Pray Like This…. [part 4]
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’ Matthew 6:9-13
This is possibly the most well known pray in the world. People have said this single prayer, possibly every day since Jesus instructed them in it 2000 years ago. But instead of simply memorizing and repeat it, what if we were to cut it apart into its simple statements and examine them?
There are 9 distinct thoughts expressed here:
1. Our Father in Heaven
2. Hallowed be Your Name
3. Your Kingdom Come
4. Your Will be Done
5. On Earth as it is in Heaven
6. Daily Bread
Now obviously it would be a very long post if we looked at each one of these, so instead I want to divide it into sections. Last time we discussed, “Your Kingdom Come” Let’s continue on.
YOUR WILL BE DONE:
This one is easily the most difficult one for the human mind to wrap itself around. We as people tend to be self centered, and think about our own needs as the primary Goal. Self-preservation actually makes sense if you think about it long enough, but the problem is that what makes sense to the natural mind is rarely what is best.
The root of our struggle with this is actually our ability to trust our Father. You see, if we trust someone enough we are willing to do things that make little sense to us, simply because we trust them and we know they are going to make sure its ok. However, if we read the Bible, we see time and time again that Our Father is good and He intends our best. Here are some examples of this from the scriptures.
- “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
- “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
- “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17
- “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! ” Matthew 7:11
These scriptures illustrate the Goodness of God, and how He doesn’t want us to fail, nor does he want to give us junk. He has our best interests in mind. Furthermore, “Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3 If we truly recognize this, we would think a lot differently. He made us, and we are His people. He is a good Father and He truly has our best interests in His heart.
However, everyone has a conscious decision to follow the will of God. Even Jesus Himself had to choose, and he struggled with the Idea. It agonized Him, not because He lacked trust, but because His Father asked Him to do a hard thing. Sometimes, God will ask us to do hard things, but the truth is that those hard things are great things.
Jesus was praying on the night he was betrayed, and I want to include a portion of that prayer; “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42 Jesus asked if He could avoid the crucifixion. He agonized over it, but He trusted His Father, and He knew it was for the best because HE LOVED US. That Love caused Him to be obedient. They did not murder Him, He freely gave His life for us.
This is one of the hardest ones to come to grips with. Our natural mindset is to want our own way, and when we don’t get it we throw a fit, and complain. But this is not what Jesus did. Jesus was obedient to the father’s will even when He didn’t want to be. He said, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42) Jesus was in agony just thinking about the cross, it was the greatest pain and shame any man would ever face, but even in the midst of that He still CHOSE to follow God’s will. When we pray, we should seek God’s will above our own, and remind ourselves that His plans are better (Jeremiah 29:11)
When we pray we need to set aside our will, and take up the will of the Father. Be looking this week as we will continue to discuss the Model for Prayer we find in Matthew.