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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Learning to Utilize One of God’s Greatest Gifts - Prayer

In review of Matthew 6:9-13 it says, “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation,but rescue us from the evil one.”

Bottom Line:
Jesus teaches us how to pray.

What this means to me:
Jesus provides me a model for prayer that I can use at anytime.

Jesus provided a pattern to be imitated as well as duplicated. It includes praise for God, pray for his work in the world, pray for my daily needs, and pray for help in my daily struggles.

"Our Father in heaven" indicates that God is not only majestic and holy but also personal and loving. I am to praise and have a commitment of honor towards him.

"May your Kingdom come soon" is a reference to God's spiritual reign, not Israel's freedom from Rome. Christ's reign is present in my heart, and will be complete when all evil is destroyed and God establishes the new heaven and earth.

When I pray, "May your will be done" I'm not resigning myself to fate, but by praying that God's perfect purpose will be accomplished in this world as well as in the next. God accomplishes this through people willing to obey him. This part of the prayer allows me to offer myself as a doer of God's will, asking him to guide, lead, and give me the means to accomplish his purposes.

When I pray "Give us today the food we need," I'm acknowledging that God is my sustainer and provider. It would be a misconception to think that I provide for my needs myself. I must trust God daily to provide what he knows we need.

I know that God will sometimes allow me to be tested by temptation. I need to pray to be delivered from these trying times and for deliverance from the evil one and his deceit. I will always struggle with temptation. It can be so subtle that I don't even realize what is happening to me. God has promised that he won't allow me to be tempted beyond what I can bear. So I ask God to help me recognize temptation and to give me strength to overcome it and choose God's way instead.

Jesus gives me a startling warning about forgiveness. If I refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive me. If I don't forgive, I'm denying my common ground as a sinner in need of God's forgiveness. God's forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of my forgiving others, but it is based on my realizing what forgiveness means. It's easy to ask for forgiveness but difficult to grant to others. Whenever I ask God to forgive me for sin, I should also ask, have I forgiven those who have wronged me.

If I ever find myself struggling with where I start my conversation with God, start with the Lord’s prayer. Get to know God like He’s your best friend. Call upon His mighty name; He tore the temple veil in two to make sure we knew: we have an all-access pass to the throne room of God Himself.

When Jesus walked the earth, He didn’t teach His disciples to preach, but He did teach them how to pray. When I pray I can unleash the power of heaven on earth. Demons will quake and angels are put to flight.

If I’m not utilizing prayer in my daily life, I'm missing out on one of God’s greatest gifts to His children. Prayer is communion with God. It is unleashing heaven’t best on my life. It is keeping my enemies at bay. It is fighting my battles in the heavenlies. It is a tool like no other. So start here with the Lord’s prayer.

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