ISAIAH 55 PRAY-ERS PRAYER GUIDE June 30 – July 13, 2014 SCRIPTURE PRAYER EXAMPLE Scripture prayer for living out God’s design for marriage using I Peter 3:3-4,7: Father, may _____’s beauty come not from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, may it be that of inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in Your sight. May _____, as her husband, be considerate as he lives with _____ and treat her with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs together of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder their prayers. In Jesus Name, Amen. YOUR PRAYER TIME PRAISE: First take time to praise the Father, Son, and Spirit and bring thank offerings. Psalm 100:4 tells us to “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” [We offer video links to music that we find worshipful. Unfortunately, some are prefaced with an advertisement that we do not endorse and at times may be distasteful. We suggest that you click to skip any advertisements.] Week 1: Read Genesis 32:22-32. In my husband’s young adult Sunday School class, he is teaching through the book of Genesis. He doesn’t use prepared material but rather pours over the Word and commentaries by trusted scholars then mulls it over in his mind all week. Come Saturday night, I become his scribe and the week’s distillation of thoughts turns into a lesson. Come Sunday morning, I have the privilege of watching the Spirit use this freedom to teach at a deeper level, give humanness to the characters, bring passages to life like an old black-and-white film given living color, and add real-life emotions, dynamics, politics, and everyday complexities. It’s a beautiful thing! Through the Genesis study, I’ve been surprised at what I’ve learned about Jacob and wish I had room to share it all here. With the summation of his life commonly stamped ‘a deceiver,’ I’ve now found myself a defender of his name. When Jacob “stole” the blessing under a guise of deception, with his mother an accomplice (Genesis 27), the glaring oversight is that Isaac’s intent was to bless Esau when he knew the prophesy of God having chosen Jacob (Genesis 25:23). That doesn’t excuse Jacob’s actions to force the will of God, but let Scripture make the call: Esau is referred to as godless (Hebrews 12:16), but no such record is made of Jacob. Instead Scripture refers over and over to God being the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob labored twenty long years for his father-in-law, Laban, being deceived, cheated, and mistreated by him, bearing loss, suffering hardship, and toiling night and day (Genesis 29:25; 31:38-42), and enduring such sustained adversity at Laban’s hand is a witness and litmus test of his character. “For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.” (I Peter 2:19) In today’s text, Jacob wrestles with what most scholars agree is the Angel of the Lord, or the preincarnate Christ, supported by verse 30 and also Hosea 12:3-4. I found fresh encouragement here for my praying heart and want to turn now to inspire yours with the deeper truths embedded here. Henry Morris unpacks these thoughts so well: “Little did he dream, as he began to pray that night, that his agony of soul as he cried to God for strength and deliverance would soon become an actual physical battle … As he felt more and more this conflict, he cried the more earnestly to God, seeing ever more clearly that it was not the immediate dangers that should be the burden of his prayers, but rather the accomplishment of God’s will for all men everywhere. God’s presence and purpose became more and more real to him until, suddenly, He was real! His uplifted arms were actually clinging to God Himself, God in human form. Jacob felt that, if he ever let go, it would mean that God had left him, with prayer unanswered; and so he clung desperately, pleading all the while for His blessing. God in grace allowed him to hang on, seeing that Jacob’s faith and understanding were growing as he clung … [God] delights to yield to such prayers.” 1 1 The Genesis Record, By Henry Morris, Pages 500-501 ©2014 Isaiah 55 Pray-ers. Used by permission. The One to Whom we cling in prayer is likewise clinging to us. As we persist in prayer, cleaving to Him, our prayers are shaping and accomplishing His will in our own lives even as He is in the lives of our sons and daughters. It is a beautiful thing! “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6) is our God. ~ In Him, Anita I Am, David Crowder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH_LLGiE0f0 Week 2: Read Psalm 119:97-104. Sunday evening, I rode the 4-wheeler with my husband to check the cows. I don’t get to go very often, so it’s a treat for me. The older calves romp and roam, often pairing with the same playmates, and it’s a funny sight when a calf friskily squares off with its mom. With a younger calf, a cow will often hide her little one and go away to graze, the youngster rarely moving until she returns. There is nothing like finding a newborn calf though. Life is precious, and one thousand new births later, it never loses its wonder. This particular weekend, we were checking on a calf born that morning. We found him weak and frail at days end, appearing as if he hadn’t yet nursed, his dutiful mommy lying right next to him. We got both to the work area, milked the mommy, and tried to feed the baby, squeezing small amounts at a time into his mouth and waiting for each delayed swallow. Disinterested in eating, we did what we could, prayed, and hoped he’d be alive in the morning. Day 2 came, and he suffered through more coaxed feedings. Day 3 came, and he actually drank with some eagerness. By day 4, he was nursing his mommy. As we thanked our Father, I was reminded of Scripture’s counsel to believers: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (I Peter 2:2-3) I’ve long heard old-timers talk about teaching a baby to nurse using honey on the tongue. The honey of the Word on our tongues will stimulate the desire for more and the want to drink and with eagerness. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103) There is no substitute for the nourishment of the Word. The interchange that occurs during its study is the God of the universe Himself teaching us: “for you yourself have taught me” (Psalm 119:102). To live on Sunday morning feedings and/or radio teaching is to miss the personal-ness of our God. Our God is a God of fellowship, which is why we call Him Father. If I want to know you, I spend time with you; if I want to know Him, I spend time with Him. “The ordinances of the LORD … are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:9-11) Every time we read the Word, we have opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus and just love Him. It takes a conscious effort to be a Mary in a busy, hurried, Martha world (Luke 10:38-42), to choose the better way: “Martha, Martha … you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (vv.41-42). Let us ask the Father to give us such a heart and a pure love for Jesus, to quiet us there lingering at his feet; He will do it, and it will not be taken away from us! “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” (Psalm 34:8) ~ In Him, Anita We Believe, Newsboys https://www.youtube.com/user/newsboysvevo?v=WjZ01FcK0yk THANKSGIVING: Honor God by remembering His blessings and recall answered prayers. “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23 CONFESSION: Now take time to allow the Spirit to counsel your heart to prepare you to come before the throne. Isaiah 59:2 states “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” But I John 1:9 states “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” INTERCESSION: Lastly, know that the LORD delights when we come with bold prayers before His throne. He awaits our prayers. Hebrews 4:14-16. ©2014 Isaiah 55 Pray-ers. Used by permission. 1. Thank you for your faithful prayers. Revelation 5:8 – “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” PRAY-ERS SCHEDULE Remember to pray for the other mothers on their prayer days. Monday: Tuesday: Wednesday: Thursday: Friday: Saturday: “PRAYER DOES NOT FIT US FOR THE GREATER WORKS; PRAYER IS THE GREATER WORK.” By: Oswald Chambers ©2014 Isaiah 55 Pray-ers. Used by permission.