9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. — Matt. 6:9-13 NIV
The most often used excuse (not a reason) that we hear from Christians when questioned about prayer and Bible study is “I just don’t have the time”. God foresaw this and gave us a prayer that can be spoken in less than 20 seconds. It includes 3 things that every prayer should include. It starts with adoration and acknowledging to whom we are speaking. God is our Father and we agree that He is holy (hallowed) and that we are waiting for Him to come back and establish His kingdom here on earth.. That is adoration and we always let Him know that we love and adore Him. It includes confession; “forgive us our debts”, we acknowledge that we have sinned and ask for His forgiveness. It includes supplication or asking God to provide something for us Our daily bread is not just physical food but it includes everything that we need to live a godly life today. We ask for direction as we start our day. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”. Twenty seconds for that prayer leaves you ten seconds to offer up thanksgiving for all that God has done for you up until this very second.
34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. — 1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV
Less than 30 seconds and you have covered all the bases.
A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication or asking
The other 30 seconds? Listen for that whisper! It’s God’s turn to speak and He doesn’t need time to think about it, He already has the answer.
If you make a habit of doing this every morning, you will be surprised at how quickly you will want to pray longer and stronger.
Time spent with Jesus is never wasted.
This is a beginning. My prayer is that it will lead you into a deeper, closer walk with God.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen. – Jude 24-25 NLT
Our prayers should always contain adoration and praise for our Creator. He alone is worthy of our praise. Just as any parent wants to hear their children say “I love you”, so does our Father want to hear us say it. Take the time to sit in His presence and commune with Him. He has something to say to you, so don’t talk “to” God, talk “with” God, Speak to Him and then wait on Him to respond. Most of all, remember, not every prayer has to be a request, sometimes He wants to hear from us just because we love Him. Consider the possibility that if God answered each of our prayers immediately, He knows that He wouldn’t hear from us again until another need arose. He is our Creator, but He is also our Father. Once we have acknowledged Him as our Lord and Savior, He also wants to be our closest Friend. So, as we pour out what is in our hearts to Him, we also need to praise Him and just love on Him. He is waiting to hear from each of us.
This gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
6 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
As Thanksgiving approaches, let us prepare our hearts and minds to give thanks to God for all the wonderful, marvelous ways He has blessed us. We don’t want our prayers to become ritualistic but we can learn from the example of the Jewish celebration of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of the Tabernacles. This celebration begins after all the harvest is in and lasts seven days. During this time those observing the feast build a sukkah (a temporary structure or hut) and eat most of their meals there, God instructed them to do this in remembrance of all the things He had brought them through during their 40 years in the desert. The huts were reminders that they had wandered through the desert without a permanent home. From this, we can learn to set aside a few minutes each day to remember the things God has brought us through. If we are faithful to do this all week perhaps it will become a habit and instead of a season of Thanksgiving, we will continually thank God for His goodness every day. Thanksgiving will become a part of our daily lifestyle.
12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, — 2 Peter 1:12, 13 NIV
“A sensible thanksgiving for mercies received is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God. It prevails with Him unspeakably.” ~ John Bunyan
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time..— 1 Peter 1: 3-5 NIV
Because of what Jesus has done for us, we owe Him everything and yet we owe Him nothing. Our salvation is free and can’t be purchased, so, in that sense we owe Him nothing. But in the sense that we can be nothing and have nothing without Jesus, we owe Him everything. We owe Him praise, honor and glory at all times. We owe Him our allegiance and our faithfulness. We have to go through trials and hardships here on earth but we have an inheritance laid up for us in heaven. This inheritance gives us a living hope that we are totally secure here and now and for eternity. We are saved now but we will not realize the full extent of what that means until we are at home with Jesus for eternity. But we do know enough to know that we owe Him all of our praises, so let’s just praise Him continuously.
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.—Romans 12:12 NIV
Too often, we confuse pleasure and happiness with joy. Pleasure and happiness are temporary. They are based on feelings, external situations and how others treat us. Joy is internal and is a fruit of the Spirit. It is a gift from God and once we have received His joy, no one can take it from us. We can fail to access it, but it is always there. In those times of affliction, it strengthens us to carry on.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.—Psalm 94:19 NIV
We must be faithful in prayer. As Paul says, “pray without ceasing”. We are able to do that because prayer is dependent on our thought patterns and our attitude. We can pray all the time, in any situation. A prayer can be a thought that goes through your mind, It does not have to be spoken.
10 “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind,to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”—Jeremiah 17:10 NIV
A prayerful attitude keeps us focused on God and not on our problems or our situation. When we are focused on God, we are filled with joy because of the hope we have in Him.
21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. 24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.—Gal. 4:21-26 (NIV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
As we have seen in the earlier verses, the Jewish leaders have been trying to convince the new converts to return to the old Jewish traditions. Paul is making the point here that they need to consider the hardships and severity of the law before they turn back to it. He is using the birth of Issac and Ishmael to demonstrate the difference in natural and spiritual things. Those that return to worldly things (the natural Jerusalem) are still in slavery to those things. But since Issac was born to fulfill a divine promise, there is now a choice that we can make. We can follow the fleshly lineage and remain slaves or we can follow the divine lineage, accept Jesus and become citizens of the Jerusalem which is above.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.–Phil. 3:20 (NIV)
But one day, the New Jerusalem will come down to earth and all those that have chosen the divine lineage (Jesus) will be citizens of the New Jerusalem.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband—Rev.21:2 (NIV)
10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
God is waiting to show you the Way.
11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.—Galatians 1:10-14 (NASB)
Paul tells us that if pleasing others, whether they be family, friends, neighbors or society at large, is more important than pleasing God, then we are not bond servants of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not happy with being number one in a race with some idols of our making.. He wants to be the one and only one in contention for our affections. This is the Gospel that was revealed to Paul by God. When we really get hold of this message, we understand that repentance is more than turning from an old way of life, it is turning to a new way of living. Old things have passed away and all things have become new.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.—2 Cor. 5:17 (NASB)
No matter how intelligent we are or what strata of society we come from, we must see ourselves and our righteousness as filthy rags before God. Nothing we have can save us and no one else can repent for us, we have to do it for ourselves.