The older I get, the more helpless I see that I am, no matter my good intentions. The closer others invite me into their lives – the fewer answers I have to their deeply felt needs: Singleness, a marriage coming apart, infertility, debt, disease, unruly kids, loss of a job or vision – old age. Knowing God and using His word to speak to Him, and to hear from Him are just about all I know for the troubles I face – that and having the courage to actually do what He says! (Micah 6:8)
Studying the Bible and learning to pray sound like dissembling solutions – and they may be. But, I offer the following introduction to women in the Bible to women who feel helpless and hopeless. God helps the helpless – including powerful politicians and the wealthy, which most American women are, comparatively. (Isaiah 25:4) In the midst of our pain, you and I are just the kind of women God seeks out!
Can you use this to get started studying your Bible this week?
God has shown us what HE wants HIS women to be like, so he carefully recorded information about many women for a reason. They were not perfect — they had problems — they struggled with unbelief — but they obeyed at a critical point in their walk with God — and HE blessed them. Their faith was the assurance of the things they hoped for, the conviction of things they could not see. For by faith in God the women of old gained approval. (Heb 11:1-2)
What He said about these women may help you to pray more intelligently. What about her life impresses you?
How does the record of her life encourage your prayer life?
Pick one or two women and listen for God to form some specific prayers about issues in your life:
Tamar: Overcame came a dysfunctional family. Her name may mean "like a palm." Because of the value of palm trees in the East, the idea of this name connotes wealth and beauty
Scripture references Genesis 38:6-30; Ruth 4:12; 1 Chronicles 2:4; Matthew 1:3
Rahab: A “working girl” changes professions
Scripture references: Joshua 2:1, 3; 6:17-25; Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25
Ruth: An outcast’s faithfulness
Scripture references: The Book of Ruth, Matt. 1:6
What about Naomi's life impresses you?
The wife of Uriah, Bathsheba: An adulteress restored
Scripture references: II Sam. 11:2,3; 12:24; I Ki. 1:11-31; 2:13-19; I Chr. 3:5; Matt.1:6
Hannah: Giving over her most treasure possession – her first born son.
Scripture references: I Samuel 1; 2:1-21
How does her prayer life inform yours
Abigail: The woman with beauty and brains — and a troubled marriage
Scripture references: I Samuel 25:1-42; II Samuel 3:3
Sarah – Married to a difficult man
In Gen 21:1: "Then the LORD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised." What do you know about Sarah's life? Her life was recorded by Moses in Genesis. She became the mother of nations. Look up Isaiah 51:2; Romans 4:19; 9:9; Hebrews 11:11; I Peter 3:6
Mary: The mother of our Lord Jesus Christ
Scripture references: Matthew 1;2; 12:46; Luke 1; 2; John 2:1-11; 19:25; Acts 1:14
Read the Magnificat. (Lk 1: 46-55) What do you learn about prayer from Mary?
Keep reading! Read about these women —
Deborah, (Judges 4 & 5; Hebrews 11:32-34;)Build your own list! A good resource is All The Women in the Bible by Herbert Lockyer.
Dorcas, (Acts 9 36-43)
Jeosheba, Joash's aunt, (2 Kings 11) and
Salome, who wanted the best for her boys. (See Mat.20:20-24; 27:56; Mark 10:35-40; 15:40, 41;16:1,2)
Remember: "The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. (Ps 145:18-19)