Lesson 1 - Alone with God
Regardless of the location, the time of day, or the circumstance, prayer time is "God-and-me" alone time. Whether in a dedicated prayer room, or the great outdoors, on your knees, or meditating amid a crowd, during prayer time, imagine yourself alone before the holy throne of our most trusted Friend - God (Hebrews 4:16). In those sacred moments, faith overrides doubt, and unbelief about who God is melts away. Our Creator God wants us to know that although He is all-powerful (omnipotent) regardless of circumstance, all-knowing (omniscient) from before the foundation of this world to the forever future, and everywhere (omnipresent) at all times, He knows, loves, and is present with each one of us intimately and always (Hebrews 13:5). This we can count on!
Further Reading: Genesis 1:31 | Job 12:9,10 | Ephesians 3:9 | 1 John 4:8-10 | Psalms 14:1; 100:5; 139-7-10
God knows everything about us and wants us to know Him just as intimately (John 17:3). There is no sin too egregious to be forgiven; no life so fallen that it cannot be lifted; no situation impossible for God (Luke 1:37; 19:10; 1 John 1:8,9). Although we may deserve the worst consequences of our choices, God offers his grace and mercy to pull us through in ways that will cause us to love and trust Him more than ever before (Nehemiah 9:31). We must believe that God is who He says that He is, a God we can faithfully love and trust regardless of circumstance (John 6:68, 69).
Further Reading: Proverbs 3:5,6 | Isaiah 43:1-5 | Philippians 4:4-7
Our highest honor is the privilege and blessing of God's invitation to come to Him in prayer just as we are. To encourage us, the Holy Spirit reminds us to pray and joins us every time we sincerely pray. From His infinite view, the depth of our heart's desires and concerns are divinely felt from a perspective broader than we can express. The Holy Spirit recites everything we truly mean in a heavenly language that ascends like sweet smelling incense before the drone of God (Psalm 141:2). Embedded in God's response are healing, guidance, blessings far beyond our limited imagination, and a getting to know God in a way that leads to life eternal. Read John 12:32; 14:26; Romans 8:26.
We must remember that prayer is two-way communication. Praying includes listening to what God is saying through scriptures and through what we are experiencing. Knowing and trusting God grow as we pray, study and meditate on His holy Word and in faith-filled obedience as truth is revealed. Most importantly, prayer is dealing with sin - asking for the forgiving, healing grace and overcoming power of God by truly repenting and accepting God's awesome work of redemption and restoration. Read John 6:37, Hebrews 4:7.
Further Reading: Psalm 66:18-20 | Isaiah 59:1,2 | Malachi 3:6-12 | Mark 11:25,26
Challenging circumstances are a part of life in a sinful world. Not only does God hear our prayers, Jesus is praying, or interceding as our faithful High Priest, along with God that our faith never fails (Luke 22:32, John 14:6). He presents His shed blood on our behalf when we sincerely repent (Hebrews 7:25; 8:1).
We can be assured that God sees our circumstances and takes them into consideration in His infinitely wise purpose for our lives, our salvation, and for blessings on others (Jeremiah 29:11-13). He often uses the very circumstances meant to be crushing to transform our lives for the better (2 Corinthians 4:17). In Christ, every battle is already won. We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).
Further Reading: Psalm 84:11 | Isaiah 65:24 | Mark 11:24 | 1 Corinthians 15:57,58
Rejoicing in faith reinforces our resolve that God is able
and will perform all His promises (2 Corinthians 1:20; Romans 4:21).
Beginning right now help me to trust You with all my heart's concerns and to love You regardless of what I am going through or what others appear to be experiencing. With all my heart I believe You are God, indeed, who will bring good out of every situation. Forgive me of every sin and help me overcome unbelief. I praise You for Your love reflected in Your goodness and mercy felt in every outcome. Amen.