"Faith, Prayer, + Power"
TEXT: Malachi 2:10; 1 Peter 3; 2 Tim. 2; Psalm 116; Heb. 4:16
1. Earthly suffering has been designed to reveal our great need for the help and presence of God.
2. Throughout the Book of Malachi God tells His covenant people why they are struggling so much as they attempt to serve, follow, and obey the Lord. As He lists the reasons that are contributing to their difficulty, we should examine our hearts and lives for the same inconsistencies and sin.
3. Our culture is currently presenting a wide (and wild) variety of information regarding gender and gender roles. As more and more conversations take place surrounding this issue, believers must remember where 'the' truth comes from--'the' Bible.
4. God desires for His people to have godly offspring--this is the will of God. One of the initial instructions given to our first parents--to be fruitful and multiply--reveals that God desires the reproduction of human life. But this goes beyond the creation and sustaining of physical, human life. We have been called to spread the gospel so that those who are not God's children--unbelievers--hear, repent, and are brought into the family of God (which can be viewed as bringing about godly offspring). Those who were formerly alienated from God have now been 'adopted' into the family of God through the power of the gospel.
5. The Book of Malachi calls God's people to: (1) honor their spouse, and (2) to bring about godly offspring. If you are unaware, this is a tall task. It will be impossible to honor our spouses and create godly offspring if the Lord does not respond to our prayers. In and of ourselves, we do not have the ability to manufacture the results that the Lord intends for us to produce. As a result, we find ourselves in a position where we must humbly (and routinely) go before the Lord in prayer. Additionally, we must remember that there are certain actions and attitudes that can hinder the Lord from responding to our prayers (especially if those sinful actions and attitudes are present in and impacting your marital relationship).
6. When believers honor their spouse rightly, they are honoring God. Men have been called to understand their wives, and women are called to respect their husbands. God has created both genders to 'complement' one another and to infuse life into our souls. Even though women tend to be more spiritually sensitive than men, God has declared that He wants men to lead and be the example concerning what it looks like to have a simple but powerful prayer life. When all the above is focused on and taken seriously it creates an environment in which God responds to our prayers and adds new "children" to His family.
7. Pray for your leaders! And not just the ones you like and agree with. Scripture calls us to intercede on behalf of those in positions of power and influence. A refusal to do this causes the Lord to view you and your actions as "faith-less." Sadly, many believers in churches across America have failed to realize what's at stake concerning how we view, respond to, and pray for our governmental leaders. If we think we have a license to grumble and complain about our leaders, instead of praying for them, then we must realize that such behavior causes the Lord to refrain from responding to our prayers.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. In what ways do the two genders 'complement' one another?
2. What does it mean and look like for men to lead in prayer?
3. Why do you think women tend to more spiritually sensitive? How should women steward this gift and use it to honor their spouse and create godly offspring?
4. Why do you think the Church of Jesus Christ in America has struggled so greatly concerning how we view, pray for, and talk about our governmental leaders?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- Honoring spouses and creating godly offspring
- To get anything that would be hindering our prayers out of our lives