Friday, April 15, 2005

Effective Prayer

Good Afternoon: Today's Bible study message is about effective prayer. I just recently started reading a book titled, "No Holds Barred, Wrestling with God in Prayer" (Book) by Mark D. Roberts. It was strongly recommended by Hugh Hewitt. I hope to write a thorough book review on this work very soon. Prayer must be an essential part of a believer's life, but many, including myself, tend to neglect this area so vital to a vibrant relationship with the Holy Creator of the Universe. As an example, I have allowed work pressure of this day to create tension and frustration. A co-worker noticed and came into my office, shut the door, and asked if it would be okay if we took a minute to pray. I felt like I could not afford to spend the time. But, our God is faithful. Within a few minutes after we started to pray, God calmed me down and let me know that He understands and hasn't left me alone to complete the work.

Bible Study, Nehemiah 1:1-11
What is the main point? God's word is full of models for us today to help us mature in our personal relationship and public declaration of our faith in Him. This section of scripture is another example of how we can pray effectively.
What does God reveal about Himself? He is the keeper of His Word and that He can be depended upon to fulfill His promises. He also is a great teacher, who uses object lessons from life to help us learn what He wants us to understand. Nehemiah used everything he learned to approach the Holy One in prayer in the way God requires.
What insights into my life? I often complain about my nation's leadership and the many sins of our people, but I rarely pray like Nehemiah exemplified in this passage or Daniel did in his day. They actually confessed the peoples' sins as if they were their own. This makes some sense for two reasons: 1. I am a sinner, and 2. we normally do not recognize our sins. Take abortion of example. Many don't think they are committing murder, but defending a personal right (not conferred by the United States Constitution but inferred by the interpretation of mere sinful men).
How can I honor God with this information? I want to remember if not for His grace I would continue to be deceived and enslaved by my sins. It is only by His redeeming work that I can tell the difference. I pray that I will treat pre-Christians with the love and respect they deserve as God's creation, rather than an enemy that must be fought and conquered.
Where is God working today? Now that I have received God's perspective on this day, I pray that I will stay focused to complete the work He has prepared for me to accomplish this day. One task He's shown me to do is to honor a fellow employee who really performed well.

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