Introduction: “Pray earnestly”: this means « be zealous and be careful not to be caught by laziness or hopelessness but be disposed to pray ». All the believers and men of God drew their strength, the renewal of their mind and the guidance of the Holy Spirit from prayers, so they could fulfill their work, especially the ministry the Lord assigned them. This was so with Jesus Christ who, although Son of God, diligently withdrew in the wilderness to pray (Mar 1:35 / Lk 5:16). And this is how He accomplished his great works which manifested the Glory of God—numerous, wonderful and blessed works through the preaching of the Gospel of God’s Kingdom with strength, power and miraculous signs, « the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes » (Rom 1:16). Concerning this, Jesus prayed: « […] I
finished the work you gave me to do » Jn 17:4. And it is written that « He has done everything well » Mar 7:37a. Since the believer is confronted with struggles and they may have many challenges that tear their faith apart and hinder their relationship with God, the word of God urges and encourages them: « Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me » Ps 50:15. « Ask and it will be given to you » Mt 7:7a. « Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to
escape all these things that will take place » Lk 21:36a. « Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you » 1 Pet 5:7. Thus, the Lord indeed sends the Holy Spirit to lead and to encourage the believer to pray, because « the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words » Rom 8:26. Prayer has its foundations as follows: (1) God listens to prayers and answers them (1 Kings 18:37-38); (2) The sincere prayer is powerful, that which is done with faith (Mt 21:22), in union with Jesus and in keeping the word of God (Jn 15:7), while complying with His will and achieving His work (1 Jn 5:14-15); (3) The prayer that emanates from a « broken and contrite heart » that God does not despise (Ps 51:17) can open the heavens (Deut 28:12).
Happy are those who remain in the faith and persevere in prayer: the Kingdom of God is rooted inside them for unending blessings (Ps 21:6). Stand firm, pray diligently so that the psalmist song may happen to you: « You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior » Ps 65:5a NLT.
Monday, 23rd: Pray diligently, God listens to you.
« Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you » Jer 29:12.
Reading 1: Mt 6:5-6. Reading 2: Jer 29:11-14. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jer 29:12.
Introduction: Pray diligently because God does not reject the sinner who seeks Him and cries for His true salvation. When David asked for forgiveness from God, he said: « The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise » Ps 51:17.
Tuesday, 24th: Pray earnestly, so that you may be strengthened.
« Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength » Lk 21:36a.
Reading 1: Dan 6:5-28. Reading 2: Lk 21:29-36. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 21:36.
Introduction: Those who do not know God think that prayer is futile and a waste of time, yet it is a great gain for those who believe in Him. Prayer is a way and a means that God gives to the believer to be continuously connected with Him. It is not an outward ritual but the real life of the believer;
so, Jesus encourages it: « Be always on the watch and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen » Lk 21:36a. When Jesus struggled in prayer in Gethsemane, an angel of God came to strengthen Him (Lk 22:43). The power of the prayer is God listening and answering it. So, pray
Wednesday, 25th: Pray earnestly with perseverance.
« Persevere in prayer » Rom 12:12c.
Reading 1: Lk 18:1-8. Reading 2: Rom 12:9-12. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 12:12.
Introduction: Enduring and persevering in prayer is a great gain. The apostle Paul wrote: « If we endure, we will also reign with him » 2 Tim 2:12a. Remember Hannah who kept on praying to have a child, and the Lord gave her Samuel (1 Sam 1:12). So was the Canaanite woman who bargained
with Jesus on the behalf of her daughter who suffered from demon possession (Mt 15:22). And nonetheless, there were also those apostles and women who were constantly in prayer while waiting for the Holy Spirit, and it was accomplished (Acts 1:14, Acts 2:3).
Thursday, 26th: Ascension Day. Pray fervently, and share priesthood with Jesus.
« When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up » Acts 1:9.
Reading 1: Is 57:15. Reading 2: Acts 1:1-11. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Acts 1:9.
Introduction: When Jesus ascended on high, He did not come back alone but « He took many captives for God » Ps 68:18. And He especially performs the great priestly ministry, interceding for all who are saved as it is written: « Christ Jesus […] who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes
for us » Rom 8:34b. This is a great assurance to the believer who shares the priesthood with Him and « who cry unto Him day and night », for « He will not delay long, but will quickly grant justice to them » (Lk 17:7-8a).
Friday, 27th: Pray fervently and do the work that results from that.
« Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress » Jas 1:27a.
Reading 1: Lk 16:19-31. Reading 2: Jas 1:22-27. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jas 1:27.
Introduction: Well-arranged speech and lengthy prayers are not what pleases God, according to Mt 6:5-6. Rather, He delights in the prayer revealed in acts of love and mercy towards the poor and needy neighbors. For a religion without faith is void and dead. Jesus said: « Very truly, I tell you, the
one who believes— that is, whoever worships Him— will also do the works that I do » Jn 14:12a.
Saturday, 28th: Jesus encourages us to pray.
« Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete » Jn 16:24b.
Reading 1: Zach 10:1-7. Reading 2: Jn 16:23-28. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 16:24.
Introduction: Jesus urges us to pray and He gives us assurance: « Ask, and it will be given to you; for everyone who asks receives » Mt 7:7a-8a. He says: « I will do whatever you ask in My Name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son » Jn 14:13. God delights in prayers and rejoices in answering
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