5-5-5 Daily Devotions

Dangerous Prayers, Part 5 "Lord, Break My Heart"
May 16-17, 2020

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S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

 

Conversation Starter

Do you picture God has having “feelings” such as anger, sadness, joy, and peace? Why or why not?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Jeremiah’s heart broke for the people God loved.

 

Scripture:

[4-7] “Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: “‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back? Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path? Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back? They cling tightly to their lies and will not turn around. I listen to their conversations and don’t hear a word of truth. Is anyone sorry for doing wrong? Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle! Even the stork that flies across the sky knows the time of her migration, as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane. They all return at the proper time each year. But not my people! They do not know the Lord ’s laws. (1-7)

 

[18-22] My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken. Listen to the weeping of my people; it can be heard all across the land. “Has the Lord abandoned Jerusalem?” the people ask. “Is her King no longer there?” “Oh, why have they provoked my anger with their carved idols and their worthless foreign gods?” says the Lord. “The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,” the people cry, “yet we are not saved!” I hurt with the hurt of my people. I mourn and am overcome with grief. Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?” Jeremiah 8:4-7, 18-22 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:

“Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours.” If you pray this dangerous prayer, God will answer it, and you will find yourself burdened over something that grieves the heart of God. Yet you will find incredible peace, an incredible sense of purpose and meaning in your life, and an incredible connection with God when your heart breaks over something that breaks the heart of God.

 

What if God’s special blessings come on the other side of the pain that moves you to care about people on his behalf?

 

Have you ever been tempted to think, “I am such a sinner, I am totally unworthy”? Well that is just what Satan wants you to think to keep you on the sidelines. We’re all unworthy! The fact you recognize you are unworthy shows you are ready to do great things for God!

 

Application (5 minutes)

Are you willing to pray this prayer? What outcomes do you anticipate?

 

What are your thoughts about the statement, “God’s most special blessings come on the other side of the pain that moves you out of self to care about people on his behalf”?

 

Do you believe “unworthiness” qualifies you or disqualifies you to be used by God?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

It’s up to you! As you spend a few minutes praying, consider trusting God as you ask him to “break my heart for what breaks yours.” Remember, God’s ultimate plan is to reconcile, heal, and restore. And he wants to use you to accomplish it! The point is not to simply be sad; the point is to be stirred to action!

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”


Conversation Starter

What is your most famous cooking disaster? Did it cause you to stop cooking?


Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Moses’ heart broke for the people God loved.


Scripture:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh, and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet. Tell Aaron everything I command you, and Aaron must command Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country. But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. Even then Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you. So I will bring down my fist on Egypt. Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites—from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”


So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded them. Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three when they made their demands to Pharaoh. Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Pharaoh will demand, ‘Show me a miracle.’ When he does this, say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and it will become a serpent. ’” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did what the Lord had commanded them. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent! Then Pharaoh called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic. They threw down their staffs, which also became serpents! But then Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Pharaoh’s heart, however, remained hard. He still refused to listen, just as the Lord had predicted.


Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn, and he still refuses to let the people go. So go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes down to the river. Stand on the bank of the Nile and meet him there. Be sure to take along the staff that turned into a snake. Then announce to him, ‘The Lord , the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you, “Let my people go, so they can worship me in the wilderness.” Until now, you have refused to listen to him. So this is what the Lord says: “I will show you that I am the Lord.” Exodus 7:1-17 NLT (Bible.com)


Sermon Insights:

Have you ever been tempted to think “I’m such a failure that God will never use me”? Moses saw his people horribly abused and carried the burden for years. He was living life in the palace, a life of luxury. But the burden grew until one day he snapped and killed an Egyptian taskmaster who was abusing a Hebrew slave. And after having run away, 40 years later Moses stands before the most powerful man in the world and says, “Pharaoh, let my people go!”


Comfort and luxury will not drive you to care about the suffering. Suffering strengthens, pain purifies, and trials actually teach you to depend on God.


Remember: it’s not about you. It’s a burden God has put on your heart. Out of over 8 billion people on the planet, God has chosen you—given you a divine burden, a holy discontent—and he’s calling you to action!


You may say you are a failure. God says because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, you are victorious!


Application (5 minutes)

Have you ever been tempted to think “I’m such a failure that God will never use me”?


When you hear, “It’s not about you,” remember that God loves you personally, and he wants you to love yourself. Selfishness is NOT the same as self-interest. You are called to love your neighbor AS you love yourself. “It’s not about you” means simply this: the best thing you can do in your own self-interest is to center your life on God and His plan for humanity.


Are you learning to embrace God’s attitudes towards yourself? How is that changing how you 1) think/feel about yourself, and 2) care for others?


Prayer (5 minutes)

Do you have a favorite “method” for prayer? If you are looking for a helpful format, consider the acronym PRAY:

     Praise (put your eyes on the goodness and faithfulness of God)

     Repent (be open with God about your faults)

     Ask (ask your Father for what you desire)

     Yield (simply sit, be still, and listen)

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

 

Conversation Starter

What really irritates or angers you?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

David’s heart broke for the people God loved.

 

Scripture:

[32-37] “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”

 

[41-49] Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord ’s battle, and he will give you to us!” As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground. 1 Samuel 17:32-37, 41-49 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:  

God always does extraordinary things through ordinary people like you and me.

 

God uses the humble.

 

Application (5 minutes)

Which of the individuals in this Scripture do you find you are most like naturally? Who would you most like to become like?

 

How did David’s humble beginnings assist in his ability to be used by God (both attitudes, experiences and skills)?

 

What attitudes, experiences and skills do you possess that God wants to use? Are you willing?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is focusing on, appreciating, and thinking more of God and others. Humility makes you more useful to God, not less. Humility is not saying negative things about yourself; it is valuing others as more important than yourself. As you pray, approach God with a confident humility.

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

 

Conversation Starter

What is an ability, talent, or gift that you are proud of? What about you makes you smile?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Nehemiah’s heart broke for the people God loved.

 

Scripture:

These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem. They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

 

When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.”

 

“Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’ The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer. Nehemiah 1:1-11 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:

God has given every believer abilities, talents, and gifts to be used for his glory!

 

The more you use your gifts for God, the more your gifts develop, the more in tune with him you become, and even greater things open up for you to serve him!

 

Application (5 minutes)

This question helps you assess your views of God and prayer. What are your thoughts? Nehemiah’s prayer sounds like he was wanting God to be stirred up to act on behalf of the hurting people. Was Nehemiah’s prayer the result of God stirring Nehemiah to action? What do you think—either/or? Both/and?

 

What is the practical outcome of your heart breaking for what breaks God’s heart?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

As you spend a few minutes in prayer, consider using the acronym “PRAY:”

     Praise God for his faithfulness.

     Repent of the sin and brokenness in your own life like Nehemiah.

     Ask God for what you long for.

     Yield to God by sitting and listening quietly.

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

 

Conversation Starter

Can you point to a time in your life where pain produced something positive?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Jesus’ heart broke for the people God loved.

 

Scripture:

As [Jesus] rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen….But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:36-37, 41-42 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

 

At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.” But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Luke 22:39-51 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights: 

It is better to hurt with a purpose than to exist without one.

 

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they didn’t know the peace he wanted to bring. They rejected him, and it broke his heart! And he willingly went to a cross to pay for our sins. Why? Because God’s heart breaks when people do not know or worship  him.

 

We are God’s strategy to reach a hurting world. When you pray this prayer, “God, break my heart,” God will break your heart, and you need to thank God for it. Thank him for that pain because every day you will be driven by a higher calling and a heavenly purpose—not to fulfill your own desires but to reflect the glory of a God whose heart broke for you!

 

Application (5 minutes)

Through the last week, has God revealed his heart to you?

 

What new passion, burden, or desire do you have for others?

 

What next step are you going to take to reflect God’s heart?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

Consider praying this prayer: “God, by the power of your Spirit, break our hearts. Break us out of our endless pursuit of comfort. Break us out of our spiritual apathy. I pray that you will break our hearts for what breaks yours, that we will truly reflect the power, goodness, grace, and mercy of your Son Jesus, and that you will change the world through us! In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

 

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