July 28, 2014

Lord, Teach Us to Pray – Week 10

Today we continue a series entitled Lord, teach us to pray!  Do you ever cry out with that same desire as Jesus’ disciples did — “Teach {me} to pray”?

 

Each Saturday over the next couple of months, we will intentionally pursue asking the Lord to do just that—teach us to pray.  I believe that, as we continue to look at learning how to pray through the Scriptures, we will develop into daughters who delight, yearn, love to pray to their Father!!!  This is my heart’s desire.

Jesus was asked this important question by His disciples. One of the places that it is recorded is in Luke 11, verse 1: “Then He was praying in a certain place; and when He stopped, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray.”

Listen to the words that He spoke to them when they asked….

Pray, therefore, like this:

Our Father

Who is in heaven,

hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.

Your kingdom come,

Your 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 (left, remitted, and let go of the debts,

and have given up resentment against) our debtors.

And lead (bring) us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13

The first week, in this series, we focused on the very first, and most important aspect, of Jesus’ instruction—addressing God Almighty as “Our Father….” We found that He wants to be our Father…our Abba Father!

The second week, we looked at the very next aspect of prayer that Jesus deemed of  importance—”Who is in heaven.”  This attribute tells of the utmost importance of God Who is in heaven.  And we also were reminded of an awesome promise from God, that we will dwell for all eternity with Jesus and our Father, Who is in heaven.

Then we came to the third aspect, as we followed Jesus’ instruction,— “hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.”  And we looked at five examples in the Scriptures where Almighty God is described as holy: we saw the Psalmist proclaim that ‘You are holy’…that the prophet Habakkuk called Him ‘my Holy One’…that Isaiah saw in a vision God seated on His throne with the seraphim proclaiming ‘holy, holy, holy’…that Jesus our Lord prayed  ‘Holy Father’…that one of the seven angels praise Almighty God saying ‘You Who are and were ‘O Holy One.’  What a privilege that our Father…Who is in heaven…would allow us to come before Him and call Him ‘holy!’

After that we looked at the next aspect of prayer that Jesus deemed important—‘Your Kingdom come.’  We considered the question, “What is the Kingdom?” by focusing on just two ways to understand what Jesus meant.  The first connotation that “Kingdom” has refers to the eternal Kingdom.  And then to understand “Kingdom” in another way, we looked specifically at Matthew chapter 13  where Jesus spoke in parables and used tangible examples to help His disciples (and us!) to understand the importance of having the Kingdom established in our hearts.  He wants you and me to be in that Kingdom along with Him.

The following week we focused on another aspect of Jesus’ instruction: ‘Your will be done.’  It is Almighty God’s will that we are to be concerned about…not our own.  We considered scripture after scripture and saw our Lord’s constant example showing that it was not His will that was important but His Father’s.  If it were ever possible for anyone to justifiably state and act on their own will, it would have been Jesus; true?  Jesus always desired His Father’s will, always sought His Father’s will, always purposed to know His Father’s will so that He always did His Father’s will.  And what did we find was His Father’s will?—salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ.  We were assured that at the very foundation of God’s will lies our hope, which is salvation through Jesus leading to eternal life.

And the next week we studied the phrase ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ from the perspective of our Lord’s life and ministry.  In John 6:38 we read that Jesus came down from heaven not to do His own will but to do the will of His Father on the earth.  Jesus was always the perfect example to His disciples, and of course, to us.  We, too, can live with that same heart as Jesus did.  God has promised to lead us, to guide us, to show us His Will.  We looked at a number of promises that God has given us regarding our knowing His will.  Jesus, Who knew His heavenly Father like no one else did, desired to do God’s will.  God’s perfect will.  He simply and clearly taught His disciples AND US to do the same.

The following week we considered the phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  We recognized that Jesus IS the ‘bread of life.”  We looked at John chapter 6 where Jesus spoke repeatedly about this.  We clearly saw Jesus’ heart of compassion, wanting them (and us!) to live forever by partaking of the Bread of Life—Himself—and receiving that blessing.  We also looked at  Jesus’ instruction that if they would pray, “give us this day our daily bread…” they would be humbly acknowledging that their heavenly Father already KNEW what their needs would be that day.  For us, just like Jesus’ disciples, it is when we recognize our immense need for God’s provision that we step back from trying to accomplish it (whatever ‘it’ may be for that day) and let the One Who has so much to give to us provide so perfectly for us!  Let’s remember: Jesus answered their plea to teach them to pray, and in the midst of that instruction, He directed them to pray, “give us this day our daily bread.”  Then, He gently reminded them that God already provided that daily bread for them!  (AND for us!)

Then we focused on the next direction Jesus gave as He taught His disciples (and now us!) to pray.  It is the request to “…forgive us our debts.”  In Matthew chapter 18, Jesus addressed the issue of forgiveness in two different ways.  We looked first at the record where Peter asked Jesus how many times did he need  to forgive him and let it go? Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!” Nothing has changed.  We, too, are to forgive “…seventy times seven…”  (In other words, just keep on forgiving!)  Then Jesus gave further clarification and direction to Peter and the other disciples.  He held nothing back in communicating that forgiveness, or the refusal to forgive, is an issue of the heart.  We saw (in verses 21-35) a righteous example of compassionate forgiveness (the king forgiving the servant his debt of 10,000 talents).  And, in comparison, the depiction of the forgiven servant having a hardened, merciless heart that refused to forgive  his fellow attendant’s small debt.  In the completion of this parable, the king then does have him thrown in jail because of his lack of forgiveness.  Jesus tells His disciples (and us!) in verse 35, “So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.”  God through Christ has forgiven us for so, SO much!  And He compassionately, mercifully, and lovingly, continues to forgive us as we repent and ask.

Then, last week, we looked at His next direction to His disciples (and us!): to ask our Father to “lead us not into temptation…”  This phrase must be kept in its context firmly attached to the next phrase, “but deliver us from the evil one.” Of great importance is to remember that God does not “tempt” anyone (James 1:13,14).  And in Matthew 4:3 we clearly see that THE tempter is satan, our enemy.  We are so thankful to know, that Jesus, our High Priest, our Intercessor, our Mediator, our Redeemer, our Savior, our Lord, is right there to help us (Hebrews 4:15).  We are not alone in handling temptation.  He understands and has shown us how to handle satan’s tempting.  We see Jesus’  great example in Matthew 4:1-11.  His response—the very thing that kept Him from being tempted—was the truth of the Scriptures.  Jesus replied to satan each time, “…it is written….”  We, too, can have the assurance of the truth of the Scriptures when our enemy tries to tempt us.

“For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.  Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]”  (Hebrews 4;15,16).

 

This week we look at the final instruction Jesus gave to His disciples (and us!) as He taught them how to pray.  He began to teach them about prayer saying, “Pray therefore like this…” Now, here in the final words of His instruction, He continues teaching them, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Jesus used the word “but ” showing that these two phrases are to be understood together in their context.  (Perhaps it would be helpful to refer back to last week’s blog to review about “…lead us not into temptation.”)  Jesus clearly stated that not only did they need to recognize temptation and evil but also recognize that they could not ‘handle’ it on their own—they needed to pray for God’s deliverance.

In John’s Gospel, chapter 17 are recorded the words of a beautiful prayer that Jesus prayed to His Father.  (Remember the timeline of the actual occurrence of this event!  Jesus and His apostles were together at the Last Supper.  He prayed this prayer at the very end of their meal. Then He immediately left to go and pray in the Garden of Gesthemene with Peter, John, and James.  And we know that is where He encountered Judas coming to betray Jesus.)  Here is a portion of Jesus’ prayer during the Last Supper.

John 17:14-21

I have given and delivered to them Your word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am not of the world.

I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one.

They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world.

Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy) in the Truth.

Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,

That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.

I am always humbled seeing that something of great importance to my Lord at this time was His asking His Father to “…keep and protect them from the evil one.”  It also shows the great love that Jesus and God shared for us!  Take note of verse 20:

Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,

THAT IS US!  You and me …mentioned in Jesus’ precious prayer to God!  He knew we  could not handle it on our own!  Our reliance on our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus (seated at His right hand) gives us the ability, the power, the strength to be delivered from evil.

Oh. How. He. Loves. Us. So.  <3

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This week, in our study A Daughter’s Worth, we have been focusing on finding God at school…no matter what your “school” looks like.  We have looked at dealing with all the different relationships that you girls have as students. And at dealing with pressure and expectations. And recognizing that God is always with us!  And one thing to remember is that His Presence protects us from evil!

Ask yourself:  ______ (insert your name here), how much worth do I have knowing that my Lord prayed and asked our heavenly Father to protect me from the evil one?  How much worth do I have knowing that He always covers and protects me from evil?   <3

“…deliver us from the evil one….”

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About coleen hayden

Coleen Hayden – Director of Women's Ministry - Prayer Ministry Leader - Blog Contributor
Coleen and her husband Robert have been married for 19 years and currently live in the Capital District area of New York State. They have one beautiful daughter, Kassia, who is married to Matt, and 4 delightful grandchildren Elijah, Kaylie Joy, Levi, and Rebekah. She enjoys sewing, cooking, and playing the piano.

Comments

  1. Many years ago, I read a book titled "Could You Not Tarry One Hour". It was all about praying the Lord's Prayer. AMAZING book!!! A lot of what you have shared here Coleen, goes along with what the author shared in this book! GOOD stuff!!!! Thank you for all your hard work putting this together!!

  2. coleen hayden says:

    i am thankful that doing a bible study series on Jesus' instruction to pray is where the holy spirit led me…each week as i pray and consider what to write, i am continually amazed at how BIG God's leading is…and equally how detailed! only a few weeks to go! thanks, christi! <3

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