Love God Greatly 

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. – Acts 2:42 (ESV)

 

I don’t travel away from my family too often, but when I do I love to call home.

Many times it’s because I’m speaking somewhere and when that’s the case, I’m normally very nervous and wanting to hear the familiar voices of those I love.

Our conversations aren’t particularly unique… they’re pretty normal actually. Many times they involve the day’s activities, requests to have a friend come over to play, an exorbitant amount of details for a hurt booboo, and a play by play of who did what to the other kid. But nonetheless, it’s who is on the other end of the line that eases the ache of being away from home. It’s being able to hear their voices and them hear mine. The heart connection that occurs is what matters.

It’s kind of like that with God.

We are all pilgrims living in a distant land, and this land confirms that it is not our home as our hearts ache with pain, regrets, and disappointments.  It’s always good to call home to the One who truly understands and loves us.

There’s something about calling home that does our hearts good.

But don’t be mistaken. Our prayers don’t have to be fancy, nor do they have to only be spoken when high level decisions need to be made. The greatest truth about prayer is that our prayers don’t have to be impressive, articulate or refined. In fact, it’s okay for them to be awkward, simple, or even short in length.

The great news is that the power of prayer doesn’t rest in the one who is saying it, but rather in the One who hears it.

Release yourself from the burden of cleaning your prayers and yourself up before you call “home.” God always loves to hear your voice.

We are told in Philippians 4:6 to not worry about anything but instead to PRAY about EVERYTHING! Everything… that means all of your important decisions and your not-so-important ones too. They all matter to God.

Paul reminds us in Colossians 4:2 that we are to devote ourselves to prayer…

And we see in Acts 2:42 that is exactly what the early church did. They were a people who were DEVOTED!

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. – Acts 2:42 (ESV)

They were men and women who were devoted to learning more about God – a people who were devoted to each other, people who spent time together, and people who PRAYED together!

And what was the result?

God moved powerfully through them, and added to their numbers daily!!!

In a time when we keep hearing how church attendance is in decline, maybe we should go back to the basics of our faith:

Time in the Word.

Living in community.

Having friends over to our homes for dinner.

Praying together.

Living out our faith in the everyday moments of our lives and allowing God to move powerfully through us.

My Bible commentary states this: “A healthy Christian community attracts people to Christ. These early Christians had a zeal for worship and brotherly love that was contagious to those around them.”

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As we embark on this 8 week journey, learning more and more about prayer and growing in our prayer life, make no mistake… you are entering a spiritual battle.

Don’t enter with fear but rather with confidence that our Savior, Jesus Christ, has already won this war. Nonetheless, we, like the early Christians before us, need to be devoted to prayer.

Don’t be surprised by the many different ways Satan will try to stop you from continuing in this study. The last thing he wants you doing is developing your spiritual prayer muscles.

I can attest to the fact that preparing for this current study has been one of the most difficult for me personally. This past Christmas while we were on our “break” I worked behind the scenes many days and evenings until the early morning hours. I fought against feelings of depression and unappreciation and old wounds surfaced. It was almost as though I was in my own prayer training ground as we approached this study. There were many nights when I cried myself to sleep. I struggled with getting sick, my kids getting sick, and then the massive tornado hit Rowlett, Texas… the town right next to me. My own husband – as well as my brother – were involved in helping the victims of this horrific event. My Christmas break was anything but normal… or relaxing.

And I share this with you all to say, take heart sweet friend! Though these battles we fight are not easy, we are promised through God’s Word that we do not fight them alone.

God is with us.

My prayer for us this study is that we will emerge from studying God’s Word these next 8 weeks as powerful prayer warriors and our lives and the lives of our families will forever be changed!

Like the early Christians before us, we will devote ourselves to prayer.

Praying over our marriages, our children and ourselves… because if we don’t, who will?

And may I make one suggestion? Pray specific prayers.

Don’t pray broad prayers where it’s hard to see God at work in your life. Pray prayers where you can SEE God moving.

And as you pray for God’s power to work in different areas of your life, remember the TRUTH of His Word: GREATER is HE who is in me than he who is in the world!!!

 

Sweet sisters, together let’s be devoted to prayer and fight back on our knees. May God do a mighty work through us, and may this world never be the same!

 

For His Glory!!!

Talk with us: What one area of your life are you going to begin praying specific prayers and fight for these next 8 weeks?

 

Love God Greatly!

angela

 

 

 

 

 

Week 1 Challenge: Find a spot in your home where you are going to meet with God every day to devote yourself to reading God’s Word and praying. Place your Bible there, your journal, and anything else you need… pens, highlighters, etc. Let’s be intentional as we engage in battle!

Hey, take a picture of your spot and share it with us this week using the hashtag: #LoveGodGreatly…we can’t wait to see it!!!

 

Week 1 Video:

(Click here if you can’t see the video.)

Week 1 Reading Plan:

Love God Greatly

Week 1 Memory Verse:

Love God Greatly

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