Lesson 5 Follow-up - WHAT OTHER RESOURCES CAN I CLAIM FOR MY CHRISTIAN LIFE?
We found that God's Word is a defense against Satan, temptation, etc., but there are other defenses available to us as well. We will be studying about two of them today...prayer and the Holy Spirit. In today's dispensation or administration of God, payer and the Holy Spirit is our defense and communication needed to be victorious over the devil, the flesh and the world.
In our last lesson we saw the importance of the Word of God and the necessity of Bible being a part of our life. Prayer should also be a vital part of our daily lives. God longs for our fellowship, and this is accomplished through prayer, which is simply talking with God. Many of the great men of God whose names you may recognize have been men of prayer, John Wesley, George Mueller, David Brainierd to name a few. Christ Himself regarded prayer as important and took time to be alone with God in prayer, Mark Luke .
We discussed the Word of God in lesson 4 in connection with a quiet time This is also a good time to pray. After God has spoken to you through His Word, we can speak to Him in prayer. It is good to have a definite time for communing with God. Without a definite time set aside, our day may/can be crowded out and we will miss a day or two. As time passes our quiet times become fewer and fewer. Be sure to set, a definite time aside and keep it as you would an appointment. The choosing of a definite place is also helpful, in doing this; try to pick a quiet place that will be free from distraction.
We speak of a definite time and place; but this does not mean we can not pray at other times also. God would have us pray any time and any place. Such a when special times of need arise we can ask God immediately for His help, Hebrews. 4:16. Remember, too, that God is interested in the little things as well as the big things in our life and would have us pray about these little things too. Don't hesitate to pray about everything or anything, James 4:2, Philippians 4:6
What things should we pray about or what things should be included in prayer? There are at least five parts of prayer:
- Confession, I John 1:9,
- Worship and adoration, Psalm 29:2,
- Thanksgiving, Colossians 4:2,
- Intercession or praying for others, I Timothy 2:1,2, Ephesians
- Petition fur self, Philippians 4:6.
These things need not be included every time we pray, but there should be part of more than "formal" prayer during our quiet time.
During this more of a "formal time, it many be helpful for you to have a prayer list or calendar. This is a list of requests you wish to pray about in conversation with our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 2:5 - mediator, 1 John 2:1-3, Romans 8:33,34- intercessor. It will help to keep you from forgetting and will keep your mind from wondering , as well you may also wish to record answers to prayer so make a journal.
Do not become discouraged if your requests are not answered immediately or even if they are not answered according to your will. God sometimes has a reason for not answering immediately and sometimes sees fit, for our good, not to answer according to our will, but His answer will always be according to His will and our best, II Corinthians 12:7-9, Romans .
When you pray, do so from the heart and mean what you pray rather than simply saying repetitive words. This goes for both private and public prayer. Be sure, too, to be natural, being yourself and not what you think someone thinks you should be.
In closing this part of our lesson, never say you are too busy to pray, Susanna Wesley had a large family of nineteen children and always had a time set aside for prayer. We must make time for prayer and not leave it to chance. Did you ever think of praying while walking to and from work - or while doing the housework - or while doing other things that would also allow us to pray? Let's use those extra minutes and "redeem the time", Ephesians .
Let's go on now to another resource that is available to us - The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and He is as much God as are the Father and Christ the Son. It is He that calls us to salvation or regeneration and then seals, Ephesians. , and indwells us, I Corinthians . It is He by His presence and power that aids us in living an effective Christian life making us children of redemption not just children of creation. The Scripture exhorts us to be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians . The Holy Spirit play a important roll in God's plan where we are the beneficiaries and we need to love His presence, John 14:16, 26, 16:5-16,! There has been some misunderstanding about this experience.
It is not something for which we must "tarry" as some have taught. We must base our filling on what the Scriptures teach. We receive the Spirit at the moment we accept Christ as our Savior and we become filled as we yield our life to Him and reckon ourselves "dead", Romans ,14, Romans 8. Some cannot experience this filling of the Spirit for they are living for self, worldly, and materialistic existence. They are not allowing God to control or run their lives according to His will, when we yield our lives to His control we experience the energizing and empowering of the Holy Spirit. We do not have to live a defeated and unfruitful Christian life but can instead experience victory and an effective Christian life!
The Spirit does other things for us as well. He illumines or causes us to understand the Word of God, I Corinthians ,12. He also guides us, Acts 16:6 and makes intercession to God for us, Romans . He is our helper or comforter, John 16:7. The word :"Comforter" in Greek means one "called alongside to help". He is with us at all times to help us when we are in need.
Another purpose for the Holy Spirit coming was to glorify Christ, John chapters 16, 13-14. As we yield ourselves to The Holy Spirit and allow Him to control our lives, we will grow in our love and Jesus Christ and the Spirit can then work through us to exalt and glorify Christ.
Just as we can displease God by the life we live, we can also grieve, Ephesians 4:30 or quench, I Thessalonians 5:19 the Holy Spirit. Quenching the Holy Spirit does not mean He has left us but that He has no control over our lives for we are running them ourselves according to our desires and will, and will not allow Him to have any part in it. May we not be guilty of grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit, but instead allow Him to run our lives that His fruits will be manifested in us, Galatians 23.
We have discussed the Holy Spirit, what He does in our lives and what He will do if we allow Him to control our lives, we have also discussed prayer, the part it should play in our life, the five parts in prayer, and helps in relation to this important area of our life. May we be faithful in our prayer life and then allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives. If we do these things we will find additional power to overcome Satan, temptation, fears, discouragement and defeat.
In our first lesson we also talked about the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit when we mentioned about being "placed into" (baptized) the Body of Christ, Colossians 2. This work identifies us with Christ the moment we accept Him as our Savior,
. In the next lesson the importance of a local church will be discussed.
Follow-up - WORKSHEET - LESSON NO. 5
Find the answers for pray and the Holy Spirit in the above reading and the scriptures found in the follow-up lesson.
1. What other resources can we claim or do we have available for our Christian life outside of the Word of God?
2. What problem/(s) might we encounter if we do not have a definite time and place set apart for prayer?
3. Why do we sometimes fail to receive the help and other things we desire?
4. What are the five things we should include as a part of our "formal" prayer?
5. When might be some other times you can pray outside of your quiet time?
6. What does the Holy Spirit perform in our lives?
7. In Ephesians what are we told to do concerning the Holy Spirit?
8. How can you be filled with the Spirit?
10. If we allow the Holy Spirit to control our life, what fruits will be manifested?
11. What do you think of God the Holy Spirit in your life?
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Then continue with LESSON NO. 6 - Follow-up, HOW IMPORTANT IS A GOOD LOCAL CHURCH IN MY NEW CHRISTIAN LIFE?
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By: Theodore D Pestor/ President/Pastor BTH