Weekly Devotionals – 5 June 2023

Prayer as a Way of Life
Prayer is one of the most essential parts of a believer’s life. It is recorded that our Lord Jesus wakes up very early in the morning, while it is still dark, to pray in a solitary place (Mark 1:35). His prayer life forms the foundation of his ministry on earth. He demonstrates that if the Son of Man prays daily to God, then we should follow his example. He does not live or act independently, but receives God’s revelation and instructions for his ministry through prayer. When he walks in obedience to God, his ministry has tremendous results (John 5:19-20, cf. John 11:42). We must also learn to be like Jesus, so that we can progressively be more fruitful for the Kingdom of God in all areas of our lives and ministry.
Prayer and Our Relationship with God
Prayer is a love language between our Heavenly Father and His children – it forms a communication channel that bonds them in a loving and trusting relationship.  Jesus speaks of prayer in the context of his relationship with the Father. (Matthew 6:5; John 5:20).  Our Father God wants to have a relationship with us and delights in listening to our prayers.  It is His nature as a father to meet our needs (Matt 6:11).  However, prayer is much more than presenting our wish list to God.  He wants us to progress beyond this elementary form of prayer.  We must grow in our faith and knowledge in the relationship that we have with our Father in Heaven. 
Prayer and The Help from God
God knows that there are many times when we are too weak to pray. Therefore, He sends His Spirit to be our Helper to help us in our weakness (John 14:16; Romans 8:26). The Holy Spirit is always with us to help and strengthen us in our weakness,  especially during a crisis when we often feel as though our faith and strength to pray is being siphoned off from us. As we progress on this journey of faith, we learn that God does not expect us to depend solely on our own abilities. He has provided us with His Holy Spirit and His resources. As we gradually learn to depend on the Holy Spirit in a greater measure, he will aid us to pray more effectively by illuminating to us, the promises from God’s Word. 
Prayer and The Peace of God
God’s will for all believers is to walk in the fullness of His grace, blessings, and peace. However, in reality, many people are experiencing much stress, fear, and anxiety in their lives. This should be something for us to ponder about. The reason that many believers do not have the peace of God is because they have yet to learn the benefit of prayer and trusting the Lord. The scripture tells us that prayer is a remedy for anxiety and it will grant us the peace of God. It is also noteworthy to observe the military term used here – attributing God’s peace to a “guard” that shields our hearts and minds so that we can be protected in Christ. Paul writes, “Do not be anxious for anything. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Prayer is God’s Idea
What a great encouragement to know that it is actually the will of God for us to pray!  This is especially true for those of us who may hesitate to pray. Jesus explains that God the Father himself loves us and wants to answer our prayers (John 16:26 -27).  The Word of God tells us, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” (Jeremiah 29:13). He invites us to seek Him earnestly and approach Him with confidence. What a wonderful privilege that we have, as children of God, that we can come into His Presence. Moreover, when we present our needs to God, He will do what is best for us. There is nothing that God will hold back from us. Remember, God did not spare His own Son in sending him to die for our sins. Our God is able to provide for all that we need. (Romans 8:32).  

In conclusion, prayer is not only a good idea, but it is God’s idea for every believer. The importance of prayer cannot be overemphasized. John Charles Ryle, an evangelical Anglican Bishop, aptly said, “Faith is to the soul what life is to the body. Prayer is to faith what breath is to the body. How a person can live and not breathe is past my comprehension, and how a person can believe and not pray is past my comprehension too.” Let us make our prayer and devotional time with the Lord to be our top priority. When we put God in the most important place in our lives, everything else will then fall into their rightful place.

Monday: John 14:21
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.
Tuesday: Daniel 11:32b
but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
Wednesday: Romans 8:14
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Thursday: Matthew 15:28
Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Friday: Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Saturday: Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
Sunday: Philippians 3:7-9
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.

All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor William Tan