Praying With Sincerity

  Praying With Sincerity Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8 (ESV) Welcome to week four of our prayer study. Before we get into Monday’s verses, I want to say how proud I am of you all for wrestling and working through some of the hard verses from last Friday. I am not a touchy feely person, but I get super excited when I see women not afraid to dig deep and wrestle with some of the more difficult passages found in the Bible. I wish I could hug you all! Many of you are left with more questions than when you started. And for some the topic of imprecatory prayer it still confusing (as it is for me), but I LOVED reading your thoughts, conclusions and applications.  I want to encourage you to revisit the topic at a future date and continue wrestling with it while praying that God will give you insight and understanding. My only word of caution is to make sure that your conclusions always line up with the rest of Scripture (which really goes for any topic). Now let’s talk about today’s verses. This week we will be looking at how we are to pray and today’s keyword is “sincerity”. According to Psalm 62:8 we are to pour our hearts out before God which is another way of saying that our prayers should be sincere… A sincere prayer is one that is truthful and genuine. A part of John Bunyan’s well respected definition of prayer is that “prayer is...

Prayers of Curses

Prayers of Curses   When I see real injustice it both saddens and angers me. If someone were to do something truly awful to my children or my husband, I would want to see them crushed. And when I see some of the horrific things happening around the world and then read these imprecatory prayers, I want to echo David’s words against those who are evil. But I also know I am supposed to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me (Matthew 5:44). I feel conflicted about these feelings. What am I supposed to do with these feelings, and how should I read and interact with such dark Psalms? It is always helpful to start with a definition. What are imprecatory prayers? An imprecatory prayer is a calling down of judgement or curse against one’s enemies or those who are enemies of God.  We see these prayers of curses or judgement all throughout Scripture. The ones found in the Psalms are the most famous (Psalms 7; 35; 58; 59; 69; 83; 109;137;139). We also see Moses ask the Lord to scatter his enemies and make them flee in fear (Num. 10:35). Deborah prays that all of God’s enemies would be destroyed (Judges 5:31). Jeremiah gets really hard core and prays for God to destroy those who are evil “with double destruction” (Jer. 17:18). Some scholars say that even Paul used imprecations against those who did not love God. One example is found in 1 Cor. 16:22: “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!” These imprecatory prayers should not make...

Prayer Increases Our Dependence on God

  A few years ago I decided to grow an apple tree. I ordered a tiny little baby tree, which looked like a stick with one leaf on it. We lovingly called it, “the apple stick”.  A couple years passed and my little apple tree still resembled a stick with one leaf on it. I’m not sure if it ever grew any taller. It certainly didn’t get anymore branches and definitely no apples.  I’m not exactly sure how long we had the apple stick, but at some point it got mowed over and that was the end at my attempt to plant a tree. The only thing that thrives in my yard are weeds and thistles.  I don’t know anything about trees so when I read passages in scripture that deal with any amount of botany I feel a bit out of my element. In John 15, Jesus tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches. If we want to be bear fruit we need to abide in him because apart from him we are not capable of doing anything. I love it when Jesus gets all intense and hardcore, but what does He mean by these words? Abiding To abide means to live or rest in something or someone. Jesus made it really clear that we need to rest in Him. We need to be making our home in Him. We need to be so closely tied to Jesus that He is our very breath. And the reason this is so important is because apart from Him we can do nothing! Doesn’t this seem...

Jesus, Savior Of His People

  Earlier this week we witnessed a beautiful part of the Christmas story. In the midst of confusion and shock the angel comforts Joseph regarding the baby that Mary was going to have (Matt 1:21). A baby that is not his but that he is supposed to love and raise as his own. He also gives Joseph the name that they are to call this child. Jesus! It’s a beautiful name because it reveals what this child would one day do. He would save His people from their sins. Beautiful! But it also requires of us that we never study the Christmas account without also looking at the cross. The birth of Jesus would mean nothing if He hadn’t died. Jesus did not grow up and later in life decide that He would suffer and lose his life on a cross like a hated criminal. This was the plan from the VERY beginning (Gen 3, Isa. 53, Acts 2:23). In our verse for today we see the radical love of God. He held nothing back – not even His only beloved son. Salvation is not an idea, a mindset, or a way of life. It is not a work or even religious activities. Salvation is a person. Jesus was born to save but salvation carried with it a massive price tag. He loved, healed and taught in order to show those around Him, and us now, that HE is that salvation. He was born for you! He let Himself be hung on the cross for you! God the father gave His only beloved son, and the son willingly gave...

#DreamWithUs – Rekindling A Love For God’s Word

I love being around new Christians. They have this hunger and passion for their Bibles, and they know that reading it is the only way they can grow in this new relationship they are enjoying with Christ. As the years go by it sometimes happens that these flames of passion begin to burn a bit smaller. The word of God lays on the shelf a bit more dusty than before or hiding under piles of homework and bills. There are many reasons why the word of God is so easily neglected. Sometimes it is because we feel as though there is nothing new to learn or we become frustrated because of the number of verses we don’t understand. Others may get stumped when it comes time to apply what they read to their everyday lives. Maybe we lack motivation to really get into God’s Word and study hard on a regular basis. Even the great missionary Hudson Taylor knew the difficulties of maintaining a consistent time of Bible reading and study. He said “Satan will always find you something to do, when you ought to be occupied about that, if it is only arranging a window blind.” Oh but there is such a well of life to be found when we open our Bibles, and this is where Love God Greatly comes in. We are passionate about the Bible and about our fellow sisters here in the United States and around the world! We want to equip women to dig deep into God’s words, to learn how to study verses in their context and to then apply them to...
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