Some people can hold their breath longer than others. It always starts the same with an amused curiosity wondering how long you might be able to hold your breath. Not long into the challenge you find yourself coming to the realization that it won’t be long before you are needing a fresh, new breath to fill your lungs and contribute oxygen to your bloodstream.
Interestingly in both the Hebrew and Greek languages, the word for “breath” also translates “spirit.” They are synonymous in their expression yet in two parallel realms. Air is to the body what prayer is to the spirit.
Gen 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (NIV)
God breathed out and Adam breathed in. God breathed inspiration Word inspired literally means to be breathed into! Adam was dead and God breathed “the breath of life” into him and he was living. We are breathing and when we die we stop breathing. Breath and spirit are connected.
No matter where your focus was, when you stop breathing your focus changes to survival mode. If left “airless” for a short amount of time you begin slipping into unconsciousness. The same is true spiritually only the timeline is longer. Over a period of time if a Christian remains “prayerless” he or she begins slipping into spiritual unconsciousness.
This is why Leonard Ravenhill said, “A sinning man does not pray and a praying man does not sin.” This parallel awakens so much understanding in Scripture.
1 Thess 5:17 pray without ceasing. NIV
We are taught to pray exactly the same way we breathe, “without ceasing.”
Luke 18:1 “…men ought always to pray, and not to faint." KJV
If you’re praying you’re not fainting. If you’re fainting you’re not praying. A conversational relationship with God will cause you to live a life that is inspired and empowered by God!
Job 19:17 "My breath is offensive to my wife, And I am loathsome to my own brothers." NAS
Job was inspired by God breathing in what God was saying so he was breathing out what God was saying and those who were angry with God around him found this offensive. Sleepers find it offensive when light hits their slumber.
When you choose to live a life that is inspired by God daily you awaken your destiny! This is the idea behind the daily prayer focus. Here is a two minute video you can watch that shows the daily layout and the power of our prayer of agreement.
As we have looked at the origin of the words Monday and Tuesday we have learned together that Monday is a day of new beginnings. Tuesday is a day of fighting to create momentum to give us traction for progress. In today’s message we are focusing on understanding Wednesday and Thursday.
From Creation standpoint Wednesday is the 4th day of creation when sun and moon were created. This is the place where you consider light for the future as well as reflection of the past. Giving reflection to what was and focus to what is ahead produces momentum to give birth to a very powerful Thursday.
The origin of Wednesday comes from the Old English Wōdnesdæg ‘day of Odin,’ named after the Germanic god Odin or Woden. Odin is equated with the Roman god Mercury. In English it is Wednesday from English origin. In Spanish it is Miercoles from Roman origin.
If you know your Marvel characters you know Odin produced a son named Thor.
Thursday comes from Thor's day. Again we have another day of the warrior. Tuesday is cultivating momentum to move into the week. Thursday is capturing momentum as continue through the week producing “victorious warfare” as a result of great momentum. Click here for the layout of the seven day focus.
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY GROUP LEADERS
Please make sure everybody in your group has the handout of the 7 days of prayer focus.
1. Share something God has been revealing to you lately? This could be something you sense God has been speaking to you or perhaps something you’ve noticed as you’ve read your Bible lately.
God is so conversational that he sent his son and described him as a word in Scripture. It is important that we work to develop conversational rhythms with God in prayer, reading the Bible and gathering to worship.
2. As we read the following verses consider what stands out to you:
1 Thess 5:17 pray without ceasing. NIV
Luke 18:1 …men ought always to pray, and not to faint KJV
Rom 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. NIV
Make room here for people to share any thoughts they have on these verses. You may want to read them more than once as the conversation continues.
Here are a few things you can point out after people have had the opportunity to share:
• Air is to the body what prayer is to the spirit. We pray like we breath, without ceasing.
• We are told to pray always so obviously this is not something you stop doing. Since it isn’t something we stop doing it has more to do with who we are than what we do. Basically put this is about our conversational relationship with God as sons and daughters. God is constantly talking to us and he wants us to listen and participate in that conversation.
• We can be joyful in hope and patient in affliction by listening consistently to what God has to say about any and every situation. Prayer empowers us with God’s perspective!
3. What are you thoughts on this quote by Leonard Ravenhill?
“A sinning man does not pray and a praying man does not sin.”
Conclude again this week by making time to pray. Perhaps you can read through and pray according to the 7 day prayer focus according to whatever day of the week you are meeting as your prayer focus.