Category Archives: Prayer

National Day of Prayer

Today is the national day of Prayer. This is actually one of my favorite and most depressed days of the year. I believe in the power of Prayer. I have seen pray change situations for people. I have seen God answer prayers. I have seen provision, healing, love, Joy, and much more restored to people after praying.

This is a day when Christians all over the globe are supposed to set aside special time, and rather than praying for ourselves, praying for our Nation. I know this nation is in serious need. I can look at the violence, the terror, the immorality, the brokenness, the depression, and I know we need prayer.

Let’s remember the words God spoke to The King of Israel in 2nd Chronicles 7:12-16

“Then the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, ‘I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.'”

Today was a cold and rainy day here in Lawrence, and I think it is a reminder to me, and hopefully to others. “If I shut the heavens that there be no rain…” Yet today on this day where we worship, repent, and pray for our nation. Today there is RAIN!

Tonight all around the nation, churches will be having special prayer gatherings, but if you can’t make one of those please turn off the computer/phone/tv/etc… Just take time to pray for our Nation. We need restoration. We need Restoration.

If you are in Johnson County, KS. I am leading worship for a gathering on the campus of Johnson County College. GEB Building Room 233. If you can make it, awesome. If you can’t that is ok, just please take time and really cry out to God. Now, I know this is a short thing, but I have to head out to catch the bus to the college.

Pray Like This…. [9]

“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

7. Forgiveness

8. Deliverance

9, Kingdom

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, “Deliverance” Let’s continue on.

KINGDOM:

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we usually end it this way. “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” However if you noticed at the top as you read the whole pray from the scripture, this section is bracketed. The reason for this is because scholars have found that in the earliest manuscripts, this section was not included.

While it is likely that this portion was not said by Jesus himself, I think it serves as a solid benediction to close out this prayer. I think it is solid, because after we have prayed out everything that we have to pray, this serves as a reminder to end our prayers with worship. Think about those words, “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”

That is a worship phrase. It is honoring, extolling, and lifting the name of Jesus. When we have a time of Prayer, the focus should always be Jesus. That is why we began with worship and honor, and now we are ending on worship and honor. This should always be the way we think. St.Patrick of Ireland said it this way,

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I think this is a great philosophy.  When we think this way, we allow Christ to infuse every aspect of life and not just pick and choose places for him. So if Jesus didn’t say this portion of the prayer, that is fine, but it has become recognized worldwide as a portion of the prayer when recited. So I will allow it.

Remember Christ is the focus so let your prayer be a form of worship and honor to him. Now we have finally finished the 9 portions of this prayer. In a few days I will have one more post to cover some of the interesting themes and overarching portions of this prayer. to help show us how to apply these principles to our daily lives.

Pray Like This…. [8]

“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

7. Forgiveness

8. Deliverance

9, Kingdom

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, “Forgiveness” Let’s continue on.

DELIVERANCE:

We have been working down through the Lord’s Prayer, and examining it as a model for how we should come before the Lord. I know some people are very traditional and look at the prayer as a simple prayer that we should repeat verbatim. I however am a bit more methodical, and I look for the patterns behind what Jesus was teaching. Because Jesus said so much to teach us how we ought to live. So now we have come to the point in this prayer where it says “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Some people take this to mean that if we don’t ask, God is going to lead us into temptation and try to cause us to sin. I assure you this is not the case. Holy Spirit will never lead us to temptation, however we are very good at finding it ourselves. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and He leads us into ALL TRUTH. (John 14:17 & John 16:13)

The book of John spends a good portion of time explaining how Christ through His Holy Spirit leads us into truth. So if He is never going to lead us to temptation, why do we need to pray like this?

What an interesting question we have. The truth about this is that this portion is less about Him and more about us. We think that because we are asking Him to “deliver us from evil” that it is a reminder to Christ to do it. However this is false. Christ is a faithful God, and has already made a way of deliverance through the finished work of the Cross. This portion of the prayer is not asking in Hopes that he might be generous and deliver us. Becuase that would be ludicrous and imply that He doesn’t want us to be delivered and thus needs to be convinced.

Christ has already made a ways of deliverance at the foot of the Cross. He leads us from captivity into freedom. Every day of your life, Christ wants to lead you. He wants you to be willing to follow. He wants you to choose to be Led. You can find lots and lots of temptation on your own. Its not hard, just find the nearest TV and turn it on. 85% chance you will find something that will tempt you to sin. However, Christ wants to lead you away from that. He wants to pull you out of the temptations and into His presence. He wants to lead you out of the world and into His Kingdom. 

Some of us are prideful and want to do things with our own effort and our own power. However we cannot deliver ourselves and we cannot remove ourselves from temptation. This is something that requires God Himself. Christ is actively waiting to deliver you, but He is waiting for you to yield yourself to Him. Remember the words of Paul in Romans 12.

“Present yourselves as a living sacrifice. (Romans 12:1) The only way to do this, and to live this out is by living a Galatians 2:20 lifestyle. We need to be co-crucified with Christ, and allow Him to live through us and lead us where He wants to take us. It is pride and presumption that thinks we are good enough to tell Christ where to take us. Give in to Him, and ask Him to lead you. He will lead you someplace greater than you can even imagine. Be the clay that He can mold, bend, and shape. Let Him lead you and conform you to His image.

Keep on the lookout for the remainder of our study in the Lord’s Prayer. I hope that as you are reading it, you are seeing the importance of this model of Prayer. It is not about simple memorization and repetition, but rather it is about understanding concepts and applying them to our prayer life. We have one more portion of the prayer to look at and then one final thought to help us pull it all together. 

Pray Like This…. [7]

“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

7. Forgiveness

8. Deliverance

9, Kingdom

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, “Daily Bread” Let’s continue on.

FORGIVENESS:

This is often a difficult section. “Forgive us our debts…” This part we like, and we can handle it because we want to be forgiven. We want to see ourselves as clean and good. No one wants to be bad, nor does anyone want to think they are bad. However it is the next portion of this that gives us pause. “As we forgive our debtors”

Wait what? We have to forgive others? No, surely that can’t be right, surely its ok for me to hold a grudge. Jesus just doesn’t understand the things they did to me…

Sadly this is how many of us think and we then rationalize our unforgiveness. We think that its ok to hold a grudge because the things that were done to us were so terrible, but this is not the case and is unsupported in scripture.

As soon as Jesus finished the model for prayer, He makes a very interesting end note. “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. ” Matthew 6:14-15

Jesus, who is our teacher, example, and our Goal has in these two verses, made a direct link between our ability to forgive and our forgiveness. This is so vital. One of the primary explanations of this is found in Matthew 18. Jesus tells a parable about A King and two slaves.

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22

The parable is a little long so rather than share the whole story, let me sum up. There was a king who wanted to settle debts that his slaves owed him. A slaved owed a huge amount, and couldn’t pay, but he begged, and the King had mercy. The king forgave the debt rather than inflicting the punishment.

That same slave then goes out, and decides to collect on a debt that another slave owes him. But when the second slave couldn’t pay, the first had no compassion and had him imprisoned. When the King heard of this he was enraged and sent the first slave to be tortured until he had paid the fullness of his debt.

Jesus finishes the parable and follows it with this simple thought. “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:35

God is very forgiving. He is so forgiving that He gave His only Son, our Lord Jesus to pay the price we owed for our sin. Becuase we have been so loved and offered such forgiveness, we ourselves also ought to be willing to forgive.

Keep on the lookout for the remainder of our study in the Lord’s Prayer. I hope that as you are reading it, you are seeing the importance of this model of Prayer. It is not about simple memorization and repetition, but rather it is about understanding concepts and applying them to our prayer life.

Pray Like This…. [6]

“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

7. Forgiveness

8. Deliverance

9, Kingdom

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, “On Earth as it is in Heaven” Let’s continue on.

DAILY BREAD:

This is possibly my favourite part of this simple prayer. Because it seems so different. Finally we shift from God, and all about God to ourselves, but even in our prayer for ourselves, we learn another great lesson in Humility. We learn to lean into God as our provider.

It was in Genesis 22 that we first hear God called the provider. Oh Jehovah Jireh (which is actually pronounced Yah-howah Year-eh) Let me sum up the events that led to the realization of Jehovah Jireh. Basically, Abraham had been given instructions to take His son Isaac, who was a young man probably in his mid twenties, and sacrifice him on an altar. This is some hard Stuff, but Abraham and Isaac went up the mountain to the altar, and were prepared to go through with it. I go into much more depth on this topic in two of my other articles, (Where is the Sacrifice and An Old Post From an Older Blog) But The Lord stops Abraham right before He is about to do it. Then God gives them A ram to make the sacrifice.

However, the wording here is also fantastic. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Now think about this, Jesus doesn’t ask for enough money to fill his budget for a year, or to buy a new house, or anything fancy. He asks for “Daily Bread.” This may be one of the best lessons that Jesus teaches us. See many of us have a long wish list that we give God on a regular basis and we expect to see fulfilled, and it is an excellent thing to have the faith to believe for Big things, but Jesus prayed for “Daily Bread”

This is partially a reference to the Israelites as they wandered through the desert on their way to the promised land. Let me explain. While there were in the desert, God provided bread from heaven, which was called Mana. This mana is found in Exodus 16. Let’s go to that scripture:

“This is what the LORD has commanded, ‘Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.'” Exodus 16:16

I think the reasoning behind Daily bread is that it reminds us that we constantly in need of the Lord to provide for ourselves. Remember that Jesus Himself once said that it is easier for a camel to fit through a needle’s eye than it is for a rich man to enter Heaven.

When we are in a place where Christ is our everything, we learn in to Him and we encounter Him more and more. We see the fullness of all that He is. Why? Because when we can’t do for ourselves, we recognize our need for Him, but we as humans are predisposed to being self focused and thus when we do not see a daily need for the Lord, we find ourselves with less and less of a need for Him at all. Now this is obviously a fallacy, because the Bible tells us that “Every good and perfect gift is from the Father of Lights.” James 1:17

“Daily Bread” is more than just food for our body, but it is a reminder to our soul of our total dependence on Him. Without Him we have nothing, and to think that anything we have came from ourselves, is foolishness. We begin to see God in every area of our life. We see Him at our table when we eat. We see Him in our workplace, and at our schools. (Even if others Don’t want Him there) We see His hand of providence guiding us supernaturally, and we can rejoice all the more as we recognize our advocate and all that He has provided for us.

So when you pray, Pray like this. Pray from a place of total dependence on Christ. Asking your father daily to provide for you. Ask Him every day to supply, and give you what you need. Put yourself up on the altar before Him, and watch His hand of Provision shake everything.

Well, we are now two thirds of the way through our series on Prayer, keep watching for the last three points. As always, comments, questions, and concerns are welcome. (just play nice)

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

7. Forgiveness

8. Deliverance

9, Kingdom

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.

  1. “‘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
  2. “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
  3. “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
  4. “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.

Pray Like This…. [part 3]

“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

7. Forgiveness

8. Deliverance

9, Kingdom

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, “Hallowed Be Your Name” Let’s continue on.

YOUR KINGDOM COME:

In our prayer, we began with worshiping God, and we still haven’t reached the point fo asking for our needs. Instead, we are praying about the Kingdom of God. When Jesus told us to pray this, he wasn’t just meaning it as kind words, but as a serious challenge. Do we really believe that the Kingdom of God can be made manifest on the earth?

Later in this same chapter, Jesus continues his teaching on Kingdom and says something very interesting.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ”
Matthew 6:33

This verse is a great example of this prayer in action. Jesus is telling us to seek the kingdom, because if we seek the kingdom and righteousness, then the rest is added to us. Why is this important? Its simple, its about putting God first above ourselves. In our society, we have a million things we put ahead of God. Some people put their job first, others their family, and some themselves. But Jesus never acted this way, instead He followed His own advice and established the kingdom.

Jesus devoted His life to the kingdom of God. He gave everything He had to see it happen. He expects the same from us. In chapter 11 of Matthew, Jesus explains a bit more about the kingdom.

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. ”
Matthew 11:12

See, the prayer to establish the Kingdom is not a passive thing, but active. The Kingdom is forcefully advancing, and we as God’s people are called to be the ones carrying it forward. If we put our own desires ahead of the Kingdom of God and the eternal purposes of our Father, we are missing the point, and in the end we are being selfish. Jesus continues to share about the kingdom in Matthew chapter 7.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. ”
Matthew 7:21

Jesus takes the business of the Kingdom very seriously. He even talks about kingdom business in correlation with our place in Heaven. Its important to keep the Kingdom at the forefront of our mind. Not that our salvation depends on it, but because Jesus takes it seriously. If it is important to Him, then it should be important to us as well. So when you pray, pray that the Kingdom would come. Be looking this week as we will continue to discuss the Model for Prayer we find in Matthew.

Pray Like This…. [part 2]

“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

7. Forgiveness

8. Deliverance

9, Kingdom

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, “Our Father in Heaven” Let’s continue on.

HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME:

Our God is Holy, and Jesus wants us to remember that when we pray. You see, to often our modern culture has lost respect, reverence, and the fear of the Lord. We call God our Homeboy, our Buddy, Our pal, and we treat Him as such. However, while He is “Our Father” and “Our Friend,” this doesn’t diminish His Holiness.

I remember when I was a child, I could say anything to my Grandfather, (I didn’t have a dad as a child) But, anything I said, I had to say with respect and honor. We joked, we laughed, and we loved, but if I forgot my place and I said something in a manner that was disrespectful, I got in trouble. I got disciplined. My family taught me respect and honor. My grandfather didn’t expect me to be afraid to talk to him, he wasn’t waiting with a belt just hoping I would step out of line so he could whip me. No, He loved me and he wanted to teach me what was right.

The Israelites struggled throughout their history with this point. They would see God do something amazing like deliver them from Egypt, but then a short time later they would forget and go and do their own thing. They kept falling into a pattern of seeing God as no big deal. The problem is that this eventually led time and time again to their captivity.

Now in the New Testament Paul describes it this way, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21

You can choose to read the rest of that chapter. Paul describes in sad vivid detail what that verse entails. But the Key is that we ought to honor God and give Him thanks. We should respect His holiness and walk with the fear of the Lord, not fear of a beating, but the kind of fear that brings us to our knees in awe and majesty. Look at Isaiah in Chapter 6 of his book. Or John in Revelation.

So, when you pray, pray like this. Like someone who is fully in love with a fully holy God. Don’t stress over your prayer, but also don’t be flippant. Love, Honor, and Cherish your ability to speak to the King of Heaven. Remember, this is the same God that Daniel described. The same God that made Isaiah tremble. The same God that made John (the one He Loved) fall on his face.

Imagine that last part for a minute. John was described as “The Disciple Jesus Loved” At the last supper, he was the one who was resting on Jesus’ chest. Yet when He encounters God in His heavenly encounter, it stops him in his tracks and he falls to the ground like a dead man. If anyone ever had a right to stand and be ‘chill’ around God it was John. Yet even John was brought to His knees at the sight of Jesus in His fullness.

I love you, and I hope this didn’t come off as mean spirited, becuase it was meant quite the opposite. I want you to experience the fullness of  Jesus, and bask in His overwhelming Love. I also want you to see Him as He is, and not just how we want Hi to be. Be looking this week as we will continue to discuss the Model for Prayer we find in Matthew.

Pray Like This….

“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

7. Forgiveness

8. Deliverance

9, Kingdom

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. With that being said, let’s start right at the beginning.

OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN:

When Jesus was teaching His disciples about prayer, he began with the phrase, “Our Father, who is in heaven.” Why is this  a key to our prayer life? Well first, This phrase tells us who we are praying to. We pray to Our Father, This is a big key, because There are really two fathers. Our father is YHVH, the Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Paul tells us in Romans 8:15 that we as Christians, “…have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” But, is this concept truly a New Testament Idea as some might suppose? No, in fact Isaiah said it in His book.

For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. Isaiah 63:16

By the blood of Christ we have been reconciled to God and can call Him “Our Father” However, not everyone can say this, look at the words of Jesus in John 8:44 “You Are of Your Father, THE DEVIL” In this passage, he is having a discussion with the pharisees, and saying, If you were of God the Father, you would receive me, but you didn’t so I know you aren’t (I am paraphrasing of course.)

Why is it important to recognize Our Father? Well because not everyone shares our Father, and when we gather and we pray, we need to pray with people who share our father. Amos 3:3 asks a simple question, “How can two walk together if they do not agree.” If someone is not praying to OUR FATHER, we can’t agree. It doesn’t matter how they call it, they could be praying to Allah, Buddah, Dead Relatives, Aliens, Long Passed Saints, just about anything, but if they are not with Our Father, we are not together and we will not see our goals accomplished.

It’s also important to Pray to ‘Our Father” because of the unique relationship of a Father and son. Listen to the words of Jesus from Luke 11:11-13 “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

There is a benefit to having YHVH as your father, and Jesus wants you to remember that when you pray. That is why it is the first thing we begin our prayers with.

Be looking this week as we will continue to discuss the Model for Prayer we find in Matthew.