Outward

Make your requests known to Him in prayer and pray for others.  Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life.  – Tim Keller
Jesus taught the disciples to pray for their needs each day. Paul said we should pray for God to take away our...
anxiousness. It is right for us to pray for God to meet our needs or take care of our concerns because it shows dependence on Him. But if we’re not careful, we can get stuck there and forget that prayer should also move us outward.

Prayer that moves us outward refers to both asking for help to do His will in the next steps we take, but it’s also about praying for others.

There are many different kinds of prayers to offer for every person in our lives. Furthermore, we can pray for people who indirectly affect our lives. For instance, we can pray for the hospital staff when a loved one is having surgery. In the same way, we can pray for our government leaders to be wise and discerning.

Other prayers may not be about specific people, but groups of people. Some examples are to pray for opportunities to spread the Gospel, or to see others as God sees them. Praying for Muslims and other religious groups to come to know Christ or just praying for your neighbors in general are further ways of having your prayers move you outward. The bonus: prayers like this often help us to recognize how God is working in and through our lives, too.

READ and THINK What does the Bible say?

John has talked about the assurance believers have of eternal life through faith and now turns to how when we pray for others. We should pray that God’s will be done in their situation, so that they can have assurance of the same thing.

Question: When should we have confidence that God hears our prayers?
1 John 5:13-14 (New Living Translation)

13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.

Answer:
In this passage, Jesus is talking to the apostles using a metaphor for the connection between a vine and branches. He goes from talking about the consequences of not staying connected to the rewards of remaining connected.

Question: What does Jesus tell the apostles to do? What is the reward, or what will then be the outcome of their prayers? (Note that this is what is referred to as an if/then statement, so by their action, if they do what Jesus says, then they will experience the outcome he teaches.)

 John 15:7 (New Living Translation)
But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! 

Answer:  Paul is writing about the importance of prayer in the Christian’s life. He tells us that not only should we pray for ourselves and our friends and family, but for everyone in the world.

Question: Why should we pray for people we don’t know? Why does it matter?

 1 Timothy 2:1-5 (New International Version)
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.

Answer:
LIVE What will you do now? Review the verses today. What would you say is the common link between them today? How do they together demonstrate how prayer moves us outward? 

Who do you know—perhaps a family member, coworker, neighbor or friend—that you need to pray for? Whom can you pray for that you don’t know directly?

PRAY God, what do you want me to know and do?
Dear Father, I thank You that I was born in this country. I am so grateful that I live in this city where I have the ability to worship You freely and openly follow Your will. I pray for every neighbor and person living near me today. I pray that they know you, Lord, and if they don’t, I pray that something would bring them to know You. If there is something You would have me to do to be a part of that, I am ready to serve You in any way I’m asked. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

2 comments:

  1. Hi Jan. thank you for sharing this wonderful teaching on pray. Where would we be without it?
    Hope you are doing well. So nice to catch up with your after being away from my computer. The time to step back did me good.
    Thanks for stopping by my friend. Continued prayers for you.
    Hugs and Blessings, cm

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jan! I really enjoyed this and aren't we blessed to have the privilege of prayer? Here's to a great week, my friend.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    ReplyDelete