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…his delight is in the law of the Lord. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Ps 1:3)

  1. The image of a tree illustrates the ideal life of someone who is deeply rooted in their faith.

  2. The "shoot" represents the outer life, the observable aspects of our existence—the things we do and say, and how we present ourselves to the world. This is the part of our lives that people can readily see and judge.

  3. The "root" symbolizes the inner life, the unseen depths of our being—our beliefs, values, and private thoughts. It's what we do and say in secret. This inner life nourishes and sustains our outer actions.

  4. Just as a tree cannot bear fruit without both a healthy shoot and strong roots, you cannot fulfill your purpose without cultivating your entire being. Neglecting either aspect affects your ability to fulfill your purpose.

  1. Prayer is a conversation with God. God gives his children access to Him as an expression of love. (Tie into mothers)

In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. (Jn 16:26-27)

  1. Prayer seen merely as a discipline or religious right reveals the lack of root in identity. When we receive the spiritual revelation of our access to the Heavenly Father and His our understanding shifts from seeing prayer as a duty to delight. 

  2. God’s desire is for genuine conversation. When we turn prayer into a prideful show of piety or a religious rite to get something from God our reward is our self-righteous view of ourselves: 

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get…7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! 9 Pray like this: Our Father in heaven…(Mt 6:6-9)

  1. We do not pray as those invoking God’s legal obligation to provide child support. If you want the blessing of the Father, honor Him by coming into His presence with a grateful heart. (If you want the Father’s food you need to be in the Father’s house, He’s not going to give you money to eat out while you act like a sinner)

  2. When we address God as our Father in genuine conversation we apply our acceptance, break down barriers, cultivate connection, disarm our defenses, eliminate our excuses, firm up our faith, ground ourselves in God’s goodness, hope in His Holiness, and Infuse our identity.

  3. God answers our heartfelt cries of humility not grand displays of oratory ability. If you want to move God’s heart humble yourself and call on his name. 

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (Jms 4:6)

  1. One of the defining characteristics of the first-century church was its intentional pursuit of God. They were devoted to meeting together, the apostles teaching, and to prayer.

They all met together and were constantly united in prayer (Acts 1:14)

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

  1. Persistence in prayer defined the meetings of the early church. 

  2. In the context of corporate prayer, they asked for power not provision. As they proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom God added to them every necessary thing. Their prayer meetings were centered around revelation not resources, power not promised provision, 

  3. So many of us frivolously indulge in the blessings our Heavenly Father has given and frivolously ask for more. These are prayers God will not answer. We have become limp-lipped consumers more prone to complain than to wield the sword of the spirit with our tongues.

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. (Jms 4:1-3)

  1. Our worship of trouble and tragedy is strange fire from hell on the altar of our tongues. God’s desire is to remove the strange fire and set us ablaze with the songs the burning ones sing in the presence of His power. 

the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. (Jms 3:6)

They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” 4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. (Is. 6:3-6)

  1. Could it be that the kingdom of heaven appears distant because we are more distracted than devoted? Overwhelmed and over-focused on the cares of this life do the bowls of heaven remain empty of the prayers of the saints? Are there no answers because we have not prayed the prayer of faith?

the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. (Rev 5:8)

Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. 5 Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake. (Rev 8:3-5)

  1. Are our houses of prayer shaking with the answer from heaven? Have we prayed until we have trembled with groanings to deep to be uttered. Have we cried out until the kingdom of heaven forcefully advances in our own spirits let alone our neighborhoods? 

When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,    and the peoples plot in vain?

26 The kings of the earth set themselves,    and the rulers were gathered together,    against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:23-31)

  1. Satan would have the saints bound in prayers that are silent, silly, or scornful. Where are those who will devote themselves to prayer? It is fervent prayer, heartfelt passionate prayers of faith that are effective and powerful to pull down strongholds, cast down demonic arguments, and bind the secret imaginations in obedience to Christ. 

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops. (Jms 5:16-18)

  1. Brothers and sisters let us take up arms in the cause of Christ! Let us wield the sword of the spirit on our tongues in faith and fervency. Let us storm the gates of hell with full assurance that the victory is ours. From the stronghold of hell let us wrest our families, our neighbors, and those hopeless in condemnation. In Christ Jesus we are more than conquerors to the glory of His name. 

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