2009-08-03 - Oh! The Reasons People Prayed
The Bible tells us to pray: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22 NIV). Below, you will find a number of different reasons people chose to pray.
Advice: Psalm 69:25, 109:8, and Acts 1:20-26
Peter brought up the idea of filling the spot left by the death of Judas Iscariot, in order to fulfill David's words in the Psalms. It wasn't like a job opening; it was more an opportunity to change the lives of others. It came down to Barsabbas and Mathias. Both met the criteria to become a disciple. The person had to have traveled with Jesus and the disciples from the very beginning, and not be a stranger to Jesus' ministry and resurrection. Peter and the other disciples prayed that God would show them which man was God's choice. So the disciples cast lots, and the lot fell to Mathias, and he was added to the 11 original disciples.
Ask a Question: Luke 15:8-9
A woman who lost her coin, she asked God to pinpoint exactly where her money was. She had exhausted so much time already searching, that it seemed futile. She was determined to not give up, but took a break first. Alas, she found her coin. She was so happy, praising the Lord, and she went to tell all her friends how God came to her rescue. (See also Exodus 15:24-25, 33:12-23, 1 Samuel 28:6, Psalm 27:1, 4-14, 35:13-28, Daniel 12:8-13, Matthew 21:22, Acts 9:5-11, and 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Complain: Exodus 16:3-20
Things were bad in Egypt; the Israelites felt the wilderness was worse. In Egypt, they had food, and now they were starving. God heard the people complaining, and sent down some meat and bread. God's food was the same thing every day, bread in the morning and meat at night. The flaky bread called manna was a kind the people had never seen before. With the food came rules and regulations. The Israelites were to only gather what they needed, and not to horde it for another day. Some didn't pay any attention to God's commands. They were in for a shock when they found maggots on the bread. In all fairness, God did take care of their request for food, and for that the people were very grateful they didn't have to grow or hunt it. (See also Psalm 64:1-10 and Acts 16:13-16, 26-34)
Deliverance: 1 Kings 21:17-29
King Ahab did not realize the Lord would get so upset that he and his family worshiped other idols and carried out the acts He deemed wicked. After the prophet Elijah revealed his future fate, the king mourned and didn't eat. He took off his royal clothing and replaced it for rags. Finally Ahab stopped grieving and started making amends. It was a complete turnaround from the previous way he was living. King Ahab didn't want the horror awaiting him. Ahab humbled himself before God for he did not want things to end like Elijah had said. God was so impressed with Ahab's genuine change of heart, that his family wasn't destroyed in his lifetime. King Ahab never realized how much power the Lord has. (See also Psalm 43:1-5, 109:1-28, 119:153-160, and 140:1-13)
Distress: Mark 15:34
Jesus on the cross: He cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (See also 1 Samuel 15:11-12, Psalm 120:1-7, Matthew 24:19-20, Mark 13:7-19, Luke 21:36, and 1 Peter 4:7)
Forgiveness: Job 42:1-2, 6
Job acknowledges that God can do anything, and repents for his wrong actions. (See also Numbers 14:13-19, Psalm 19:1-14, 38:1-22, Luke 23:34, and Acts 8:14-23)
For Others: 2 Timothy 1:1-3
Paul thanked God for Timothy, prayed for him constantly, and begged God to bless him richly. (See also 1 Samuel 7:5-12, 2 Samuel 24:15-25, 1 Kings 13:1-8, 2 Corinthians 1:9-11, 9:14, and 1 Peter 4:7)
Health: 2 Kings 20:1-9
When Hezekiah was told he would not recover from a sickness, Hezekiah didn't agree to it. He fought for his life before God. He cried, and asked God to remember how faithful and obedient he had been. It worked. Hezekiah didn't die as foretold and got 15 extra years added to his life. (See also 2 Kings 4:32-37, Job 6:8-10, and James 5:14-16)
Protection: Nehemiah 4:11-22
Some thought the idea of building a destroyed city wall wasn't the brightest, and they told Nehemiah so. He kept his cool and prayed that God would bring the people's insults back onto them. Nehemiah believed God would give them success. The workers and Nehemiah did not let mockery and ridicule stop them from rebuilding. When the wall was half-way rebuilt, the people faced heavier hostility. Although they were threatened with attacks, the workers continued to believe God, and they posted a guard day and night. They were not about to take any chances. Nehemiah told the people not to be afraid, and that God was greater than negative thinking. During the building process, Nehemiah was in constant conversation with God. (See also Psalm 3:1-8, 9:10, 19-20)
Safety: 1 Samuel 20:2-4, 6-7, 11-16
David had a plan to reveal if Jonathan's father was trying to kill David. Jonathan was behind David, and wanted to help his friend expose the truth. David was scheduled to eat with Saul; instead, David would hide out, while Jonathan ascertained his father's attitude toward David. To Jonathan's horror, David was right; his life was on the line, and so was Jonathan's. Before David left for safety, Jonathan asked God to watch over him. David and Jonathan made a solemn vow that their friendship would remain loyal. (See also Psalm 106:1-25)
A Specific Request: Genesis 25:21-26
Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. God answered his prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant. Rebekah delivered twin boys, Esau and Jacob.
Wisdom: Numbers 27:1-11
Tirzah and her sisters were not going to let their dad die without dignity. They wanted a portion of their birthright, but this was against the law at the time. The women stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, leaders, and the congregation and presented their predicament. Their livelihood depended upon their courage. Moses went to ask God what should be done. God said Tirzah and her sisters should have a part of their father Zelophehad's inheritance, and set a precedent for other daughters in similar situations. (See also Numbers 27:1-11, Judges 6:36-40, Psalm 119:31-40, and James 1:5-7)
Lord, I listen to You and put aside my own philosophy. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
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