I suppose all new Christians begin their walk with many questions, and of course a lot of advice from those who might have prayed with them when they received Jesus as Savior. Several pieces of advice that are always given, and of course, good advice it is, starts with; “Be sure to read your Bible and of course don’t forget to pray”. The first of these is not so hard if you can read, but the second can most often lead to the hard question, how do I pray? I think, as I look back, that was one of my questions when I was saved some 15 years ago now, and I did not have a clue, but I learned a real good way to start was reading the Bible daily, and also truly learning the word of God. Now turn to Matthew 6:7-13. Here we find Jesus, with His disciples on the mount, just after He taught them the beatitudes, speaking to them concerning prayer. “And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Pray then in this way:
“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, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one,
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power, and the glory,
This is a truly beautiful teaching of the Lord, as of course all were and are, but it is not a prayer as we think of prayer. Jesus did not say, when you pray, pray this prayer, rather He said, “Pray then in
this way”. He gave them the principle, a pattern to follow as they went to the Lord with their petitions and requests. I, for one, still have many questions to ask, but I am also learning that the Holy Spirit is a most willing teacher and never fails to give the answer I need, so I always go to Him first and wait.
The first word, “Our” reveals a new dimension in our lives. We are no longer a solo act, doing our own thing, but we are now in a community, a fellowship that includes many brothers and sisters in the Lord. We may not always be in their company, but we are always members of the same body and as such, no longer alone. We are addressing the Father of us all. Now we progress to the second word, “Father”, which tells us that we are part of a very large family that is seeking to communicate with the One God and Father who is reaching out to us. He is the One you are opening your heart to; the One who has tender ears to hear His children calling out to Him.
“Who art in heaven” This is a given knowledge, of where your petition is being heard. He Who sits in the heavens [Psalm 2:4a], is He Who resides in His kingdom and sits upon His throne. He is also the One who has sent His Son to redeem us and we are now not our own, but we are His property (1st Corinthians 6:19-20). He rules and reigns over the universe from His eternally divine position.
“Hallowed be Thy Name”, now you are really at the part that could be labeled worship, which we all should move into as we go into prayer. We are calling on the Almighty God and we are first acknowledging His holiness (‘hallowed’); What an awesome thought. When Moses met Him at the burning bush (the hallowed ground), he asked Him, “Who should I tell them is sending me?” God spoke and said that he should tell them that I AM is sending you. Paul wrote of Jesus in Philippians that God had highly exalted Him and had given Him a Name that is higher than any other, that at the Name of Jesus every knee must bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. As we go back into the Old Testament we find many of the compound Names of God: Jehovah Nissi – Strength – Jehovah Rohi – Shepherd – Jehovah Shalom – Peace – Jehovah Rapha – Healer – Jehovah Jireh – Provider – Jehovah Tsidkenu – Righteousness – Jehovah Makaddesh – Sanctification. There are many others that your study will reveal, but Names to the Hebrew man or woman of that day revealed the character of God. His character is much broader, but that is to be found in further study. In Jesus, all these character virtues are present, because He was born the Godhead incarnate. In the Amplified Bible, in John 14, 15, and 16 you will find bracketed behind the phrase, “In My Name” the words [presenting all that I AM]. He is the fullness of the Godhead and so as you use His Name in prayer you are calling on and expressing all that God is.
(Read Acts 4:12)
“Thy Kingdom come…” You have entered, through your born again experience, the kingdom of God. It is the dimension that embodies the way God does things. You are to call into this earth realm, by prayer to God, His kingdom answer to every need. Jesus said that it should be in the earth the same as it is in heaven. What you are in reality asking, is that the Father not only send the kingdom of God to the earth, but send the revelation into our hearts as well, so that we can alter our lives’ thinking accordingly, now add the rest of the verse;
“Thy will be done … in the earth as it is in heaven”. How is it in heaven? It’s liberty in Christ Jesus, free of illness and affliction, free of lack and poverty, and free of all oppression, and the strength of the Almighty expressed through your weakness as was Paul’s, in 2 Corinthians 12 where God said that His strength and power are made perfect and show themselves most effective in our weakness. The Supernatural expressing Himself in the natural. Remember, that His word is His will, so study to show yourself approved unto God.
(2 Timothy 2:15), and your prayer life will take on the power of His answers. Find in the Word, scriptures that apply to your requests and pray those scriptures as prayer. There are several verses in the Old Testament that address this powerfully.
Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not my Word like fire that consumes all that cannot endure the test? Says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks in pieces the rock [of most stubborn resistance]?”
“Put Me in remembrance [remind Me of your merits]: let us plead and argue together. Set forth your case, that you may be justified (proved right).” [Your case in the courts of heaven is His word] Isaiah 43:26 — Now read and add to this 1 John 5:14-15.
“Give us this day our daily bread” Here you are addressing Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider, asking Him to provide your daily bread. Yesterday has passed and you have today to rejoice and be glad in and He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. He declared this in Philippians 4:19, and nothing escapes His sight and heart, for your ‘needs’ can cover much ground, and not just your financial needs. Jehovah Jireh literally means, God Who sees ahead. He knew your daily needs ahead of all time, since before time was, and He made advance provision for all of them. In prayer, you are traveling a course that will cause you to intersect His supply for you. In the trek through the wilderness, when Manna fell from heaven, they were only allowed to take just what the day would demand for their well being. More taken would only spoil, except on the weekend when they could get an extra portion, to meet every need until the Sabbath passed. This is a marvelous avenue to build faith and trust on and God is faithful to the promises in His word. He is our provider and is to be trusted completely.
“Forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors” There is a great measure of God’s will in this portion – ‘Forgiveness’. One of the most important words to be grasped in this is “as”. When we have any unforgiveness in our hearts, then we are basically saying; judge me as I am judging the one that I have an aught against. We have amplified the “as”. When you go just a little further in Mark 11:24-25, you will find Jesus, discussing this with His disciples, and relating it to prayer;
“For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you and you will get it.
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.”
Here you can see how much emphasis the Father puts on our forgiving others in order to have our prayers be effective. Forgiveness is one of the conditions of answered, believing prayer and is an important condition that the Father places on receiving an answer. Forgiveness and answers are tied together. God’s love is to be the radiant virtue of the righteous and His word in 1 Corinthians
13:7b declares that love believes the best in every person and as such forgiveness is the way of life for the Christian. There is a verse in James 5:16c that makes a tremendous statement:
“…The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in it’s working].”
One of the key virtues displayed in the righteous man’s life is walking in the attitude of forgiveness as His Father has forgiven him. God’s love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5) “And lead us not into temptation” Here we need to see the word that the Greeks used for the word ‘temptation’ properly translated makes this a more palatable request. The word is ‘peirasmos’ and means trials with a beneficial purpose. The way this verse reads when this translation is used is, ‘lead us not into a hard trial or testing’. Again we look at the book of James 1:13.
“Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one (with evil).”
Jesus was saying, don’t pray yourself into a hard spot, your Father is loving and will not be a part of that. He wants only that which is beneficial for you and that might occur in testing and usually does, but not because you pray for it, it just comes as a part of life’s journey and it comes daily, but the Holy Spirit is always there to strengthen you, for He is the strengthener. Spiritual testing is always a growing experience and mature growth is a most desperate need in the body of Christ. John 14:26 Amp . Just for the record, look at Psalms 119:67, 71 and 75: verse 75: “I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right and righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” [Afflicted here is tried, proven]
“…but deliver us from the evil one” I won’t go too far with this one except to say this; The Bible never gives any doubt that there is a power of evil in this world. Some translations have had this to read, ‘deliver us from evil’ and that is not complete. It should always read, “deliver us from the evil one”. The Bible does not teach that evil is some sort of principle that is an abstract, but rather it is a very active personal power, an enemy, an adversary called the devil who opposes God and all He stands for. It is from that power of destruction, that Jesus has us to pray for deliverance. We do know that in 1 John 4:4 there is a powerful statement on our behalf and it declares;
“Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have already defeated and overcome them [the agents of the anti-Christ], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.”
The agents of anti-christ here are the powers of evil and He has already disarmed them and triumphed over them and made a public display of them (Read Galatians 2:15)
“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” All glory to God, Who is able to answer all prayer, prayed in the right manner and context. Prayer is to be a simple conversation with the God of all creation. He is your creator and the lover of your soul and He does not know how to hurt and He is more desirous and willing to answer than you are to pray. Look to Him, seek His face and not His hand and He will meet you at the intersection of any need you have and any desire your heart longs for. Sit down and talk to Him, He is so easy to know and He desires that you know Him well.
There is nothing on earth or in heaven, for time or eternity, that God’s Son did not secure for us. By prayer God gives us the vast and matchless inheritance which is ours by virtue of His Son. God is glorified and Christ is honored by large asking. (E. M. Bounds)
Always remember, we are heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ Jesus.
Remember though, all we have been sharing is not a prayer, but rather it is the “Lord’s Own Principle” for praying, it is a rich pattern to follow.
The scriptures that you have seen in this that are now written are those that you should look up, study, and get into your heart.
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