Saturday, July 2, 2011

Jesus' Sermon: The Lord's Prayer

The Lord Jesus gave a pattern for prayer to His disciples
“This, then, is how you should pray" (Matthew 6:9)
(1) Beginning with worship and reverent love,
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name" (Matthew 6:9)
Believe that you are in the throne room of God, kneeling at His feet, with His hand lovingly placed on you. He is your Father, and you are His favored child, part of His family, and what you will ask our Father for is to benefit the whole family

(2) Consecrate yourself by aligning your heart, mind, will and spirit with God’s will.
"your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10)
Let it be your deepest most heartfelt desire to be an active part of God setting things right on earth, just as they are right and good in heaven. Humble yourself completely under God’s hand.

(3) God already knows your needs, but now you are ready to bring you personal need to God, your material bread, and your spiritual bread, because you will now trust God’s provision, and will know how to use it in the right way.
"Give us today our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11)
Father, please grant me the sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit which freely submits to and delights in Your wise and Fatherly disposal in every condition. Help me to be satisfied with Your loving provision in any and every situation

(4) Recognize your need for God’s forgiveness, and for His power to forgive the people in your life.
"And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." (Matthew 6:12)
Once you receive God’s forgiveness, then out of that wealth of His cleansing, comfort and deep acceptance, you will have the ability to forgive all the sins that people do to you.

Listen to Him carefully, because the Lord will help you to realize the people you need to go to, to forgive, to ask forgiveness from and who you need to ask to be reconciled with. This is what living the gospel is all about.

(5) Immediately you are going to be tempted to live for yourself instead, to please yourself and not God, so pray for protection,
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" (Matthew 6:13)
(6) Praise God, full of faith that He is good, He is loving, He is powerful, He is sovereign! He can and will do all of this and more.

We must have a forgiving spirit towards others for our prayer to be real:
"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." (Matthew 6:14-15)
God has made it clear that when you and I cherish sin in our hearts, our prayers are going to be without effect. To have fellowship with God, you have to live out the gospel experiencing God’s forgiveness both from Him to yourself, and through you to others.

The important thing about prayer is not so much about getting an answer from God, but being the kind of person that God will trust with an answer. Without receiving something from God, through prayer, you and I will not have anything of worth to offer anyone else.

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