March 21, 2010 – March 27, 2010
“Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”
Study Help: My Life Today, 20; Marantha, 77; Testimonies, vol. 1, 121.
“At this time above all others the paths of life are beset with perils that I cannot find language to describe. In a single departure from the path of sanctified principle Satan obtains an advantage, and he leads on and on, farther and farther from right and truth.” In Heavenly Places, 258.
Personal Prayer Life—Four Main Elements
1 Worship God. In what ways can we reverence God during our personal prayer time? Psalm 95:1–6, esp. verse 6; John 4:23, 24.
Note. “Both in public and in private worship it is our privilege to bow on our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, ‘kneeled down, and prayed.’ Luke 22:41. Of his disciples it is recorded that they, too, ‘kneeled down, and prayed.’ Acts 9:40. Paul declared, ‘I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Ephesians 3:14. In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. See Ezra 9:5. Daniel ‘kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.’ Daniel 6:10.” Prophets and Kings, 48.
2 Confess Your Sins. Because all have sinned (Romans 3:23), we need to confess our sins. How do we ask God to show us our sins? Psalm 139:23, 24; Proverb 28:13; I John 1:9.
Note. “ ‘Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart’—the human heart, with its conflicting emotions of joy and sorrow; the wandering, wayward heart, which is the abode of so much impurity and deceit. 1 Samuel 16:7. He knows its motives, its very intents and purposes. Go to Him with your soul all stained as it is. Like the psalmist, throw its chambers open to the all-seeing eye, exclaiming, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ Psalm 139:23, 24.” Steps to Christ, 34.
3 Thank Him for all He has done in your life. Have you something to be thankful for? Ephesians 5:20; Psalm 119:164; I Thessalonians 5:18; Psalm 50:23.
Note. “The Christian should live so near to God that he may approve things that are excellent, ‘being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God’ [Philippians 1:11]. His heart should be attuned to gratitude and praise. He should be ever ready to acknowledge the blessings he is receiving, remembering who it is that has said, ‘Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me’ [Psalm 50:23].” My Life Today, 153.
4 Intercede on Behalf of Others. Why should we intercede on behalf of others? I Timothy 2:1, 2; Ephesians 6:18.
Note. “We must be much more with God in earnest prayer. We must make God our only trust. The Lord is our God, the strength of our soul. We must take hold upon the Lord. The Lord is pleased when we importune Him for His grace and His favor, not only for ourselves but for those who are in need of help. Oh let us put implicit confidence in our Lord Jesus. Now pray, and believe, and pray, and the Lord will certainly hear us.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 6, 379, 380.
Daily Devotion—Study of God’s Word
5 Daily prayer and study are vital to spiritual development. What does God’s Word say? Psalm 119:10, 11; II Timothy 2:15; Psalm 1:1–4; John 6:54–63.
Note. “When we eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood, the element of eternal life will be found in the ministry. There will not be a fund of stale, oft-repeated ideas. … There will be a new perception of truth, a clearness and a power that all will discern. … The fire of God’s love will be kindled within them. Their perceptive faculties will be quickened to discern the beauty and majesty of truth.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 130, 131.
6 What example can we follow of people in the Bible who loved God and how their hearts yearned to be in His presence? Psalm 5:1–3; 63:6; Daniel 6:10.
Note. “The Lord draws out the soul in prayer, and gives us to feel His precious love. We have a nearness to Him, and can hold sweet communion with Him. We obtain distinct views of His tenderness and compassion, and our hearts are broken and melted with contemplation of the love that is given to us. We feel indeed an abiding Christ in the soul. We abide in Him, and feel at home with Jesus. The promises flow into the soul. Our peace is like a river, wave after wave of glory rolls into the heart, and indeed we sup with Jesus and He with us. We have a realizing sense of the love of God, and we rest in His love. No language can describe it, it is beyond knowledge. We are one with Christ, our life is hid with Christ in God. We have the assurance that when He who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory. With strong confidence, we can call God our Father.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1147, 1148.
7 As we spend that quality time in His presence, what are we placing upon ourselves, and why do we need it? Ephesians 6:10–18; I Peter 5:8.
Note. “Every one who has enlisted under the bloodstained banner of Christ has entered upon a warfare that demands constant vigilance. Satan is determined to keep up the warfare to the end. Coming as an angel of light, claiming to be the Christ, he will deceive the world. But his triumph will be short. No storm or tempest can move those whose feet are planted on the principles of eternal truth. They will be able to stand in this time of almost universal apostasy.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1106.
8 To have the spiritual strength to endure unto eternal life, what do we need? Jeremiah 15:16; Matthew 4:4.
Note. “Moses, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had said, ‘Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord’ [Deuteronomy 8:3]. … The rabbis themselves had a saying, that the eating of bread, in its spiritual significance, was the study of the law and the practice of good works; and it was often said that at the Messiah’s coming all Israel would be fed. The teaching of the prophets made plain the deep spiritual lesson in the miracle of the loaves. This lesson Christ was seeking to open to His hearers in the synagogue. Had they understood the Scriptures, they would have understood His words when He said, ‘I am the bread of life.’ Only the day before, the great multitude, when faint and weary, had been fed by the bread which He had given. As from that bread they had received physical strength and refreshment, so from Christ they might receive spiritual strength unto eternal life. ‘He that cometh to Me,’ He said, ‘shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.’ But He added, ‘Ye also have seen Me, and believe not’ [John 6:35, 36].” The Desire of Ages, 386.
9 Besides our personal devotions, how often should we pray? What does the Word of God reveal to us? Luke 18:1; Philippians 4:6, 7; Colossians 4:2.
Note. “Pray often to your heavenly Father. The oftener you engage in prayer, the closer your soul will be drawn into a sacred nearness to God. The Holy Spirit will make intercession for the sincere petitioner with groanings which cannot be uttered, and the heart will be softened and subdued by the love of God. The clouds and shadows which Satan casts about the soul will be dispelled by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and the chambers of mind and heart will be illuminated by the light of Heaven.” In Heavenly Places, 89.
“We need to pray without ceasing. Let the heart long after God. Let the heart go out in daily, hourly prayer, believing, trusting, holding on to the promise, saying as did Jacob, ‘I will not let thee go, except thou bless me’ (Genesis 32:26). ‘Hold up my goings in thy paths,’ O God, ‘that my footsteps slip not’ [Psalm 17:5] into the pitfalls which men have dug for my feet.” In Heavenly Places, 258.
10 What is the Word of God to you? Psalms 19:7–11; II Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17.
Note. “The Bible is the standard by which to test the claims of all who profess sanctification. … All whom God is leading will manifest a high regard for the Scriptures in which His voice is heard. The Bible will be to them ‘profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works’ [11 Timothy 3:16, 17].” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1147.
“Daniel was a man of prayer, and God gave him wisdom and firmness to resist every influence that conspired to draw him into the snare of intemperance. Even in his youth he was a moral giant in the strength of the Mighty One.” My Life Today, 20.
“Many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed. Let it be your prayer, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ Psalm 51:10. Deal truly with your own soul. Be as earnest, as persistent, as you would be if your mortal life were at stake. This is a matter to be settled between God and your own soul, settled for eternity. A supposed hope, and nothing more, will prove your ruin.” Steps to Christ, 35.
“How are the faithful servants of Christ employed? ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,’ praying in the closet, in the family, in the congregation, everywhere; ‘and watching thereunto with all perseverance’ [Ephesians 6:18]. They feel that souls are in peril, and with earnest, humble faith they plead the promises of God in their behalf. The ransom paid by Christ—the atonement on the cross—is ever before them. They will have souls as seals of their ministry.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 190.
“But the most enthusiastic zeal will accomplish nothing without the co-operation of God. Divine power must combine with human effort, and heart must meet heart as you intercede for the souls of men who are out of Christ. Deep, fervent piety at home, in the church, and in the neighborhood, will bring souls to behold wondrous things out of the law, and to see the glorious truth of Christ our righteousness.” The Review and Herald, August 13, 1889.
“Build a fortification of prayer and faith about your children, and exercise diligent watching thereunto. You are not secure a moment against the attacks of Satan. You have no time to rest from watchful, earnest labor. You should not sleep a moment at your post. This is a most important warfare. Eternal consequences are involved. It is life or death with you and your family. Your only safety is to break your hearts before God and seek the kingdom of heaven as little children. You cannot be victors in this warfare if you continue to pursue the course you have pursued. You are not very near the kingdom of heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 397, 398.
Lesson Studies were prepared by Judy Hallingstad of the LandMarks staff. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .