Thursday, May 15, 2014

Faith: Prayer Room 2014

The Rock of Faithfulness

He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
-Deuteronomy 32:4

God uses the word “rock” in scripture to describe things that are foundational, unchanging and permanent.  The description of Him as a rock above is accurate, since without Him as a foundational, unchanging and permanent cornerstone in our lives, our faith has little meaning.

Take one of the rocks with the word “Faith” on it.  Using one of the paint pens, write a word on the rock that represents something you want to remember to pray for.  It’s best if this is something that is a long term prayer or especially if it is something that you aren’t sure what to pray for in the situation, but you trust your faithful God to work in that situation.  Take the rock home and put it somewhere that you will see it often, such as the car or maybe on your night stand, as a reminder that God is faithful, that He hears your prayer and that He is working in that situation.  When God does answer the prayer or the situation is resolved, consider keeping the rock as a reminder of God’s faithfulness in that situation.

Wall of Faithfulness

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. -Hebrews 13:8

Sometimes we as Christians can get bogged down with all the situations in our lives and the lives of those around us that need prayer.  With rampant sickness, hard-times, struggles and calamities, our prayer life can begin to become overwhelming and depressing.   We run the risk of making our prayers to the Lord simply a long list of need after need and forgetting about worship, repentance and thanksgiving.  In the end, our communication with God ends up focusing on evil and death instead of joyfulness and life.

Here, we are going to focus on how faithful our God is and how amazing His provision for us has been.  Take a post-it note and write down how God is being faithful to you right now or has been faithful to you in the recent past.  Remember that His faithfulness is greater than our sufferings.  Then take a moment to recognize and celebrate the faithfulness God has shown you and others who have posted to the board.  Our God is a great God!

Relationship Check-Up

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
-Psalm 28:7

Trust is a critical part of any relationship.  It is especially critical, though, in our relationship with God because He calls us to be faithful and have faith in Him.  Faith and trust go hand in hand.  In fact, Webster’s dictionary defines faith as, “strong belief and trust in someone or something”.

Here, you are going to do a relationship check-up between you and God.  This inventory was adapted from an actual inventory developed by The Fetzer Institute on trust in close relationships between two people.  Answer each question as honestly as possible.  Especially be careful to not answer how you think a Christian SHOULD answer.  ANSWER HONESTLY!

There are some directions on scoring at the bottom of the page, but more important than the score is asking yourself if your trust in God is where it should be.  Ask yourself why you may have scored low in one area or what is preventing you from trusting God more.  Pray that God continues to draw you closer to Himself and step out in faith by trusting God more and more.

Trust Between You and God Inventory
Indicate how much each statement below explains your relationship with God by rating it between 0 (does not describe the relationship) and 10 (perfectly describes the relationship).
 1. I know God is close by and working on my behalf even when He seems silent.
_____ D
 2. I feel comfortable telling God anything about myself, even confessing those things of which I am ashamed.
_____ F
 3. Though times may change and the future is uncertain, I know God will always be ready and willing to offer me strength and comfort.
_____ F
 4. I am never certain that God won’t do something to hurt or embarrass me.
 5. God is very unpredictable. I never know how He sees me from one day to the next.
 6. I feel very uncomfortable knowing that God is in control of situations which will affect me personally.
 7. I have found that God is unusually dependable, even when it comes to things which are important only to me.
 8. God behaves in a very inconsistent manner.
 9. Whenever I have to step out in faith into a new or confusing situation, I know God is concerned about my welfare.
_____ F
10. Even when I have sinned against God or ignored Him, I still feel certain that He cares for me.
_____ F
11. I can rely on God to be gentle and compassionate when I give my weaknesses over to Him.
_____ F

12. When I share my problems with God, I know He will respond every time and will answer my prayer in whatever way is best for me.
_____ F
13. I am certain that God would not abandon me, no matter how big I mess up or how many times I mess up.
_____ D
14. I sometimes avoid God because I feel like He is unhappy with me or would rather not be bothered with me.
_____ P
15. I can rely on God to keep the promises he/she makes to me.
16. With God, I feel secure in facing unknown new situations.
17.  Even when God’s ways don’t make any sense to me, I trust that His way is the best way.

Add up your score from each letter and put it in the box below.
For letters D and F, the higher the score, the healthier the relationship.
For letter P, the lower the score, the healthier the relationship.

Total D’s_____ out of 50 (measures how DEPENDABLE you think God is)
Total F’s_____ out of 70 (measures how FAITHFUL you think God is)
Total P’s_____ out of 50 (measures how PREDICTABLE you think God is)

Mustard Seeds
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”-Matthew 17:20

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.-Luke 17:6

These scriptures about having faith as small as a mustard seed are some of the most commonly quoted scriptures in the whole Bible.  Unfortunately they can be some of the hardest scriptures to believe.  We have all prayed for things in what we felt like was enough faith, but it seemed like God still did not answer.  Are these scriptures not true?

Here, you are going to do a prayer experiment.  Take one of the prayer sheets below and write down specific and measurable prayers that have been on your heart.  For example, don’t write down, “Help with finances”.  Instead, write something like, “Have credit card debt paid off in two years” or “Be able to save $___ a month”.  Or instead of “Heal ___”, pray “That ___ blood pressure comes down to normal” or “That ___ is able to go home by the end of the month.”  For each prayer request you wrote down, take a mustard seed and put it into one of the small bags.  As you put each mustard seed in the bag, pray with faith that God will provide for you in that area.  When you are finished, staple the bag to your paper.  Take it home and put it in a place where you’ll be reminded to pray for those things.  As God answers each prayer, mark it off the sheet.  Are the scriptures about praying in faith true?  If God doesn’t answer them exactly, how did He answer them?

Promises of God

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. -2 Corinthians 1:20

God keeps His promises.

There are hundreds of promises throughout scripture.  Some of those promises were for specific people and we get to see those scriptures answered in the Bible other places.  Other promises were for all of His children for all time.

Before you is a board with various promises God makes to His children in Scripture.  If God has answered one of these promises in your life, write a letter/number/symbol or two on one of the stickers that represents the situation where He kept that promise and put the sticker in the box that promise is written in.  You can do this as many times as you like. 

Once you have placed your stickers, spend time thanking God for keeping His promises.  How does it build your faith knowing that our God is so faithful?

Bible Promises

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,                                                 on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,                                                             to deliver them from death,                                                                                        and keep them alive in famine.                                                                                  -Psalm 33:18-19

"The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.                                                
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.                                             
-Psalm 19:7

"He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak, 
those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. 
-Isaiah 40:29, 31

"Every word of God is flawless;
    he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.           
-Proverbs 30:5

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.  
-Proverbs 16:3

"The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame. 
-Isaiah 58:11"

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 
-Romans 12:2

When the Lord All-Powerful makes a plan, no one can change it. 
-Isaiah 14:27(ERV)

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.                                         -James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  
-James 5:16

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.   
-Mark 11:24

Give to others, and you will receive. You will be given much. It will be poured into your hands—more than you can hold. You will be given so much that it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”               -Luke 6:38 (ERV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.                                
-James 1:2-4

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.               
-Malachi 3:10

But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.                                                                 
-James 1:25

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.                 
-2 Chronicles 7:14

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.                                                            -Ephesians 6:11-12

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.                               -1 Corinthians 10:13

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
    with your right hand you save me.                                
-Psalm 138:7"

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.                         
-2 Timothy 1:7

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.                                                       -James 1:5

Discipline your children, and they will give you peace;
    they will bring you the delights you desire.                
-Proverbs 29:17

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.                                                         
-Matthew 19:29

Humility is the fear of the Lord;
    its wages are riches and honor and life.                      
-Proverbs 22:4

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,

    but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.                                   -Proverbs 28:13

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