1.4 Loving Jesus & Prayer

IMG_0098 (2) (2019_12_05 22_02_02 UTC)I love David.

I love him because he invited me into his life. He shares his thoughts with me, lets me know he enjoys being with me. He knows me and all my faults and quirks, and he loves me anyway. Scripture says that when a couple marry, the two become one. It also tells us that marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:22-32).

As David and I were talking this morning about how I could express in this blog how loving God causes my prayer life to be deeper and stronger, he was sitting across from me and I just had to tell him that I loved him. Immediately, I saw the picture of my love for God. I was reminded of a passage from our Through the Bible reading from the end of June, Ephesians 1:3-6:

Ephesians-1-4 freegracefreespeech_blogspot“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

God chose me!

Before He even created the world, God chose me. Of everyone who ever lived, God selected me to be the specific object of His love and grace, to be that exact someone He wanted to adopt into His family after he poured out His grace and forgiveness on me. I know God, love God because He first loved me. Just as David did, God invited me into His life. He revealed His thoughts to me, giving me insight into His Word, understanding so I would open my heart to His love and forgiveness which He poured out on me from the cross. As in the picture of marriage, God united Himself with me by sending the Holy Spirit to indwell my heart. This is true for all of us who know and have placed our faith in Jesus.

Jn 17 23 i am your father and love you gracedoctrine_orgAll this is a direct answer to the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17:22-24: “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

Jesus says that the Father loved Him before the foundation of the earth, and in just that same way, the Father loved us. God’s love doesn’t depend on what we do—for we had done nothing, in fact, we didn’t even exist when He started loving us—nor on how much we love Him back. He loves us, pours out His grace and mercy on us simply because He has chosen to do so!

We chose to love her…

I have a friend who came from a background when she was constantly put down and had to earn every tiny bit of praise or smidgen of love her parents showed her. She used to give us gifts every time she saw us, do things for us to the point where it was completely overdone. One day I took her out to eat and told her that we loved her, not because of the gifts, not because she tried to be good to us, but simply because we chose to love her. Nothing she did or didn’t do could make us love her more or less. She sat in the booth at the restaurant and cried. No one—her parents, her husband, her sons—had ever loved her like that. God does. He poured out His love on us before we were created, before we could do anything, before we cleaned up our life, before we came to believe and love Him.

EPSON MFP imageI love talking to my husband. The moments of deep communication between us are so precious. It is like that with God. As I open my life to Him and He shows me His heart, words are not enough to tell how cherished those moment are. They are powerful, life changing.


YouTube Video

If you missed the teaching video, and before going to the Practical Application Assignments, we ask that you watch “Loving Jesus & Prayer” at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJv9Si_OVSo&t=142s

Study Guide for YouTube Video

https://breathingbygrace.blog/2020/07/07/1-4-study-guide-loving-jesus-prayer/


Practical Application Activities

Our key question for this session is How does prayer change with a sincere belief in the full, unconditional love of Jesus? After working on an activity in relation to this question, please let us know when you have completed an activity, and what you found meaningful in the exercise.

David and Julia Ewert |  davidandjulia.ewert@gmail.com

When inspired to do so, compose a prayer to share with the school that we can publish online with the blog. It can be in any form you choose (prose, poetry, music, picture, psalm, etc.).


Song Activity:

Identify a Christian song about the love of Jesus that moves you to a prayerful, personal response to Him.

If you choose to listen to our playlist, please pay special attention to the first 3 songs listed.

The first one includes the compelling story of Mike Weaver, lead singer to a contemporary Christian band from Mobile, Alabama. Mike tells his story of discovering a love relationship with Jesus that freed him from self-hatred (released last year in the book, I Am Redeemed).

  • How does the song speak to you? …for you?
  • What phrases stay with you that you want to take with you into prayer?
  • Identify the composer’s story behind the song if possible. Are there parts to the story you can relate to from your own personal experience?

Terminology Activity:

To whom do you pray? Father, Son, or Holy Spirit? Why?

  • What helps us decide:
    • Identify the role of each Person in the Trinity as reflected in their name.[1] Which Person’s work are you thinking of when you pray? (e.g., Julia tends to address the Father when beginning to pray. I tend to address Jesus.)
    • Identify the various names of God used in the Scriptures and approach God as He relates to your particular circumstance.[2] Praying with your emotions engaged may help you to decide how you want to address God in prayer.
    • Pray in context (e.g., Praying for the Church? You might want to address Jesus, the Head of the Church)
    • Pray in concert or agreement with others in the prayer meeting – listening for the themes and Scriptures raised up by the Spirit in the prayers of others.
  • Remember:
    • You address all three Persons when you address one. All are involved in answering your prayer.
    • We are too formal when the prayer becomes a meaningless repetition, ritualistic mysticism, or we are praying to be heard of men (Matthew 6; 1 Timothy 2:1-8; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).

[1] The Roles of the Trinity – Charles Stanley: https://www.christianity.com/jesus/is-jesus-god/holy-trinity/the-roles-of-the-trinity.html

The Trinity – Mark Bird: https://answersingenesis.org/who-is-god/the-trinity/the-trinity/

[2] Praying the Names and Attributes of God: https://www.navigators.org/resource/praying-names-attributes-god/

What Are the Names and Titles of the Holy Spirit? – Dawn Wilson: https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holy-spirit/what-are-the-names-and-titles-of-the-holy-spirit.htm

What are the different names and titles of Jesus Christ? https://www.gotquestions.org/names-Jesus-Christ.html


Finding Time to Sit at Jesus’ Feet Activity

Where and when do you fit in prayer?

Instructions

Consider the importance of  a “set aside time” for prayer – a time to soak in the presence of Christ at His feet and let Him minister to your spirit. What is more important to you than this kind of experience? What prevents you from praying like this?

What would need to change in order for quiet, listening prayer to become a  part of your life?

The following online articles offer some  good suggestions. We can’t vouch for the lives of the authors, but the ideas they share are good ones:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s