Saturday, February 25, 2017

Thy Will Be Done

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Thoughts: Jesus taught the way He lived.  When He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, before He went to the cross, He prayed this part of the Lord's prayer- Lord, not my will but thine be done.
This should also be our prayer.  We submit ourselves to God's will.  God's will is done perfectly in heaven.  We pray and work for His will to be done more and more on earth.

Prayer: Lord, Let me seek your will, find it, submit to it, and do it.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Thy Kingdom Come

Thy kingdom come.

Thoughts: The Father has the kingdom.  The Father is the king.  It is His kingdom that is coming, and as His heirs it is ours.  But it is not our kingdom apart from Him- but because of Him.  As we are His, so we are heirs of the kingdom.  As we disown Him, we disown our rights to the Kingdom.
    That we pray that the kingdom would come means that it is not here yet.  There is a sense in which the kingdom of heaven is at hand (as Jesus said).  But there is another sense in which the kingdom of heaven is coming- when we get to heaven.  Jesus said that our response to thinking the kingdom of heaven is at hand is to repent.  We want to turn back to God and straighten up in order to be a part of the kingdom that is coming.  When the kingdom comes- if we do not repent- we are not just left behind- we are rolled over.  But if we repent we are given new robes- robes of the kingdom and made fresh.

Prayer: Lord, may your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  May your kingdom come in me.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hallowed Be Thy Name

Hallowed be thy name.

Thoughts; The old joke is that the little boy told his father after church- "Now I finally know what God's name is."  "What is it?" Said the father.  "It is Harold... Harold be thy name."

Hallowed- full of holiness- is the description of His name.  His name is not to be taken lightly, but reverently.  His name is holy because He is holy.  The word "Holy" means "separate" or "Other." He is not ordinary (or mundane).  He is not natural- but supernatural.  He is purposefully different.  It is not God's job to fit into our expectations or to conform to our behavior.  God does not take a poll to decide how He should act or what He requires of us.  He is holy- other.

The very name of God is holy because the name represents the person of God.  We take God too lightly because we have a very high opinion of ourselves and a way too low opinion of God.  We talk of God as if we are the judge.  We talk of not believing or doubting God too flippantly as if we are God, and He is just there to serve us- if He dares to exist at all.  This is such blasphemous pride. When we come face to face with God (and we all will) the mention of God's name will send shivers up our spine.  In our anxiety to not fell shame- we have tried to say God does not see or care or maybe even exist.  We are like the ostrich who is afraid so they hide their head in the sand- thinking the danger will pass if we don't look.  God is holy.  By the very meaning of that word- if God wants a relationship with us- then God cares about our being holy too.  The fact that we are not holy- that we are indeed covered with dirt and sin- should make us nervous.  

It is the name of Jesus- that we claim- that can make us holy and allow us to be holy.
The holy name of YHWH (I am who I am) is too holy to even be mentioned in the Jewish Bible.  We are not worthy of even mentioning the name.  But we can call on Yahshua- the Lord saves.  Jesus' death on the cross is a holy event that makes us unclean beings holy before Him.

Prayer: Lord, make me holy.  Let me not take my holiness for granted.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Our Father

Our Father who art in heaven...

1) It is more than ok to call God "Father" as opposed to pagan pantheistic or panentheidtic Mother Earth.
2) He is "our" Father- not just the father
3) He is in heaven- powerful and listening

Prayer: Father, let me trust in you. 

Pray

9“This, then, is how you should pray:

Jesus taught his disciples to memorize this prayer that summarized his teachings.


Our Father...

Monday, February 20, 2017

God Hears

 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:7-)

Thoughts: Jesus had just finished talking about obeying God's commands from the heart.  Then he speaks of giving- not for show but from the heart.  Now he speaks of praying from the heart.  
    Pagan prayers often used the technique of working themselves into a trance like state through multiple repetitions of the same thing over and over.  The Hindu mantra repetitions are an example of this today.  Jesus reminds his followers that what counts are not the number of repetitions or many words, but praying from the heart.  Our spirit prays with the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus (for his sake) to the Father.
    Psalm 139 says, "Before a word was on my tongue you know it completely O Lord."   God knows our thoughts and our prayers.  We don't have to shout or somehow try to get his attention (like the prophets of Baal - 1 Kings 18).
     So then, if God knows, why do we even need to ask?  God wants us to ask because 1) It lets us know how our prayers are answered; 2) It draws us closer to our Father; 3) God asks us to ask for His glory; 3) Our asking and his beneficence is a part of our worship.  

     Do not fail to ask.  But don't draw attention to it.  How many times God has answered prayer in my life.  Just tonight someone told me that they got a job they had been wanting for months.  They desperately needed it, but hadn't had any offers or leads for a long time.  But after we prayed in our study she received two offers on the same day.  While God can say no, let us never forget that God can also say Yes.

Prayer: Lord, hear my prayer.  Hear my heart felt supplications and my secret confessions.  Hear my loud praise and joy.  Hear my humble thanksgiving.  Hear and respond with more of your presence and love.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Power of Secret Prayer

5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:5-6)

Thoughts: Jesus reminds the disciples (and us) that prayer is not something we do to impress others..  It is a reverent talking to God.  Earthly prayers have temporary, fading earthly rewards.  We may not see God, but He sees and hears us.  Let your heart out to Him- not to be seen by others- but to be heard by Him.  There is a promise that God rewards the prayer in secret.  Why?  Because God judges the sincerity of prayer.  It is not the words but the heart of prayer that God understands   Jesus later (Mt. 18) encourages joint worship and agreement in prayer.  There is real power when people can agree in prayer. But here Jesus simply wants people to be sincere and true in their prayers to God. 

Prayer: Lord, hear my prayer- done in secret and done in worship.  May my heart be open and sincere before you.