We are so glad you are joining us for these daily prayer posts. Over the next four weeks we are going to listen to the prayers of the Bible, and the saints of God. Their prayers are going to teach us how to pray.
Each devotion will take five to seven minutes of your time.
- We will look at an insight from those who know something important about prayer.
- We will listen to the prayers of people in the Bible—people just like us. And to people who gained a deep measure of spiritual intimacy with God because they prayed.
- We will reflect, asking the same four questions each day that invites us to look and listen with intent.
- And we will pray, for it is in praying that we learn to pray. And it is in praying that the Spirit changes our hearts.
May we encourage you to grab a notebook, a journal, something to write on as you do each prayer guide. Yes, it will add a few minutes to the time it takes to do the devotion, and it will also deepen your experience and shape your walk with God for years to come.
Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life.
In the first century, the Jews hated the Romans like you would expect a conquered people to hate their conquerors, and the Romans despised the Jews and their backward religion. So, it's quite surprising that a powerful Roman military officer would ask a Jew for help with anything. But that's exactly what happened in Capernaum around 30 AD. The centurion may not have comprehended it at the time, but by asking Jesus to help him, he was, in fact, praying to God.
Matthew 8:5-10; 13
5 When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.
13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
- Having read the Word, sit silently for a minute and give God’s Word a moment to settle within you.
- Re-read the verses slowly and write down some thoughts that resonate with you.
- Ask the Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that those thoughts are pointing to. (for example: you may write down, “The centurion knew that Jesus had the authority to help him." The Spirit can help us see that we all long for this same kind of confidence in God's power and provision.)
- What aspects of the centurion's request help you understand what it looks like to ask for God's help with faith?
What is something you'd like to ask God for but you're not sure you have the faith to believe He will help you? Using the centurion's prayer as a guide, talk to God boldly about your request, expressing your faith in His power, authority, and care for you.