NEW TESTAMENT PRAYERS
We are so glad you are joining us for these daily prayer posts. Over the next few weeks we are going to listen to the prayers we find in the Bible, and some of God’s most faithful saints and servants. Through their prayers, we will learn better how to pray and connect with our heavenly Father.
Each devotion will take less than ten 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.
We want to encourage you to grab a journal or a notebook – something to write on as you walk through 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. This journal or notebook will be a keepsake to remind you of God’s faithfulness during this challenging season for all of us.
“God doesn’t hear our prayers, He hears our hearts. Prayer cannot be separated from what we think, feel and do.”
– Bingham Hunter, The God Who Hears
We’ve spent some time looking at the prayers of a those with great faith. Today we look at the prayer of a man with shaky faith. A father desperately wants healing for his demon-possessed son, but he’s been fooled by false hope many times before (including an unsuccessful exorcism attempt by Jesus’ disciples). Why would this healer be any different? Still, he can’t help but ask. And just like the centurion’s confident request of Jesus was actually a prayer to God Himself, so this man’s feeble and unsure request was just as much a prayer.
21And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
1. Having read the Word, sit silently for a minute and give God’s Word a moment to settle within you.
2. Re-read the verses slowly and write down some thoughts that resonate with you.
3. 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 father desperately desired faith, but struggled mightily with doubt.” The Spirit can give you the insight and courage you need to name with honesty the places in your heart where you are also torn between faith and doubt.)
4. In what ways do you personally relate to the father’s prayer request (in bold type above), with the things you pray about?
Although faith of the centurion and the faith of the boy’s father were in different places of development, here is one thing they had in common: Jesus answered both prayer requests. It seems He wasn’t kidding when He talked about the power of even the tiniest bit of faith (see Matthew 17:20).
If there is any part of your faith that is still developing (and surely there is in each of us), make this man’s prayer your own prayer today: “I believe; Lord, help my unbelief!” Use that prayer to talk to God about some things in your life you are struggling to trust Him with. Right now.
These devotionals are adapted from various sources, including The Book of Common Prayer, Fenelon: The Seeking Heart, Fellowship Bible Church Nashville, Handbook to Prayer by Kenneth Boa and others.