He Answered Their Prayers Because They Trusted in Him

1 Chronicles 5:20 They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him.

What a felicitous promise for prayer!

How simple a construct!

Let us aspire to so live that these words be spoken of us before we leave this earth.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Outcomes of Prayer

This is the third in a series of three posts on prayer.  The first two are:

This post consists of scriptural meditations on the sort of outcomes we ought to expect from prayer, as well as the behaviors we ought to practice going forth from prayer.  [Emphasis occasionally added.]

Peace

That we experience peace should certainly be an outcome of prayer to God.

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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Strength

Prayer ought to give us strength – strength of heart.

Psalm 119:28 My soul weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word.

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Psalm 138:3 On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.

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Ecclesiastes 7:19 Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.

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Ecclesiastes 10:17 Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time–for strength and not for drunkenness.

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Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,

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Romans 15:1 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.

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Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
Ephesians 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
Ephesians 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Ephesians 3:18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
Ephesians 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

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Joy

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,
But a good word makes it glad.

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Isaiah 56:7 Even those I will bring to My holy mountain
And make them joyful in My house of prayer…

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Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart…

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Blessing

The one who prays effectively should receive the blessing of the Lord on his soul.

Numbers 6:22 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Numbers 6:23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:
Numbers 6:24 The LORD bless you, and keep you;
Numbers 6:25 The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
Numbers 6:26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’
Numbers 6:27 “So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”

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Psalm 3:8 Salvation belongs to the LORD;
Your blessing be upon Your people!

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Galatians 4:15 Where then is that sense of blessing you had?…

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Fullness

Luke 1:53 “HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS;
And sent away the rich empty-handed.

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Ongoing Obedience

Of course, we should obey what we’ve learned in prayer.  Otherwise, what’s the point of praying?

Ecclesiastes 12:13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.
Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptural Meditations on The Lord’s Prayer

This is the second of a three-part series on prayer.  The first was Preparation for Prayer.  The final one is The Outcomes of Prayer.  This post on the Lord’s Prayer is the heart of this series.

In Luke 11:1, Jesus was asked, “Lord, teach us to pray…”  What follows in Luke 11:2-4 has come to be called “the Lord’s Prayer.”  A longer version of it appears in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7).  More precisely, the Lord’s Prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13.

Comparing the two versions, we see that Luke’s version is a subset of Matthew’s – almost a verbatim subset.  The variation in words used is slight.  And Luke’s is a true subset – that is, there are no concepts found in Luke’s version that are not present in Matthew’s.  Though the study below is based on Matthew’s version, Luke’s version is also referenced where the words or phrases match.

Since Matthew’s version is fuller, we will use it below.  Each word is singled out so that it can be thought through.  To help. verses or passages are listed which shed light on each word of the prayer.  Although a snippet or summary of each verse or passage is given, you can also gain insight by reading each verse its context when you have more time.  To aid this process, the verses are listed in scriptural order.

Our  (Matthew 5:9)

The most striking thing about the first word of the prayer is that it is plural rather than singular.  Thinking about it at the most fundamental level, we are to pray to a God whom we are sharing.  And just as He is ours to share, so our interests must take in all those who interest Him.

    • Job 42:10  “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends”
    • Ecclesiastes 4:8  “and he never asked, ‘And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?'”
    • Jeremiah 45:5  “But you, are you seeking great things for yourself?  Do not seek them”
    • Matthew 5:44-45  “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you”
    • Luke 11:5-6  “lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him”
    • 1 Corinthians 10:24  “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor”
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:15  “always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men”
    • 1 Timothy 2:1-2  “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men”

Father  (Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2)

Your father is the one who precedes you in life.  Certainly, Jesus precedes us for we are born from His seed – born from heaven, born from above.  He came first.  He is the adult and we are children who must humbly imitate and follow if we are ever to be conformed to His image.

    • 1 Kings 3:7  ” I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.”
    • 2 Kings 2:12  “My father, my father” (said Elisha to Elijah as the latter was ascending in a whirlwind)
    • Matthew 18:3  “unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
    • Matthew 18:4  “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
    • Luke 15:18-19  I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.'”
    • John 5:19  “the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”
    • John 13:33  “Little children, I am with you a little while longer.”
    • John 14:18  “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
    • Galatians 4:6  “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'”
    • 1 John 5:21  “Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”

who is  (Matthew 6:9)

To believe that God is, is the fundamental requirement for effective prayer.  For if you doubt that He is, your prayer is not based in faith.

    • Exodus 3:14  I AM WHO I AM
    • Psalm 16:2  You are my Lord”
    • Psalm 140:6  You are my God; give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplications.”
    • Isaiah 25:1  “O Lord, You are my God”
    • Isaiah 64:8  But now, O LORD, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.”
    • Jeremiah 10:6  “There is none like You, O Lord; You are great, and great is Your name in might.”
    • John 8:58  “before Abraham was born, I am.”
    • Hebrews 11:6  “he who comes to God must believe that He is
    • James 1:6  “But he must ask in faith without any doubting”

in heaven,  (Matthew 6:9)

    • Esther 1  (Ahasuerus’ feast)
    • Job 1-2  (The backdrop of Job’s story was what was going in heaven – behind the scenes)
    • Mark 6:21-29  (Herod’s feast)
    • Luke 15:18  “I have sinned against heaven and in Your sight”
    • Luke 18:13  “the tax-gatherer…was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven”
    • Luke 15:10  “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents”

Your name be hallowed,  (Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2)

I’ve altered the word order in this phrase to match the two phrases that immediately follow it.  There’s an undeniable parallelism in the three phrases.  The traditional English word order tends to obscure this, though it can be observed in a Greek text.

    • Psalm 115:1  “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory”

Your kingdom come.  (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2)

    • Matthew 6:33  “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”
    • Matthew 16:23  “you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s”
    • Philippians 2:21  “For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus”

Your will be done,  (Matthew 6:10)

    • Matthew 26:39  “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
    • James 4:15  “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.'”

on earth as it is in heaven.  (Matthew 6:10)

    • Hebrews 12:1  “since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us” 
    • Isaiah 65:17  “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth”
    • Revelation 21:1  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.”
    • Psalm 115:16  “The heavens are the heavens of the LORD, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.”

Give  (Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3)

    • Matthew 7:11  “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
    • Luke 11:13  “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
    • Psalm 84:11  “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
    • Hebrews 4:16  “so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”
    • Psalm 123:2  Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He is gracious to us.”
    • Mark 11:24  “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
    • Matthew 7:7-8
    • Luke 11:9-10
    • 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
    • 1 Timothy 5:8
    • Philemon 1:14
    • James 1:5-8
    • 1 John 5:14-15
    • Psalm 31:19
    • Palm 34:10

us  (Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3)

    • Luke 11:6  “for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him”  
    • Jeremiah 45:5  “But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them”
    • 1 Corinthians 0:24  “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.”
    • Jeremiah 29:7  “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.”
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:15  “seek after that which is good for one another and for all people”
    • 1 Corinthians 10:33  “not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”

this day our daily  (Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3)

    • Matthew 6:34  “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
    • Psalm 118:24  “This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
    • Psalm 19:4-5  “…the sun… rejoices as a strong man to run his course.”

bread.  (Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3)

    • Matthew 15:26  “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
    • Matthew 4:4  “MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.”
    • Job 23:12  “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”
    • Jeremiah 15:16  “Your words were found and I ate them”
    • John 4:34  “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work”

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  (Matthew 6:12; Luke 11:4)

    • Matthew 18:21-22  “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  …I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
    • Matthew 18:35  “And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.  My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

And do not lead us into temptation,  (Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4)

    • Matthew 26:41  “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
    • Luke 22:40  “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
    • Luke 22:46  “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray…not enter into temptation.”
    • Galatians 6:1  “each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.”
    • 1 Corinthians 10:13  “God is faithful…with the temptation will provide the way of escape also”
    • James 1:14  “each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.”
      • 1 Peter 4:2  “no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”
      • Luke 8:14  “choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life”

but deliver us from evil  (Matthew 6:13)

    • Hosanna (Save us!)
    • Salvation from our enemies
    • give your life to you as booty

[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]  (Matthew 6:13)

    • Psalm 145:11  “They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom  And talk of Your power”

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Preparation for Prayer

This is the first of a three-part series on prayer.  The next two are:

Effective prayer normally requires preparation.  Such preparation includes living a life in pursuit of righteousness, finding a time and place free from distractions, and quieting one’s heart from the noises of the world.  What follows are some scriptural meditations on those preparations.  [Emphasis occasionally added.]

A Life of Righteousness

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

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Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

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Proverbs 28:9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

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John 9:31 “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.

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Acts 10:34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,
Acts 10:35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.

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1 Peter 3:10 For,
“THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS,
MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.
1 Pet 3:11 “HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD;
HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT.
1 Pet 3:12 “FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS,
AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER,
BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.”

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A Devoted Time and Place, Free of Distraction

1 Corinthians 7:5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

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1 Corinthians 7:35 This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

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2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

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Humility

James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

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A Quieted Heart

Ecclesiastes 5:1 Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.

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Ecclesiastes 9:17 The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.

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Psalm 131:1 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Psalm 131:2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
Ps 131:3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever.

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Faith

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
James 1:8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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Having prepared to pray, consider:

Scriptural Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer

The Outcomes of Prayer

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)