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Prayer Devotionals and Illustrations | Precept Austin Hot Water Bottle Prayer - The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous. (Pr 15:29) - Dr. Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire, told the ...

Prayer Devotionals and Illustrations | Precept Austin Hot Water Bottle Prayer  The LORD is far from the wicked but He hears the prayer of the righteous Climbing The Rungs Of Prayer Pr 1529  Dr Helen Roseveare missionary to Zaire told the following story A mother at our mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby We tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive but the only hot water bottle we had was beyond repair So we asked the children to pray for the baby and for her sister One of the girls responded Dear God please send a hot water bottle today Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead And dear Lord send a doll for the sister so she wont feel so lonely That afternoon a large package arrived from England The children watched eagerly as we opened it Much to their surprise under some clothing was a hot water bottle Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to dig deeper exclaiming If God sent that Im sure He also sent a doll And she was right The heavenly Father knew in advance of that childs sincere requests and 5 months earlier He had led a ladies group to include both of those specific articles  Not all of our prayers are answered so dramatically but we know that God always sends what is best H G Bosch  Related Resources Watch Dr Roseveare tell this story This will bring tears to your eyes  Watch the 1 hour gripping movie of Dr Roseveare in Zaire  Mama Luka Comes Home  Dr Roseveares address to Desiring God 2007 National Conference  A Call for the Perseverance of the Saints God not only prompts the askingbut He also provides the answers GREEK WORDS FOR PRAYER Ask 154 aiteo means to ask for with urgency even to the point of demanding Aiteo more frequently suggests attitude of a suppliant one who supplicates supplicate is from Latin supplex = bowed means to makes a humble earnest plea or entreaty the petitioning of one who is lesser in position than he to whom the petition is made To ask means to to call on for an answer which indicates that we believe there is someone our Father listening It also implies that we expect Him to answer or otherwise why ask  Beg 1189 deomai from deo = to bind means to ask for something with the sense of pleading beseeching or begging To request to ask for with a sense of urgency and a presumed need When used in the context of prayer deomai means to make petition to plead to ask in prayer to implore pray for earnestly and emphasizes the existence of a need  Deomai is a strong way to ask for something a leper imploring Jesus to heal him Lk 512 a fathers desperate plea to Jesus to cast a demon out of his son Lk 938 Pray 4336 proseuchomai from pros = toward facing before emphasizing the direct approach of the one who prays in seeking God’s face  euchomai = originally to speak out utter aloud express a wish then to pray or to vow Greek technical term for invoking a deity in the NT is always used of prayer addressed to God to Him as the object of faith and the One who will answer one’s prayer and means to speak consciously with or without vocalization to Him with a definite aim  Proseuchomai encompasses all the aspects of prayer submission confession petition supplication may concern ones own need intercession concerned with the needs of others praise and thanksgiving  Vine says that proseuchomai carries with it a notion of worship but see the Greek word for worship = proskuneo which is not present in the other words for prayer eg aiteo deomai both of which involve spoken supplication Pray 2172euchomai euche = a vow in Acts 1818 a prayer in Jas 515 literally meant to speak out or utter aloud and came to mean as used by to express a wish The idea can be to desire something with the implication of a pious wish To vow this sense is primarily found in the Septuagint uses but is found in Acts 2629 To pray but in the NT the derivative proseuchomai is the more common verb for pray Euchomai and proseuchomai are more general terms for prayer while deomai conveys the sense of seeking to have a need met Prayer 1162 deesis refers to urgent requests or supplications to meet a need and are exclusively addressed to God  Deesis prayers arise from ones sense of need which reflects a humble heart and in knowing what is lacking This individuals plea is in turn made to God to supply for the need  Deesis in the New Testament always carries the idea of genuine entreaty and supplication before God It implies a realization of need and a petition for its supply In Classical Greek deesis in contrast to the Biblical uses was not restricted to sacred uses but was employed of requests preferred to men Prayer 4335proseuche from pros = toward or immediately before  euchomai = to pray or vow is the more general word for prayer and is used only of prayer to God The prefix pros would convey the sense of being immediately before Him and hence the ideas of adoration devotion and worship The basic idea is to bring something and in prayer this pertains to bringing up prayer requests In early Greek culture an offering was brought with a prayer that it be accepted Later the idea was changed slightly so that the thing brought to God was a prayer In later Greek prayers appealed to God for His presence  Proseuche is used 37 times click in the NT  Note the concentration of prayer in the early church Acts What has happened to us as a church in America How might this relate to how infrequently we see the power of the Lord at work in our midst On the positive side what might happen if all the believers in America began to intercede for Spirit wrought Word centered Christ exalting God glorifying revival Praying in the Spirit What Does This Phrase Mean  Rob Morgan  Let me give you a closing example Alice Taylor and her husband missionaries had sent their four children across the vastness of China to boarding school at Chefoo When the Japanese invaded the region in the early 1940s reunion became impossible One day Alice already fretting entered her house just as the paperboy arrived with dramatic news Pearl Harbor Attacked She instantly knew conditions had dramatically worsened for the children especially since Chefoo had been in the Japanese line of attack   I remembered the horror stories of Nankingwhere all of the young women of that town had been brutally raped And I thought of our lovely Kathleen beginning to blossom into womanhood Great gulping sobs wrenched my whole body I lay there gripped by the stories we had heard from refugeesviolent deaths starvation the conscription of young boyschildrento fight I thought of tenyearold Jamie so conscientious so eventempered What has happened to Jamie Lord Has someone put a gun in his hands Ordered him to the front lines To death Mary and John so small and so helpless had always been inseparable Merciful God I cried are they even alive  As Alice knelt sobbing and praying a scene from her childhood came suddenly to mind Her minister Pa Ferguson back in WilkesBarre Pennsylvania had shared Matthew 633 with herSeek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you His rendering of the verse had been Alice if you take care of the things that are dear to God He will take care of the things dear to you  Alice now felt God had given her those words just for this day A deep peace replaced my agony This war had not changed God’s promise With that assurance I felt the aching weight of fear in my stomach lift  Alice daily concentrated on taking care of things dear to Godvisiting the sick holding openair meetings in the villages delivering babies Conditions at Chefoo worsenedthe students were captured and herded into a Japanese concentration camp The war meanwhile reached Alice’s region all around her bombs fell rockets exploded She however devoted herself to treating the wounded distributing Scriptures to doctors officers troops and studentsand to taking care of things important to God  Years passed Then as I sat one September evening in our home during a faculty meeting my mind wondered once more to the children Again I pictured them as I had last seen them waving goodbye I heard their voices faintly calling excitedly Then I heard their voices louder Was I imaging this No their voices were real And they came bursting though the doorway Mommy Daddy we’re homewe’re home And they flew into our arms Our hugs our shouts filled the room We couldn’t let go of one another It had been five and a half long grueling years Yet there they werethin but alive and whole laughing and crying Oh they had grown But Kathleen still wore the same blue jumper she had worn when I last saw her  For our family that advice from Pa Ferguson long ago will always hold special meaning I pass it along to you for it is truly so If you take care of the things that are dear to God He will take care of the things dear to you   When facing impossible odds learn to pray urgently unfeignedly unitedly And learn to trust the One who tells us to come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need  From Robert Morgans sermon on Exodus 142122 Gods Specialty  Red Sea Rules Read Robert Morgans sermon on Psalm 66  Praying on the Wrong Frequency Mark 1117 My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations The Lord wants us to pray for all nations and for kings and for all in authority 1Ti 22 We can exercise kneebased influence over leaders whom we may never meet Heres an example Prince Edward VII of England was well known for his drinking and immorality When his mother Queen Victoria died in 1901 Edward assumed the throne at age fiftynine and reigned for nine years In 1910 a prayer warrior named Joe Evans was vacationing in the New York mountains away from newspapers and interruptions One morning he felt a burden to intercede for Edward and the burden became so intense he anguished in prayer for the kings conversion The following day came the news Edward is dead Years later Joe shared dinner with Dr J Gregory Mantle of England Dr Mantle said Joe did you know that Edward VII was saved on his deathbed He went on to explain The king was in France when he was taken ill He was brought to England and there was hope that he might recover However there came a turn for the worse At that time His Majesty called one of his lordsinwaiting and ordered him to go to Paternoster Row and secure for him a copy of a tract that his mother Queen Victoria had given to him when he was a lad It was entitled The Sinners Friend After much searching the lordinwaiting found the tract brought it to His Majesty and upon reading it King Edward VII made earnest repentance and received the Lord Jesus as his Savior  My All in All Robert J Morgan TwentySix Men The following true story reported by a worker with the Overseas Missionary Fellowship While serving at a small field hospital in Africa I traveled every two weeks by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies This requires camping overnight halfway On one of these trips I saw two men fighting in the city One was seriously hurt so I treated him and witnessed to him about the Lord Jesus Christ I then returned home without incident   Upon arriving in the city several weeks later I was approached by the man I had treated earlier He told me he had known that I carried money and medicine He said “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle knowing you would camp overnight We waited for you to go to sleep and planned to kill you and take your money and drugs Just as we were about to move into your campsite we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards ”  I laughed at this and said “I was certainly all alone out in the jungle campsite ”  The young man pressed the point “No sir I was not the only one to see the guards My five friends also saw them and we all counted them It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone ”  At this point of my church presentation in Michigan one of the men in the church stood up and interrupted me He asked “Can you tell me the exact date when this happened”  I thought for awhile and recalled the date   The man in the congregation then gave his side of the story He stated “On that night in Africa it was day here I was preparing to play golf As I put my bags in the car I felt the Lord leading me to pray for you In fact the urging was so great that I called the men of this church together to pray for you Will all of those men who met to pray please stand”  The men who had met that day to pray together stoodthere were 26 of them David Jeremiah in Prayer The Great Adventure says this was a story included in an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship mailing Jeremiah adds This dramatic story reminds us of the power of praying in God’s will But what if the missionary had no such story to report What if the golfer never heard about what his prayers had accomplished To be honest that’s the way it is with most of our prayers We may feel an urging to pray for someone but seldom do we hear of any “miraculous” answers in response We may pray for something or someone for years and never see anything happen Does that mean that nothing is happening that we should give up and use our energy on something more productive No  God is at work in response to our prayers whether we see something happening or not If we are truly praying “Thy will be done” forces are at work beyond our comprehensionand often beyond our vision But they are working just the same A Mysterious Cloud David Jeremiah in Prayer The Great Adventure writes that We do not see into the world in which God lives but He definitely sees into ours as the following personal testimony by Spencer January attests   It was 1945 and the U S Army’s 35th Infantry Division of which I was a twentyfour yearold member was pushing through the woods and towns in the Rhineland region of West Germany As I and my comrades were cautiously making our way through a thickly wooded area word came that the company ahead of us had been badly shot up by the enemy and that Company I was to replace them   When my company arrived on the scene I was appalled by the grimness of the situation Only a handful of wounded bleeding soldiers hiding behind a large stone house at the edge of the woods had survived The route to Ossenburg had been completely blockaded “God” I prayed desperately thinking of my wife and little son back home “You’ve got to do something please do something God”  Moments later the order was given to advance Just as the soldier ahead of me took a step something to the left caught my eye I stopped and stared in amazement A clouda long fluffy white cloudhad appeared instantly out of nowhere obscuring the Germans’ line of fire Taking advantage of this miraculous turn of events I and my fellow soldiers bolted into the clearing and ran for our lives Safe in the sheltering woods on the other side of the clearing my pulse pounding in my ears I hid behind a tree and exclaimed “This has to be God I’m going to see what happens now ”  I watched closely as the last American soldier frantically raced toward my comrades in the woods I will never forget what happened next The instant the soldier scrambled to safety the cloud vanished Just like that Poof It was gone   The Germans thinking they still had us pinned down behind the stone house on the other side of the field radioed its position to their artillery Minutes later the house was blown to bits   Two weeks later a letter arrived from my mother back in Dallas Texas “Son what in the world was the matter on the morning of March 9” she asked “You remember Mrs Tankersly from our church Well she called me that morning and said the Lord had awakened her at one o’clock in the night and said ‘Spencer is in serious trouble Get up now and pray for him’ Mrs Tankersly said she interceded for you until six o’clock the next morning She told me that the last thing she prayed before getting off her knees was ‘Lord whatever danger Spencer is in just cover him with a cloud’” Pray Importunate Prayers  The passive idea we often have about prayer has no place in the Word of God Prayer is work the hardest work you will ever do It is grueling labor It is agonizing It is coming to God and coming to grips with the realities of your life  Too often in our prayers we merely mention our needs There is no urgency at all But that kind of praying doesn’t tend to get a lot accomplished When my children were young and wanted permission for something they didn’t just “mention” it In the same way when you want something from your Father in heaven don’t just “mention” it Come to God in persistent importunate prayer David Jeremiah in Prayer The Great Adventure Oswald Chambers wrote “Men always ought to pray and not lose heart Jesus also taught the disciples the prayer of patience If you are right with God and God delays the answer to your prayer don’t misjudge Him Don’t think of Him as an unkind friend or an unnatural father or an unjust judge but keep at it Your prayer will certainly be answered for ‘everyone who asks receives ’ Pray and do not cave in Your heavenly Father will explain it all one day He cannot just yet because He is developing your character ” George Mueller the great prayer warrior once said “The great fault of the children of God is they do not continue in prayer they do not go on praying they do not persevere If they desire anything for God’s glory they should pray until they get it Oh how good and kind and gracious and condescending is the One with Whom we have to do He has given me unworthy as I am immeasurably above all I had asked or thought” Prayer and the Work of God  I scoured the New Testament some time ago looking for things God does in ministry that are not prompted by prayer Do you know what I found Nothing  I don’t mean I had trouble finding an item or two I mean I found nothing Everything God does in the work of ministry He does through prayer Consider        Prayer is the way you defeat the devil Luke 2232 James 47        Prayer is the way you get the lost saved Luke 1813        Prayer is the way you acquire wisdom James 15        Prayer is the way a backslider gets restored James 516–20        Prayer is how the saints get strengthened Jude 20 Matthew 2641        Prayer is the way we get laborers out to the mission field Matthew 938        Prayer is how we cure the sick James 513–15        Prayer is how we accomplish the impossible Mark 1123–24   What we do for the Lord is entirely dependent upon what we receive from the Lord and what we receive from the Lord is entirely dependent upon what we are in the Lord and what we are in the Lord is entirely dependent upon the time we spend alone with the Lord in prayer David Jeremiah in Prayer The Great Adventure The Growth of Spiritual Near Sightedness Matthew 937–38 2819–20 Luke 102 John 435 One quarter of the world’s people have the condition known as myopia or nearsightedness This number indicates a 66 percent increase since 1970 Experts say the condition has skyrocketed as children spend more time indoors staring at computer screens The prediction is that by 2020 the number will increase to one third There is such a condition in the church also We get so involved looking at the things around us that we fail to see the spiritual condition and the spiritual need in the greater world Pray for eyes that can see the fields white for harvest Jim L Wilson and Rodger Russell Are You Really  A congregation was singing as a closing hymn the familiar song “For You I Am Praying ” The speaker turned to a man on the platform and asked quietly “For whom are you praying” The man was stunned “Why I guess I’m not praying for anybody Why do you ask” “Well I just heard you say ‘For you I am praying’ and I thought you meant it” the preacher replied  “Oh no” said the man “I’m just singing ” Pious talk A religion of words To paraphrase James 122 “We should be doers of the Word as well as talkers of the Word ” We must walk what we talk It is not enough to know the language we must also live the life “If we say” then we ought also to doWarren Wiersbe Bible Exposition Commentary Yes or No  At a service in Washington D C a woman approached the minister asking him to pray with her for a deeper walk with the Lord “Have you committed your life to Jesus Christ Have you been born again by the Spirit” She became tense and in desperation blurted out “I’m trying” That was her problem Many people try to squeeze themselves into such a relationship by earning God’s favor when the only issue is have you opened the door of your life to Jesus Christ The answer can only be yes or no  Everett L Fullam Living the Lord’s Prayer Lincoln Va 1980 p 35 adapted   Getting Into The Habit  Daniel knelt down on his knees three times that day and prayed as was his custom Daniel 610 see commentary on Daniels Obedient Disobedience The family car is packed to the limit The kids have their books tapes and games The cartop carrier clearly signals to all observers that our family is taking a trip But before we leave the driveway we always stop and prayasking God for safety and for family unity on our trip It’s a habit  Prayer habits are helpful tools to remind us of our dependence on God Perhaps you have some habits of your own Before you eat you pray Maybe before the kids leave for school you pray Before they go to bed you pray  Developing prayer habits can be of tremendous help to those of us who want to develop a close relationship with the Lord but find that the busyness of the day squeezes out the time we had hoped to spend with Him When we designate different activities of the day before or after which we always pray we’ll help to assure ourselves of regular communication with our Creator That could become empty ritual but it doesn’t have to beit can be a time of rich fellowship with our Lord  David who wrote Psalm 55 said that he prayed in the morning noon and evening Ps 5517 Daniel prayed three times a day Daniel 610 Like them we would be wise to develop prayer habits They’re great ways to make prayer an integral constant part of our daily lives  PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE Do you have regular times of prayer each day If not when could you set aside time to focus your thoughts on God and talk to Him To make the most of your time take time to pray  Dave Branon  The Power of the Spirit  1Th 519 D L Moody was a preacher of stature drawing great crowds of people and enjoying a measure of success But one night after a service two women asked to speak with Mr Moody They pointed out his need to receive the Holy Spirit After much prayer and searching the Scriptures Mr Moody was gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit “From that day on” he said “my ministry was different it was His not mine ” Will you now receive Him too and believe the promise that God will not hold back His gracious gift to those who truly ask Ed I believe Moody had the Spirit so this must represent him dying to self and recognizing his need to continually be filled with the Spirit There is no question that after this event the results of Moodys ministry were not natural but supernatural What Transpires When a Spirit of Unity is Present  And day by day continuing with one mind see Greek word homothumadon in the temple and breaking bread from house to house they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart praising God and having favor with all the people And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved Acts 246 47 cp Eph 43  The power of Christ in the world is demonstrated most perfectly when believers are united in the church A pastor was speaking at a missionary conference in Quito Ecuador He spent some time with a missionary couple who had worked with an Indian tribe for a number of years The missionary wife reflected on a revival that broke out in the tribe resulting in thousands of conversions to Christ and many evidences of God’s power among them “It was at that very time” she said “that there was a spirit of unity among the missionary leaders that we had never experienced before  Gene A Getz Praying For One Another Wheaton 1982 p 56 adapted   Do You Pray Give Me or Make Me  Some years ago after a critical time in his own life when he discovered the importance of prayer Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote a book entitled The Meaning of Prayer Among other things he reminded us that the prayer of the prodigal son changed from “give me” to “make me ” First the young man prayed “Give me the share of property that falls to me” Luke 1512 When he received what he asked for he spent it all for selfish pleasure and landed in a pigsty When he came to his senses though his prayer became “treat me as one of your hired servants” Luke 1519 He was willing to be made a slave if that was his father’s will but that was not necessary Because of his father’s love he was welcomed back as a member of the family  So often we think of prayer as a means of trying to get what we want instead of a means of letting God direct our lives Therefore Dr Fosdick reminded us that in Gethsemane Jesus did not pray to change God’s will Instead his prayer was “not my will but thine be done” Luke 2242  We often pray as if we were trying to change God’s mind Of course we can express our desires to God Jesus did True prayer however does not try to change God’s will Rather it seeks to discover God’s will and to be led to the desire to obey it  Where have we arrived in prayer At “give me” or “make me” At “thy will be changed” or “thy will be done” It is not always easy to make the transition from the one to the other yet the effectiveness of our prayer life depends on our willingness to seek and accept God’s will cp 1John 514 15 Clarence Cranford Cups of Light From D L Moodys Anecdotes and Illustrations   A Voice from the Tomb The other day I read of a mother who died leaving her child alone and very poor She used to pray earnestly for her boy and left an impression upon his mind that she cared more for his soul than she cared for anything else in the world He grew up to be a successful man in business and became very well off One day not long ago after his mother had been dead for twenty years he thought he would remove her remains and put her into his own lot in the cemetery and put up a little monument to her memory As he came to remove them and to lay her away the thought came to him that while his mother was alive she had prayed for him and he wondered why her prayers were not answered That very night that man was saved After his mother had been buried so long a time the act of removing her body to another resting place brought up all the recollections of his childhood and he became a Christian O you mothers Prayer Answered Only a few years ago in the City of Philadelphia there was a mother that had two sons They were just going as fast as they could to ruin They were breaking her heart and she went into a little prayermeeting and got up and presented them for prayer They had been on a drunken spree or had just got started in that way and she knew that their end would be a drunkards grave and she went among these Christians and said Wont you just cry to God for my two boys The next morning those two boys had made an appointment to meet each other on the corner of Market and Thirteenth streetsthough not that they knew anything about our meetingand while one of them was there at the corner waiting for his brother to come he followed the people who were flooding into the depot building and the spirit of the Lord met him and he was wounded and found his way to Christ After his brother came he found the place too crowded to enter so he too went curiously into another meeting and found Christ and went home happy and when he got home he told his mother what the Lord had done for him and the second son came with the same tidings I heard one of them get up afterwards to tell his experience in the young converts meeting and he had no sooner told the story than the other got up and said I am that brother and there is not a happier home in Philadelphia than we have got I remember being in the camp and a man came to me and said Mr Moody when the Mexican war began I wanted to enlist My mother seeing I was resolved said if I became a Christian I might go She pleaded and prayed that I might become a Christian but I wouldnt I said when the war was over I would become a Christian but not till then All her pleading was in vain and at last when I was going away she took out a watch and said My son your father left this to me when he died Take it and I want you to remember that every day at 12 oclock your mother will be praying for you Then she gave me her Bible and marked out passages and put a few different references in the flyleaf I took the watch and the Bible just because my mother gave them I never intended to read the Bible I went off to Mexico and one day while on a long weary march I took out my watch and it was 12 oclock I had been gone four months but I remembered that my mother at that hour was praying for me Something prompted me to ask the officer to relieve me for a little while and I stepped behind a tree away out on those plains of Mexico and cried to the God of my mother to save me My friends God saved him and he went through the Mexican war and now he said I have enlisted again to see if I can do any good for my Masters cause The Sinners Prayer Heard There was a man at one of our meetings in New York City who was moved by the Spirit of God He said I am going home and I am not going to sleep tonight till Christ takes away my sins if I have to stay up all night and pray Ill do it He had a good distance to walk and as he went along he thought Why cant I pray now as I go along instead of waiting to go home But he did not know a prayer His mother had taught him to pray but it was so long since he had uttered a prayer that he had forgotten However the publicans prayer came to his mind Everybody can say this prayer That man in the gallery yonder that young lady over there God be merciful to me a sinner May God write it on your hearts tonight If you forget the sermon dont forget that prayer It is a very short prayer and it has brought joysalvationto many a soul Well this prayer came to the man and he began God be merciful to me a but before he got to sinner God blessed him Blackballed by Man Saved by Christ At the Fulton street prayermeeting a man ca