February 01, 2020 | Prayer Guides by Various Authors
Character of God
DAY 1 – GOD THE CREATOR
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Most of us aren’t going to spend our time reading about ancient Near East cosmology. But did you know that the Old Testament is saturated with that type of language and world view? The Creator God we see in Genesis 1 does not merely create; He ordains and assigns function and order to all of creation! We see this in the Psalms in particular as David and others pour out their hearts to God, begging for Him to intercede on their behalf. So often they do so by pleading for Him to act based upon His character as a God of order, purpose, and function, as one who has defeated the agents of chaos and disorder.
Our lives are no different than the authors of the Bible. So often we can feel as though our lives are filled with disorder and chaos. We still live in a sin filled world where the agents of chaos, sin, and Satan seek to sow disunity, disorder, and chaos. Yet our God is the Creator God who spoke all things into existence and assigned to them a pure purpose according to His design. He has done the same thing for you and our church. The sin in our lives and our flesh seek to rebel against His created order and function, yet God has given us the gift of His Spirit to guide us in following His plan for our lives. We have to daily remind ourselves of this reality—namely, that the God who created all things, who assigned order and function to all of them, has done the same thing for me and my life, for you and your life, and for the life of this church.
Go back to Genesis 1 and read the whole chapter from this perspective. God didn’t speak all things into creation and leave them “formless and void” in a state of chaos without function and order. Instead He demonstrates to us His awesome power and His innate character not only to create but also to design and reign supreme over disorder and the agents of chaos.
- Pray for God’s character to be revealed in your life and in our church through how we demonstrate unity, purpose, and God’s will for our lives.
- Consider Psalm 74:12-17 as the author appeals to God’s strength and order over chaos for his deliverance.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
DAY 2 – GOD THE REDEEMER
Therefore say to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,’ declares the Lord God, ‘when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.’”
How do we bear up while under the discipline and refinement of the LORD? Do we really trust in those times that while our sin has led to His discipline, that it is also His desire to redeem us for His glory?
All throughout the prophets we see that it was God who delivered His people into the hands of their oppressors for their good and the glory of His name. Therefore, He is fully able to deliver them from exile, and indeed He did! Moreover, His deliverance is presented as a display of His righteousness (Isaiah 51:8; 56:1), His love (Hosea 14:4), and His essential nature (Ezekiel 36:22-24).
In these times of doubt, discouragement, or lack of direction, we need to remember that our God desires to redeem us from sin, to purify His people, and to put a new heart within us that is transformed by the Spirit to cause us to walk in His statutes.
- Consider if you pray more to be removed from your circumstances or to be refined and redeemed by your holy God.
- Pray that God would work in your life and in the life of our church by displaying His nature as a redeeming God as He refines us during this time into a people who are purified, filled with the Spirit, and walking in obedience.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
DAY 3 - OUR COMFORTING FATHER
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
We read in 2 Corinthians 1 as Paul writes to the church of Corinth that they should rest in the fact that God is the God of all comfort. When we think about what it means to receive comfort, we usually connect comfort as something that provides reprieve from a difficulty. It is no doubt that since the fall in Genesis 3, all of humanity has experience heartache and sorrow. For the believer, there is something beautiful that comes in the midst of suffering. The same God who redeemed your life from the pit and adopted you into his family extends comfort to you in your most pressing time of need. Not only does God give you what you need when you need it most, but He does it with a purpose. God wants those who have experienced His comfort to then extend that same comfort to others who are in affliction.
I don’t know your present circumstance, but I know that God does and He is ready to provide you with all that you need to walk humbly with Him. He is ready to walk through whatever you are going through. I don’t know the circumstances of those to whom you are closest, but I know that God has uniquely equipped you to extend to them the same comfort you have embraced by grace through faith.
Questions to consider: Do I know the God of all comfort? Have I actually placed my faith in Him? If I have, during my deepest point of struggle have I experienced His comforting presence? Am I sharing that same comfort with others who are in need?
- Today rejoice that you have a comforting Father who walks through the highest peaks and the deepest valleys with you. Thank Him for caring about the details of your life.
- Pray that God would cause you to embrace His comfort more deeply than you ever have before.
- Pray that God would give you someone you can extend that glorious comfort to during their great time of need with the intent of pointing them to your Heavenly Father.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
DAY 4 - GOD IS JUST
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
The foundation of anything, be it a ministry, a marriage, or a home, is incredibly vital to the longevity of what is built upon it. When the foundation is not level or correct, what is built upon it will eventually become askew or out of alignment. The justness of God means that He is required to render a verdict based on the charge against us, which is disobedience to His Word. Based on His righteousness, we know that He will always make the right or correct decision.
As believers our sins are counted as Christ’s sins. Christ’s righteousness is counted as our righteousness. And God justly passes over our sins because of what Christ did on the cross.
Questions to consider: Is the foundation of your life built upon the truths found in God’s Word or the truths you tell yourself? Anything built on something other than the foundation of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross will eventually crumble.
- Thank God for His justness and remember the moment when Christ became your sin.
- Ask God to reveal any lies you have told yourself to be true. Repent and make a solid foundation that is built on your salvation and God’s Word.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
DAY 5 - GOD IS STEADFAST
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end;
From time to time children do or say things, not understanding the levity of their actions due to being overcome by the emotions of the moment. Adults, too, are guilty, sometimes of thinking rashly in view of the situation. Our sin nature causes us to fluctuate in our feelings. God, on the other hand, is not hampered by sin for He is holy. His love for us is unwavering, patient, and enduring, even for those who are unworthy. In the midst of our rebellion against Him, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ dies for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s love for you has been established since creation and the promised demonstration in Romans since Genesis 3:15.
Throughout Scripture we read moments that prove God’s love is always abiding, never ceasing. Believer, take comfort in the truth that God’s steadfast love and mercy will never end, no matter what you do.
Questions to consider: Have you ever questioned God’s love for you? Have you ever thought that the God of the Bible does not love you based on your current life situation? When was the last time you remembered how God demonstrated His steadfast love?
- Praise God for His faithful love to you, remembering that He sent Christ to die for you who are unworthy.
- Ask God to help you love others like He does.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
DAY 6 – GOD IS HOLY
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!
Isaiah refers to God as high and lifted up three times in the record of his prophecy—that is, Isaiah 6:1-3; Isaiah 52:13; and Isaiah 57:15. The pair of Hebrew words used in this description make it apparent that God is well above our natural state and condition. High and exalted not only explains what Isaiah sees in the temple vision, but they also point us to the vast distance between Him and His creation—a distance that can only be closed by God. If He does not make Himself accessible, we can never transverse the distance.
The seraphim attending to the Holy One begin to describe Him. They announce that He is holy. But, saying it once is not adequate to express their awe. They are overwhelmed with God’s holiness. The uniqueness, the separation, the total magnificence of God requires a much more vivid expression. They declare His holiness three times, “Holy! Holy! Holy! Is the Lord of hosts.” The seraphim, who are close to God at all times, are absolutely consumed with the splendor of His majesty. He is really, really, really holy!
Question to consider: When was the last time you were overwhelmed with the holy nature of God?
- Pray that you will experience the splendor of the Holy One of Israel.
- Ask the Lord to give you a new understanding of the significance of His holiness.
Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is He!
DAY 7 - GOD’S LOVINGKINDNESS
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
The symbolic wife of God in this section of Isaiah’s prophesy is Israel. She has been described as childless and separated from her husband. She is fallen and disgraced in Isaiah 51. Now we see her restored to her place of glory. The time of shame and sorrow (Isaiah 54:4) has ended. The steadfast love of the Lord is offered in an everlasting promise.
This enduring love is a magnificent characteristic of the God of Israel. The love of God (Hebrew, chesed) is longsuffering. God will tirelessly travail with us in spite of our errors. He will never cease offering loving protection and forgiveness for His people. The nature of God prohibits Him from withdrawing His love.
From the pen and heart of Charles Wesley we have this hymn:
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?
- Ponder the generosity of God’s unmerited love for you.
Consider how the Lord would have you demonstrate His lovingkindness.
- Pray for forgiveness from God for your lack of compassion.
DAY 8 - GOD SHOWS GRACE
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
We read in Genesis 6 that the level of sinfulness in the world was out of control, causing God to be grieved in His heart (Genesis 6:6). God decided to pour out His righteous judgment on a sinful world through a cataclysmic worldwide flood. Yet one man, Noah, “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). The Bible goes on to tell us: “Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). “Just” does not mean that Noah always did what was right, and “perfect” does not mean Noah was sinless. The key to understanding Noah’s character, and therefore God’s character, is that Noah “walked with God.” Noah was a sinner and deserved judgment just like the rest of mankind. However, unlike the rest of mankind, Noah had a relationship with God. It is in this relationship that God manifested His grace, or unmerited favor, upon Noah and his family.
Like those living in Noah’s time, we are sinners and our sin deserves judgment. Like Noah, we can walk with God in close relationship with Him. God has ultimately manifested His grace toward humanity through His Son Jesus. God offers forgiveness and life, even though we deserve judgment and death. That is His grace toward all of us.
Questions to consider: Am I, and my family, walking with God? If not, how can I begin to do so? How can I show grace toward those who sin against me?
- Give thanks to God for His matchless love for us as demonstrated through the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf (Romans 5:8).
- Pray for help in the Spirit as you walk with Him daily.
- Pray to forgive those who have sinned against you.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
DAY 9 - GOD DESIRES A RELATIONSHIP
And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
The Bible doesn’t have much to say about the Apostle Thomas, but what it does say is quite amazing. He is called “the twin,” which may simply mean that he had a twin sibling. Many think it may be a reference to the duality of his nature: sometimes very strong in his faith, other times very skeptical. It’s no wonder the term “doubting Thomas” was derived from his character. One of the best examples of this in Scripture is in John 20. The risen Lord had already appeared to the other apostles, but Thomas was not with them and had yet to see Him. When the others told them they had seen Jesus, Thomas said he would have to see Jesus for himself and even touch the wounds from the nails and spear to believe. Knowing Thomas very well, Jesus did exactly that in John 20:26-27. In response, Thomas gives one of the clearest testimonies of belief recorded in Scripture: “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus showed His love and care for Thomas on an extremely personal level. While Jesus is the Savior of the world, He is also the Savior of the individual. God desires an intimate relationship with each and every person and has made that possible through His Son. Even if we, like Thomas, have doubts, we can all take faith in the unchangeable character of God.
Questions to consider: Do I have doubts about God? What can I do to grow closer in my relationship with God? How can I help others who have doubt?
- Give thanks to God for His immutable character (James 1:17).
- Pray for those in your life who are lost.
- Pray to grow closer in your relationship with God.
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
DAY 10 - GOD IS WORTHY
Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.
Whatever we say about God’s character, He is truly worthy of all glory, honor, and power! We try and describe God’s attributes and character by saying things like, “God is love” or “God is holy” or “God is eternal.” We then struggle to define what those words mean. One of the great minds of the early church, Anselm of Canterbury, described God as, “That than which nothing greater can be conceived.” This is known as the Ontological Argument for the existence of God. Forget about the big words for a minute and think about God’s character, His goodness, for example. Using Anslem’s reasoning, as good as you can conceive something or someone to be, God’s goodness is even greater!
But God is also love, holy, truth, eternal, knows all, always present, all-powerful to whatever extent we can conceive and still so much more. This is why He alone is worthy to receive glory and honor and power! I challenge you to try and grasp that God is worthy of our praise and allow that to drive your prayers. You speak directly to the creator of the universe. He hears you, He knows you, and He loves you more than you can conceive!
Questions to consider: Which aspect of God’s character is most attractive to you? Do you see this manifested in your life?
- Praise God for His character, that He is worthy of all glory and honor and power!
- Pray that the Lord uses your life to bring glory and praise to Himself.
- Pray for a heart of tenderness, gratitude, and obedience to the Lord’s will.
- Thank God for His steadfast love that endures.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.