Monday – 1 Peter 3:8–12   Prayer is when we reconnect with God’s purposes and His passions.  It is necessary in our lives because it is how we take captive our thoughts and line them up to God’s thoughts. His are higher than ours, so if we are not regularly exposed to the scriptures and to the practice of prayer, we will lose track of His goals for our life. Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble… As believers, God must tell us what to think. Prayer is telling Him that we have agreed with Him and are committed to agreeing with Him. We need to do that daily and continually. We don’t repay evil, we bless so that we can be blessed. We purposefully turn from evil and do what is good. That always begins with prayer and is reflected in the way we live. We seek peace and pursue it because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request.  Set your heart and mind on living a life of prayer so that you can be blessed by God. It’s ok to ask to be blessed, as long as you are committed to blessing others and being a blessing to God. Take a few moments and think about that last sentence. Then pray with me. Lord, I need your blessing in my life. Please bless my _____________. And Lord, let me be a blessing to others. Please bless __________ and give them your favor. Finally Lord, may I be a blessing to You. May my prayers and praises and my life give you joy. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
Tuesday – Psalms 17:6–9   When you pray, are you confident God will answer you? Or that He hears you? I call on You, God because You will answer me… Not just here in the Psalms, but throughout God’s Word, God promises to hear the prayers of those who call on Him. Display the wonders of Your faithful love, Savior… why does David call God His Savior? Because David knows all believers need refuge from those who rebel against Your right hand. There are many who hate God and hate the Bible. They hate the fact that God claims to own this world and to own them. They would rather have occurred by some vague impersonal evolutionary process, than be spoken into existence by a personal God who knows them. That is because a God who spoke them into existence will continue to speak. He will have a plan. He will have standards and morals. And ultimately, every person who has ever lived will be judged by that Creator God. The world hates Him, but we seek refuge and we ask Him to protect me as the pupil of Your eye.  Like the Psalmist, we seek to be hidden in the shadow or Your wings.  I call on You, God, because You will answer me. Despite the harshness of the world and the enemies of God, we call on Him because we know that He will answer. Take a few moments and pray this Psalm aloud to God. Make these words, yours.
Wednesday – Psalms 66:1–4   Shout joyfully to God, all the earth! I love exclamation points in the Bible. There aren’t really that many of them, so when we see them, they are pretty emphatic. As we know more and more about the the glory of His name, the more inclined we will be to say How awe-inspiring are Your works! There’s another one. Another exclamation point. That He spoke this whole world into creation and still desires our praise is astounding! And yet, the more we know of Him, the more we understand that is exactly what He wants. Exalt Him! Praise Him! Count your blessings and thank Him! Do what the Psalm says and lift up the name of Jesus!
Thursday – Matthew 5:43–45   It would be entirely natural for us to love those who love and hate our enemies. But Jesus said, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  Why would we do such a thing? How can we do such a thing? ..so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. We do what the Word says so that He is proud of His children. So that He says, “Did you see what my boy did today?” When we do things that are powered by His Spirit and motivated by obedience to Him, we glorify His Name.  Pray with me. Father, be proud of me. As You change me from the inside out, be pleased with me. You are worthy of Your children making you glad. You said there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, so once again, I repent. I turn. I bow. I worship. I humble myself before You. Be glorified! Be lifted Up! Let us behave like the sons and daughters you deserve. In Jesus Name, we pray, Amen.
Friday – Matthew 6:5–8   It is interesting that even though the world doesn’t really understand the things of God,  (1Cor. 2:14) they do understand God’s definition of a spiritual hypocrite. When Jesus  says they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people, even the world understands that is wrong. It is not wrong to pray publically, like in church, together. It is wrong to only pray publically. When you pray, go into your private room, shut your door and pray to your Father who is in secret.  We are also told don’t babble like the idolators because God is not impressed with lots of words. God wants us to pray to Him, because we love Him. Not to impress others and not to be seen. The same principle extends to corporate worship. We have no need of spiritual cheerleaders to show us how it should be done. It is an affair of the heart and God hears the prayers and praises coming from our hearts, rising up to heaven. We are told that “heart” worship is pleasing to Him, even now. So the lesson from this passage is to not judge others with our prayers and praises. Read 1 Peter 3:4 What is beautiful to God is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. Think a bit about these scriptures and pray about them.  Think of one way to apply something from these scriptures in your life today.
Saturday – Matthew 6:9-13   It has been used so often that sometimes we miss the beauty of our Lord’s instructions on prayer. The first thing that should happen when we pray is Your name be honored as holy. We should first extol His Name and worship Him. Then Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. His coming world is more important than our present world and we should tell Him so. Give us today our daily bread. It is always good with God for us to ask Him to meet our needs. But notice, they are daily needs. He doesn’t promise everything we need tomorrow, but only for today. He wants us to rely on Him daily. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. The pre-requisite for God forgiving us is that we are not holding bitterness and offense against others. If God has forgiven us with the free gift of salvation, we must forgive others, even if they don’t deserve it. After all, neither did we. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Evil is present in the world all the time. We are asking God to order our steps and guide us so that we are not impacted by what is always around us. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen. We confirm God’s eternal sovereign might and glory. The Lord’s prayer is an awesome template to use to learn how to pray. Take some time right now and pray each part of aloud and prepare for worshiping with your brothers and sisters-in-Christ tomorrow.

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