Praying grace and peace to build others up

Optimal hour to build up others in prayer

I love it when I am challenged and engaged by others to grow in grace and holiness. Faith and the invitation to be part of the family of God are great beginning steps, incredibly important steps, but it is not a place to rest in – as if we have now arrived. Peter really sets his heart on this and engages me – he wants that grace and peace might be multiplied to me so that I can press forward in obtaining more grace.

It is also my opportunity to pray for others and to walk with them, disciple them, so they too will grow in their relationship with God and to be diligent about it. By not trying harder, there is no gaining any ground in the work of holiness. This is not the place for being lazy.

For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love. These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if you do not have them, you are so shortsighted that you cannot see and have forgotten that you have been purified from your past sins.

So then, my friends, try even harder to make God’s call and his choice of you a permanent experience; if you do so, you will never abandon your faith.[b]In this way you will be given the full right to enter the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 1:5-11 GNT

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?  Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. 

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him? The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. – Westminster Shorter Catechism

Lifting up hands regularly

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There are many examples where individuals have lifted up their hands in prayer, especially as a form of blessing.

When Aaron had finished all the sacrifices, he raised his hands over the people and blessed them, and then stepped down. – Leviticus 9:22 GNT

It is also a sign of surrender if I raise them up high. It comes with a prayer that is a humble petition of a reasonable prayer for one going through oppression.

Why are you so far away, O Lord?
Why do you hide yourself when we are in trouble?
The wicked are proud and persecute the poor. Psalm 10:2 GNT

Paul delivered a prayer that I would like to look at.

Day and night we ask him with all our heart to let us see you personally and supply what is needed in your faith.

May our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus prepare the way for us to come to you! May the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow more and more and become as great as our love for you. In this way he will strengthen you, and you will be perfect and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all who belong to him. – 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13 GNT

He asks God to be the instigator – he asks God to do something – he recognizes God as sovereign – how often do I pray for people to move instead of praying for God to move?

Paul is praying for the church – how often am I praying for those in the church? Sometimes I find myself mentioning myself more than God and for my desires instead of God’s desires.

“Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that he will provide the help we need.⁠” – Piper

When I pray, I admit that I am dependent on God and need Him in my life.

Praying “with all our heart” shows how prayer is not flippant, but intentional and genuine. May I pray consistently and fervently for the people I love.

Paul prays for the opportunity to come alongside and disciple. He is concerned with their growth, for them to know what the implications of the gospel has in their lives. I want to find ways to help others grow.

His key prayer point when it comes to outcomes – make your love for one another and for all people grow more and more and become as great as our love for you.  

When it comes right down to its root – love is not something I am in control of – God is. Prayer is the key to changing my attitude towards others.  Love is a defining trait of those who follow Jesus.

The outcome is what I believe we all want to experience – you will be perfect and holy. It is not about circumstances changing or sufferings to cease and it is definitely not about doing, it is all about my heart (motives, desires, thoughts).

Holiness is a mark – our salvation is all of grace – but holiness is important when we stand before the God. Just thinking about this keeps me praying with eternity in my mind. I noticed that there was not much consideration given to their physical well-being as the spiritual one – again attention to eternal consequences and holiness.

There is a connection here between being holy and loving others – being interested in the lives of others – seeking the good of others – and that means I am challenged to turn from myself to serving. I understand that it may cost me to do this – it may be a sacrifice of my self-comfort.

“By the great sweetness of this name he frees us from all distrust, since no greater feeling of love can be found elsewhere than in the Father.” – Calvin