April Scripture Reading and Devotion
PASTOR BERNIE SAMPLES
"Insights Into Productive Prayer"
For this month I want to share some things I’ve learned about prayer over the years. One definition of prayer that I like is “A believer joining forces with God the Father – fellowshipping with Him – and carrying out His will upon the earth.”
April 1st Luke 18:1-8 Notice in verse 1 Jesus said that believers should develop a life style of prayer and not to lose heart over life’s circumstances. In verses 4-7 you can’t compare God to an unjust judge that may or may not help you. Verse 8 said “God will answer your prayer speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man comes, SHALL HE FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH?” Jesus is always looking for faith so you need to stay full of the Word so you will have more confidence in what God says than the lies of the devil or adverse circumstances.
Faith Confession: I will always be a person of prayer and have more confidence in my Father than I do the things that come against me.
April 2nd 1 John 5:14-15 God’s WORD is God’s will. When we pray the WORD we are praying God’s will for our life. Prayer should be God looking down to earth and seeing a mirror reflecting His WORD back up at Him.
Faith Confession: I am developing greater confidence in my prayer life. I purpose to have specific verses for what I am praying for so I know that God always answers my prayers.
April 3rd Matthew 18:18-20 Faith doesn’t deny things, faith changes things. As Born Again believers we have spiritual authority in Jesus’ Name to change things in our realm of influence. The will of God is always done in Heaven because there is no demonic opposition or human will to hinder it. On earth there is resistance to the will of God being done therefore we must take authority and bind the devil in Jesus’ Name from hindering the will of God from coming to pass in our lives.
Faith Confession: Jesus has given me authority in His Name to bind the devil and demon spirits from hindering the plan of God for my life and family. I realize that I have responsibility not to be a complainer but to use the authority that Jesus has given me to keep satan under my feet and silenced!
April 4th Luke 10:17-20 Jesus tells us in verse 19 that we never have to be afraid of what satan is trying to do to us. Because in Jesus’ Name we have authority over every evil scheme or strategy that comes against us. In verse 20 Jesus warns us not to get too excited or focused about our authority over the devil. We must ALWAYS BE THANKFUL FOR OUR ETERNAL SALVATION THOURGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOR.
Faith Confession: I will never fear satan’s threats or lies because Jesus has already defeated him and given me authority over him. I will every day of my life thank Jesus for His salvation and writing my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
April 5th 2 Corinthians 5:7 I like to read this verse this way, “I live by the Word not by my senses,” because faith is believing what God’s Word says, not by what I see or hear in the natural world. Faith doesn’t deny things, faith changes things. I always speak and agree with God’s Word concerning things that affect my life and loved ones.
Faith Confession: Because I am a person of faith I live by faith. I don’t stick my head in the sand and deny problems but I speak the Word of God and change things that are to be what God’s Word says they should be.
April 6th Mark 16:15-20 Verse 17 “And these signs shall follow them that believe …”I wrote in my Bible I am a believer, so Jesus is talking about me. Not only are we called to pray but to follow through with action in carrying out God’s plan in our realm of influence. Carefully read and meditate the things that Jesus says believers should do as a life style. Don’t wrongly interpret verse 18. We don’t handle snakes or drink poison. This simply means we have authority over demons and if per chance we eat or drink spoiled food Jesus wants to protect us.
Faith Confession: I am a believer and in the Name of Jesus I take authority over the devil. I lay hands on the sick and they do recover. Jesus always works with me confirming His Word with signs following.
April 7th Mark 11:22-24 A literal translation of Mark 11:22 would say “Have the faith of God”, but I like to say it this way, “Use your faith like God uses His faith.” As you read Genesis 1 God created everything by the Words that He spoke. In Mark 11:23 Jesus said “Whosoever shall say (I wrote in my Bible this means me because I am included in whosoever) unto this mountain be thou removed …” In this verse He tells us three times that we will have what we say if we don’t doubt in our hearts. There is a difference between your heart and your head. Faith spoken from your heart will always work even when your head is being hit with doubt. Verse 24 is the principle of the Prayer of Faith.
Faith Confession: Because Mark 11:23 says “I will have what I say”, I will guard my words every day. Verse 24 says “I will have what I pray”. My words have power!
April 8th Isaiah 55:6-11 Verses 6 and 7 have been special verses to me since I was a young Christian. It is talking about prayer and the loving kindness of our Father. In verses 8-11 God compares the rain and snow to the way His Word works in the spiritual realm. In the natural realm rain and snow come down to earth and water the seed that is in the earth and things grow and produce food. Verse 11 “So shall My Word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (without fruit) but it shall accomplish that which I please …” This means God’s Word came from Heaven, men wrote it down in the Bible, it gets into the soil of our hearts and produces faith and we speak it out and pray it out and it returns to Heaven BUT it brings forth fruit in our lives.
Faith Confession: I choose to think like God thinks because His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. I choose to live by the ways of God. I know when I pray God’s Word I pray the answer.
April 9th John 16:23-24 “And in that day you shall ask me nothing …” Jesus was talking to His disciples that were with Him because they could see Him and He met their needs because they were there physically with Him. But “that day” refers to His resurrection and seated at the right hand of God the Father. The rest of the verse says, “Whatsoever YOU SHALL ASK THE FATHER IN MY NAME, He will give it you.” Verse 24 “… ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.” He is God to the world, but He is Father to us! One key to answered prayer is always pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus.
Faith Confession: He may be God to the world, but He is Father to me. I have a joyful prayer life because I always pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus and He always answers me.
April 10th Acts 4:29-31 I like to call this, “The Believer’s Prayer”. We need boldness to carry out the Great Commission. When the early church was challenged and under persecution, just like Christianity is today, instead of pulling back in fear, or compromising their faith, they prayed for boldness to speak the Word and for signs, wonders and healings to be done in the Name of Jesus. Then amazingly God answered their prayer! He shook the place where they were praying with His mighty power and filled them all with the Holy Ghost and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.
Faith Confession: Father, I ask You to give me boldness to speak Your Word and lay hands on the sick. I believe I receive like the believers in the Book of Acts. Signs and wonders follow Your Word that I speak and act upon. Hallelujah! Thank You
April 11th Philippians 1:9-11 I love this Holy Spirit inspired prayer because it is the heart of the Father for His children. Verse 9 When we look at others through the eyes of God’s love we will look past their faults and failures then verse 10 we will not become easily offended and verse 11 we will be filled with Jesus’ love fruit and be able to love them like Jesus loves them.
Faith Confession: Because I have the love of Jesus in my heart. I will train myself to always look at people through the eyes of love. I refuse to be offended! I will always live by “What Would Jesus Do?”
April 12th 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 These are great Holy Ghost nuggets for prayer. 16 Verse “Rejoice” means to rehearse past victories from the Lord. Always remind yourself and the Lord of the good things He has done in your life in the past. Verse 17 This means just stay talking with Jesus throughout the day. Verse 18 does not say “Thank God for every bad thing that satan is trying to do to destroy your life.” What it DOES say is, “In everything (not FOR everything) give thanks: for this is the will of God … “
Faith Confession: If I am in a crisis situation, I will thank God for His Word, for His faithfulness to answer, to deliver and to give me victory over the things coming against me.
April 13th 1 Timothy 4:1-5 The Holy Spirit is warning us about satan’s tactics in the Last Days. We are living in the Last Days so we need to stay hooked up to a good church that teaches the truth of the Bible and has the fruit of it working in the lives of the pastors and spiritual leaders. Never violate your conscience or it could become callous and insensitive to the Holy Spirit. If you know you have done wrong, be quick to repent. Now notice verses 3-5 that praying is not only “the religious thing to do” but it is the faith thing to do. We don’t have to live in fear about we eat because when we pray in faith it is sanctified, that means blessed by God, to do us only good and not harm. I have prayed for many years Exodus 23:25-26 over my food.
Faith Confession: (Pray something like this over your meals). “Father, thank You for Exodus 23:25-26. Because I serve You, You said it is Your will to bless my bread (means my food) and bless my water (means what I drink) and take sickness away from the midst of me, and my family will have all the healthy babies that you plan for them and the number of my days You will fulfill (that means live a long life). In Jesus Name. Amen
April 14th Philippians 4:6-7 Verse 4 “Be careful for nothing (means don’t worry about anything) but in everything by prayer and supplication (this means be specific about what you are asking) with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God.” God is the only one who can answer your prayers so don’t insult Him by praying and then whining on social media or to others about what you don’t have. That qualifies you for verse 7 “and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Faith Confession: I refuse to let worry and fear control my life. I am a person of prayer to the Father in the Name of Jesus. I am thankful when I pray and I know He hears me and He always answers for good on my behalf. Because of that, I live in the peace of God and I always go to sleep at night like a believer!
April 15th 1 Peter 4:7-8 As a Born Again child of God you can’t live like the world lives because we are living in the last of the Last Days. Train yourself to be serious in your prayer life. Don’t just spout off, based upon current events and things you hear or see in the news. When you pray, do what Jesus said, find a quiet place with your Bible and your heart open, for the Holy Spirit to lead you in who to pray for and how to pray. Verse 8 Continually monitor your love walk! If you don’t treat people who are created in the image of God with love and respect, your prayers will be hindered.
Faith Confession: I am a serious believer and I realize that we are living in the last of the Last Days. Because of that I take prayer seriously. I don’t just spout a bunch of goofy words. I always set aside quiet time for my Bible and the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart about who and how to pray. Above all else, I refuse to participate in gossip or strife but will always yield to the love nature of God that is within me.
April 16th Mark 11:25-26 Harboring unforgiveness in your heart according to Jesus is a major blocker of answered prayer. In Galatians 5:6 the Holy Spirit through Paul said, “Faith works by love.” Love always forgives. Love is the first fruit of the Spirit that all believers possess. We have the ability to love and forgive, not from our heads, but from our hearts. According to Jesus, when you are praying, if the Holy Spirit shows you someone who you are offended at, immediately say “Lord I forgive them” to get rid of any blockages to answered prayer.
Faith Confession: I want the Father’s blessing on my prayers, so I am quick to forgive and show mercy to those who have wronged me.
April 17th Matthew 5:44-38 Verse 48 Jesus tells us we are to be mature, even as our Father is mature. We need to go back and read verses 43 -47 to see how a mature believer conducts himself. “Love your enemies, bless them, do good to them, and pray for them.” Even unbelievers treat people good who treat them good, but Jesus said not only do we treat people good who love us, but also to be a blessing to the unlovely.
Faith Confession: I choose to live and conduct myself as a mature Christian. I know that love and forgiveness are a major key to answered prayer.
April 18th James 5:13-16 Wow! These few verses are loaded with wisdom from the Holy Ghost about prayer. Meditate on them and notice in different situations how you are to pray and I will teach on them over the next few days.
Faith Confession: I am a person of prayer. I am Word fed and Spirit led about how to pray in every situation of life.
April 19th James 5:13 The word “afflicted” simply means going through a hard time. When you have renewed your mind with the Word of God in how to pray affectively, the best one to pray for you is you. Go over all the things I have been teaching this month and develop faith in your faith for praying.
Faith Confession: I have confidence in my prayers because I know when I pray God’s Word I know I’ve prayed the answer. His word does not return void, but His Word always bears fruit. I always thank Him in advance because I know the answer is on the way.
April 20th James 5:14-15 One way that Jesus heals, but not the only way, is through the elders of the church. Notice this verse says, “If you are sick YOU call for the elders of the church” unless you are incapacitated, then have someone else call. Notice in verse 15 when the elders “pray the prayer of faith the Lord will heal you and if you have committed sins, He will forgive you.” Make sure the elders you go to believe in healing and know how to pray the prayer of faith.
Faith Confession: If I am ever sick and have trouble receiving healing, I will call for the elders of the church to anoint me with oil and pray the prayer of faith. I know the Lord will heal me, raise me up, and if I need forgiveness, He will forgive me.
April 21st James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another …” doesn’t mean that you go around telling everybody about your sins and your weaknesses. It means when you are having trouble with a sin or an area of life, have a prayer partner or friend who you know you can trust to keep their mouth shut pray for you, and then “pray one for another that you may be healed”. The last half of this verse says that a righteousness person’s prayers have Holy Ghost power and get supernatural results. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that all Born Again Christians become righteous by the Blood of Jesus. When the Lord talks about a righteous man He is talking about you and He is talking about me because that is our new nature.
Faith Confession: When I pray, I get supernatural results because I am righteous because Christ lives big in me.
April 22nd 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 We are believing for a major move of God in our nation and around the world. These verses are God’s instructions for how to pray to change our nation, our state, our city, our family, our church or anything else where we want to see God move in a mighty way.
Faith Confession: Father, I pray from Your Word to have free course across our land, in our government, in our churches, in our families, and for delivering us from unprincipled and wicked people Thank You Lord for Your faithfulness and for establishing us and keeping us from evil.
April 23rd Isaiah 55:11, Jeremiah 1:11-12 In verse 11 Jeremiah said, “I see a bud, a blossom of an almond tree.” Jeremiah saw there was life in the almond tree and it was growing and reproducing. Verse 12 The Lord said “My word is like that in the Spirit realm (I am watching over My Word to perform it).” Jesus said in Mark 16:20 “I will work with you to confirm My Word with signs following.” The common denominator in these three passages is the power and the answer is in praying and speaking God’s Word.
Faith Confession: Because I know that God’s Word is alive and full of power, I will always talk in line with His Word, I will always pray His Word, and He is watching over it to bring it to pass in my life.
April 24th 1 Timothy 2:1-5 This passage is the Holy Spirit’s answer to all of our nation’s and the entire world’s problems. In verse 4 “The will of God is for all men to be saved and know the truth.” In verse 5 “The truth is, there is one God and mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” The result is in verse 2 “… we can live a quiet and peaceable life …”
Faith Confession: I will discipline myself to not complain about all of the problems in our nation, but commit myself to obey God’s Word and praying for our government and our leaders.
April 25th John 15:7-8 If verse 7 said, “If you abide in Me, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.” If it said only that then we would all have it made. But it says, “If you abide in Me AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU … To abide in Jesus means to be Born Again and living for Him. For His Word to abide in you means for His Word to be alive in you to be real to you and allow it to guide your life and be a part of your decision making process. When you pray it will be automatic that the Word of God comes out of your mouth and then “it shall be done Unto You”. Verse 8 paraphrased “You bear much prayer fruit And Your Father gets glory.
Faith Confession: Because I live in Jesus and His Word is alive in me, I bear much prayer fruit when I pray and my Father gets glory.
April 26th Colossians 1:9-14 Another spirit inspired prayer for believers. For many years I have frequently prayed this for myself and fellow believers. Verse 9 when you are filled with the knowledge of God’s will, wisdom and spiritual understanding. Verse 10 you will walk worthy of the Lord pleasing Him and being fruitful and increasing in the knowledge of God. Verse 11 you need to be strengthened with His power to all patience. (That means endure through hard times) and long suffering (putting up with difficult people) and keeping your joy. Verse 12 Be thankful for your spiritual inheritance and verse 13 that you have already (past tense not going to be) delivered from the authority of darkness and your citizenship is in the Kingdom of God.
Faith Confession: Pray these verses for yourself and others; And for those who need delivered from addictions, yourself included. Begin to thank Jesus that He has already delivered you from satan’s power of addictions.
April 27th Ephesians 6:18-19 Colossians 4:2-3 Always pray for your pastors and other spiritual leaders to have open doors to people who are spiritually hungry and for inspiration and anointing from the Holy Ghost to be bold and speak the truth of God’s Word in love.
Faith Confession: Because I know one of the best things I can do for my pastors and other spiritual leaders is to pray for them. I will be praying for them to be bold, to be anointed, and to speak the truth of God’s Word in love to hungry people.
April 28th Ephesians 1:16-23 2:6 This spirit inspired prayer is very similar to the one we prayed from Colossians. I want you to notice verses 20-22 that Christ has not only been raised from the dead, but He is now seated at the right hand of God in Heaven far above every demonic force and influence that is on earth and all demons are under His feet. He is the head of all things to the church. But notice Chapter Two verse 6 “We have been raised up with Him and we are seated with Him in Heavenly places at the right hand of the Father”. Remember verses 1:20-22 because we are with Him as part of His body, “all demonic forces and influence are under our feet”. Glory to God! That means victory is already ours!
Faith Confession: I am not only filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, but satan and all his demons are under my feet because I am seated with Christ in Heavenly place at the right hand of the Father.
April 29th John 17:1-13 This entire chapter records the words of Jesus praying for the disciples that were with him 2000 years ago and also applies to us today. Read through these verses slowly and let them speak to your heart today.
Faith Confession: I know the best way to know what is in a person’s heart is to listen to them pray. Jesus wants to live His life through me, protect me and fulfill His joy through me.
April 30th John 17:14-26 Carefully read verses 20-26. Verse 20 says that He is praying these things for us in the 21st Century. Verses 21-23 says that when Christians quit fighting each other and love like Jesus loves, this will be a sign to the world that Jesus lives and was sent by God to be the Savior of the world.
Faith Confession: The best way that I can be a good witness for Jesus is to love and live in unity with fellow Christians. I refuse to get into strife, gossip or bad mouth my fellow believers. By this shall all men know that I am His disciple.