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Prayers that please God
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Pleasing God

 

CONSIDER THIS

When we pray, we often pray for a specific reason: it’s ‘prayer time’, we have a pressing need, or there is a perceived need of someone around us.  Typically, there is some circumstantial situation driving us to pray or we feel we “ought to pray” about people, needs or situations because we are Christians.  Does this prayer please God?

Have you ever had a person you haven’t heard from in a long time contact you and ask a favor?  If you are a parent, you may be familiar with the experience of watching your kids get too busy with friends, activities, school or work to spend time or communicate with you—until they had a need or a crisis or have to spend time with you.  Maybe you had a friend who got married, deployed or some other life change and no longer found time for your friendship.  In any case, most people have had relationships they treasured that drifted apart and became distant.  Great relationships take work.  The kind of relationships that are truly deep, committed and fully reliable require time.  The good news is this:  God has already done all the work on His side, He promises to put in all the time we want, and His gifts are satisfying, so the rest is completely up to us.

In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches about “need” based prayers:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”


“Set your affection (heart, mind—your emotions and thoughts which comprise your soul) on things above, not on things on the earth.”  Colossians 3:2
What then, do we pray for?  What did Jesus pray for during those many nights spent alone in prayer?
God enjoys giving good things to His children (“it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32); every good gift comes from God (“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father,” James 1:17).  Deuteronomy 28 is an extensive list of blessings that God has gone to great lengths to provide to obedient believers.  The key is seeking first the Giver, the kingdom, in faith and obedience.  When Jesus taught His disciples about prayer, He said spoke of the importance of persistent seeking, faith and the Holy Spirit, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  Jesus likens the Holy Spirit to a ‘good gift’ and links this to persistent prayer.  Any gift that goes unused is an affront to the Giver, especially when the cost for the gift was so extraordinary.

 “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.”  Ephesians 5:1
Assuming Jesus’ night time prayer sessions were successful and achieved the intended goal, Jesus got Holy Spirit power from His prayer time.  After His baptism and 40 days of prayer, the Bible says “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,” (Luke 4:14).  After this, Jesus frequently proclaimed the kingdom of God.  (Matthew 12:28, Mark 1:15, Luke 8:1, Luke 10:11, Luke 17:21) Effective prayer time produced kingdom characteristics and power.  Jesus operated in the gifts of the spirit—wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy and discernment of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:7-10)—when He came from the wilderness after His baptism.  Jesus told His disciples that prayer and fasting were necessary for spiritual power.

Ephesians 6:18 says “pray at all times in the Spirit.”  According to Thayer’s lexicon, ‘in the Spirit’ can be translated as “to come to be in the Spirit, under the power of the Spirit, i. e. in a state of inspiration or ecstasy, in the power of the Spirit, possessed and moved by the Spirit.”  Paul encourages believers to be imitators of God, imitators of him and imitators of Christ (Ephesians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Corinthians 4:16).  Paul talks extensively about speaking to God (praying) in the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 14.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm37:4
When we set our desires on God, and persistently pursue His Gifts, He will always respond.  Powerfully and abundantly.  Take the time to fervently seek God and His Gifts.  Every believer needs to make full use of every resource Jesus’ blood affords.  We cannot risk battle against demonic forces without being fully ‘prayed up’ and endued with the power.  And we cannot wait until a crisis strikes, but then, why would anyone want to?
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think (imagine), according to the power at work within us,”  Ephesians 3:20.
 

Upcoming Event

YOU ARE INVITED: God & Government Conference Series/MI Oak Initiative is pleased to present:

Trevor Loudon - “The Enemies Within”
Sunday, November 6th – 5:00PM to 7:30PM

Hickory Ridge Community Church
1360 N. Hickory Ridge Trail
Milford, MI 48380

Movie – “The Enemies Within” will be shown after Mr. Loudon speaks
NO REGISTRATION FEE!

Contact Info:
Hickory Ridge Community Church – 248-685-3520
Email: pastor@hrcommunitychurch.com

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Don't Forget . . .

With all the troubling events taking place, remember Christians that being persecuted around the world and our country's leaders in your prayers. 
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