Bible Society of South Africa

How to Live – Day 10

A Prayer.

Bible text(s)

16So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect.

James 5:16GNBOpen in Bible reader

9For this reason we have always prayed for you, ever since we heard about you. We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will, with all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. 10Then you will be able to live as the Lord wants and will always do what pleases him. Your lives will produce all kinds of good deeds, and you will grow in your knowledge of God.

Colossians 1:9-11GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Spirit and Human Nature

16What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature.

Galatians 5:16GNBOpen in Bible reader


1I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. 2I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains — but if I have no love, I am nothing. 3I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burnt — but if I have no love, this does me no good.

4Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; 5love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; 6love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. 7Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

8Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. 9For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; 10but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.

11When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I have grown up, I have no more use for childish ways. 12What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete — as complete as God's knowledge of me.

13Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13GNBOpen in Bible reader

8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:8GNBOpen in Bible reader

12No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us.

1 John 4:12GNBOpen in Bible reader

5This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God's gift to us.

Romans 5:5GNBOpen in Bible reader

9I pray that your love will keep on growing more and more, together with true knowledge and perfect judgement, 10so that you will be able to choose what is best. Then you will be free from all impurity and blame on the Day of Christ.

Philippians 1:9-10GNBOpen in Bible reader

Prayer is the hotline of hope that keeps a righteous man in touch with the great God. Through that binding connection we pray and have hope for ourselves, for loved ones, fellow believers and unbelievers. Prayer is more than just an emergency call to get needs met, it is also the hotline that generates power so that through the Holy Spirit I am more able to live as God wants. Prayer is therefore a two-way conversation between God and people.  Daily, I wait expectantly and with full attention, when I read God’s Word so that the Holy Spirit reveals God’s will for me.

Listen to what the Word already tells us about God’s will. As believers and image bearers of God in the world, we need to honour God by living simply and doing what he wants. We can know what he wants through prayer and asking that we will continually be filled:  “…with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives…” (Colossians 1:9) This means that we must live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and allow God to lead us. Knowledge of His will must go hand in hand with growing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10) – the discovery of his heart, God’s incomparable greatness.

Such a life offers challenges to every believer. It needs a God-focused life and perseverance. Difficult? Not if we ask God, that we be “…strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.” (Colossians 1:11).

Jesus’ preaching and teaching about the Christian believer’s lifestyle, centres around love. Without it, we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13), we do not know God (1 John 4:8) and God is not in us. (1 John 4:12) Every believer can be certain that the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5) We actually bear responsibility to cultivate that “seed” of love, and one way in which we can do so is to pray that our love will increase more and more in understanding and sensitivity so that we may be able to distinguish the things that matter, (Philippians 1:9). Why is this distinction necessary? It is necessary so that we, on the day of Christ, may be found pure and blameless. (Philippians 1:10).

Prayer has great power and has the ability to change our lives, our circumstances and outlook on life, because God hears every prayer. In the words of RA Torrey: “Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouses of God’s infinite grace and power. All that God is, and all that God has, are at the disposal of prayer.”

Bible Society of South Africav.4.13.12
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