The Ultimate Prayer Guide Part 3

Matthew 6:9-15 NIV

“This, then, is how you should 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 today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

“your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

This is a tough one… “Your will be done” sometimes what happens here just seems so unfair. In September a treasured co-worker went in for hip replacement surgery. 10 days later he was gone.

I had the chance to talk with his wife this past week. She admitted the struggles and the questions, but she also showed a deep-rooted faith that God is still in control and there is a high purpose in all of it.  As a person with Empathy as my #1 strength, I pick up on how people are really feeling. In Deb, I sensed a true peace. It was a tremendous testimony and a reminder that God’s will is the best.

The Ultimate Prayer Guide Part 2

Matthew 6:9-15 NIV

“This, then, is how you should 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 today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

  • “Hallowed be your name”  (NIV/NASB/ESV/KJV)
  • “may your name be kept holy” (NLT)
  • “uphold the holiness of your name” (CEB)
  • “we pray that your name will always be kept holy” (ICB-International Children’s Bible)
  •  let Your name remain holy” (The Voice)

The footnote in the Amplified Bible expands “Hallowed” with set apart, keep and treat as holy, revere.

In the Old Testament, people considered God’s name to be too holy to speak out loud, Even when they wrote it they didn’t use all the letters, thus the reason we only have YWHW.

Today, His name is tossed around casually to profanity. Reading this phrase in the different translations reminds me that God is holy and we are to uphold the holiness of His name. That doesn’t mean we don’t speak it, but it does me we speak it in reverence, for He is my Father and the creator of the Universe. Worthy.

 

 

The Ultimate Prayer Guide – Part 1

Matthew 6:9-15 NIV

“This, then, is how you should 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 today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Our Father… two simple words that speak so much. The creator of the universe is our Father.  I get that many people think of “father” and shiver or fill with rage because my dad worked swing shift and I basically saw him on weekends he felt “absent.” And truthfully there are times when I feel like God is absent. But I know my dad loved me and was proud of me. He provided for my needs and more.   Likewise and even more so, I trust my heavenly Father is here for me.

Though my father and mother forsake me,
    the Lord will receive me. Psalm  27:10 

 

Time and Place

Matthew 6:5-8 NIV

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“… your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Sometimes I think, “Then why do I need to pray? God knows what I need.” And I think it’s because He wants a relationship with me.  Not just “Give me God!” relationship, but one like we have with our earthly fathers. Yes, I know there are a lot of messed up relationships with fathers, but I mean the way God intended it.  A father that loves, listens, gives advice and disciplines and who provides.  Not my every want, but my needs and often enough He provides the wants.

Today is one of those days where I feel like I need to crawl up into my Father’s lap and just get a hug!

The scripture is chosen from http://www.swtblessings.com/ Prayer Writing Plan.

 

The Sun Rises on All

Matthew 5:43-45  NIV

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Back in the Sermon on the Mount, this time from Matthews account.

Jesus reminded those listeners as He reminds us, go against the norm. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. As we all know the sun rises for all of us, whether we are evil or good.

It’s so hard to love those enemies that get under our skin.  I can think of a situation where I would much rather thump the persons than pray for them.  But the passages following this one reminds us there is no reward in loving those who love you, but we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.  A tall order to say the least, but thankfully, Jesus didn’t leave us empty handed, we have the Holy Spirit to help us.

Fig Trees

Mark 11:24-25 (NIV)

24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

The context here is Jesus had cursed the fig tree the day before and the disciples were amazed that it had withered. Which is a little interesting to see they were amazed by that when they had seen Jesus walk on water, heal the sick, and raise the dead. But I digress…

For me, verse 25 is the key thought, “if I hold anything against anyone, forgive them…” That comes with a promise, that my Father in heaven may forgive me. Coming to God without grudges and/or bitterness is important. Grateful for the reminder!

Love for Enemies

Luke 6:27-28  (NIV)

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

The context here is Luke’s recounting of the “Sermon on the Mount.”  I love the part where Jesus says “You who are listening.” As if He knew people would hear him but how many were really listening.

Jesus’ commands here are not easy:

  • Love Your Enemies
  • Do Good to those who hate you
  • Bless those who curse
  • Pray for those who mistreat you

Not always easy to do, but as I was reading this, this song was playing… kind of helps

Context is King

John 14:12-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

This is a great promise. HOWEVER, we have to take it in context of this chapter as well as the entire New Testament. Chapter 14 is part of Jesus’ final words to his disciples before his crucifixion.  There are words of instruction and comfort here, and it is in this chapter Jesus promises the Holy Spirit.

We can go to the Father and we can ask anything in the name of Jesus. But keep in mind, will the answered prayer bring glory to the Father.

Best Call Ever

Jeremiah 29:12-13; 33:3 (NIV)

12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

This is part of the message from God to the Exiles. Verse 11 is a very well known passage:  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…

Verse 12 reminds us to call on God, to go to Him and pray to Him. He promises to listen and to be found when we seek Him. He also promises us that He will answer with great and unsearchable things.

The Right Motives

James 4:1-3 New Living Translation (NLT)

1What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

All about motives, so very true. This passage is kinda intense but it is a good reminder that when I go to God in prayer it needs to be with the right motives. There are passages about God giving us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4), but I think James brings the balance here. It’s not about jealousy and wanting things. Even the passage I referenced begins with “Delight yourself in the Lord.”  God takes care of us, without a doubt, but again, He’s not a genie in the bottle.