February 11, 2020 | Prayer Guides by Various Authors
Faith In God's Word/Promises
DAY 11 – GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY
So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer. For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.
Do you really believe that God fulfills His promises? That through His power, He is sovereign when He makes covenants in that He can see the end at the very beginning? All the way back in Genesis 12, God made a covenant promise to Abram that He would bless him, make his name great, make from him a mighty nation, and that all nations would be blessed through him. As we see in Scripture, God accomplishes all these things and yet what is displayed time and time again is not the greatness of Abraham or his descendants, but the faithfulness of God and the greatness of God’s name.
In spite of the constant faithlessness and disobedience of Abraham, Sarah, and the Israelites, God remained faithful. Even though He knew they could not remain faithful to Him, He still covenanted with them that they may receive the blessing of His presence and glory. In all this, He desires for His people to reflect His holiness, walk in His faithfulness, and share in the greatness of His name by taking it to the ends of the earth! So do we really believe this? Do we believe that God desires to use each of us and His church to display His greatness and His faithfulness to a lost and dying world all around us? If so, we must “circumcise our hearts, and stiffen our necks no longer” but humbly lay our lives on the altar as a living sacrifice to Christ our King.
Questions to consider: Do I shape my prayer life around an awareness of God’s sovereignty, and pray for God to move and reveal His faithfulness and glory? In essence, do I pray for God to answer my prayers? Or do I pray that He would conform my will, conform my heart, and conform my desires to His?
- Pray that God would move and reveal Himself to His church in such a way that the only explanation is that God moved. Ask God to give you an eternal mindset, a Kingdom focused heart.
- Pray that God would move for the greatness of His name among His people.
2 Timothy 2:11-13
This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
DAY 12 – TRUST IN HIM
Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a level path because of my foes. Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence. I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.
It is hard to wait for the Lord; to be still and know that He is God and trust in His faithfulness. Most of us don’t turn to the Lord in the same way that David does in Psalm 27. Did you notice the difference here between what most of us do and what David does?
In our lives when we run into difficult life circumstances (either due to our sin, someone else’s sin, or just life in general), we run to the Lord in prayer to tell Him all about it. “God, I wanted You to know that Sally lied about me at work today. God, I wanted You to know that my car broke and I need it fixed. God, I wanted you to know that I am lonely.”
So often we turn to God to fix our problems and when we pray we just “talk at Him” about these problems that He is already fully aware of, rather than turn to Him in faith to transform our lives through these difficulties. Did you notice the very first things David asks for? “Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a level path because of my foes.” David has four verses here, three of which are about God’s faithfulness and David’s desire to walk in them. Only one is about his circumstance. I would dare to say if it was us, all four would be about our problems!
In all this, do I find my sufficiency in Him in that whether He delivers me or answers my prayers the way I intended or not, I trust in Him for He is worthy? Take a lesson from David today. When you pray for our church and how God desires to use you in our church, pray like David does here, in faith.
- Pray that God would teach you His ways through studying His Word to keep you and our church on a level path.
- Pray in faith, expecting God to move for His greatness and to wait patiently on the Lord.
1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
DAY 13 – FAITH IN GOD’S PROMISES
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
The story of Job is quite an interesting read. God grants Satan permission to torment a person, the only stipulation being death is not an option. During the episode Job’s wife pleads with him to curse God, eventually leaving him to die alone. His friend’s counsel is similar, suggesting that Job has been wicked. In the midst of counsel, Job replies confidently that his “Redeemer lives.” Job questioned but never cursed God because Job had a confident expectation of the future—a future founded on a promise. Job knew God’s promises were guaranteed.
Believer, a resounding truth is that God can never break His promises. He has given many, including an inheritance to all who trust in Jesus. In our lives we will have troubles, fears, or anxieties, but our end is not the same as those who do not believe. We too have a confident expectation of the future, one where we dwell with our Savior, fulfilling the promise given.
Questions to consider: Have you ever wondered if God will do what He said He would do? Do you have fears that are keeping your from believing in God’s promises? Have you memorized any promises given to us by God?
- Remember the promises you have been given and memorize Matthew 6:25-34 and Romans 8:28.
- Thank God for always fulfilling His promises.
Ask God to help you remember the promises He has given.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
DAY 14 – TRUST IN GOD’S WORD
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
A proper definition of the word “trust” would be a reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, etc., of a person or thing. The author of Proverbs is encouraging trusting in the One who never lies, is omnipotent, capable of fulfilling promises, and loves without expecting anything in return. These characteristics are quite different from oneself for our hearts are deceitful, selfish, even callous at times. We can even get into the habit of lying to ourselves, enough to begin believing the lies are true. How can trust be established when the foundation is deceit?
Relying on God’s Word, its truthfulness, and the promises found within causes our focus to change. It is this change of view that allows our path to be straight rather than winding. Trusting in yourself will lead to destruction, but a trust in God will lead to life.
Questions to consider: What lies are you believing to be true, whether they are ones you told yourself or from another person? Can you trust in your knowledge, being confident this knowledge will lead to salvation? When was the last time you combated lies with Scripture?
- Ask God to reveal any lies you are believing and repent.
- Pray that God will give you wisdom as you discern truths from lies.
DAY 15 - HE IS FOREVER FAITHFUL
2 Timothy 2:11-13
The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.
I have never met anyone who enjoys intentionally letting other people down. There is something unique in our wiring that God has put within us. When we look throughout the grand story of Scripture, there is one thing that continues to present itself as a standard for faithfulness. Spoiler alert: humanity fails time and time again with being faithful; God is the only one who consistently remains faithful. Paul writes Timothy here in this passage of the hope Paul has while suffering in chains for Christ. Paul exhorts Timothy to not only be “strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” but also to “share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
Paul reminds Timothy that God keeping His promises to us are not dependent upon our faithfulness but upon God’s faithfulness. Paul would remind us in Rom. 3:3 that our unfaithfulness can never cancel out the faithfulness of God. Maybe as you look back upon your life you can recount many times that you failed, you sinned, and you were completely unfaithful to the God who saved you. Today may you rest in knowing that God’s faithfulness is eternal. There is nothing you or I could ever do to cause God to choose to be unfaithful. He will always keep His promises to us, even when we consistently fail to keep any promises we make to Him. His grace is sufficient and His promises are true because He is forever faithful.
Questions to consider: Has God ever given you a reason to doubt His faithfulness? Does your life demonstrate unwavering faith in the One who is forever faithful? Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive because you wrongly expect them to exhibit the kind of faithfulness that comes from God alone?
- Spend a few moments confessing to God the promises you have failed to keep in your walk with Him. Next spend a few moments thanking God that He is faithful to always keep His promises.
- Pray for those you know personally who have never experienced the faithfulness of God in their lives because they don’t yet know Him as their Heavenly Father.
Pray that God would show you this year how to trust Him more day by day.
The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.
DAY 16 - GOD IN COMMAND
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Moses is dead. Joshua is now the leader of the children of Israel. It is time to begin to enter the land of God’s promise. I can only imagine the anxiety that Joshua must be experiencing.
God speaks to Joshua to direct him in the task. He gives Joshua specific instruction to lead Israel into this land flowing with milk and honey. He says, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses” (Joshua 1:3). Everywhere Joshua goes, the Lord goes before him. God will guide and protect Joshua as he leads the people into the future.
Joshua is reminded of the promises God made Moses. He is prepared to enter the next phase of the plan. The plans of God are settled and sure. The will of God cannot be thwarted by the actions of man. Every promise of God is consistent with His ongoing work to make everything “very good” again. With God in command we are not weak or timid. We can be bold and confident. The Lord your God is with you.
- Find promises of God that will give you courage for the day.
- Ask the Lord to reveal any promises on which you are not depending.
- Ask the Lord to remind you of the promise of redemption.
DAY 17 - HE IS OUR GLORY
O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, There is no salvation for him in God. Selah But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
David, chosen by God to be the just King of Israel is fleeing the vengeance of his son. Things are not like they should be. The world is chasing him, and the pressure of an unsettled life is weighing heavily on him. In anguish he exaggerates the situation and overstates the number of his foes. David, of all people, should know that no enemy is large enough or numerous enough to exceed God’s overwatch. In the moment, David does what we tend to do. The interpretation of the immediate overwhelms the facts of the permanent. The things he sees pushes the things he knows to the side. He is distraught.
The psalmist then inserts a pause. A moment to reflect. A time to think and remember. Selah is frequently found in the psalms. The actual meaning is unclear, although the practical value is evident. Time to think allows the Spirit of the living God to intervene. A small demonstration of self-control gives the reality of God time to become prevalent.
It is not difficult to find things that violate, or oppose, our sense of righteousness. The ideas and actions of the world are battling against the realm of truth. In David’s moment of reflection, he remembers that the Lord is the shield and defender. He is our glory. He alone lifts our head so we are no longer beaten down.
- Pray for the Lord to focus your attention on Him.
- Ask for the Spirit to put your challenges in proper perspective.
- Ask the Lord to lift your head so your thoughts are of Him.
DAY 18 - GOD WILL NEVER LEAVE US
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
The sobering truth of all human relationships is that they are destined to end. They might end through death, separation, disagreement, betrayal, or other myriad ways. We may try to mitigate the inevitable pain of abandonment issues by keeping people at arms length. Or we may strive to keep our focus on whatever profession or possessions we have, not slowing down long enough to get attached to anyone. No matter how we may try to avoid it, all of us are forced to deal with it throughout our lives. So how can we have genuine relationships with people when we know they will only be a part of our lives for a season? How can we trust others if we’ve been hurt in a past relationship? We can when we trust in God and His promises.
Joshua was a godly leader, called by God and trained by Moses. Joshua had been through much as the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land. He’d seen and heard countless times how God led and provided for the Israelites. He’d also seen and heard even more times how the people would complain and speak against God. Moses had died, as well as an entire generation, and Joshua was now the leader of Israel. Where could he turn? Who could he trust? God encouraged Joshua to know His Word and to do what it says. In doing so, Joshua and the Israelites would prosper in the new land. No matter what they would face, God would be with them always. This promise is still in effect for all of us today: God will never abandon us. We can trust Him implicitly, no matter our circumstances. Trusting in Him also gives us the capacity to open ourselves to relationships with others, enjoying those relationships no matter the duration or how they end. Be of good courage; God is with you!
Questions to consider: What promises have I seen fulfilled in Scripture? Am I keeping people at arms length out of fear of abandonment? Am I genuine in my relationships?
- Give thanks to God for His promises.
- Trust that God will never leave or forsake you (Deuteronomy 4:31).
- Pray restoration for any broken relationships in your life.
He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.
DAY 19 - JESUS BEARS OUR BURDENS
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
There’s a common saying that goes: “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” This saying seems to reflect God’s mercy toward us. However, is it biblical? Well, to quote the Apostle Paul: “Certainly not!” First of all, God does allow evil or sinful things to come into our lives (James 1:17). He is sovereignly aware of all things. Because we live in a fallen world we face disease, death, natural disasters, and so many more things that are “more than we can handle.” In fact, our very own sin is “more than we can handle.”
Matthew 11 records the compassion of Jesus and the promise of rest. God knows this world is “more than we can handle,” so He sent His Son into the world to defeat sin and death. When Jesus died for our sins, He didn’t simply make them disappear when we trust in Him. Jesus took our sins upon Himself and paid our debt in full. He took every burden we will ever experience, every load too heavy for us to carry. The image of a yoke here is spot on: when oxen were yoked together they would be able to bear an exponentially heavier load than they could on their own. When we are yoked with Christ, we can completely trust that He has already died for our burdens and is able to carry us through them. Whatever burdens we may carry, we can all find rest in the person and work of Jesus.
Questions to consider: Are there burdens that I need to trust Christ to carry? How would I define biblical “rest”? What does it mean to be “gentle and lowly of heart” and do I exhibit these traits?
- Give thanks to God for sending Jesus to bear our burdens.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring to mind any areas of struggle in your life.
- Pray for our church during this time of transition, specifically for each ministry leader and any burdens they may carry.
1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
DAY 20 - GOD’S WORD AND PROMISES
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Have you ever reflected on how much your faith depends upon the Word and promises of God? Everything we know about Jesus we know from God’s Word. Forgiveness of sin, eternal life, and resurrection of the dead are all promises found in the Word. God’s Word is truth (John 17:17) and nothing else causes us to believe, or strengthens our faith, better than His Word.
This is why, whenever we face trials, our first source of strength and guidance should be God’s Word. Too often we run to a friend, social media, or our own wisdom. Our emotions might temporarily be lifted, but real answers, and the foundation of our faith, are only found in God’s Word. It is God’s Word that teaches us how to be steadfast under trial. It is God’s Word in our hearts and minds that the Holy Spirit uses to encourage us, and convict us of sin, as we face each day.
Questions to consider: How has God demonstrated His faithfulness to you in the past? How will I recognize His faithfulness in my life now?
- Thank God for His Word.
- Repent of any doubt or lack of trust in the truth and authority of God’s word.
- Pray for a heart that thirsts after the Word of God, a heart that cries out to Him in good times as well as during trials.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.