This is our third and final lesson in our Series about Prayer! We are looking specifically and intently...At Jesus' Teachings and Habits in Prayer alone!
What we are learning in this Series is literally life-altering...If you will take it to heart and apply what you Hear from God's Words!
Let's recap what we have learned so far...To bring us up to our place of Study today:
TIME: Our God Paid the Ultimate Price to give us access to Him...And He deserves more than our scraps in the day!...So we should set aside ample TIME to share with Him everyday!...As well as being in Communion with Him throughout our walk!
POSTURE: Any & every POSTURE in prayer is Biblical & acceptable...Use your whole body to worship and communicate with God!
TO WHOM WE PRAY: It is OK and Biblical... To worship & pray to All Three of the Godhead...Father, Son and Holy Spirit...But in His Model Prayer... Jesus Taught us the way to pray...Which Involves and connects ALL THREE of the Trinity in Prayer!
Praying to the Father...Through and for the Glory of the Son...In the Power of the Spirit Living in us!
We learned that MANY WORDS... Pretty words... Even Biblically correct words...
Are MEANINGLESS... Without true Intimacy and Passion...Because the goal is NOT just about receiving…It is about Connecting personally... About Surrender... About Loving and Worshiping!
Lastly... We opened our Study of Jesus' "Example Prayer" to us...The "Lord's Prayer"... (HOW TO PRAY!)Which we learned... Is NOT just to be repeated...
But it is to be used as a GUIDE... To illustrate the condition of our heart and mind... To show the focus and priority of what Prayer is all about!
We ended the study with only the First Line of that Prayer...Which in reality... Is the most important Part...Let's pick up there today!
Opening The Door...Here is the Whole Prayer for our Study once again:
Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV)
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
The First Line of this Prayer is so Key to everything else...Because it brings us to focus on why we are truly there...It brings our hearts and minds into proper perspective about everything in which we are about to communicate with God!
"Our Father in Heaven..."
When Jesus Taught His disciples to call on God as "Father"...He Knew better than anyone...This was an Intimate Designation...Which could only have been used by mankind...Because of HIS Sacrifice! Because we were adopted into Royalty through what He Did! Because we are seen in all of His Glory... Loved as the Son... Accepted as HE IS... Thru HIS NAME!
Understand you are coming to God the Father...Accepted, Loved, and with All the Authority of Christ!! This is intimidating... And can actually seem brazen or cocky! But realize... It is NOT because of anything WE deserve...But because of how much HE PAID... How much HE HAS GIVEN in His Grace, Mercy and Sacrifice!
Galatians 4:4-7 (HCSB)
4 When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then AN HEIR through God.
We so often disrespect Jesus... By not realizing the full extent of what He Died to Bring us! How much more confident should we be in our prayers...If we truly realize we are coming to "Daddy" as His Loved child...Whom He Wants to Bless?
"Hallowed be Your name!"
This is the HEART of the Prayer! Where we set apart, reverence, worship and thank God...For all He is... And has Done! Where we understand the Awesomeness of the One to Whom we pray! Where we count our blessings...
See His Wonder... Understand WHY we are even here! When our hearts and minds are drawn close, intimate, thankful...We are NOW ready to continue!
Now the next section: (Matthew 6:10) "Your Kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in Heaven."
This could only be done in sincerity and trust...AFTER… Truly recognizing Him as Our Father... And seeing His Love! This is where we see that Prayer is more about changing US…More about changing our will and heart...Than coaxing the Father to do something for us!
We see how Wise, Loving and Trustworthy He is...Now we are to recognize this is His world... Everyone is under His Rule... All are Treasured by Him... And He has a Plan so much greater than ours! He can do so much more in our lives than us...
Because we are powerless, careless and selfish in our ways...If we see our lives as His... If we see other people as His... If we see the True Love and Overwhelming Concern He has for them...If we see the circumstances of our lives... As FIRST Glorying Him... If we see the Mission of our lives as serving Him!
It will change HOW we pray for others... What we ask for... What we want... And how expectant we are to receive it!
This is what "PRAYING IN JESUS' NAME" IS ALL ABOUT!It is not a magical incantation...Which gives us authority to get what WE want at His Cost...It is asking for things we know HE WANTS... That Glorify and continue His Work! That would be pleasing to Him! This is WHY only those intimately close with Christ...Walking with Him...Will have a powerful prayer life!
John 14:12-14 (HCSB)
12 “I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
Here is where many will say, "Well, why in the world am I praying anyway then?
If He's just going to do what He Wants...And He just wants to bend my will to agree?!"
ONE: We WILL have WANTS & REQUESTS... OUTSIDE HIS WILL! And that IS one reason for why you pray... To change your perspective FIRST! To cause you to truly live and walk with Him!
TWO: God's Will is that we JOIN Him in His Work... Right? God's Will IS ALSO...
To answer our prayers and fulfill our heart's desires! So, understand HOW this fits together amazingly!!
1 John 3:21-22 (HCSB)
21 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn ⌊us⌋, we have confidence before God 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.
There are things that ARE GOD'S DESIRED WILL ON THIS EARTH...THINGS HE IS WAITING AND WANTING TO DO...THAT ARE STILL COMPLETELY
CONDITIONAL UPON...US WANTING AND ASKING...OR THEY WILL NOT BE DONE! BECAUSE HIS WILL... IS FOR US TO BE USED...TO BE INCLUDED... TO BE PASSIONATE!
His PERFECT Will... IS sometimes ONLY DONE... IF… WE Trust and Ask!
So... YES... He WILL move the earth... Change the world... On behalf of our prayers... In His Will!
He WANTS to provide for us...
He WANTS to meet our needs...
He WANTS us to marry the right person...
He WANTS us to make the right decision...
He WANTS to Work in incredible ways that Glorify and Prove Him...
He also WANTS to see that we believe He Loves us that much...
See that we Trust Him that much... As a child to a Father...
Know that WE are passionate, loving & concerned enough… To be involved!
Titus 2:14 (HCSB)
He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.
When we pray for things that we know He Wants to do...Provide for His children... Bless others in His Name... Etc. We should pray boldly! Pray with confidence that our Father not only Hears...But that He is actually... Anxious and Waiting for us to ask! THIS... Is where we can gain FAITH in our prayers!
Matthew 7:11 (HCSB)
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
When our emotions are too conflicted...Our hearts too divided...Then... We can honestly give it to Him... In sincere desire... And say..."Nevertheless, Your Will be Done over mine!"
Get this also... He Wants us to be so Confident of HIM... Not self...That our prayers are full of brazenness... Audacity... "Chutzpah!!" Following this Teaching of the Model Prayer In Luke 11...Jesus tells a parable to Illustrate our attitude about asking! Involving a man who goes to a neighbor for bread late at night...To show hospitality to a guest/friend visiting unexpectedly! Jesus tells how the man eventually gets what he asks for:
Luke 11:8 (HCSB)
I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his ⌊friend’s⌋ persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
Most translations simply say "persistence"...But the original Greek word means much more! ANAIDEIA (an-ah'-ee-die-ah')...Meaning: Shamelessness, unembarrassed, bold, not halted by human fears, unafraid of being accused of extremeness or excessiveness! Persistent... Yes... BUT SO MUCH MORE...
God is saying have CHUTZPAH! Ask big... In confidence that if you need it... And it is in My Will! I WILL DO IT!
Don't children ask BIG of their parents? Not thinking about the size or difficulty of the request...Because they know Mommy/Daddy are that big!They know they are willing to do anything for them! Jesus completely Implies the same thing...
Because He Follows this parable with these words!!
Luke 11:11-13 (HCSB)
11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
James 4:2-3 (HCSB)
2 ...You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.
Now... We are ready for the next line! (Matthew 6:11)"Give us this day our daily bread."
Notice we started this prayer…With focus and attention on God and His Kingdom...Then... We shifted to our needs and wants...Now that we have a proper perspective on what's important in life...Now that we have a proper expectation of Our Father! Truly Wanting to Hear and Answer...Now that we see ourselves, our lives, other people...Even our enemies... In light of God's Kingdom...
And His Purposes...Also notice!! IN EVERY REQUEST... This entire prayer uses the pronouns "Our", "Us", "We"
This absolutely does NOT mean…That we cannot ask for ourselves alone! Jesus Prayed for Himself in the Garden! But it DOES MEAN that are thoughts, worries and prayers...Are to be for OTHERS as much as self!!! We are to be ONE with our BROTHERS and SISTERS...As Jesus Prayed for in the Garden! It should be our desire and goal... To lift others... As passionately as we lift self! THIS is how Jesus Loves!
John 17:21 (HCSB)
May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.
Philippians 2:4 (HCSB)
Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
This is where we pray for our very REAL NEEDS and DESIRES...For things in our own lives...For every person whom we love and want to influence...For provisions we want God to Meet in our work and ministry to Him!
KNOWING... He is Willing and Wanting...If it is in His Will... To Answer us.
Remember that He is Honored when we come in FAITH... EXPECTING...So if it is in His Promises...Or for His Work and Glory...And your heart is right and surrendered...Ask in brazenness... Audacity... "Chutzpah!!"As His trusting child!
"Give us this day..."
Of course it is acceptable and good to plan and pray for the future...But God Wants us to focus on... Seek His Will... And Trust Him for right now! By asking for the needs of TODAY...Not allowing worries of tomorrow...Overwhelming stacks of "What if's"...To steal your faith, joy and FOCUS...ON WHAT HE HAS IN STORE FOR US RIGHT NOW! Seize the moment... Be about God's Work TODAY!
Our next Line Reads: Matthew 6:12"And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors!"
If we come in prayer...With obvious and open issues…Of anger, resentment, unforgiveness or hatred in our hearts...We are to seek open restoration…Even before coming to God in prayer...Because we are not serious about talking with Him...Not serious about surrender to Him...If we come to Him... While holding onto these things!
Matthew 5:23-24 (HCSB)
23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
1 Timothy 2:8 (HCSB)
8 Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.
So many times... We DO forgive physically... We DO forgive by choice of obedience to God in trust... And we STILL struggle with that forgiveness in our hearts! Here is where we deal with this issue! See why real, deep, intimate prayer is so life-changing?!
So many people pray for their own forgiveness…In such flippant and blanket statements!
"Lord forgive me of all the sins I've committed since yesterday."
"Lord forgive me if I've done anything to offend You."
Notice where this part of the Prayer falls in the "Model Prayer!" AFTER we have realized and proclaimed His Goodness and Love! AFTER we have seen all He Has and Is Doing in our lives! AFTER we realize what His True Will and Purpose are in Our lives!
THIS... Helps us to see our sins so much more clearly...How our actions, lust, anger, selfishness in life...Have Hurt Him... Have hurt others...And hindered His Work greatly! Even things that aren't inherently bad...Intimately recognize and confess…How you have purposefully turned from Him...How you know you've hurt Him... And made a mess of His Work! With heart-felt repentance... Seek forgiveness in confidence! Then take great joy and peace... In KNOWING you are NOT ONLY forgiven... But COMPLETELY RESTORED AND WANTED... Something HE Wanted to do for you so Badly... That He DIED to give it to you!
Asking for forgiveness... At this place…In our Prayer Time with God...Also HELPS US TO BETTER SEE...How our hatred and unforgiveness of OTHERS...Does not reflect HIS HEART and LOVE...Does not reflect what HE has GIVEN to US...And can never advance His Kingdom!!
Pray personally... And in real interest... FOR ENEMIES…To be broken, restored...To know Him...To have healing from what makes them bitter and hurtful...
For a better relationship and influence on them (if possible)...To be a good witness and steward thru the injustice from them!
Matthew 5:44-45, 48 (HCSB)
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have?.. 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Know that God is Long suffering and Loving towards them...But that HE ALONE also has the Right... And Knowledge... To bring Vengeance on those who truly deserve it!
Romans 12:19-20 (HCSB)
19 Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord. 20 But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.
Protect Us From Temptation!
The next part of the Prayer is confusing to some... (Matthew 6:13)"And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one."
The timing of this part of the Prayer is so significant! It helps us to better understand the meaning! We have just asked for FORGIVENESS of our sins and
weaknesses...IF... We truly MEANT it! IF... We truly are REPENTANT... That means we WANT to change... Want to please... And not hurt Him...The most natural thing to do next...Is to realize our own weakness... And ask for help NOT to do this again!
Here we are simply asking God to keep us from the things…We know we may cause us to fall into sin...It is recognizing your own faults and weaknesses...
WHILE YOU ARE IN CLOSE COMMUNION WITH HIM...Knowing that you may be in a weaker state later...And praying God would protect you….When you are in a vulnerable state...BEFORE you get there!
Asking that these opportunities don't arise…When you WOULD want them! Praying for Protection when you are weak... Or from certain sins! You are asking GOD to literally keep Satan and his cohorts...Away from you in methods and times in which you may fall!
Remember the PRONOUNS HERE!"Bring 'US' not into temptation... Deliver 'US' from evil!" We are to be vigilante for our loved ones...Our family... Our brothers and sisters in Christ... Our enemies! YOU... Are a Spiritual Warrior...
Who CAN make a difference...As to how much access and dominion...Satan has in your home...And in the lives of those around you!
This Prayer Ends... In much the same way it begins...And it is the PERFECT WAY to end your time with Our God! (Matthew 6:13)
"For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever. Amen!"
We end... In worship... In surrender to His Will for our day...In desire to now go WITH HIM... IN HIS WORK...Knowing it ALL belongs to Him... It is all happening because of Him... ONLY WHAT HE DESIRES AND PURPOSES...
REALLY MATTERS TODAY! HE WANTS YOU... TO JOIN HIM IN HIS KINGDOM...
TOGETHER AS ONE! BECAUSE YOU ARE NOW JOINT HEIR WITH JESUS CHRIST...IN DOING GOD'S WORK ON THIS EARTH!
Galatians 4:4-7 (HCSB)
6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Song of Songs 6:3 (ESV)
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine...
He Ends this Prayer... As we almost always faithfully do... "AMEN!" But say it from now on...With conviction and purpose in It's True Meaning!
Amen... Means:"Most assuredly. “This is of Truth..."Or a good paraphrase: "So let it be!"
We are agreeing to all that has been said...And showing our surrender and desire for HIM! Notice Jesus Follows this Teaching on Prayer...With these stressed confirmations:
Forgive, Fast, Don't covet possession of the world, Don't be anxious, don't judge, keep passionately asking, Trust God as Our Father!
What a Perfect Model of Prayer... To train our hearts and minds! God's Perfect WILL... Is for you and I to JOIN HIM... In changing the world around us! Drawing closer to Him than we think possible... In PRAYER!
We have been GIVEN the Right... To stretch out our hands...And "Catch the Intimacy & Power of Heaven"…In our grasp... Here and now!
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