Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Praying Scripture for Your Family and Yourself

Today we are going to look at 
what Jesus had to say about how to approach prayer, from Luke 11.

We see at the beginning of Luke 11 Jesus is praying Himself in a “certain place.” His disciples witness Jesus praying and ask Him to teach them how to pray. Jesus responded to His disciples with what to pray and how to pray.

What: Jesus gave these words on what to pray. Let’s look at this familiar prayer and break down what Jesus was telling His disciples and us:

Father, hallowed be your name: Hallowed means “sanctified; consecrated; highly venerated; to hallow is “to make or set apart as holy. To respect or honor greatly; revere.” When we start our prayer, may we start with a humble heart in deep respect and honor to the One we are speaking to. These aren’t just our thoughts floating into space. We are communicating with the very One who offered hope and promise through His Word and has the authority to carry them out.

Your kingdom come: The kingdom of God is God’s rule and authority over all things. So when we say “your kingdom come,” we are saying your rule, your authority, God, I acknowledge over anything I bring to You in prayer. May we realize as we pray that we are welcome to bring our petitions and requests before God, but with the understanding that He has the perfect authority and rule over what the answer and outcome should be.

Give us each day our daily bread: This is the first request in the Lord’s Prayer for ourselves. Jesus said “each day,” meaning let us come to God for our dailyphysical and spiritual needs for that day, not in a big lump supply that will get us through the week, months, or even years. This broadens our awareness of our dependence on God as a daily need for His provision and presence…something He longs for from us. Adam and Eve would walk with God in the cool of the day. He enjoys spending time with us and as we receive from God our daily physical and spiritual needs it’s as if we are taking slow walks with Him in peace…not in rush. It becomes a relationship. It becomes a longing and desire for more of Him as we little by little receive what we need from Him.  

Forgive us our sins: Asking for forgiveness of our sins reminds us of our failures and humanness and our deep need for a Savior.  

As we forgive everyone who sins against us: It’s interesting that Jesus included this line in His prayer. Jesus got it – He knew that life is about relationships, hurt feelings, miscommunications. He knew that these ups and downs in relationships happen more than we wish, and there will always be a constant need to extend forgiveness to others.  

And lead us not into temptation: We know from James 1:13 that God does not tempt us to sin. When we ask God that we would not be lead into temptation, we are again realizing that our mind is willing, but our bodies are weak (Mark 14:38). We are weak and have sinful desires, and Jesus tells us to pray that God would help our hearts be strong to fight against the temptations and trials that come our way, even deliver us through and from them.  

How: Now that we know what we should pray, let’s look at what Jesus said abouthow we should pray. Jesus shares a story about a man who boldly asked his neighbor for 3 loaves of bread, and although it was midnight and the neighbor was irritated, he gave the man the bread anyway…because of his boldness in his asking.  

Hebrews 11:6 says, And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  

We are to come to God with bold hearts of faith knowing that He exists,He loves us, and He wants to help us.  

This understanding goes back to the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer where we are to believe in God’s Kingdom come – His rule and authority over all things.  

We are to have bold faith that we can pray to Him, make requests to Him, and accept His perfect answer and will.  

So, as you continue to pray those scriptures for your family, yourself, and your circumstances, may you go into pray with an undivided heart, with respect and awe for God, with little by little requests, and with a boldness of faith in your heart.