THE PRAYER PAGE!
A detailed study of
some great Bible verses to help us better understand the awesome
privilege of prayer!
Dr. Bagwell holds an original 1613 King
SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2007:
It's a short prayer!
Yet it's an effective prayer.
It was prayed when Peter was walking on the
water, well, when he was beginning to sink really!
"But when he saw the
wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried,
saying, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and
caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore
didst thou doubt?" Matthew 14:30-31
He cried; "Lord, save me!"
That's the prayer!
"Lord, save me."
"Lord," in Greek "kurios" and in Latin "dominum,"
means "one who has control!" It's from a word that means
"supremacy!" It is translated three main ways in the King James
Bible, Lord and Master and Sir.
The verb "save" is "sozo" and means "to
deliver." But it brings with it several word pictures too. If
one is sick "sozo" means to make well! If one is under siege "sozo"
means to bring victory, defeating the enemy! If one is alienated
"sozo" means to make peace!
Jesus is the Victor and the Doctor and the
Peacemaker too, the Saviour to sum it up better!
The next time you need help, pray those three
The Lord answered that fleeting request for
Look again: "He was
afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him."
Under the pressure of some kind of battle?
Misunderstood or hated?
Or just lost in your sins?
Jesus can save you ... today!
Short prayers can be powerful prayers too!
Use ... as needed!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
NOW HERE ARE
15 PREVIOUS ARTICLES ON PRAYER FROM PAST WEEKS ...
Paul was a man
In fact, I am
going to call him an "intercessor!"
That's one who
prays primarily for others!
Listen to what
he prayed for the Roman Christians:
"Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a
prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I
long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift,
to the end ye may be established." Romans 1:10-11
(Here the words "making requests" indicate prayer to God! And,
being in the present tense, they reveal that this prayer was a
constant petition from Paul to God! He prayed to get to see
them again! And to help them further grow in the Lord!)
Then Paul also
prayed for the Corinthian Believers that "they
would come behind in nothing!" See 1 Corinthians 1:7.
Again, that's intercession for their spiritual maturity.
And for the
Galatians he literally "travailed" in prayer (as would a lady
giving birth)! "My little children, of
whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you."
(Galatians 4:19) This is earnest intercession!
He further tells the Ephesians that he has
been "making mention of them in his
prayers!" (Ephesians 1:16f) "That
God would give them the spirit of Wisdom ... that their eyes
would be opened to know the hope and the riches and the
inheritance of the saints ... and the great power available to
them!" And later he prayed that they would
"be rooted and grounded in love!"
(Ephesians 3:17) Wow! What intercessory praying!
And while in prayer he
"thanked God" for the Philippians too, making requests on
their behalf! (See Philippians 1:3-4)
And he "always"
prayed for the Colossians according to Colossians 1:3. And he
had never even seen them face-to-face! (Colossians 2:1)
And he regularly prayed for the Thessalonians
(1 Thessalonians 1:2-3) and for the young preacher Timothy, whom
he remembered in prayer "night and day!"
(2nd Timothy 1:3)
He even does not leave Philemon off his
prayer list! (Philemon verse 4)
And this brief list today does not even
consider the times Paul asked other Christians to pray for him!
(For example, "Finally, brethren, pray for
us ...." 2nd Thessalonians 3:1)
Neither have I mentioned Paul's asking the
Believers to pray for some of their own number who were
imprisoned for their faith! ("Remember
them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them
which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body."
With a prayer life like this ... Paul the
intercessor must have spend a lot of time on his knees!
So much so that he wrote to some Christians
saved under his ministry: "Pray without
ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17
In Ephesians 6:18 Paul teaches us that we too
are to be ... "Praying always in the
spirit ... for all saints!"
And that's exactly what Paul did all his
What an example!
Dear Reader, for whom are you praying today?
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Psalm 65:2 gives us our verse for today.
"O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee
shall all flesh come."
Wow! What a verse!
The verb here for "hearest" is (in Hebrew) "shama"
and means to listen to with interest! God cares about our
needs! It is a Qal participle. That means the voice
is "active." God is the One doing the listening! And
the "time" sense here is one of on-going activity!
God is still listening to our prayers!
Here David envisions all people coming to God
That is not happening in America today.
BUT it will happen on a world-wide scale some
glorious daybreak ... when Jesus returns!
God hears prayer!
In fact, let me show you one more quick
little thought about prayer.
Psalm 109:4 says of the Lord:
"For my love they are my adversaries: but
I give myself unto prayer."
Believing this Psalm to be "Messianic"
(talking about Jesus), our Lord says here something very
interesting! (Peter uses part of this 109th Psalm ... and
applies it to Judas' betrayal of Jesus!)
Listen to Jesus:
"But I give myself unto prayer." Jesus was a
prayer Warrior! He prayed (no doubt) without ceasing.
In the Hebrew text (which does not have the
italicized words supplied by our King James translators for
extra clarity) ... Jesus says "BUT I
He says: "I am
Add that to the list of His great "I am"
He is Prayer!
This sure makes me want to spend more time
with Him today ... time in prayer ... or should I have said time
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
5:16 says: "Confess your faults
one to another, and pray
one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual
fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
Today I would
like for us to notice the words I've capitalized in this great
"Pray one for
The verb here
("pray") is an imperative! James, under the leadership of the
Holy Spirit, is giving us a command! We are expected to pray
one for another!
The verb is
also in the present "tense." This tells us that such prayer is
to be on-going and habitual in our lives! It's to be a practice
... not just an occasional event!
And the verb
is framed in the "middle" voice, telling us that such action
(prayer) will impact the one who prays! It will change him or
her! (For the better!)
The Greek word
for "pray" is "euchomai" and is only used 7 times in the whole
New Testament! (The usual word for "pray" is a compound of this
one.) Of its 7 appearances in the Bible, it is rendered by its
primary meaning "to wish" 5 times! It is translated "pray" only
Accurately one may say that the implication
here is to go to God and express to Him your desires, wishes,
aspirations, goals or longings! Wow!
The expression "one for another" is
interesting too. The pronouns are identical ("one" and
"another") in Greek. "Allelon" means another (of the same
kind)! For example, apples compared to apples! This is NOT
apples compared to squirrels! James here is saying that
believers are to pray for other believers! (Scripture of course
does not prohibit us from praying for the lost ... but here
definitely concentrates on prayer for our brothers and sisters
There are over a dozen "one another" passages
in the New Testament! (Things we should do one to another or
one for another!) What a study that would be! Our verse today
is just one of them!
Lastly let's notice the preposition "for."
In Greek it is spelled "huper." In English it would be
"hyper!" With the genitive case (as here) it means "in behalf
of!" (For example, in Romans 5:6 we can read:
"For when we were yet without strength,
in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Here's "huper"
with a genitive "ungodly." It means that Jesus died "in behalf
of" the ungodly! He took my place! This is substitutionary
atonement! Praise the Lord!)
We are to pray "in behalf of" our loved ones
in Christ! What a difference that activity alone could make in
It's plain to see that the prayer James is
describing is a little different than just asking for things YOU
want! It is actually being concerned for others and seeking God
to meet THEIR needs!
This form of prayer is called "intercessory"
prayer. Again, that's praying for others!
Of course, notice that this is reciprocal!
You pray for him ... and he is supposed to pray for you!
Let's just stop right now ... and pray for
someone we love.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
This morning I have Psalm 16 on my heart.
Would you pray with me that God will help me
as I preach it today?
In fact, I have a suggested verse of
Scripture I'd like us all to "add" to our prayer arsenals. It
is found in 2 Kings 6 and is taken from the life of Elisha.
"And Elisha prayed, and
said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see."
(2 Kings 6:17)
That's what I'd like today. To be able to
"see" the true beauties in the Word of God as never before!
That verb "open" means to make sensitive!
(To open the senses ... especially the eyes!) It is used 34
times in the Bible ... almost always in reference to one's
sight! As is often the case with prayer ... the word is an
And the verb "to see" (the usual word in
Hebrew = "raah") means to perceive, to understand to consider or
to heed (as well as to look at)!
And the "time" sense of both verbs here is
that of constant action! Lord, keep on opening and let me keep
Does God answer such prayers?
"And the LORD opened
the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain
was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
(2 Kings 6:17)
Next the Psalmist adds to our "quiver" of
prayer weapons as he prays in Psalm 119.
He there asks the Lord:
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of
thy law." (Psalm 119:18)
Of course the "law" is the dear Word of God.
David (or whomever the Spirit used to write this passage) is
hungry to learn from the Scripture ... and He asks for the
The verb "open" is written in a Hebrew form
that shows INTENSE DESIRE! The Psalmist here is
diligent with his request. Also I noticed that the verb is in
the imperative mood. While this is hard to explain for Bible
teachers ... we must accept it as written! An imperative verb
expresses a command! (You can't COMMAND God and tell Him what
to do!) I believe what is being shown us here is that David is
so earnest in wanting to understand Scripture that he strongly
urges the Lord to freely reveal Truth to him! In its most
precise sense the verb means "to uncover!" When used in its
basic meaning of "uncover" or "reveal" (or that general thought)
the verb appears about 109 times.
But here's something unusual, the verb is
also translated "carry away" or "captive" or "captivity" another
61 times! This is so dramatic that some Bible scholars believe
these vastly different definitions must indicate somehow 2
different words! But clearly in the "spelling" at least, they
are NOT different words --- just very different definitions for
the same word! But, wait a minute, let's not wrestle with our
human logic ... let's just "plug in" the definitions the Holy
Spirit uses to our verb and see what happens!
"Open" would also mean "take me away
captive!" Is that not exactly what happens when we get "into"
the Word of God and really begin to enjoy its truths? We are so
delighted and consumed by the Scriptures that we seem to be
spiritually "captivated" by it! I'm telling you right now ---
the Word of God is gloriously addictive. I've never had any
booze or any cocaine or even marijuana --- but NOTHING could
possibly make me "feel" and "delight" and "thrill" to reality
itself as can the Word of God! You fall in love with it ... and
that relationship will last for a lifetime!
The secondary verb "behold" means "to scan"
then "to look at intently" with the implication of "regarding
with favor, pleasure or care!" (Exactly!) It's used 95 times
in the Old Testament, beginning in Genesis 15:5 where God told
Abraham to go outside and LOOK at the stars and count them ...
for his seed would would be innumerable (like those stars)! The
Hiphil stem means there's a "cause" that propels the looking!
The cause is undoubtedly the magnetic drawing power that the
Word of God has in the lives of real Christians! It's
translated: "look, behold, consider, regard, see and respect!"
"Wondrous" is a Hebrew adjective. It is
first used in Scripture in Genesis 18:14 where it is translated
"too hard!" (Is anything "too hard for
the Lord?) In its literal "root" meaning the word
derives from a verbal form: "to separate, to distinguish!" (To
be different!) That just may be the idea here: God's Word is
DIFFERENT (marvelously so) from any other writing ever! It is a
living Book! ("Quick, powerful!
Hebrews 4:12) In Psalm 131:1 it's "things
too high!" The Psalmist well may be asking the Lord to
reveal to him the "hard things" of Scripture!
I have known of a number of preachers of the
past who ... before opening their Bible to study, worship or
prepare sermons ... would ALWAYS bow their heads, close their
eyes, and ask the Lord God Almighty to open their eyes to the
beauty and truth of the Bible ... and cause them to "see"
wondrous things therein!
That's a pretty good idea!
The Holy Spirit" still does "wondrously!"
Wow! This is a great verse in two
different categories! It's a "Bible Study" verse! And it's
How very wondrous!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
This is one of James' most well-known
" ... Yet ye have not, because ye
ask not." James 4:2
And the amazing thing is this. James places
his words of wisdom here at the end of a "warring and fighting"
It is as if he is saying that we have
unrealized desires ... simply because we do not "filter" them
through God's program called PRAYER!
I can have anything (I really need in God's
Will) ... if I will just ask for it!
Things that are wrong, forget them! (You
can't pray and ask God for them anyway! They are outside His
Things that are permissible and approved of
God ... WHY just sit around and long for them?
Ask God for them!
Generally speaking, He has promised to grant
The verb "have" translates "echo" in the
present indicative active 2nd person plural form. It pictures
my entire list of possessions. (I own nothing proper that God
did not give me anyway. James 1:17)
"Because" is the little Greek preposition "dia."
It suggests "the channel of an act!" God's channel for giving me
the genuine needs of my life is PRAYER!
And the action word "ask" is English for "aiteo,"
meaning to request something. (It often carries the idea of
asking for something with urgency!) Often in Greek it was used
with such vehemence that it was translated "require or demand!"
Here it is an infinitive (present tense, middle voice). If we
are to keep on having ... we must keep on asking! (That's what
the present tense tells us.) And the asking will IMPACT us
personally! We ourselves must do the asking ... not just expect
someone else to do it for us! (That's what the middle voice tell
So ... here is the Bible solution to all
lusts (strong desires) and arguments and battles wars among
professing Christians ... take those longings to the Lord ... in
prayer! He can (and will) grant us what we need! And what He
does not grant us ... we do not need! Forget it!
Amen, Brother Bagwell!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Isaiah 59 gives us our Bible background
"Yea, truth faileth ...
and the LORD saw it. And He saw that there was no man, and
wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm
brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained
him." Isaiah 59:15-16
God saw the situation in which His people
God immediately knew what was needed!
The Hebrew noun "paga" means one who entreats
(for another) or one who meets another (to help) or even one who
"falls into" another's pathway to do kindness!
In prayer an intercessor is one who prays for
(Jesus, our Great High Priest, intercedes for
us now! Here is how Hebrews 7:25 describes Him:
"Seeing he ever liveth to make
intercession for them.")
But look at God's reaction to the fact of
there being no intercessor!
The verb "wondered" translated "shamem" in
Hebrew. It means to be astonished or amazed!
(Appalled!) It literally means "to be stunned!"
The first few uses of the verb in the King
James Bible find it being translated as "desolate!"
(Genesis 47:19 and Leviticus 26:31,32,34,35 and 43!)
See how important an "intercessor" is to God?
Is there someone for whom you need to be
Is there anyone for whom you have promised to
Has the Holy Spirit laid anyone on your heart
this day ... for whom you should be praying?
Be a prayer "warrior!" Be an
Remember what old Samuel said to Israel:
"Moreover as for me, God forbid that
I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you."
1 Samuel 12:23
Let's go pray!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
In Genesis 24
a Bride is being chosen for Isaac. That chapter is filled with
helpful information for us yet today.
As one studies
it, he is impressed with a number of truths, none of which is
more outstanding that this: prayer!
All the way
through its 67 verses prayer is observed again and again!
truth is: when choosing a mate, prayer IS one of the chief tools
God has given us!
Here's the first prayer:
"And he said, O LORD God of my master
Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew
kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by
the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come
out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to
whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may
drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels
drink also: let the same be she that thou hast
appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that
thou hast shewed kindness unto my master." Genesis
Notice that the servant prayed for the sake
of another! That's called intercessory prayer.
Notice that he has carefully chosen a wise
place for prayer too!
And observe that his prayer is based upon
God's superintending power! (The one "Thou hast appointed" for
And also see that his prayer is of a specific
And the servant wisely uses answer to prayer
as a step to assurance! ("Thereby shall I know ...!")
Here's more praying:
"And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. And
he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham,
who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his
truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house
of my master's brethren." Genesis 24:26-27
Here we have worship and praise combined with
This prayer (as did the first one) emphasizes
the constant and eternal nature of God ("The God of my Master").
This prayer celebrates two of God's
attributes: Mercy and Truth! (Emphasize the Essence of God as
you pray! Magnify His dear Name!)
And yet again the prayer mentions location
("I, being in the way, the Lord led me to the house ....")
Next watch this servant even as he recounts
his first prayer (as a testimony) to Rebekah and her family!
"And I came this day unto the well, and
said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my
way which I go: Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it
shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw
water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little
water of thy pitcher to drink; And she say to me, Both drink
thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same
be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my
master's son. And before I had done speaking in mine heart,
behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder...."
Answers to prayer should become part of our
Notice that before he was through praying ...
the answer came! (In Isaiah 65:24 the Lord says:
"And it shall come to pass, that before
they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I
Fourthly, he even re-tells his prayer of
thanksgiving! But still here we learn new things about the
prayer life of this man of God! "And I
bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the
LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way
to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son."
The verb "worshipped" means to prostrate
oneself, to bend down in adoration!
The verb "blessed" here is in the Piel stem,
telling us the prayers were intensive in nature! He prayed with
all his heart! These are "fervent" prayers! James 5:16 teaches
us: "The effectual fervent prayer of a
righteous man availeth much."
And do see that the servant gives all the
credit to God for the success of the endeavor! ("The Lord God
... had led me in the right way!")
I've lost count by now (Oh, yes! It is the
fifth mention of prayer in the chapter so far!), but here's more
prayer: "And it came to pass, that, when
Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD,
bowing himself to the earth." Genesis 24:52
Here is praise for even more answered prayer!
Note that he prayed right in "public" with
everyone around too.
This is immediate thanksgiving!
See how this Passage intermingles worship and
prayer so much that one can hardly tell the difference? Jesus
did that too.
Next to lastly, we have an "implied" prayer.
Rebekah's relatives bless her in such a way that only God could
have answered! "And they blessed Rebekah,
and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the
mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess
the gate of those which hate them." Genesis 24:60
By the way, God has answered that prayer
too! (In fact, He is not yet through answering it!)
This represents prayer for those we love!
It is in the form of a patriarchal (from
Father) or matriarchal (from Mother) blessing. The Bible is full
of them. Maybe Christian parents today should bless their
children in the Name of the Lord! That sure beats criticizing
them all day long!
The we have a final prayer "hint" in the
chapter. Just as Rebekah and Isaac meet, we are told something:
"And Isaac went out to meditate in the
field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and,
behold, the camels were coming." Genesis 24:63
What was Isaac doing when he met his Bride?
To "meditate" means to pray and ponder the
things of God! (The textbook definition: to muse or to
Isaac was praying!
Everyone in this chapter is praying!
And that IS the right spirit to bring when
one needs a wife (or a husband)!
The attitude (and action) of prayer will
prove the deciding factor in choosing a mate! (Or in making any
other choice in the Christian life too!)
Proverbs 15:29 is still true: "The LORD
is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the
Also let me add this. Not only is prayer a
powerful asset in choosing a mate ... but prayer is
indispensable in living in a marriage as well! The "spiritual"
aspect of a home (the most important part of it) just cannot be
maintained without prayer ... and a lot of it too!
No wonder Paul admonished us to:
"Pray without ceasing." 1
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The verse is found in Isaiah 62:6-7!
There the Lord God says: "I have set
watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never
hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the
LORD, keep not silence. And give him no rest, till he establish,
and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth." Wow!
The Hebrew noun for watchmen is a word that
means to protect or to guard! (Did you ever think of
praying over someone as a way to protect them?)
The walls being mentioned is likely a "hint"
of further protection and separation from the outside world!
These watchmen are prayer warriors obviously!
They are beseeching the Lord for the peace of
God wants them to "never hold their peace!"
Pray! Pray! Pray! Seek the welfare of the
Pray day and night! ("Without
ceasing!" Paul says this in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.)
Give God no rest! (Now I would have had
trouble with that statement ... had not God Himself said it!)
And one can safely assume ... if God so loves
his children to intercede for Jerusalem, He well may love for
them to intercede for other causes as well! I believe He
Christian friend, pray for someone you love
After all, you would just be following your
dear Saviour! (Who even now is interceding for His Own!)
"Wherefore he is able
also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,
seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
Let's go pray!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
I was studying some yesterday afternoon on
prayer. I found a very encouraging verse of Scripture!
Here it is: "Then hear
thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and
maintain their cause." 2 Chronicles 6:35
These words are addressed to the Lord by
Solomon. In fact, Solomon is praying here as he dedicates the
He is believing our great God to "hear" the
supplications of His people! The verb to "hear" is in Hebrew "shama"
and means to listen with interest and concern! We have a God Who
actually cares about our needs!
Usually "prayers" are more general requests
and "supplications" are more specific needs placed before the
BUT what I want you to see is this. According
to our verse today, the God who hears and considers our prayers
and supplications can also do another great thing!
He can "maintain our cause."
What does that mean?
I just studied that verb "maintain." Itís in
Hebrew "asah" and means to do, to make, to fashion, to
accomplish or to produce! Itís one of Godís WORKING verbs! It
literally says that the God to Whom you bring your needs is
fully able to also DO even more than that which you are asking!
(It can also mean to advance oneís cause!)
Give God the specifics ... for He can handle
Take your burdens to Him ... for He can carry
your whole load!
Give God your tomorrows ... for He can direct
your entire life!
The noun "cause" is a translation of "mishpat,"
the Hebrew word for oneís judgments, decisions or
pronouncements! (Oneís life goals!)
This sounds a little bit like Proverbs 3:6
--- "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and
he shall direct thy paths."
Or maybe it is better explained by Proverbs
16:3 --- "Commit thy works unto the LORD,
and thy thoughts shall be established."
But perhaps is is best of all just to let the
verse speak alone. Here it is again. Remember, Solomon is
praying to God and says:
"Then hear thou from the heavens their
prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause."
We have just discovered a great by-product
(or side-effect) of prayer!
God will do MORE than we ask!
Paul says the Lord "is
able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us." Wow!
We ask for small things ... and God provides
the big things!
We ask for little pieces ... and He gives it
He hears our prayers and supplications ...
and maintains our cause!
What cause do you need maintained?
Well, pray as you should. Bring every little
thing to your great God and place it before His Throne of Grace!
And ... as you do so ... He will maintain
your whole cause!
Praise His good Name!
Iíve got an idea!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
I was reading a book about prayer. The
author was discussing prayers as they were offered during the
Greek and Roman era. He had found many instances where
the worshippers bargained with their gods or goddesses as they
besought their favours!
Here's a quote. "Reciprocity was the
key to ancient Roman prayers!" That means that the
worshipper was to do something for the god ... then the god
would do something for the worshipper!
In prayer the average Greek or Roman would
tell his god all the good things he'd done for this particular
deity ... and then demand certain things in return!
Again, that's called "reciprocity."
Prayer was to them an "informal contract."
It was "counter-service" in action!
But, oh, how different is Christian prayer!
See if you discern any bargaining in this
request: "And the publican, standing
afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto
heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying,
God be merciful to me a
sinner." Luke 18:13
Or get what Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8.
"Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth;
and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
See any counter-offers here?
Or think of the words of the old hymn "Rock
of Ages" that says ...
"Nothing in my hand
Simply to Thy Cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to you for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Saviour, or I die."
Thank God for the "grace" of prayer!
The Epistle of Hebrews even calls God's very
dwelling place "The Throne of Grace!"
Exercise that great privilege of petition and
intercession and thanksgiving today!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
I saw this
view of the Lord's Prayer a couple of weeks ago. It has
thrilled my heart.
It "sets" the
model prayer Jesus taught us in the "light" of Bible history.
It makes it
the most "logical" thing one could ever pray!
Let me show
you what I mean.
The "text" I'm
following is that of Matthew 6:9-13.
"Our Father Which art in Heaven"
God as a personal "Father" is NOT generally an Old Testament
doctrine. It fits more into the gracious New Testament pattern.
("Abba" Father!) However, we do find the term used a few times
in the Jewish Scriptures. Notice Exodus 4:22-23.
"And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus
saith the LORD, Israel
is my son, even my firstborn: and I say unto thee,
Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse
to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn."
Or again you can see it in Hosea 11:1 where God
says: "When Israel was a
child, then I loved him, and called
my son out of
Egypt." Observe that in both texts the subject is
Israel being brought out of Egyptian bondage! That's
history! (Redemptive history!)
"Hallowed be Thy Name" At the
burning bush experience God emphasized the meaning and the
holiness of His Name! "And the angel
of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the
midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned
with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will
now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not
burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God
called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses,
Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said,
Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for
the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover
he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God
of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he
was afraid to look upon God." Then God's Name is
introduced into the conversation. "And
God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt
thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto
you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto
the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of
Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me
unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto
all generations." And Psalm 111:9 adds this about
God's Name: "He sent redemption unto
his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever:
holy and reverend is his
This was God's very goal
for historical Israel. He would be their King! Their
Lord! Jehovah was grieved when they wanted a
man as King, a Saul son of Kish! In Exodus 19:6 here's
what God said to Israel: "And ye
shall be unto me a
kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are
the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."
Wow! As we all now know, Israel rejected
God's offer ... but Jesus will still some day sit and rule as
"King of the Jews!" (This is a millennial text!)
"Thy will be done in earth, as it is in
heaven" This petition reminds me of the Old
Testament Tabernacle with all its beautiful pictures of Christ
Jesus! God had come down to earth. The Brass Altar
is Jesus on the Cross! The Candlestick is Jesus the Light
of the Word! The Mercy Seat is Jesus the propitiation of
sin! (In fact, when John tells us of the Incarnation ...
He said: "And the Word (Jesus) was
made flesh, and dwelt (the verb = "tabernacled") among us, and
we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father, full of grace and truth." I'd surely call
That God's Will!
"Give us this day our daily bread" Here
we historically see the Manna in the wilderness! (Which
manna was simply a Type of our Lord Jesus Christ, the True Bread
of Life! Remember Jesus' statement:
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread
of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that
believeth on me shall never thirst." John 6:35) God
still feeds us day by day ... both physically and spiritually!
"And forgive us our debts as we forgive
our debtors" I wonder if this may indirectly refer
to their "borrowing" from the Egyptians as they did. See
Exodus 3:22 or 11:2. "Speak now in the
ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour,
and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels
of gold." Now I am not implying that they did
anything wrong here. They were just following God's orders.
But there is also no doubt a further historical inference
here. The people of God sinned again and again in the
wilderness. They needed and at times sought God's
forgiveness. Moses illustrates this fact with his great
prayer in Exodus 32:32 where he intercedes:
"Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their
sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which
thou hast written." Wow! This also might have
in view every 7th "Sabbatical" Year or even the 50th Year of
"Jubilee!" God can certainly set us free!
"And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil" This is a prayer for God to
defer or remove certain "testings" from their pathway.
Israel has always faced trials and persecutions. This very
request acknowledges that God is their supreme Controller!
BUT ... here Israel may have been asking God to remove (not His
testings and trials toward them, but ...) their selfish and
carnal testings toward God Himself! Often Israel rebelled
against God and vexed or grieved Him on their journey! (In
Numbers 14:22 God directly states that Israel had "tempted" Him
again and again! "Because all those
men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in
Egypt and in the wilderness, and
have tempted me now
these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice."
Wow! Ten times! That may mean
"repeatedly.") Paul in 1st Corinthians 10:9 says that
Israel "tempted" the Lord too. "Neither
let us tempt Christ, as
some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of
serpents." Lord, don't let us do that!
"For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power
and the Glory, for ever." And some day ... some
glorious day ... Israel will be humbled (the Tribulation) and
convicted and saved (at Armageddon) by the Grace of God!
She then will bow before Her Messiah Jesus, King of all, and
ascribe to Him the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory for ever!
I will pour upon the
house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the
spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon
me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him,
as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in
bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his
firstborn." (Zechariah 12:10) Paul adds in Romans
11:26-27 ... "And so
all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall
come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness
from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take
away their sins." Glory to God!
"Amen" Even this little word
has historical significance for the Jews! It was used early in
their national life when they agreed to the blessings and curses
of obeying or not obeying God's Word! (Twelve times you'll
find "amen" in Deuteronomy 27!) They used it in the days
of David as worship was lifted to God! See 1st Chronicles 16:36
--- "Blessed be the LORD God of
Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and
praised the LORD." It was used in the days of the
great Revival in Nehemiah 8. See verse 6. It was
used repeatedly throughout the Psalms. It was used in the
New Testament era. Fifty (50) times I find it in the New
Testament! Paul used it habitually! And ...
according to the Book of Revelation they are using it in heaven
right now! "Amen" means TRUE, FAITHFUL, RIGHT! In
fact, it is Jesus' very Name: "And
unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
These things saith the
Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the
creation of God." That's Jesus talking!
There you have
is not the only way to view the Lord's Prayer.
It may not
even be the best way.
But it is one
way ... and it's lovely!
teaches us to pray to our Lord our of our daily experiences,
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
I had a godly old Professor in Bible College
who had this habit.
It was a "prayer" habit!
Every time someone would call on the phone
... before that conversation ended ... he would have prayer with
(I wonder how that would work with
If it was a church member ... he prayed with
them and for them!
If it was a relative ... still the same!
Or even a salesman!
He also included wrong numbers!
That's just the way it was with him!
He used every phone call as a "prayer
That has me thinking.
Why can't one expand the area of "prayer
Why can't every red light remind me to pray
for my wife? That would be a thirty second to _____
minute(s) prayer! Some of those things last a while!
Why not let a trip to the mail box be prayer
time for the Pastor (or someone else)?
Or "loading the dishwasher time" be converted
into intercession for your Sunday School teacher?
Even "vacuuming time" might work!
And men, when Spring comes, grass cutting
There's no limit to the possibilities!
But ... what would be the Biblical Basis for
Ah! I've found it. And it is
predictably from the pen of Paul: "Pray
without ceasing." 1st Thessalonians 5:17
If someone resolves to try this little plan,
kindly let me know ... and I'll pray for you as you begin this
new spiritual adventure!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Christian needs it!
He or she needs to have people praying for
went he sought to enlist prayer helpers for his ministry!
All these flow
from the pen of that great Apostle.
15:30 Paul asked for the prayers of his friends in the Capital
I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and
for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me
in your prayers to God for me."
And he knew
the Philippians were praying for him. He had asked them to do
so again and again no doubt! In Philippians 1:19 he says:
"For I know that this shall turn to my
salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the
Spirit of Jesus Christ."
And here's how
he asked the Ephesians to help in prayer.
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the
Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and
supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance
may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make
known the mystery of the gospel." Ephesians 6:18-19
Colossee too! "Withal praying also for
us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to
speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that
I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak." Colossians
And maybe the
best example is found here. "Finally,
brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have
free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: and that
we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all
men have not faith." 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
little Epistle of Philemon contains an example!
"But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through
your prayers I shall be given unto you." Philemon 1:22
built an "army" of prayer warriors and intercessors on his
if we are wise, we will do so too!
(the Lord's Day) at Church, if I were you, I'd begin asking
others to join that little "army!"
One of the
most thrilling comments I hear as we travel is this: "Preacher
I pray for you every day!"
Oh, the power
Oh! The Power of the God of Heaven Who answers prayer!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
someone just mention this thought and I liked it!
They talked about praying the Names of God!
Later, as I was driving to a Revival Meeting
one evening, I thought of someone dear to me who is sick.
I needed to pray for her.
I then became an intercessor, one who prayed
to God for another person.
I was asking our Almighty God, my Heavenly
Father, to meet the needs of my wife, a believer in Jesus Christ
Then it occurred to me, why not pray one of
God's Names concerning her sickness?
But which Name should I invoke?
It just seemed that immediately the Holy
Spirit prompted my memory. Jehovah God has a Name that deals
with physical healing!
Let me show you.
Listen to what God promised the Jews in the
wilderness of Sinai.
"And said, If thou wilt
diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do
that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his
commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of
these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the
Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee."
Well, my wife obeys the voice of the Lord.
And she also seeks to do right in His sight. Then perhaps I can
claim the rest of the verse too!
"I AM THE LORD THAT
In Hebrew the words "LORD THAT HEALETH" are
spelled Jehovah Rapha.
It is one of His compound Names!
If God's Name is the God Who Heals ... may I
not claim that part of His Essence as I pray?
Of course I can!
We are commanded to pray in
The next time you seek the Lord for physical
strength and healing (whether for yourself or someone else) ...
remember His Name, His Healing Name!
If He so chooses, He can keep those
"diseases" away from us!
Blessed be the Lord!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Recently I saw a
verse of Scripture that thrilled me.
It is really a
prayer to the Lord.
servant of Abraham, on his way to find a bride for Isaac, asked
the Lord for two things in Genesis 24:12. Here's how he worded
it: "And he said, O LORD God of my master
Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew
kindness unto my master Abraham."
Now in subsequent verses this faithful servant asks other things
... particularly concerning the bride whom he had come to
acquire. However, for today we shall just look at the two-fold
petition I've printed in the above paragraph.
I think the words of this prayer are
I do not know why I can't pray them yet
His prayer is directed to the
These two specific Names of God are Jehovah
(LORD ... all capital letters) and Elohim (God). They are the
two main Names for the Lord in the Bible. LORD occurs 7,836
times and God another 4,444 times!
The Name Jehovah specifically emphasizes
God's eternal nature (The Great "I AM") and is used Biblically
for the God Who loves His people and has entered into a covenant
relation with them! He is the God Who saves!
Whereas Elohim includes the prefix that means
strong or powerful! An omnipotent God! Also it, having a
plural ending, depicts a Triune God; the Father, Son and Holy
Then the request comes,
"send me good speed."
The Hebrew Text is constructed so that it
places the intercessor's name next: "to me" (literally "to my
face") send .... This is a personal thing now! Eliezer (the
servant's name) wants God to do something for him as an
individual. Lord, before my face please meet this need!
This whole scene reminds me of Hebrews 4:16.
"Let us therefore
come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need."
The expression "good speed" is unique as
well! "Qarah" means "to encounter, to meet, to befall or to
happen!" Yet it also can mean "to place beams of timber on a
building, bringing it to completion!" Now I must explain this.
In our King James Bibles the word that gives us "good speed"
here is elsewhere translated: "to meet" (5 times), "to happen
along" (7 times), "to befall" (3 times) and "beams" (4 times)!
This servant has just asked the Lord
to meet him that
day and help him with his duties! Lord, ease into my life today
and take control! Lord, complete (lay the beams upon) the task
I've been given ... and help me finish the job at hand!
What a prayer!
What is "good speed"
to this man?
Why, it is The Very Presence of God!
But there's even more to this great prayer
The second request quickly follows. But this
one is NOT for Eliezer. It is a prayer for Abraham, his master!
" ... And shew kindness
unto my master Abraham."
The verb "show" is "asah" and means to build
or to make or to construct! He is asking the Lord to custom
make some kindness for Abraham that day! No doubt he here prays
in reference to God's providing just the right young lady to be
"Kindness" is "hesed" or "chesed" and is the
key Old Testament word for God's mercy (149 times) and
lovingkindness (30 more times)! What a kind God He is!
I believe each of us has someone we love for
whom we can pray this little petition. Pray it daily! Lord, be
kind today to ________ .
That's intercession ... when we pray for
Putting everything together now ...
"And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send
me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master
I encourage you to consider making this
powerful verse part of your prayer arsenal!
We all know and love "The Lord's Prayer" and
"The Jabez Prayer" and the "Psalm 20 Prayer" and the "John 17
Prayer" ... why not the "Genesis 24:12 Prayer" too?
You do what you want ... I'm including it in
my life as of today!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
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