Prayer Psalm: 119:49-72
Prayer Point: Psalm 119 is the prayer of a man who seeks to follow the law of God. For the Christian, obeying the law is following Jesus, loving God and neighbor as he did. Pray that God might give you the desire to follow Jesus today. Thank him for the trials that God brings into your life, for even these can be used by him to mold you into the image of Jesus.
Jesus’ friend Lazarus is gravely ill. What does Jesus say is the purpose of Lazarus’ sickness? Compare this to man born blind in John 9:1-3. How does this explain Jesus’ decision to delay his arrival until after Lazarus’ death? What is Jesus planning to do?
Jesus deeply loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, but this did not stop him from allowing them to experience the grief of Lazarus’ death. What greater purpose could Jesus have above the happiness of his dear friends?
Where do Paul’s opponents in Lystra come from? Pay attention to the towns they are from (see Acts 13:13-15 and 14:1-5). What does this tell you about the efforts to stop Paul?
Take a look at the miracle that occurs between verses 19 and 20. Why do you think the author understates this miracle?
Why do Paul and Barnabas retrace their steps before returning to their home church in Antioch?
What do Paul and Barnabas do when they return to Antioch?
Job 30:1-2, 16-31 – Job continues his lament
Job has just outlined how he responded [I think, gratefully] to the blessings he had enjoyed from God. Now he turns his attention to what appears to be the punishment from God. He begins with “But now they mock me…” (Job 30:1 NIV) and it is only downhill from there.
Verses 32:16-31 sound eerily like Elihu’s description of the sinner in Chapter 33. What accusations does Job level at God in this passage? (“He throws me into the mud… I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer… You turn on me ruthlessly… You toss me about in the storm…” (Job 30:19, 20, 21, 22 NIV) The question to pose is: would you be as frank with God as Job was? Like it or not Job displays that gut-level honesty in his complaint. I tend not to be quite as honest because I think it is sacrilegious and perhaps blasphemous. This is not blasphemy to me, but it sounds too disrespectful to be considered as a prayer and yet on one level, I think this is the kind of honesty God would like from us. St. Teresa of Avila was going through a difficult period and she summed it up this way (my paraphrase) “If this is how you treat your friends, it is little wonder to me why you have so few.” This is someone who has a very close, an intimate relationship with God. I hope one day to have a relationship like it. – j.t.)