Parent Category (Pocket Sized Thoughts [Roger Jacobs])

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Prayer – Part 16

O, that You would tear open the heavens and that You would come down.” (Isaiah 64 :1)

Isaiah had been granted wonderful glimpses into God’s heavenly kingdom. The Lord had shown him much concerning holiness, peace, restoration, joy and eternal fruitfulness. Above all, Isaiah had seen the life of the Lord’s Servant, especially His sufferings (Isaiah ch 53), by which the things of the Kingdom of God would be made possible and available to believing hearts. Isaiah also understood the promise of the Holy Spirit who can transform the desert wildernesses of our lives into places of incredible beauty and delight. His response to these amazing visions is not to keep them to himself, but to pray that may be made a reality in the lives of people. His whole being is totally involved in the prayer. His heart cries out that heaven would not remain some far off, wishful location but become a daily reality as God Himself comes down and lives in His people. This gives a new depth of meaning to the prayer that Jesus taught us, “Your kingdom come …” (Matthew 6:10). Do we pray as sincerely and whole-heartedly as Isaiah did ?

PRAYER :- “Lord, teach me to truly pray so that Your kingdom may be in my life. Thank You.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Prayer – Part 15

When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven.” (2 Chronicles 7:1)

This was the climax of much labour and a long prayer (not that there is merit in the length of prayers). Great energy, commitment and sacrifice had gone into building the temple. At last the work was done but without the living presence of God, it was only a mere building. Solomon knew this and led the people in prayer. When he had finished, God answered by fire. Elijah experienced the same on Mount Carmel as did the 120 disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Whatever we pray for, the Presence and glory of Jesus Christ among His people, as a living flame, is the ultimate answer to all prayer. Let us pray then, without ceasing, without doubting, in much faith and expectancy for the Lord Jesus to glorify Himself in power and reality in all our lives.

PRAYER :- “Lord, glorify yourself in me in every part of my life. Amen.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Prayer – Part 14

I prayed unto the Lord, my God, and made my confession.” (Daniel 9:4)

This chapter contains one of the greatest prayers of confession found in the Bible. Daniel identifies with and weeps over the sin of the nation. He hides nothing and makes no excuses. He is utterly honest in his and the nation’s failings. He is utterly cast upon the mercy of the Lord. When making confession to the Lord, genuine honesty is essential because if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins … and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). There is great mercy available to true confession, because he is a most merciful God. Not that we take this for granted but the Lord is delighted when we avail ourselves of His mercy and loving kindness. What joy, forgiveness and cleansing there is for those who truly confess.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you for your boundless mercy.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Prayer – Part 13

Forgive their sin -: and if not, blot me out of Your book” (Exodus 32:32)

This is an example of utterly self-less prayer. Paul requested something similar in Romans 9:3. The people had committed a terrible sin in worshipping the golden calf. It was described as a ‘great’ sin in verse 30. There are three things to note here. Firstly, selflessness in prayer is a key to answered prayer. When all self-interest and self-glory is relinquished, God hears and answers. Jesus did not pray for deliverance but for forgiveness for those crucifying him. Secondly, though the sin was great, God was able to forgive it. There is no sin that is beyond the reach of forgiving, cleansing blood of Christ. Thirdly, there was a plague following this sin (v.35). Some sins have consequences; eg a chain smoker will damage his health. Yet, all sins, conscious and unconscious can be forgiven. Let us always be ready to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses.”

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you for the power of forgiveness. Help me to pray without other agendas.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Prayer – Part 12

Aaron and Hur held up his [Moses’] hands … and his hands were steady …” (Exodus 17:12)

This is one of the earliest examples of corporate prayer. Even as great a man as Moses was, he became tired with praying and lifting up his hands while Joshua fought the battle in the valley below. We have all experienced weariness and discouragement in prayer. There is often the temptation to give up. Just when the enemy seemed to be winning, two great priestly helpers came alongside to help. They held up Moses’ hands so that he could continue praying until the end of the day and see the victory won. All of us need this kind of help. None can continue alone. This is one of the wonderful benefits of the Body of Christ. We strengthen and encourage one another. And often, it is from those members who seem less prominent that the greatest source of strength is derived. As part of God’s church, use your priestly privilege in praying for and thus, strengthening others.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that you have put me in a Body so that others can pray with me and I can pray for others.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Prayer – Part 11

Abraham stood yet before the Lord.” (Genesis 18:22)

As we read this chapter it is easy to think that there is some sort of bargaining negotiation going on between Abraham and God. But this is not a contest with Abraham trying to twist God’s arm. This intercession arose from an earlier time of intimate fellowship and communion with heavenly visitors in Abraham’s tent. Abraham waited upon them attending to their every need. After this rest and fellowship, Abraham stands and draws near (v.23). Having done all … he stood (Ephesians 6:13-14). God did not tell Abraham to pray; He only showed Him what He would do. But because of His intimate communion with and knowledge of God, Abraham knew what was about to happen and responded as only a man who truly knows God can respond. He stands as an intercessor. We can never rush into intercession and great needs for intercession should never take us by surprise. It arises from the intimacy of close relationship with God. How well do we truly know Him?

PRAYER :- “Lord, help me to know you more so that my whole life is one great prayer to You.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Prayer – Part 10

Not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

This is probably the highest and most profound point in prayer that a human being can come to. It is when every human desire is let go and the heart comes to total surrender. This is the prayer that God wants every person to pray. It is not the demand of a tyrant wanting total submission, but a heart of total love that wants to gather us up as we yield all we have to Him. It is the position of a child entrusting everything to the Father in heaven who will only do what is best. It will mean sacrifice. Jesus knew this but He also saw beyond to the joy that was ahead of Him; thus, He willingly went through the cross (Hebrews 12:2). Have we reached this point in our praying? Have we laid down all that is dear to us? As we do, we will see that there are far greater joys to be known.

PRAYER :- “Lord, I come to you & lay all I have at your feet, that your will, not mine, may be done.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Prayer – Part 9

How much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask Him.” (Luke 11:13)

The heart of God’s desire for us is that we should ask and receive the Holy Spirit. This is not an impossible request, totally out of reach. This is something that God wants all His people to have. The gift and life of the Holy Spirit is not something that is obtained casually, but is received by the persistent concentration of asking, seeking and knocking. The two previous verses talk about an earthly father giving gifts. This is to emphasise that the gift of the Holy Spirit is a gift of absolute love from the Father in heaven. God loves and longs to give this gift but only as we are in full love with Him and all other loves have ceased.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you for this wonderful gift. Refine my love for you that I may appreciate this gift all the more.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Prayer – Part 8

Whatsoever you ask the Father in my name, He will give it to you.” (John 16:23)

One of the problems with these words is that people can tend to use them selfishly for their own ends. However, we are not to use the name of Jesus as some kind of ‘magic power’ to get whatever we want. God is not a machine and His name is not a button we push at the end of our praying. These words come as part of Jesus’ final conversation with His disciples before His crucifixion. He is about to leave them and they, He says, are soon to enter into a totally new relationship with Him, based upon the receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. On this basis, we can pray to the Father and can approach Him using the name of His Son. It is all to do with relationship and praying in Jesus’ name gives us the full privileges of that relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

PRAYER :- “Lord, open my eyes to see all the fullness of the relationship that you invite me into.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Prayer – Part 7

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you will …” (John 15:7).

We often think of prayer as bringing our needs to God. But, God also has desires and things He wants to see happen. Based upon a relationship of intimacy, God speaks and as we listen, His words enter and remain in our hearts. We then begin to get an idea of the concerns of His heart and how He would have us to pray. Then, together, working and moving in unity, we become, through our prayers, an integral part of seeing His will done on earth. This is an awesome responsibility, but it also a great delight, knowing that the Person we are working with loves us exceedingly and only has the best of intentions.

PRAYER :- “Lord, help me to live nearer to you so I can be a part of your great purposes in this world.”