Pray Then In This Manner
Minnesota-plane ride, asking God my purpose at church, work, 23 year old bachelor
Why he has me at the church:
-encourage them by being open, we are all called to encourage one another
-encourage them to allow the process of sanctification to take place
-1 Thess 5:9-11
9For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
-encourage them to maintain the proper focus, set minds on things above for we have died and are hidden in Christ (Colossians 3)
-importance of reminding ourselves the truth of the the Word
-impact that has on us when we are tempted and how knowing ?trustworthy statements? helps us be overcomers and not give in to our flesh.
-2 Tim 2:11-13 ?if we die with him, we will live with him, if we endure, we will reign with him but if we deny him, he will deny us before the father.
-want to encourage you all today with another discipline which I read about on the plane and that is prayer.
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles? teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
-similar to the reminding ourselves/laying foundation
-we are commanded to pray
-verses such as 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 tell us to rejoice always and pray continually or Ephesians 6:18-19 tell us with all prayer and petition to pray at all times in the Spirit with the view of the spiritual warfare which is taking place all around us in mind.
-not getting into all the scopes of prayer-too much
-where to pray, with how many people, when, how, using what vocabulary
-prayer is conversation between you and God
-sometimes pray in private, sometimes corporately etc
-we just need to ensure that we are genuine in our prayer life and not putting on a show, using all sorts of ?holy? language when we pray to God just to try and impress people.
-it?s a conversation between you and God.
-He knows your thoughts before you tell him so there is no need to make it sound eloquent, be real and transparent
-I?ve heard people pray this way before and to be honest, it?s kinda sickening.
-would you talk to a friend like this:
?O Fred, O Fred, O dearest Fred, Most marvelous friend and confidante Please share with me your insights and your wisdom and your gracious knowledge?
-if you talk to your friends like that, using all sorts of flowery language, I doubt they ever initiate a conversation with you.
-a model, not the only prayer we are to pray?pray then in this manner
-we are going to just go through it, making notes as we go along but I want to hone in on the focus of prayer->to help our minds focus on things above, not our current situation
-Before we get into the prayer, I want to take a look at Kent Crockett?s revised Lord?s Prayer which he includes in his book, ?I was once blind but now I squint.? The prayer goes like this:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts . . .*
And do not lead us into temptation**
but deliver us from evil***
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
* Deleted from original prayer: ?as we also have forgiven our debtors?
** Except when we want to be tempted
*** Only the scary kind of evil, not the fun kind
Growing up, recite it at every chapel?
What are we really asking for when we pray the Lord?s Prayer?
Section by Section so?
1) v9 Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
-Our Father who art in heaven:
-reveals our inadequacy/weakness as we must rely upon our Father
-humble, reply on the grace
-An element of community (encourage each other through prayer)
15 ?For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba!
Father!? 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
-Christ?s disciples should share in the same sense of intimate sonship to God as father. Approach God with confidence as sons.
-temple curtain torn, approach God confidently
-As a child, we are told that we are heirs to an inheritance but in order to receive that, we must suffer.
-Reminds me of Gethsemane in Mark 14:36 as Christ prayed?
And He was saying, "Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will."
-Christ, the Son, shows us what it looks like to suffer
11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
-Suns game, kids acting up
-If you aren?t being disciplined, humble yourself and pray for it.
-The Father?s Joy in His Son
-Matthew 3:17 at Christ?s Baptism (similar at the Transfiguration)
And behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
-Matthew 25:21 Parable of the Talents (look at later)
"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'?
-Hallowed Be Thy Name:
-Hallow=Hagiazo, to set apart as holy, respect or honor greatly
-On airplane, Indian girl asked meaning of my name: Names are very important as they reveal the character of a person. Same with God.
-Israel disgraced the name of God.
17 ?Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds; to Me their way was like the
uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity. 18 Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had defiled it. 19 So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds. 20 When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name?when they said of them, ?These are the people of the LORD, and yet they have gone out of His land.? 21 But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went.
22 ?Therefore say to the house of Israel, ?Thus says the Lord GOD: ?I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name?s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,? says the Lord GOD, ?when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 Not for your sake do I do this,? says the Lord GOD, ?let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!?
33 ?Thus says the Lord GOD: ?On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. 35 So they will say, ?This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.? 36 Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the
LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it.?
-We see that the name of the Lord will be vindicated when he restores his people, the nation of Israel. And we know this will take place in the period of the Tribulation. Therefore, praying for the name of God to be hallowed, we are really praying for the rapture of the Church and the Tribulation, the 70th Week of Daniel to be ushered in so God can vindicate His holy name.
-Be Holy as I Am Holy
-?Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty?
-3x is the tops.
-1 Peter 1:13-16
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
-We are called to be holy, to live righteous lives
-1 Thessalonians 4:7
For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.
-Holiness is one of what I would classify as, ?premier? characteristics. If he is not holy, he is not God. Period.
-Through the death and resurrection we can become holy, not just justified, but sanctified as well.
2) v10 Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, On Earth As It Is In Heaven.
-We typically want Kingdom conditions on earth now but that?s not the way it works. Like praying for peace for Jerusalem.
-Once again-Reminds me of Gethsemane in Mark 14:36 as Christ prayed?
And He was saying, "Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will."
-Christ, the Son, shows us what it looks like to submit to the will of God and not pursue the easy way out.
-Here he is, at the moment of truth, quite possibly the toughest moment of his earthly life, if you can say it that way, where Jesus was in agony over the thought of what He was about to endure and He was pleading that God would bring it about another way.
-Nebuchadnezzar and his dream of a statue:
-Head of Gold=Babylon
-Chest and Arms of Silver=Medo/Persian
-Belly and Thighs of Bronze=Greece and Alex the Great
-Legs of Iron and Feet of Clay=Anti-Christ and His Confederation
-Stone that crushes the statue=Christ and His Kingdom
"In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.?
-Pray thy kingdom come=pray for that stone to crush Anti-Christ
-Many Parables which deal with End Times such as the Parable of the Talents
Servants given different amount of talents (roles and responsibilities) while their master goes on a journey. He returns and summons his servants and they give an account of what they have done with their talents. To those who used their talents, he said in verse 21, "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'?
-Are you ready to give account of the talents given to you? Not too late
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
-Key is conforming our will with God?s Will
-Should be asking for Psalm 2:8
-Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
-Problem is we ask for glory now.
-But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
-We pray, "Thy will be changed" rather than "Thy will be done."
3) v11-12 Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.
-Manna in the wilderness/Israelites on a Journey like us to promised land
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.?
-Do Not Worry is the next section in the Sermon on the Mount
-Moving on with the part concerning forgiveness, reminds me of the story of two Christian men, Paul and John, who went to church together and were neighbors.
One day, Paul sawed down a tree that was on his property and it fell on John?s house and did a good bit of damage. John came storming out, yelling at Paul calling him all sorts of names and John punched Paul knocking him to the ground. Paul got up, dusted himself off and said, ?John, it?s high time one of us acted like a Christian!? He paused as he glared at John then said, ?So why don?t you turn your left cheek and let me punch you?!??
-This little quip concerning forgiveness is something the church today doesn?t really like to explore. It doesn?t fit with their message which doesn?t include any type of accountability.
25"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.?
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
-Matthew 18:21-35 The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant concerns future
21 Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 "When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 "So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.' 27 "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28 "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' 29 "So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' 30 "But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 "So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they
were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32 "Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?? 34 "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 "My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."
-Our sin toward God is far greater than any sin committed against us.
-One of the most amazing Scriptures concerning forgiveness is Luke 23:33-34
33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
-Yet again, the focus is on the future kingdom. If we do not forgive now, we will not be forgiven then.
-Not to mention it?s miserable living with bitterness stored up.
-Refusing to forgive others messes up our relationship with God.
4) v13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil [one].
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.
-God does not tempt anyone himself but he permits it, as in the case of Job in order to see the reaction of his children.
Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
-1 Corinthians 7:5
Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
-Difference between temptation and proving/testing?
-God provides tests for his children to ultimately bring about good-maturity in a Christian.
-Satan tempts in order to bring defeat in a Christian?s life.
-The name is given after the fact, after one has made the choice to sin or to not sin.
-Temptation is when one has given into their own sinful desires.
-Testing is when one has overcome and proven himself faithful.
-Yet there remains one passage which I?m sure you have all thought of and that is Matthew 4:1-10 where Jesus is tempted by Satan in the wilderness:
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ?If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.? 4 But He answered and said, ?It is written, ?Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.?? 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, ?If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
?He shall give His angels charge over you,?
and, ?In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.??
7 Jesus said to him, ?It is written again, ?You shall not tempt the LORD your God.?? 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, ?All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.? 10 Then Jesus said to him, ?Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ?You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.??
-The same lesson applies to us today.
-We can bow down to Satan now and receive our glory here or we can have self-control and not give in to our own desires. Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak etc.
-We must stay awake and vigilant and pray to our holy Father,
that we would be holy as He is holy,
that his name would be hallowed as we know that He will vindicate his name in that future day,
that we would be found worthy when the kingdom does come,
that his will would be done on this earth
so that all that must take place for his kingdom to come will take place.
As we are on our own journey, as Israel journeyed through the wilderness on their way to the promised land,
let us be found faithful so that we may take possession of our inheritance.
But we must eat of the bread of life daily while on our journey.
And when people sin against us, let us remember that we too will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ
and we will be judged to the same degree as we have judged others in this lifetime.
-So, in essence, we pray the Lord?s Prayer and for his kingdom to come but this may be a two-edged sword. It will be a day of great joy for some, but a day of great despair for others who are not prepared.
-I want to close by reading one final passage and that is 1 Timothy 2:1-4
-1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
-God wants for our souls to be saved and to understand the truth. If we pray in the model we have been given, our focus will turn to the future Day of the Lord and the kingdom that is to come.