Learning to Pray With Confidence

  • January 14, 2016
Thursday 14

1 John 5:14-15

Prayer is the Christian’s most powerful God-given means for effecting change. Yet we’re often hesitant about our appeals.

But we should be confident in prayer, primarily because of the knowledge that we belong to God’s family (John 1:12). When we received Jesus Christ as Savior, God became our heavenly Father. As a result, we can be absolutely sure He will hear our prayers (1 John 5:14).

We have additional reason for confidence when we pray according to God’s will. Some things never fit His plan, such as lying, cheating, and actions prompted by pride, malice, or rage (Prov. 6:16-19; Col. 3:8). Insignificant matters like which color to wear or common-sense decisions like using a seatbelt are left to our discretion. But what about desires in other categories?

  • To know God’s will, our spirit must be submitted to God (James 4:7). In advance of His answer, we must release our grip on outcomes we want and be willing to say yes to His plan.
  • We study the Scriptures, where God’s general will is revealed through commands and principles. Second Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
  • We must depend on the Holy Spirit to help us pray in agreement with the Lord’s purposes (Rom. 8:26).

Believer, change your praying from timid to bold by aligning your prayers with God’s will and remembering He wants to say yes to His children.

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14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:

17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood,

18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil,

19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.

8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.

7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

1 So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

2 God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, Jacob, Jacob." And he said, Here I am."

3 He said, I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there.

4 I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes."

5 Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob and their little ones and their wives in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.

6 They took their livestock and their property, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and came to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him:

7 his sons and his grandsons with him, his daughters and his granddaughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.

8 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn.

9 The sons of Reuben: Hanoch and Pallu and Hezron and Carmi.

10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.

11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

12 The sons of Judah: Er and Onan and Shelah and Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.

13 The sons of Issachar: Tola and Puvvah and Iob and Shimron.

14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered and Elon and Jahleel.

15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah; all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three.

16 The sons of Gad: Ziphion and Haggi, Shuni and Ezbon, Eri and Arodi and Areli.

17 The sons of Asher: Imnah and Ishvah and Ishvi and Beriah and their sister Serah. And the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.

18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and she bore to Jacob these sixteen persons.

19 The sons of Jacob's wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.

20 Now to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.

21 The sons of Benjamin: Bela and Becher and Ashbel, Gera and Naaman, Ehi and Rosh, Muppim and Huppim and Ard.

22 These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob; there were fourteen persons in all.

23 The sons of Dan: Hushim.

24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel and Guni and Jezer and Shillem.

25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and she bore these to Jacob; there were seven persons in all.

26 All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob's sons, were sixty-six persons in all,

27 and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy.

28 Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out the way before him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.

29 Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time.

30 Then Israel said to Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive."

31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, `My brothers and my father's household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me;

32 and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.'

33 When Pharaoh calls you and says, `What is your occupation?'

34 you shall say, `Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,' that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians."

1 Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brothers and their flocks and their herds and all that they have, have come out of the land of Canaan; and behold, they are in the land of Goshen."

2 He took five men from among his brothers and presented them to Pharaoh.

3 Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, What is your occupation?" So they said to Pharaoh, Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers."

4 They said to Pharaoh, We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, therefore, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen."

5 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, Your father and your brothers have come to you.

6 The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock."

7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.

8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, How many years have you lived?"

9 So Jacob said to Pharaoh, The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning."

10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from his presence.

11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had ordered.

12 Joseph provided his father and his brothers and all his father's household with food, according to their little ones.

13 Now there was no food in all the land, because the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.

14 Joseph gathered all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain which they bought, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house.

15 When the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, Give us food, for why should we die in your presence? For our money is gone."

16 Then Joseph said, Give up your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock, since your money is gone."

17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses and the flocks and the herds and the donkeys; and he fed them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year.

18 When that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent, and the cattle are my lord's. There is nothing left for my lord except our bodies and our lands.

19 Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh. So give us seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate."

20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh's.

21 As for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt's border to the other.

22 Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they did not sell their land.

23 Then Joseph said to the people, Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land.

24 At the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones."

25 So they said, You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's slaves."

26 Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh's.

27 Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous.

28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the length of Jacob's life was one hundred and forty-seven years.

29 When the time for Israel to die drew near, he called his son Joseph and said to him, Please, if I have found favor in your sight, place now your hand under my thigh and deal with me in kindness and faithfulness. Please do not bury me in Egypt,

30 but when I lie down with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place." And he said, I will do as you have said."

31 He said, Swear to me." So he swore to him. Then Israel bowed in worship at the head of the bed.

1 Now it came about after these things that Joseph was told, Behold, your father is sick." So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him.

2 When it was told to Jacob, Behold, your son Joseph has come to you," Israel collected his strength and sat up in the bed.

3 Then Jacob said to Joseph, God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me,

4 and He said to me, `Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession.'

5 Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are.

6 But your offspring that have been born after them shall be yours; they shall be called by the names of their brothers in their inheritance.

7 Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)."

8 When Israel saw Joseph's sons, he said, Who are these?"

9 Joseph said to his father, They are my sons, whom God has given me here." So he said, Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them."

10 Now the eyes of Israel were so dim from age that he could not see. Then Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed them and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, I never expected to see your face, and behold, God has let me see your children as well."

12 Then Joseph took them from his knees, and bowed with his face to the ground.

13 Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel's left, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel's right, and brought them close to him.

14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, crossing his hands, although Manasseh was the firstborn.

15 He blessed Joseph, and said, The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,

16 The angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; And may my name live on in them, And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."

17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim's head, it displeased him; and he grasped his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head.

18 Joseph said to his father, Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn. Place your right hand on his head."

19 But his father refused and said, I know, my son, I know; he also will become a people and he also will be great. However, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations."

20 He blessed them that day, saying, By you Israel will pronounce blessing, saying, `May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!'" Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your fathers.

22 I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow."

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Publish Date October 25, 2016
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