Thursday, September 22, 2011
Why do we Pray?
Why Do We Pray?
We had this discussion at our cell group last night and I became passionate over some of the responses…….. I believe that all scripture is the word of God. that James 5:16 is telling us that our prayers are heard and they are responded to by a God of MERCY AND GRACE. In James it says “ Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Searching scripture this morning and I realize it is much - but we can't just pull out parts of the scripture - I think its important to know the "whole portion" that we are discussing in order to hear what God was saying at that time and to us today.
God's Character NEVER CHANGES..... He is Sovereign... But do our prayers cause him to
choose mercy, forgiveness, patience???? Do our prayers change our own hearts to line up with his will?
Dear Lord.... It is my prayer that you bring light to your word and cause us to understand your perfect ways and grant us wisdom and knowledge as we seek you with all of our heart!
11And the LORD said to Moses, "How long will this people(Q) despise me? And how long will they not(R) believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I(S) will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they."
Moses Intercedes for the People
13But(T) Moses said to the LORD, "Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for you brought up this people in your might from among them, 14and they will tell the inhabitants of this land.(U) They have heard that you, O LORD, are in the midst of this people. For you, O LORD, are seen face to face, and(V) your cloud stands over them and you go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15Now if you kill this people as one man, then the nations who have heard your fame will say, 16'It is because the LORD(W) was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to give to them that he has killed them in the wilderness.' 17And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, 18(X) 'The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty,(Y) visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.' 19Please(Z) pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just(AA) as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now."
God Promises Judgment
20Then the LORD said, "I have pardoned,(AB) according to your word.
2 Kings 20
Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery
1(A) In those days(B) Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, "Thus says the LORD,(C) 'Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.'" 2Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, saying, 3"Now, O LORD,(D) please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and(E) with a whole heart,(F) and have done what is good in your sight."(G) And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: 5"Turn back, and say to Hezekiah(H) the leader of my people, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father:(I) I have heard your prayer;(J) I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD, 6and I will add fifteen years to your life.
1 Chronicles 21
David’s Census Brings Pestilence
1(A) Then(B) Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. 2So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, "Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number." 3But Joab said, "May the LORD add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?" 4But the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came back to Jerusalem. 5And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to David. In all Israel there were(C) 1,100,000 men who drew the sword, and in Judah 470,000 who drew the sword. 6(D) But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for the king’s command was abhorrent to Joab.
7But God was displeased with this thing, and he struck Israel. 8And David said to God, "I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please(E) take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly." 9And the LORD spoke to Gad, David’s(F) seer, saying, 10"Go and say to David, 'Thus says the LORD, Three things I offer you; choose one of them, that I may do it to you.'" 11So Gad came to David and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Choose what you will: 12either(G) three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the LORD, pestilence on the land, with the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.' Now decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me." 13Then David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man."
14So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15And God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, the LORD saw, and he(H) relented from the calamity. And he said to the angel who was working destruction, "It is enough; now stay your hand." And the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, and in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders,(I) clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. 17And David said to God, "Was it not I who gave command to number the people? It is I who have sinned and done great evil. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O LORD my God, be against me and against my father’s house. But do not let the plague be on your people."
David Builds an Altar
18Now(J) the angel of the LORD had commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19So David went up at Gad’s word, which he had spoken in the name of the LORD. 20Now Ornan was threshing wheat. He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. 21As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David and went out from the threshing floor and paid homage to David with his face to the ground. 22And David said to Ornan, "Give me the site of the threshing floor that I may build on it an altar to the LORD—give it to me at its full price—that the plague may be averted from the people." 23Then Ornan said to David, "Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. See, I give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for the wood and the wheat for a grain offering; I give it all." 24But King David said to Ornan, "No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing." 25So David paid Ornan(K) 600 shekels[a] of gold by weight for the site. 26And David built there an altar to the LORD and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the LORD, and the LORD[b](L) answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. 27Then the LORD commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.
28At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering(M) were at that time in the high place at Gibeon, 30but David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
The Golden Calf
1When the people saw that Moses(A) delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him,(B) "Up, make us gods who shall(C) go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." 2So Aaron said to them, "Take off the(D) rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me." 3So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4(E) And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden[a] calf. And they said,(F) "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!" 5When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron(G) made proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD." 6And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And(H) the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up(I) to play.
7And the LORD said to Moses,(J) "Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have(K) corrupted themselves. 8They have turned aside quickly out of the way that(L) I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'" 9And the LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold,(M) it is a stiff-necked people. 10Now therefore(N) let me alone, that(O) my wrath may burn hot against them and(P) I may consume them, in order that(Q) I may make a great nation of you."
11But(R) Moses implored the LORD his God and said, "O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12(S) Why should the Egyptians say, 'With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from your burning anger and(T) relent from this disaster against your people. 13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you(U) swore by your own self, and said to them,(V) 'I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.'" 14And the LORD(W) relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.
The People of Nineveh Repent
6The word reached[c] the king of Nineveh, and(F) he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth,(G) and sat in ashes. 7And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh,(H) "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor(I) beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, 8but let man and(J) beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God.(K) Let everyone turn from his evil way and from(L) the violence that is in his hands. 9(M) Who knows? God may turn and relent(N) and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish."
10When God saw what they did,(O) how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
The Potter and the Clay
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2"Arise, and go down to(A) the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words." 3So I went down to(B) the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4And the vessel he was making of clay was(C) spoiled in the potter’s hand, and(D) he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
5Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6"O house of Israel,(E) can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD.(F) Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will(G) pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken,(H) turns from its evil,(I) I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. 9And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will(J) build and plant it, 10and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.
The LORD’s Love for Israel
1(A) When Israel was a child,(B) I loved him,
and out of Egypt I(C) called(D) my son.
2(E) The more they were called,
the more they went away;
(F) they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
3Yet it was(G) I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that(H) I healed them.
4(I) I led them with cords of kindness,[a]
with the bands of love,
and(J) I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and(K) I bent down to them and fed them.
5(L) They shall not[b] return to the land of Egypt,
but(M) Assyria shall be their king,
(N) because(O) they have refused to return to me.
6(P) The sword shall rage against their cities,
consume the bars of their gates,
and devour them(Q) because of their own counsels.
7My people are bent(R) on turning away from me,
and though(S) they call out to the Most High,
he shall not raise them up at all.
8How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
(T) How can I make you(U) like Admah?
How can I treat you(V) like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
9I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
(W) for I am God and not a man,
(X) the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.[c]