The Lord's prayer is recited by people many times in a monotone of ritualistic empty word's. When I first was saved I studied Jesus' teachings on prayer because I was hungry for the truth, and wanted to know Him, not mans opinion or formula. I came away changed forever, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see the power and effectiveness of the prayer, when it is spoken literally, and in faith. I was also shown thru study, the depth of the scriptures relating to each request made by the Lord, and how to appropriate scriptures to these verses. When Jesus was walking here on earth, every word He spoke was significant, with great purpose. He never wasted his words. His words are living, and full of power. That is why this prayer is so important. As we study it tonight I hope the Holy Spirit helps you grasp the importance of every word Jesus spoke in this prayer, and that He meant every word He spoke. In the Lords prayer, Jesus encompasses all the attributes of it which are: praise, reverence, petition, and gratitude. It is the perfect model prayer.
Read Matt. 6:5-8, In these verses the Lord exemplifies a prayer of simplicity, and power. Every word he spoke was full of meaning, sincere, and to the point. There is no repetition. When we pray; we can know God is not hard of hearing, nor does He get distracted. He hears us the first time we ask. We may be prompted to pray more than once about a matter, but if we do, let's be sure it's from persistent faith, till we see the answer; and not just meaningless words. The power of our prayers doesn't come from the abundance of our words, but the desire and honesty of our hearts.
"Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name." (ask the men if they know of a place in the bible where the Father is described )
In The very first sentence, Jesus establishes our relationship to God: He is our Father, and He desires our love and devotion, to come to him with open arms and without fear. Jesus' teaching in Luke ch. 15 on the prodigal son reveals to us more deeply what this means, and the depth of the love of God for every one of us. When the son came to himself, and started back home, even when he was still a long way off, the father saw him, and ran to him, embraced him, totally restored that son. This is our heavenly Father. In John 14:9 Jesus said to Philip "he that has seen me has seen the Father: Jesus is our greatest example of the Father and His great love. In the old testament, the book of Hosea gives us understanding of God's longsuffering and mercy. As our Father, in prayer we should consider these things;
The Father already knows our needs, but he invites us to come to Him and make our requests known, because He loves us. Matt. 6:32, Ps. 139:2, Heb. 4:14-16
We are to pray to the Father because He alone is all powerfull, all loving, all wise. We are to pray in the name of Jesus because all power and authority has been given to Him because of His victory over the devil on the cross, when He rose again from the dead. Eph. 1:20-22, Col. 1:12-17, John 16:23,24.
We are to give reverance to the Father and the Son, and acknowledge His holiness. Ps. 89:7
Over the years the Lord has proven to me the importance of honoring Him, treated Him with respect. I've also come to know the truth that He honor's those who honor Him.
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Paul gives us a clear image of the kingdom of God in Romans ch. 14:17 which says "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
When we go to the gospels, Jesus describes what the kingdom is supposed to be like here on earth in even more detail in Matt. 25:31-46. This could be an entire study in itself, but there isn't enough time tonight. I encourage you to do this on your own.
It is no coincidence that the very last thing spoken in the bible in Rev. 22:20 by Jesus himself is "Surely I come quickly", and John responds immediately with the following words "even so, come, Lord Jesus." When Christ returns, this sin sick world will be restored to the beauty and glory that it was before Adam and Eve fell....and God's kingdom will be here for eternity.
Is. 64:4, and1Cor 2:9 tells us "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
Paul goes on to say further in 1Cor 2:10-12 "But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but by the Spirit of God. Now we have received , not the spirit of the world, but the spirit of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." As we walk out our pilgrimage down here, and grow and mature, the Holy Spirit reveals the riches in glory in Christ Jesus, as we seek to know them. But, we will only know in part, and see in part until Christ comes and we reign with him in His kingdom.....I am waiting anxiously for that day.
Acts 14:22 tells us "that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." When we walk with God on this earth we are going to come up against opposition, and persecution whether we like it or not, if Jesus suffered, we will suffer. We have to settle this in our hearts, and make up our minds whether we will walk this out for Him or not.
Give us this day our daily bread. Throughout the bible we are given many promises of God's desire to meet our needs, and bless us abundantly, but there are conditions. Our obedience, and the condition of our heart opens the door to His blessings. We only have time for a few tonight.
The Psalms and Proverbs have many promises we can stand on. Ps. 34:9,10 says "O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger; but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." The word fear here also means reverence, and respect. Ps. 37:25 David says toward the end of his life "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." The new testament has many promises as well, "Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made unto God." But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus", But we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Cast all your care on the Lord, for he cares for you." Note: We as Christians complain far too much, especially in this country. We should study what the persecuted Christians have to endure in other countries."
Prov. 30:8,9 sums up what should be in our hearts concerning our life here "remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." These verses are in line with Jesus speaking in Matt. 6:33, 34 "But, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you. Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof."
God has created us speaking spirits, and given us the privilege of prayer to make our requests known, and has given us the choice to speak in faith or unbelief. The story of Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt shows the results of murmuring, complaining, disobedience, and unbelief. For 40 years God was longsuffering, but in the end they all died in the wilderness, except Joshua and Caleb, they had a spirit of faith. We need to learn from them. What is in our hearts, and what we speak out of our mouths determines our destiny.
And forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
The most difficult thing a christian is taught to do by Jesus, is to love those who do not love us. His life exemplified that. Matt. 5:48 tells us "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." We cannot do this without the help of the Holy Spirit, I rely on and ask for His help in this area all the time. But while we are down here on this earth the Lord's work in us is to transform us into the image of His son......and until we meet him face to face, it is a continual work. There is no such thing as easy Christianity.
Jesus' words in Luke 6:35-38 teaches us "But love your enemies, do good, and lend hoping for nothing again; and your reward will be great, and you shall be the children of the highest: for he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. Be therefore merciful, as your father is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged, condemn not, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and you shall be forgiven:"
Forgiveness does not mean condoning or accepting what's been done to us. It means letting God be the judge of revenge and vengeance. We are to let the offense go, and not retaliate. It also does not mean we are to never speak up for ourselves. Jesus defended himself before his accusers more than once, and spoke very bluntly to those who opposed Him. But, when He did, it was to bring to light the darkness in the hearts of his enemies, to reveal to them their own motives and intents, and for everyone present to see.
The most profound verses on this subject are Matt 6:14,15 "For is you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But, if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." This is as clear as can be, and the choice is ours. I want to be forgiven, and be in right relationship with the Lord. Reading this helps me keep a respect, and reverence for God, and His holiness.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
As speaking spirits, the Lord has given us authority, and power in prayer for protection from the enemy and to be able to change the circumstances of our lives. In the next several teachings I will go further into this realm, but tonight we can only touch on it.
In Mark 11:22-26 Jesus teaches us the power of our faith and our words, "Have faith in God. For verily I say to you, that whosover shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatsoever things you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have aught against any: that your Father which is heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But, if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Here we see the necessity of our forgiveness again in order to receive answers to our prayers. When we harbor unforgiveness, the door of heaven is closed until we do. Over the years the Lord has proven His Word and His promises to be truth, but they must be appropriated correctly, and we have to line our lives up with his instruction, in order to see the results we desire in prayer.
In James 4:7 It tells us what we must do to stand in a place of authority against temptation and evil, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Our greatest weapon against the devil is our obedience to the Word of God. But, when it becomes necessary to speak to him as Jesus did in the wilderness, it is the word of God that we use to destroy the works of the devil. When tempted by Satan Jesus reply was "It is written", we need to study to show ourselves approved unto God, to be able to rightly divide the Word of truth, and use it against the devil to cast him down. It is only by study and digesting the word that we learn over time to use the scriptures appropriately, rightly dividing the word of truth and walking it out in faith.
Note: we would find we'd have much less turmoil, and much more peace and fulfillment in our lives if we would pray more often in this area. The Lord wants to guide us and give direction, but we must seek Him for it. He won't force His will on us. Many heartaches come from decisions made in the flesh, from our own selfishness, and from our own wisdom.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the glory forever. Amen
In eternity, we will look back and see the great privilege we have been given to be born in this generation. It is the most dangerous, but the most glorious at the same time. Because this is the generation that God is going to take back from Satan the rulership of this world, when Christ returns. We as believer's have been given the power and authority to work with Him to accomplish this. He has equipped us with all power over the enemy to rescue the last harvest of souls from darkness, to bring them to salvation under the blood of Christ, and to hold back the devils attacks while the Holy Spirit and God's angels assist us in this last great harvest. We need to digest the scriptures that tell who we are in Christ, what authority we have, and use it, as the disciples did in the book of Acts. God means business in these last days, and we must also.
I encourage you to read the following scriptures and study them on your own, and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you, and reveal to you your place with him. I encourage you to study the book of Epesians, it teaches us of Christs' victory, and authority, and how we need to walk as his people. Paul's prayer in Eph. 1:17-23. In this prayer we are told of Christ's supremacy over every principality and power, and every name that is named, and that He has put ALL things under His feet. When this sinks down into us, then faith rises in our spirits to understand the scripures in the gospels when Jesus speaks of our authority over demons and all the attacks of the enemy.
In 1Peter ch. 2:4-9, we are described as living stones, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that we should show forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. James 2: 5, tells us "God has chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him." This flies in the face of the ones preaching prosperity, praying for 3-4 cars, and million dollar houses. Heb. 11:10-16 clearly explains we are looking for a city whose builder and maker is God, and Jesus tells us to lay up our treasures there. We are strangers and pilgrims here in this life.
2Peter 1:11 says the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ is an everlasting kingdom. As we digest this we need to say with Paul in Col. 3:1-4 "If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory."
In ages to come, we will be ruling and reigning with him in the millennial kingdom described in Rev. ch. 20, and then on into eternity. As we serve him, we will continue to grow in grace, knowledge and wisdom, our development and growth will not end when we get to heaven, or when we reign with Christ here. I pray that God will cause you to seek a glimpse of what eternity will really be like. There are times as I ponder on these things, that I am left in total awe of God.
Points to Review: Prayer Is;
Asking and Receiving: In the known will of God. We know that prayer for healing, reconciliation, our daily needs, etc. are examples of praying in the known will of God. 1John 5:14,15
Seeking and Finding: When we don't know God's will, seek Him until we find it. This is prayer for knowledge of the unrevealed will of God. Daniel is an example of this kind of seeking. God honors our seeking hearts. Col. 3:1, Jer. 29:12,13
Prayer is knocking and Opening: When we know the will of God, but find a closed door, hindrance, or attack of the devil, we keep knocking until God opens the door. This is tenacious, miracle working prayer. Knocking prayer perseveres until the impossible becomes possible. Matt. 17:14-21
(2007 teaching for Teen Challenge)