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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6 Comments

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