Prayer

Once a person has initiated a personal relationship with God, he/she should want to try to cultivate that new relationship with God.

As with any other type of relationship, you can NOT have a relationship without communication; there needs to be you talking to someone and that someone talking back to you.  That is the way you get to know each other.  One talks – the other listens.  It doesn’t work so well when one does all of the talking and the other doesn’t talk at all.  It becomes a one sided love affair, so to speak.

So now we have this “love affair”; between you… and God.  How does that work?

I know that there is this part about how you are supposed to do what God wants you to do but how do you really know what that is?

It all has to do with prayer. 

God made the first move by sending Jesus to die for our sins. 

You made the next move by trusting in His redemptive blood to save you from sin’s deadly fury. 

God has now made you a part of His family; a son of God; joint-heirs with Jesus to the King-hood of God.

The next step is that we are to follow Christ. 

Now we are back to where we started again.  Where do you go from here?

You need two things:

1) A Bible (if you don’t have a physical Bible, you obviously have the internet and there are bibles available online).
2) An insatiable desire to please God by learning and doing what He tells you to do.

If you look around you at church, you will notice that there is not one person around you that is anything like you.  That is exactly the way God wants it, because you are special.  No one else has the same set of skills or personality traits that you have.  God needs YOU to do exactly the things that you are equipped to do.  Sometimes you might know right off hand what those things are that need to be done, but other times, you have to wait for years to find out what it is that He wants you to do for Him.

Prayer

Prayer is another way of saying that we are talking to God.  Unless you know something that I don’t, talking to Him is very much unlike the way we talk to others around us right now.  We can see most people that we talk to (unless they are on the phone or on the internet).  They are visible to us.

However, we have to pray to God “in the Spirit” because He literally is within you.  God, the Father, is still in Heaven.  Jesus, God the Son, is in Heaven awaiting His return for us, but when Jesus left us, He gave to us a “Comforter”, otherwise known as the Holy Spirit – the Third Person of the triune Godhead. According to Romans 8:9, the Spirit “dwells within” us.

I’ll give you one way to look at it but there are many others as well…

Jesus_Teaching

The “Lord’s Prayer”
Matthew 6:9-13
  9 “Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
 10 “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
in 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 lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
forever.
Amen.”
 
We’ve all heard this prayer at some time or another and are quite familiar with it, but do we really know what it is or what it was intended for?  It is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer” but, truth be told, our Lord wasn’t really praying when He said it.  So then what was it said for?
 
“The Lord’s Prayer” was intended to be a model for us so that we might learn to talk to God too.
 
In Matthew 6 at the beginning of verse 9, it actually says, “After this manner therefore pray ye.”  This “prayer” was actually intended to be a model prayer for us to be able to use to talk to God.  You see, prior to this time, normal people were never expected to be able to talk to God unless you were a prophet or a priest or maybe a king.  We were to have a “go-between”, or a priest to be able to have his prayers reach God.  Today we don’t need a priest due to the fact that we are to pray to God through Jesus, or in Jesus’ name.  (John 14: 13-14; John 15: 16; John 16: 23-24; John 16: 26)
 

Let’s take this model apart and see how this is supposed to work.

Greeting:

Our Father

“which art in heaven”

What specific Father are we speaking to (just in case there might be another father in the room where you are praying so there is no confusion).

“hallowed be thy name”

Showing reverence to our one and only Holy Father.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Praying for His kingdom to finally come because we want to see Him again, and that His will will be done on earth as it is always done in Heaven.  Unfortunately, enough, His will isn’t done on earth that often.

Give us this day our daily bread.”

We are asking for our daily sustenance.  We are relying on Him to provide for us our food and raiment for the day.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Help those whom we owe to forgive our debts in the same manner in which we forgive those who owe us.  In other words, “do unto others as we would have them do unto us”.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”

This is very similar to the previous line where, we are asking our Heavenly Father to keep us from temptation and, if/when we fall, that He would remove us from that situation, or “evil”.

This final segment is frequently left out of our current “Lord’s Prayers”.  For some reason, someone doesn’t want it to happen:

For thine is the kingdom,”

His kingdom is here, now!  This is not the same kingdom for which we prayed just a few minutes ago above, but rather we are asking for His Spirit to be around us and to work around us for this “time frame”, the time in which we live now.

and the power,”

… And He has ALL the power in this world and ALL of the power OVER this world.  He is ALL POWERFUL!

and the glory,”

… And because He is all powerful, we will give Him ALL the glory that is due to Him for everything that He does for us and around us, because He is ALL GLORIOUS!

“,forever.”

How long?

forever!”

“Amen.”

Pause, and close the prayer.  (Sort of like saying your good-byes.)

Later in scripture, Jesus taught that “…whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” – John 14: 13. (mentioned above)

So, to most properly end the prayer (but by all means not the only way to do it) we would say:

“In Jesus’ name we ask these things.  Amen.”

 More to come regarding Prayer.

©2013 Mark Davis

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What Can I Expect Now That I Am A Christian?

I see many people that finally make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their savior and they seem to think that since they are saved, now, everything is going to change in their life. All of their problems are gone. They are now going to become debt free. Their job is going to be better and they can finally get along with their bosses. All of their family squabbles will go away and now their family is going to love them for who they are.

Well, I’m sorry to tell you that there is nothing further from the truth than that.  I am proof.

Since I have been saved I’ve had really good things happen to me and I have had some really bad things happen to me. I have been addicted to drugs, smoking and alcohol. Yes, I lived a party life. There were times during that time when I thought things were going really great (at least for me) and then the fun was gone. The problem with that kind of lifestyle is that every thing that you do ends up having a negative effect on you – both mentally and physically. Some of my indiscretions, I feel, I still pay for today both mentally and physically.

The wild times seemed really great at the time (in the back of my mind, I knew that what I was doing was wrong and God was not happy with me and sometimes I even dared Him to strike me dead if I was such a bad person and He didn’t like me anymore – notice He never did) but the fun was only for a while – it could have been a few hours or even a few years, and anything in between.

Some might think that it might be fun for me to go into detail about all of the things I’ve done that was bad, but the only thing that that would do is possibly titillate your senses and bring things back up in my memories that I would rather not think about because those things are “under the blood” of Jesus Christ – He has forgiven me of those things and I am done with them now. I’m sorry to tell you that I am not going into detail regarding my sins. I will suffice it to say that I kind of feel like the Apostle Paul when he said that he was the “Chief of sinners”. If there was anyone that really didn’t deserve to go to Heaven, it would be me!

When we get saved, we are supposed to be changed into a new creation, old things are supposed to be passed away and the best thing is that He replaces those old dead things with new interests (2 Corinthians 5:17). I may be making this sound like it is a walk in the park right here – but it isn’t. Some of those old dead things like to hang on for a while and make our lives miserable for a while longer.

The great thing about it all is that Jesus is right there with us to hold our hands to make the transition easier and so that you can experience the true love of God (1 Corinthians 10:13), from Him and also from others that share your new-found faith that may have gone through something similar. It pays to check with your local church to see if there might be someone in particular that you could get together with that might be able to give you some help. “The help” may be someone, doing anything from just hanging out and having a strong shoulder for you to cry on or it could be someone that feels that the best comfort would be in the pages of God’s Word – in His promises and the things that Jesus did while He was walking on the earth.

The bottom line is that once you become a Christian, life is not going to be a walk in the park – if it is, you are doing something wrong. The thing is that if things are just “peaches and cream”, then you probably aren’t working for God! You see, when we are doing the right thing, the devil is going to do anything and everything to try to keep you from getting your job done for God. If you are NOT working for Christ, the devil is cheering you along on the sidelines because you are doing NOTHING for Christ and therefore you aren’t any threat to him.

Christians, I’m trying to tell you, without pulling punches, that the best thing that you could be doing right now is serving God in everything that you do. How do you do that? Well, you have to examine your life and get rid of those things in your life that don’t have any value in serving the Lord and get them out of your life. In place of those things you MUST replace them with good things that God would approve of in your life, that would make you a better Christian. It will seem at times that the whole situation isn’t worth it for you to do these things.

I’ll tell you this right now, we are made for God’s use not for our own pleasure. If what you are doing is for yourself, you need to rethink it and probably change it. If it serves the flesh, and especially in a sexual manner, that would be unpleasing to the Lord, you need to get rid of it. Break off that relationship that you shouldn’t be in. Yes, it will be hard at first. Anything worth having is worth working for and worth sacrificing for. Sacrifice means that you have to give something up or change something.

Listen to what the Bible says about it all:

Jesus said this:
Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Matthew 5:12 “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Your reward is going to be in heaven. I know it is hard to equate what you are doing when you don’t see immediate reward for it, but please do it anyway.

Paul said this, starting out talking about some of the Jews that were out in the wilderness after leaving Egypt:
1 Corinthians 10:5 “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1 Corinthians 10:6 “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
1 Corinthians 10:7 “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. [Exodus 32:6]
1 Corinthians 10:8 “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
1 Corinthians 10:9 “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
1 Corinthians 10:10 “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
1 Corinthians 10:11 “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1 Corinthians 10:12 “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:14 “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:15 “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.”
Paul is assuming that he is talking to wise people. To people that are intelligent and will take what he is talking about and apply it to their lives to make themselves better in the sight of God.

Remember that, in verse 13 of 1 Corinthians 10, Paul tells us that when we are tempted of the devil (and all temptation is of the devil) that God is faithful and will provide, at the same time of temptation, a way to escape the temptation. As Jesus said above, in Matthew 5:12, our reward may not be evident and obvious here on earth but we will definitely be rewarded in heaven.

You are not the only one that goes through these situations and feelings. You aren’t the first to go through any situation. You CAN get through it! You NEED the help of Jesus to get you through. Just call on Him to help you. He wants you to ask Him for help. Don’t take this lightly. This is a very serious matter. This is a matter that will affect your eternal future and, as a result, it is not something that you should be messing around with. Face this head on with Jesus and kick this temptation to the curb and let the devil know that, with God’s help, you are nothing for him to mess with. He will fail every time if you truly trust in God to help you get through the situation.

As I said before, you are not alone, not only do you have God’s help, but you can contact a pastor at your local church and he will be more than willing to help you get through it as well. We all need to have mentor friends around us to keep us accountable as a support net.

Brother or Sister, I pray with you right now that you will look to Jesus for His help. Call your church or your mentor friend for support. Do NOT let this slip away without facing and defeating your problem.

©2013 Mark Davis

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What To Do Next…?

Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

If you’ve ever wondered what it is that the Lord wants us to do to be in His will, well here you go.  If it doesn’t fit within those walls then you might want to think twice about what you are about to do.

©2013 Mark Davis

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6 Reasons Why Practicing Homosexuals Can’t Be Christians

This is an article that I found that goes along very well with another article that I posted.  I find it interesting how any controversial issue that I post upon draws all the attention from the readers.  This post that I wrote on Homosexuality received the most hits out of any other article that I have posted.  I just hope that people are able to use the information that is written in my article and this article to be able to get a good biblical perspective on homosexuality.  Check out my article after you have read this one.  The link is at the bottom of the page.

DAYS OF LOT: 6 Reasons Why Practicing Homosexuals Can’t Be Christians.

©2013 Mark Davis

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