Family Bible Study lesson for March 16: Praying That Focuses on God
February 28 2003 by Crate Jones , Daniel 9:1-10, 15-19

Family Bible Study lesson for March 16: Praying That Focuses on God | Friday, Feb. 28, 2003

Friday, Feb. 28, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for March 16: Praying That Focuses on God

By Crate Jones Daniel 9:1-10, 15-19

"Let your hand be with me" (NIV) is the third element in the prayer of Jabez (1 Chr. 4:9-10).

In the New Testament, the growth of the church was attributed to the fact that "The hand of the Lord was with them" (Acts 11:21). "God's hand is the filling of the Holy Spirit" (The Prayer of Jabez, p. 54).

God's character is the basis of prayer. Jabez recognized the power and presence of God. Our concept of God determines the nature of our prayers.

A church caretaker pointed to a modernistic concept of Jesus in a stained glass window, and said, "Now that's supposed to be Jesus up there; but He don't favor Hisself very much."

To some, God is a celestial Santa Claus. To others, He's the man upstairs; or a courier, awaiting our call. And saddest of all, the "fool" says, "There is no God" (Ps. 14:1).

Daniel had a burden for exiled Israel. His prayer showed his dependence on God and faith that God answers prayer. It's a proper stance for Christians.

I preached my first sermon on Christmas of 1942. I remember my need for dependence on God. Sixty years later, each time I stand to preach, that same emotion is stirred.

When our son, Russell, was a little boy, he would come into the study between Sunday School and worship, get on his knees and pray, "Lord, you preach through my daddy today." That was his prayer then; it's been mine ever since.

The astronomer focuses his telescope on a distant star. What appears to the naked eye as a twinkle becomes a blazing light. Jesus is the "telescope" through whom we see the dazzling light of God's character. He said, "When you pray, say our Father." That's focused praying.

Daniel lived around 538 B.C. In his prayer we see the deep insight he possessed of the nature of God. But, in Jesus, we see the personification of all that God is.

Among the many attributes of God, We look at three:

God is great Daniel 9:1-4 Daniel addressed God as great and awesome. My Bible dictionary defines awesome as "respect and wonder; a holy fear of God because of His great power."

I gave a man a ride who had been drinking. He found out that I was a preacher and wanted to impress me. He said: "My favorite verse in the Bible is, 'A man is never as tall as when he stoops to help a boy."' That's closer to the Shriner's motto than it is to Holy Writ.

The greatness of God is never seen more clearly as when Jesus "stooped" to earth and went to the cross for our sins.

God is righteous Daniel 9:7 As Daniel realized the righteousness of God, he humbly began confessing his and the people's sins.

When we see ourselves in light of the righteousness of Jesus, we become painfully aware of our unrighteousness.

A preacher stopped one night at an inn. He was to conduct family worship. Guests and servants were invited, except a dirty servant girl who was counted not fit to attend. The preacher insisted that she be included.

After service, he found her and taught her to pray daily: "Lord, show me myself;" and later to pray, "Lord, show me Thyself."

A few years later, a neat looking young woman saw him and asked, "Do you remember teaching a servant girl to pray, 'Lord, show me myself?' She did and God showed her what a vile person she was. Then you taught her to pray, 'Lord, show me Thyself.' God gave her a view of the love of Jesus dying on the cross for her sins. She became a Christian; I am that girl." (taken from R.A Torrey's book on the Holy Spirit)

God is merciful Daniel 9:17-19 Mercy and forgiveness are found in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-22). The runaway didn't come home to tell his father about his happy time in "hog-wallow."

Broken hearted, he said: "Father, I have sinned!" The forgiving father hugged and kissed him; then threw a party for him.

"We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy" (Dan. 9:18b).

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2/28/2003 12:00:00 AM by Crate Jones , Daniel 9:1-10, 15-19 | with 0 comments
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