Smart prayers demand nothing.
Smart prayers expect much.
Smart Prayers: Big God…Little Me
It seems it’s in our nature to often lose sight of our true identity – who God is and who we are in relationship to Him. Perhaps this is why so often in Scripture we see the command “remember…” Job was a good man whose identity seemed to be rooted in his ability to keep the rules and please God – and he was great at it. When everything he thought he could count on was stripped away, he finally met God (Job 42:5). His response was to repent. Job’s journey has much to teach us about our relationship to God and our posture before Him as we pray. It reminds us to demand nothing but expect much.
Thinking It Through
The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.
Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.
Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God.
When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package.
Living It Out
1. In what ways does Job’s prayer help you think rightly about God and yourself?
2. In your prayer life, do you tend to demand too much or expect too little?
3. Write out a non-demanding but expectant prayer about something important in your life.
Smart Prayers: Under Pressure
Ouch! This is a difficult place to be! Maybe. Threats, pain, rejection. How much effort (and prayer) we put into avoiding it all. But the early disciples had a big picture perspective. It changed everything – even their prayers.
Looking It Up
1. What happened to Peter and John in 4:1-3 and why?
2. Summarize Peter’s words in vs. 8-12 in your own words.
3. What commands and threats did the Council place upon them according to vs. 17 and 21?
4. What takes place in vs. 23-30?
5. What is their prayer “about,” or what do they “do” in their prayer in vs. 24-28? What is smart about beginning their prayer this way under the circumstances? (Note: There is no request in this section.)
6. What is their request and what is so “impressive” about it? (vs. 28-30)
7. What “big picture” did the apostles have that enabled them to pray such a prayer?
Posted on Fri, June 14, 2013
by Shea Smith