Category Archives: Lessons

Bible studies and lessons

PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER

Lesson 8 –  James

How much of the time do you feel you are “righteous?”  Originally that word was translated into English as “rightwiseness”, that is 100% good and right and wise.  All of us falter and fail when it comes to controlling our tongue, attitude, and behavior at times.  Our sinful nature seems to be alive and well all too often.  In most religions the gods respond to people on their own merits and goodness which is in reality an impossible situation.  It simply means that you must keep trying harder, do penance, and hope for the best.  That is not how it works in the Biblical view of life, is it?

When James wrote his letter to a wide variety of churches, he was concerned about the effect their faith was having on their observable behavior.  He wanted them to understand that their good deeds would not ever be enough to earn them salvation, but that true faith in Jesus would always produce Christ-like behavior.  In fact, because of their faith in Jesus they would be “righteous” – having the same characteristics He had of faithfulness, truthfulness, and goodness. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and explained “God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so we could be made right with God through Christ”. We could be made righteous.  James was eager for them to know that through prayer there would be great power and wonderful results because of what Jesus did for them on the cross, not because of their good works.

What do you assume when you pray?  Will God hear your prayer because of who you are or because of your reputation, talents, generosity, wisdom, good works or even the promises that you make at that particular time?  Will God listen more closely if you join together with other people whom you assume are very spiritual?  Will it make a difference if you are able to articulate your prayers well or at least humbly confess your inability to say just what you mean?  “The great question is not, ‘How can I get my prayers answered?’  It is ‘What will it take to draw me closer to God?’” (Ray Pritchard)

PRAYING ERNESTLY

Lesson 7 – Colossians We seldom use the word “earnestly”, do we? You might think of other words like soberly or fervently when you hear it. It has a very strong word meaning – “determined or passionate, not trivial or petty.” It infers that you are very serious about the subject or concern that you…Continue Reading

PRAYING WITH JOY

Lesson 6 – Philippians Do you think there is a difference between happiness and joy?  What makes you happy?  What gives you joy?  Do you use the words interchangeably or do you make a distinction between the two of them in your mind and conversation?  Webster’s dictionary indicates that happiness is characterized by luck, good…Continue Reading

PRAYING WITH HUMILITY

Lesson 5 – Ephesians, Part 2 If you wanted guidance or advice about your prayer life, to whom would you go?  You might know a friend or a spiritual director who could give you some helpful insight or ideas.  There are certainly excellent books that you could read and find many wonderful suggestions.  There is…Continue Reading

PRAYING WITH EXPECTATION

Lesson 4 – Ephesians, Part 1 One of the delightful things about young children is their enthusiasm and joy when they realize that something special is about to happen.  It might be Christmas or the first day of kindergarten, but it could also be something that would be quite ordinary to most adults, like going…Continue Reading

PRAYING WITH HOPE

Lesson 3 – Romans Did you know “that you and I could probably live 40 days without food, 8 days without water, 4 minutes without air, but only a few seconds without hope”?  What is it about hope that makes it so essential to our lives?  The anticipation that tomorrow will be better, that change…Continue Reading

PRAYING WITH PERSEVERANCE

Lesson 2 – II Thessalonians How many synonyms can you recall for the word “perseverance”?  Perhaps the words persistence or tenacity come to your mind.  How about the idea of indefatigability or stick-to-itiveness?   The dictionary defines this quality of character as “the ability to hold to a course of action, belief, or purpose without giving…Continue Reading

PRAYING with THANKSGIVING –

Lesson 1 – I Thessalonians How does it make you feel when someone expresses their gratitude to you for a trait which they admire about you?  It is always nice when you receive a word or note of appreciation for a gift or a specific act of kindness or helpfulness, but when your family or…Continue Reading

GET READY, GET SET, GO

Get Ready – What would it take to deepen and strengthen your relationship with Jesus?  Could it be that prayer might be a very strategic way to move forward?   “Nobody who has grown in the life of God has neglected prayer.” (W. Sangster)  What are the desires of your heart? Get Set –    The introduction…Continue Reading