Attitude in Prayer

As we go to prayer, what is our attitude?  Do we humble ourselves before God as the Bible says?  Do we go off to a room and close the door or have these long drawn out prayers so that others can see what a great prayer we are?  Do we acknowledge who God is or just ask him for things?  When we ask, do we truly believe He can give us what we ask for and trust that He will always do what is best?  Do we tell Him what a great Father He is and come to Him as Sons and Daughters?  Do we come to Him with a broken heart and confess our sins and be repentive?

forgiveLuke 18:9-14

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’  And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

2 Peter 2:18-22

For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

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Psalms 51:16-17

For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;

You do not delight in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

A broken and a contrite heart —

These, O God, You will not despise.

James 1:5-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 5:16-18

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

1 Kings 18:17-46

Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?”

And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals. Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it.  Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.”

So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”

Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.”

So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.

And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.”  Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.

And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord  God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”

lighningThen the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”

And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there.

Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.”

So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”

Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.'”

Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Prayer of Praise

Nebuchadnezzar?  Praising God?  The great king of the Babylonian empire who had a large golden statue of himself be built to worship?  Yes, that one.  Babylon was one of the greatest empires in history that conquered most of the known world at the time, beginning around 626 B.C.   Nebuchadnezzar ruled from 605-562 B.C., being one of the greatest emperors known.  He was also ruthless.  He destroyed Jerusalem and tore down it’s walls, looted the temple and brought the Israelite people into exile, killing many and enslaving many.  When he has his dream, he asked his counselors not only to interpret gold statue 2his dreams but to tell him what it was!  When they could not, he threatened to cut them all to pieces and burn down their houses.  He executed any who would not bow down and worship his image of gold.  But, God revealed the dream to Daniel and its interpretation giving him favor with the king.  The king let his pride get the best of him, and God brought him down and showed him His majesty and power.  When the king was at his lowest he realized how great God was and turned to Him.  God used Daniel and used the king’s circumstances to reveal His greatness and to bring him to righteousness.  I believe that Nebuchadnezzar was saved at this time.  Only God knows for sure.  God will use many ways to draw people to Him.  He is a God of mercy.  No matter what you have done in the past, where you are at in life, He seeks your love and wants you to be saved.  He sent His Son to die on the cross, that our sins may be forgiven.  He uses other people to be a witness so others would see the truth and turn to him.  Sometimes He will allow us to stumble from our own selfishness and pride to a low point to bring us to surrender to Him, so that we can have eternal life.  He uses all things for good, so that we can become His children.  This is the prayer of Nebuchanezzar (or, more like a proclamation of how great God is) after he was brought down by God and restored. Continue reading “Nebuchadnezzar’s Prayer of Praise”

Love One Another

The key to following Jesus is love.  Christ loved us so much He died for us and paid the penalty for our sins.  While on this earth, He set an example for us; showing compassion, loving all, particularly the “unlovable”…in the world’s eyes, not His. We are to follow His example.  The greatest commandments are to love God and love others. Continue reading “Love One Another”