Prayer Templates from the Bible

Prayer Picture

9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  Colossians 1:9-12

Ever wonder what to pray when you intercede for a another follower of Jesus. Use the prayers of Paul as a template and write out a prayer. Pray it for a few days and then share it with them.
Dear _________,

From the day I heard about your life of faith, hope, and love in Jesus Christ, I have been praying for you. It goes something like this:

Our Heavenly Father, please fill ____________ with the knowledge of your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so ______________ can walk in a manner worthy of Jesus, fully pleasing him, and bearing fruit in every good work, and all the while increasing in the knowledge of you.  Strengthen _________ with all power according to your glorious might, so ___________ will have joyful endurance and patience. May your Spirit stir up gratitude in ___________ toward our Heavenly Father who has qualified ___________ to share in the glorious inheritance of the followers of Jesus.

I’m so thankful for what you have done in ___________ life!

AMEN.

Jesus reads the Scripture. What he says next shocks them all.

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16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”  Luke 4:16-22


First Audience

When we read the Scripture as followers of Jesus we may miss the moments that profoundly impacted the first audience to Jesus. The first audience on this day in Nazareth was astonished. Jesus had come home. The carpenter’s son was back. Taking his turn to read the Scripture in the synagogue he read a familiar text from Isaiah and he sat down.

What Jesus said next shocked them. “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Identity Claims

Jesus is saying, this is my mission. This is who I am. This is true of me. I am the Lord’s Servant. I am The One. Right now, right here. I have fulfilled this text.

“The Spirt of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good new to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Those who believed Jesus would never read the Scripture the same way. Now they saw Jesus as the fulfillment of all the Law and the Prophets. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Scripture. He is the author and finisher of their faith. The Scripture, His Scripture a gift from Him them points to Him. Jesus is the Suffering Servant completing God’s work for humanity. All history moves to its completion in Him.

Can’t Ever Read The Scripture the Same Way

They could never read the Scripture (the Old Testament) without the person of Jesus before, behind, and present in the text.

Peter, a follower of Jesus would write to the 2nd generation audience to Jesus’ words and identity of how they should read the text:

8Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.  1 Peter 1:8-12

Love for Jesus might not come first when one hears His word and hears His claim for identity as God. Its possible that we might shocked, argumentative and resistant. But when we believe, we read the text with Jesus as a word that finds its fulfillment in Him.

SPECKA–bible study any place any time with anyone

I’m always on the lookout for ways to promote study and application of God’s Word.  I believe we need to move our western romance with information or knowledge on toward speedy obedience when it comes to us and the Bible.  Please don’t hear me saying that I am against education.  I just think we get inoculated against the power of God’s Word to change our lives when we become dependent on a “studied person” as opposed to seeing every person empowered to open the Scripture and experience the shaping work of the Holy Spirit.  Here is a way to do that.

If you are using a narrative passage of Scripture have someone prepared ahead of time to tell the story.  Then have someone read the text.  Then make your way, one question at a time through the following questions:  SPECKA

S  is there any SIN to confess or avoid in this passage?

P  is there any PROMISE to claim?

E  is there any good EXAMPLE to follow or bad EXAMPLE to avoid?

C  is there a direct COMMAND to obey?

K  is there any KNOWLEDGE about who God is or how He works?

A  what is the APPLICATION?
     1st.  What are the general APPLICATIONS from this passage?
     2nd.  What are your personal APPLICATIONS from this passage?

 

Enjoy.  And if any of you do this by yourself or with a group of friends please give me feed-back on how it went.

learn wisdom from the stories of Scripture

Here is our Big Idea this past Sunday at Cityvew:  Seek to honour Jesus today by learning wisdom from the stories of Scripture.  We were camped out in Daniel 5 building on what it means to Live Like Strangers in our culture but not of it.   Belshazzar knew the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s humiliation and exaltation, but he failed to grasp the wisdom to be found in the story; Daniel had to re-tell the story for Belshazzar now that B. had seen the writing on the wall.

Unfortunately, like Belshazzar we can be the same way about history–we don’t learn from our mistakes or the mistakes of others.  The Christian worldview presses us to learn from other people–particularly their stories in the Scripture–without having to learn solely from experiences.  There is great benefit in godliness, holiness, righteousness, in living an undivided life from relationship with Jesus; and that benefit can be ours if we learn wisdom from the stories of Scripture.  We don’t have to go out and experience ALL THIS WORLD HAS TO OFFER in order to be a whole person.  Belshazzar was literally living the last day of the Babylonian Empire in a party of bravado and drunkenness.  Devastation was at his doorstep, yet to the end he never humbled himself and declared himself dependent on God as Nebuchadnezzar had done.  So… how can we avoid the same mistakes.  We can learn wisdom from the stories of Scripture.

1.  Listen to the stories of Scripture to enlarge your view of God.  Daniel tells a story that Belshazzar knew but had been unable to access the wisdom in it.  Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

2.  Put the story in its context.  This was easy for Daniel to do and sometimes more difficult for us.  But the context is often where the story begins to show us the HOPE we can have for today and tomorrow.  The Apostle Paul highlights gift of Scripture in Romans 15:4;  “For everything that was written in the past was written to encourage us, so that through the endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

3.  Pay attention to the warnings that illustrate the consequence of being consumed by your culture’s independence from God.  Every culture has aspects of it that seek to move us toward independence from Jesus Christ.  Nebuchadnezzar’s personally testimony in Daniel 4 was a proclamation of God’s sovereignty and grace:  “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just.  And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”  Belshazzar missed the warning.  In one of his letters to the church in Corinth, Paul seeks to help them grasp God’s purpose for the stories of Israel for them:  “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.”  1 Corinthians 10:11

4.  Adjust your belief and behaviour accordingly.  A genuine change of heart and is reflected in a change of behaviour.  When we change our allegiance from self to Jesus our beliefs and behaviours should reflect His exclusive claim to our lives.  The stories of Scripture are used by the Holy Spirit to heal us and to move us into the way and mission of God.  Paul reminds his mentee, Timothy, that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17

Learn wisdom from the stories of Scripture.  Hey try it yourself as we get ready for this coming Sunday’s message, by reading and reflecting on Daniel 6.