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This article originally appeared in January 2015 Decision Magazine
As I reflect on 2014, blessings come to mind. So do burdens. Prayers that were answered, and other prayers that remain unanswered. Friends who stood by me and others who avoided me. Days when I had health and energy, and other days when I was so sick and tired I felt I couldn’t hold my head up one more moment. Times to relax and times of enormous stress. Hope that filled my heart and disappointments that crushed my spirit. The prospect of living through another roller-coaster year is almost daunting. I know it will be another year of faith-stretching, faith-building, faith-strengthening experiences. Another year of waiting … of looking up … for His return.
My beloved and wise mother must have had days and weeks and months and years like this, too. Because in our home when I was growing up, on the windowsill by the kitchen sink was a little gold-framed saying that had fallen into the sink so many times it had water stains on it. She gave me an exact duplicate of it, which I have in my pantry. The saying reflects Mother’s typical, whimsical sense of humor: Praise, Pray, and Peg Away. It has become my motto as I face 2015.
Read Isaiah 6:1-4
Isaiah’s vision was of the pre-incarnate Son of God—Jesus—according to John 12:41.
Praise Him for His Position
• Where was the Lord when Isaiah saw Him? See Isaiah 6:1.
• When did He leave that position, and for how long? Read Philippians 2:5-11.
• What position does Jesus hold today, and where does He hold it, according to Ephesians 1:20-23?
• How extensive and permanent is His position? See Matthew 28:18 and Acts 10:36.
• Is there anyone higher in authority than Jesus? Use a phrase from Isaiah 6:1 or any of the above verses for your answer.
• What difference does His position make when you appeal to Him in prayer? Consider John 14:13-14.
• What is His position in your life? See Romans 10:9-10.
Praise Him for His Power
• Give the word or phrase that refers to the power or authority of Jesus in Isaiah 6:1-4.
• From the following verses, describe the power of Jesus over the physical as well as the spiritual realm: Matthew 8:1-3, 5-13, 23-27, 28-32 and 9:1-8; Mark 1:32-34 and 2:1-12; Luke 5:1-11; and John 6:1-14, 16-21 and 11:1-44.
• Use the following passages of Scripture to praise Him now for His power: Colossians 1:15-20; Revelation 5:9-13, 11:15 and 15:2-4.
• What reason does Paul give in Colossians 1:9-14 for needing to be “strengthened with all power according to His glorious might?”
• How have you experienced the answer to Paul’s prayer in your own life?
Praise Him for His Purity
• For what specific attribute is Jesus praised in Isaiah 6:3? How is this repeated in Revelation 4:8?
• Describe how this attribute was recognized even by His enemies. See Mark 1:24.
• What do you think it means to be “holy?” Consider Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 3:18 and 1 John 3:2.
• What does it mean to you that Jesus is absolutely pure … holy?
• If you are a follower of Jesus, is holiness optional? See 1 Peter 1:15-16.
• From Philippians 4:6-7, give a pattern for effective prayer. How closely do your prayers follow this pattern?
• What were the disciples doing, and what do you think they were praying for as they gathered in the Upper Room? Read Acts 1:6-9, 14.
• What promise are disciples today also waiting on to be fulfilled? See John 14:1-3.
• What specific instructions does Peter give us while we are waiting, in 1 Peter 4:7?
• What are some things we should pray for as we seek to serve Him while we wait? See Luke 10:2, Ephesians 6:19-20 and Acts 4:31.
• What challenge does Jesus give us in Mark 13:32-33? (See the NKJV.)
• What difference do you think your own prayers make? See James 5:16-18.
• How will you know the difference your prayers make if you don’t pray?
• Give at least three things we are exhorted to do, and apply them to the New Year. Read Hebrews 10:23-25.
• Write out Romans 8:23-25 in your own words as though you were explaining it to someone else.
• What could be a significant reason for the ups and downs, the blessings and burdens, the triumphs and trials, of your life? See James 1:3-4.
• Give a phrase from James 1:3-4 that reveals that God’s purpose for you is not health, wealth, prosperity or a problem-free life. What is the goal stated? What is your goal? Is it at cross-purposes with His goal for you?
• How does Peter encourage us when life is hard? See 1 Peter 1:6-7.
• Give the progression of our inner maturity in Romans 5:1-5. Do you think we could skip a step and still mature spiritually?
• How does Hebrews 10:35-39 encourage you?
As we face another year, would you join me in claiming and clinging to His promises with praise, prayer and perseverance until our faith becomes sight? D ©2014 ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ
ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ HAS PROCLAIMED GOD’S WORD WORLDWIDE FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS. HER RE-RELEASE OF HEAVEN, MY FATHER’S HOUSE IS AVAILABLE AT ANNEGRAHAMLOTZ.COM.
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