven to the degree that you forgive other people" (see Matthew 6:14-15).  In the same way that you and I forgive each other, God forgives us.  Pretty scary if you think about it!  This means that it is vitally important to make deliberate decisions each day about how you're going to treat other people.  - From location 1516 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • You're not only praying for those offenses that have already taken place, but also for those that are yet to take place.  It's an attitude, an overall approach to the world of being forgiving or, as I like to say, breath-giving.  Instead of being fearful of all the mean, nasty, selfish people out in the world, you can show them the love of God because you know that he is big enough to handle their issues.  You don't have to do God's job for him and monitor the gates of his Kingdom.  - From location 1528 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • It's important to realize that God does not lead us into temptation or set us up for failure.  We are actually asking him to help us when temptation comes our way, to give us the power to resist and say no.  Jesus is telling us that not only must we seek and grant forgiveness for what has happened in the past, but we must take our stand against the devil and ask God to help us resist his schemes against us in the future. - From location 1541 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • We must also realize that we're in a war with our enemy, and sometimes warfare prayers are required.  Scripture is clear about this: "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes...And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers" (Ephesians 6:10-11, 18).  It's not that we have to pray the right prayer so that God will listen or because it works like some magic spell.  We pray this way because we realize we're in the midst of a spiritual battle!   - From location 1541 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • We must renounce the unholy one and all his fiery arrows and crafty schemes.  We must pray for protection around our families and friends, around our homes and churches.  We need to consecrate and fortify our marriages and the lives of our children.  We must take our stand against the forces of darkness in the name and power of Jesus Christ.  Too often we thing of prayer as a pleasant, dreamy meditation, but sometimes our prayers should be more like a street fight! - From location 1541 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  • Pray without Ceasing - A prayer does not have to be eloquent or contain the language and terms of a theologian. In fact, sometimes our simplest, most heartfelt prayers are the most pleasing to God.  When Paul said we should “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), he chose a term used in his day to describe a persistent cough. Repeatedly, throughout our day, we should be turning quickly to God to praise and thank Him, and to ask for His help. God is interested in everything we do, and nothing is too great or too insignificant to share with Him. - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 541). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.