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Ultrasound

Prayer Partakers:

This Prayer Partakers articles reviews recorded cases in Biblical Scriptures where communication with God via prayers were answered affirmatively.

Pregnancy Prayer Partakers:

God instructed humankind to be fruitful and multiply to have children and populate our planet. What do you do when you wish to have children, yet there is no pregnancy? God has been very generous today to provide many medical & social & technological aids to help families in having children biologically & alternatively via adoption. Historically, before todays modern medical advances, primary solutions included time, prayer, & even surrogate parents. In Abraham’s son Isaac case, Isaac prayed for his wife Rebekah.  God granted his request and Rebekah his wife became pregnancy & birthed twins.

Genesis 25:19-26 (ESV): 19 These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21 And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” 24 When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

1 Samuel 1:1,5-6,11,17,19,20,26-28 (ESV): 1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. …  5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. 6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. …   11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” …  17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” … 19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the LORD.” …  26 And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD. 27 For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him. 28 Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.

Interesting Pregnancy Quotations:

“How you approach birth is intimately connected with how you approach life” Quote by William Sears (The Pregnancy Book: A Month-By-Month Guide). Courtesy GoodReads.com at http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/255094-how-you-approach-birth-is-intimately-connected-with-how-you

Pregnancy Prayers Key Points:

  • God made our natural process to be fruitful & multiply.
  • God hears & grants prayers for families to have children.
  • God has provided opportunities to grow families via medical advances & adoption.

Pregnancy Prayers Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Does God still grant prayer requests for children?
  • If a good friend wanted to children, under what circumstances would you pray for them, or guide them to pray to God?
  • If God wanted you to learn some more valuable lessons before having [more] children, how would you handle it?
  • What if children were not a dear friends future who wanted them? Elaborate. What if that applied to you?
  • Why is it important in this life on how people approach pregnancy, birth, and even adoption? Share your thoughts on the pregnancy quotation.

Life Prayer Partakers:

God ultimately has authority over when & where we & our loved ones live & die. God granted prayers to bring people back to life. Scriptures record few rare occasions that this was done. One time was when Elijah brought a boy back to life. Another time was when Jesus brought a girl back to life. When Jesus the Christ who is God (shares the same nature / character with God the Father and the Holy Spirit) informed us that the girl was sleeping, that set the expectation that when she returned, she would not be sharing stories about the afterlife.

1 Kings 17:17-24 (ESV): 17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” 22 And the LORD listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.”

Mark 5:35-43 (ESV): 35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Interesting Life Partakers Quotation:

“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” Quotation by C.S. Lewis Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/37597

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” Quotation by Bruce Lee Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/4146

“A man’s life will not come again, once it has slipped through his teeth. And no power on earth can bring it back. This is the mortal law. Then no longer will his bones be held together by wet sinews. Then no longer the soul flutter in his mouth. But by Death’s blazing light, he is ground out and spent.” Quotation by Paul Pope (Escapo) Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1334716

Life Prayer Key Points:

  • God listened & acted to perform miracles to bring children back to life when asked via prayers & when asked in person.
  • God holds the keys to our life and death both in our earthly temporal life, and also for eternity.

Life Prayers Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Does God still perform miracles today, such as raising children back to life?
  • What comfort does God offer when the answer is “not this time” to miracle prayer requests?
  • Have you know any family or friends who have lost a young child to death?
  • How does God use the medical profession & technology advances to answer prayers?
  • Share your thoughts on the Life Quotations.

Wisdom Prayer Partakers:

God gave King David’s Son Solomon a dream. In the dream, God asked Solomon what he wanted. Solomon responded by asking for wisdom to rule God’s people. God recognized tremendous value in asking for wisdom. Wisdom can contribute to good eternal decision-making. God granted King Solomon his request, along with riches and long life. An even longer life was contingent upon King Solomon’s continued faithfulness. The Bible endorses our also asking God for wisdom. Wisdom is best when combined with a living faith, so we are to ask for wisdom out of our faith.  For an exploration of Wisdom & Faith & Love, consult The Three Guides articles & presentation materials later.

1 Kings 3:5-14 (ESV): 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” 10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

James 1:5-8 (ESV): 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Interesting Wisdom Quotations:

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” Quotation by Isaac Asimov Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/4078

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
Quotation by Mark Twain (The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain) Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/4957

“I’m not young enough to know everything.” By J.M. Barrie (The Admirable Crichton) Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/120011

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” Quotation by Confucius Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/83

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens” Quotation by Jimi Hendrix Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/22276

Wisdom Prayer Key Points:

  • God instructs individuals having a living faith, yet who lack wisdom, to ask God for wisdom.
  • God was pleased to grant King Solomon’s request for wisdom, even providing much more than was asked.
  • God is also able to grant riches and long lifetimes.

Wisdom Prayer Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Under what circumstances should you not expect to get anything from God as a result of your prayers?
  • Explain why wisdom is best when combined with a living faith.
  • Have you asked, or do you plan to ask, the Lord God for Wisdom.
  • Share your thoughts on the interesting wisdom quotations.

Longevity Prayer Partaker:

While each of us does not know how many temporal years of life are allocated to us initially, God has shown us how to increase those years by honoring our parents. God left open options to answer his followers prayers for a longer lifespan. Followers are also referred to as Saints. God added 15 years (close to 5,500 days) of life to loyal & faithful King Hezekiah when he prayed to the Lord.

Exodus 20:12 (ESV): 12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 5:16 (ESV): 16 “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Ephesians 6:1-3 (ESV): 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Isaiah 38:1-5 (ESV): 1 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 and said, “Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.

Phillipians 1:21-28 (ESV): 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. 27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.

Interesting Longevity Quotations:

“Like anybody, I would like to have a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.” Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.  Courtesy of GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/16768

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.” Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr. Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/24547

“I want to live for a very, very long time, but it’s important that I take care of my body. When I am 851 years old, I don’t want to look it. No, I want to look 158.” by Jarod Kintz (Who Moved My Choose?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change by Deciding to Let Indecision Into Your Life) Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/466989

Longevity Prayer Key Points:

  • God promises individuals longer life spans when they obey God’s commandment to honor their parents.
  • Saints of God are permitted to ask God for a longer life span. God may actively intervene to make this happen.
  • Tradeoff’s exist for Saints leaving this Earth to be with God versus staying to support God’s Mission.

Longevity Prayer Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Discuss to what age would you like to live. Are you inclined to ask God for more years of life? Explain.
  • Explore under what circumstances God is likely to decline prayers for increased longevity.
  • What are ways in which you & your family can honor your parents?
  • How could you support God’s Church, Mission, and Saints prior to your departure?
  • Share your thoughts on the longevity quotations.

Your Prayer Partaker Journey:

Our Prayer Partaker Journey is meant to provide us a lifeline to God for support through life events, whether related to family expansion, life & death, wisdom, or longevity. God documented specific circumstances where these request types were answered, as God cares deeply for the life of his true followers. God has heard & granted prayers for families to have children, and has setup a myriad of health specialists & technologies to support these request types today. Cultivate & establish a firm & stable faith to come to God with confidence with our prayer requests like when asking for increased wisdom. Reflect upon how long a life you’d like to live, since God has the power to provide followers a longer life. Remember to honor your parents as instructed in the Ten Commandments, as this is the first commandment including a promise of a longer & better life.

God’s scriptures recorded in the Bible on prayer touch upon many more topics & examples, so take some time to search the Bible (for example, on websites like https://www.biblegateway.com).

Credits:

The visual of an human ultrasound with this prayer article is Courtesy Microsoft Corporation.

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God's Will, Our Style

Bible’s Lessons:

The Bible records many distinctive ways people lived God’s Will, even though at times rebellion, sin, and disobedience surfaced. God’s Will allows for personal style consistent with God’s Commandments, and requires repentance in response to disobedience. As you live out God’s Will, distinguish between these:

      1. God’s Will
      2. Our Style consistent with God’s Will
      3. Our Way opposing God’s Will
      4. Our Sin & Rebellion

The key point is that as people are called to follow God, that God is also calling you to bring your essential individually, and then to seek God’s help to live it out without your inner sin.

God’s Will Generally:

The Bible emphasizes the importance (a) to have faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, (b) to repent from sin, (c) pursue righteousness, (d) to love & obey God with all your being, and (e) to love your neighbor as yourself. When selecting what to do in life, evaluate your decisions in light of God’s Will generally.

God’s Will Specifically:

Complimenting the already available guidance in God’s Will generally revealed, is the further knowledge that God works to bring believers through situations to improve them & help others. This is a process where our character, skills, and faith is meant to grow beneficially individually & collectively as life’s challenges are faced.

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV): For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God’s preparing good works for people to perform is observable in scriptures in several instances. God prophesied to Abraham hundreds of years ahead of time the slavery & release of his people, in which Moses & Aaron played a critical role. The life of Queen Ester and Mordecai evidences God’s coordination of redemptive events to protect his people from genocide. What instances do you recall from your studies of scriptures?

God’s Will Directly Articulate:

On rare occasions, God’s Will is made crystal clear via direct communication. One instance is when God asked Moses to rescue his people from EgyptPharaoh (Exodus 3).

Exodus 3:10 (ESV):  10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.

God’s Will and Our Style:

God permits the way in which God’s Will is lived out to incorporate our personal & collective styles to some extent. This is illustrated when God preferred Moses to directly deliver God’s Word and lead God’s people. Moses personality & style was inherently shy about speaking directly to his people, so God provided Aaron to Moses to work out God’s Will to deliver his people from physical bondage & slavery.

Exodus 4:10-17 (ESV): 10 But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” 14 Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. 17 And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”

While God’s Will does permit Our Style, Moses’ illustration encourages people to also consider whether God’s Will prefers us to embrace a style that will grow our comfort with new skills God knows we’ll be able to handle with his help. God preferred Moses to grow skills speaking directly to God’s people, even though Moses feared it. Even today, it is often reported that people find public speaking frightful.

God’s Will Indirectly Articulated & Our Style:

People will often discover God’s Will in their specific situations is implicit rather than explicit. As an illustration, Queen Ester and Mordecai both recognized that Queen’s Ester intervention looked like God’s first & primary preference for intervention on behalf of God’s people.

Ester 4:12-17 (ESV): 12 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. 13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” 17 Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Mordecai previously asked Queen Ester to petition the King to rescue their people. Queen Ester agreed to risk her life by going before the King without being officially summoned, and her style was to fast first before God prior to executing this bold maneuver. Mordecai respected Queen Ester’s stylistic approach to fast first. It is reasonable to infer God did too.

Our Way Opposing God’s Will:

When facing decisions in life, evaluate your inner desires, motives, and means, to ensure they are living up to the standards God set. While your conscience can provide guidance, as can good godly council, God’s revealed word in the Bible is the ultimate authority. As an illustration, when King David’s inner being became lustful for Bathsheba after seeing her bathing on her housetop (see 2 Samuel 11), King David needed to evaluate his inner desires carefully, even though typically King David’s inner being desired to know God’s Will and do the right thing.

While in some cases, a particular action is not in & of itself immoral in the general case of God’s Will, it is still immoral to do in instances when God specifically decreed that action was not permitted. For example, Jesus instructed certain people not to publicly reveal the healing he performed for their individual benefit. They disobeyed, which caused Jesus difficulty in his outreach mission in several geographic areas.

Mark 1:40-45 (ESV): 40 And a leperf came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesusg sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

Our Sin & Rebellion:

When evaluating our situational liberty & latitude, evaluate decisions & desires in the light of God’s Will generally revealed to know when to repent & change. This analysis helps to distinguish Our Stylistic latitude from Our Wayward tendencies towards evil. In absence of accomplishing this effectively, sin & rebellion result. One sin has the dangerous potential to lead to many sins.

Consider how King David committed adultery, and then did not repent. This first sin lead to the first attempt at a “cover up” that did not work. King David still did not repent and instead resulted to murder in another “cover up” attempt (see 2 Samuel 11 and 2 Samuel 12). In King David’s case, God’s Will revealed adultery & murder is wrong, so King David knew these actions were not stylistic discretions, yet rather sinful disobedient rebellious actions against God. King David “cleverly by worldly standards yet unwisely by God’s standards” (cleverly yet unwisely) made plans to disobey God’s commandments not to commit adultery and not to murder. God severely punished King David by allowing evil enemies to obtain sufficient power to repay King David for his immoral actions.

In Conclusion:

Whether you receive God’s Will via direct commands or via God’s generally revealed will, carefully evaluate your inner being & decision-making process to ensure your thoughts & actions align with God’s Will. Just as God provided a lot of variety in nature, and this variety is consistent with God’s Will, so too God provided a lot of variety in people’s styles that are harmonious with God’s Will, Another way to understand it, is that in work positions, there are certain responsibilities & expectations that come with the role. Yet, within a given role, people find ways to contribute that brings out their own personal style, background, and vision through their contributions.

Review:

1. God’s Will allows for personal _______ consistent with God’s Commandments.

2. On rare occasions, God’s Will is made crystal clear via ________ communication.

3. People will often discover God’s Will in their specific situations is ________ rather than _________.

4. Consider whether God’s Will prefers us to embrace a style that will grow our comfort with new _________.

5. Evaluate decisions & desires in the light of God’s Will generally revealed to know when to ________ & ________.

6. Distinguish Our Stylistic _________ from Our Wayward _________ towards evil.

Related Articles:

Credits:

  • Special Thanks to Microsoft Office Images & Tools used in the creation of today’s visual.

God's Will, Our Style

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