I received a wonderful gift several weeks ago. My husband and I are partners with Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM). Occasionally when we get the monthly partner letter they offer a free gift. One gift was copies of Kenneth’s personal study bible with all of his highlights and notes. I thought this would be a great thing to use when I am studying I and fully expected to receive photocopied pages that I would put in a 3 ring binder. When I received it though I was so excited to find that it was an actual Bible that they have been selling through the ministry. It is a beautiful bound New Testament. The first section of the Bible has all types of study topics with complete studies, the center has pages for notes and the last section is the the New Testament copied from his Bible. It is great!
Last week for Bible Study we started a series on prayer. We will talk about several types of prayer and prayers that people prayed in the Bible. I started with a guideline from my new KCM Bible which I found in the study section. So here it is:
Three Things That Must Precede All Studies of Prayer
1. Prayer is not trying to get God’s attention. Hebrews 4:12-16
Amplified Version 12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the[a]breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. 13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do. 14 Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. 16 Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
The Message 12-13 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what. 14-16 Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
2. Prayer is not trying to get God to do something. Hebrews 4:3, 6:12, 10:35, 10:35-36
Hebrews 4:3 New King James Version 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Hebrews 6:12 (AMP) 12 In order that you may not grow disinterested andbecome [spiritual] sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith ([a]by their leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises.
Hebrews 6:12 (MSG) 9-12 I’m sure that won’t happen to you, friends. I have better things in mind for you—salvation things! God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
Hebrews 10:35 (AMP) 35 Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.
3. Prayer is communication with God — believing and receiving what He has already given us in Jesus.
This part I added:
Prayer gives us power in the Lord but we are stronger when we join together with others:
Deuteronomy 32:30 (NKJV) How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the Lord had surrendered them?
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (AMP) And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG) By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.
Matthew 21:22 (AMP) And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.
John 14:12 (NKJV) “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
John 14:12 (AMP) I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father.
James 5:16 (AMP) confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
James 5:16 (MSG) Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.
Get ready, God has great things for you when you pray!