“This, Then, Is How You Should Pray”

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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

“A Living Hope”

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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

We should spend as much time as possible each day praying and praising God for all that He has done and is doing for us. We should make every effort to start and end our day with a conversation with God.  That prayer will lead us to praise and we will find that our days go so much better.  We, of all people, should be filled with praise and joy all day long.  We are the only ones with a hope of eternal life with a living Savior and Lord.  We have received this hope as a gift from God that was purchased with the death and resurrection of His Son. Through the blood of Christ, we have become sons and daughters of God and we have an eternal inheritance that “can never perish, spoil or fade”. No religion on this earth can make such an offer, a gift that is available to everyone but only received by those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are kept and shielded by God’s power.  That resurrection power will keep us until our “the coming of the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.  Until that comes for each of us, we should practice the three Rs of Christianity:

Recall all the good things that God has done and is doing for us. Rest in His everlasting arms that will never fail to catch us. Rejoice because you are filled with the Holy Spirit and have eternal life.

If this doesn’t fill our hearts with joy and our mouths with praise, perhaps we need to re-examine our relationship with Jesus.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“The Right Hand”

3b. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. – Hebrew 1:3b NLT

Hebrews 1:1-3 NLT

Jesus provided purification for our sins when He hung on a cross.  From that cross, He announced that “it is finished”. His work here on earth was completed. God gloriously raised Jesus from the dead and He ascended into heaven. He is there now, at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.

34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. — Romans 8:34 NIV

There are times in our lives when we become so frustrated or burdened that we do not ​know ​how or what to pray. Those can be the times that our prayers are the most fervent and the most effective. God, in His great mercy and love for us, has made a way for us to pray at any time in any situation. When we reach the place where we are at a loss as to what to say or pray. the Holy Spirit prays through us and for us.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. — Romans 8:26​-​27 NIV

When we are praying and we literally run out of words to say, we should stop and consider this fact:  The complete Trinity is involved in every prayer we pray. The Holy Spirit takes our stumbling, bumbling mutterings and groans. He cleans them up and presents them to the Father as Jesus watches and intercedes on our behalf. A simple prayer is sufficient since God already knows what we need. Peter’s prayer “Lord, save Me!” moved Jesus to save him from the angry waves and those three words are still enough to bring salvation.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Not One Was Lost”

12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. – John 17:12 NLT

Protection

Even though we call the prayer in Matthew 6 the Lord’s prayer, it is really an example of how we should pray. This prayer in John 17 is the Lord’s priestly intercessory prayer for all of God’s children. The ones that God had given Jesus to accompany Him on His earthly journey and all the others from then on including you and me. God had given them and us to Jesus because of His obedience. They would now bring glory to Jesus and to God. Jesus protected them by using the name of the Father and now that He is leaving, He is putting them and us in the hands of God to protect us by the power of His name. Once we accept Jesus and become the children of God, we are in His hands for safekeeping. There is nothing or no one that is more powerful than our God, There is no way we can be taken from His hands. Paul tells us “there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love”

.Nothing Can Separate Us 

We have God living in us, we have God praying for us and we have God keeping us. What more could we possibly need? Knowing this should cause us to be faithful and fearless in our witnessing for Jesus.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Elijah Was As Human As We Are”

17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! ​ – James 5:17 NLT

James 5:13- 18 NLT

Of course, we know that God already knows our needs and our situation, but He has instructed us to ask and keep on asking. Jesus told the story of the persistent woman and the unjust judge. She kept pestering the judge until he gave her what she was requesting. God does not always give us what we ask, because sometimes we ask for things that we don’t need. Psalm 37:4 tells us that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts. Have you ever noticed that sometimes, when you pray fervently that what you end up asking from God is not what you were thinking about when you first started praying? That is when you can know that “the desires of your heart” have aligned with God’s Word and His will. Then the answer is always yes. But, if our desires don’t line up, then we often get a “no” or “wait”. Some people say that it is a cop out to pray “nevertheless not my will, but Yours be done”. But that is what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. So, if He set the example, it is a good pattern to follow.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-05-2020

“Your Motives Are All Wrong”

3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.– James 4:3 NLT

James 4:1-3 NLT

God always answers our prayers. He answers us in one of four different ways.

1. Do it now–and of course that is the answer we want so we recognize it right away.
2. Delay–It wasn’t what we wanted to hear so we assume God didn’t answer our prayer.
3. Don’t do it – I’m not hearing that so God must not have answered
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4. Dynamically Different–He answers in such a better and highly effective way than what we anticipated that we don’t recognize it as His answer.

When our prayers are from wrong motives and for selfish reason, His answer is always no. Then, because of our pride, we get angry with God and accuse Him of all sorts of things. God understands that anger and when you get through pouting and ask Him, He will forgive you. God is not bound by our desires or our timetable. Even the “yes” answers are not always immediate. We have to wait on His timing. Do we really want our answer or would we prefer God’s answer?  Remember in​ ​1 Kings 19:3-5  when Elijah prayed “I have had enough, Lord, just take my life.”?  Then think of how God answered that prayer in 2 Kings 2:9-12 when God took him up in a chariot of fire!  If God had taken Elijah’s life when Elijah wanted him to, Elisha would not have been trained to become Elijah’s replacement and Elisha would never have seen all the great miracles. God answered Elijah’s prayer in a way far better than Elijah could have thought of or dared to ask. So when we don’t get the answer we want or it is not in the time frame we wanted relax, God is still in control.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-30-2019

A Steady Stream of Praise Sacrifices”

15 So we no longer offer up a steady stream of blood sacrifices, but through Jesus, we will offer up to God a steady stream of praise sacrifices—these are “the lambs”[a] we offer from our lips that celebrate his name.  ​– Hebrews 13:15 TPT

Hebrews 13:15-17 NLT

We are strangers in this land, we are just passing through. While we are here our job is to carry out the Great Commission. Jesus said go into all the world and make disciples. Don’t just tell them about the plan of salvation, but baptize them and mentor them. That is what we do, as we walk, we witness about Jesus. We should have a continual attitude of prayer and praise, letting people know how much we love the God we serve. Because His Spirit indwells us, God is always with us teaching us what to say as we walk together.  Obey those that God has put in authority over us in the church. We should always be praying for and encouraging them as we go about doing our good deeds. Above all else, continually praise God. Praise Him with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. It will also help to make the rough ​w​ays smooth.

Psalm 34:1-3 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-12-2019

“He Paid Attention to My Prayer”

19 But God did listen!  He paid attention to my prayer.— Psalm 66:19 NLT

Psalm 66:16-20 NLT

Even when we sin, God still loves us. He wants to bless us all the time. But He can’t bless us if we do not confess our sins. When our relationship with God is broken because of sins that we have not confessed, His heart is broken. He leaves the 99 sheep to bring back the 1 lost sheep when we confess. We are never alone, He hears our prayers and knows our situation, but He is limited in what He can do for us because of our sins. God is always faithful to forgive us when we confess and then our relationship with Him is restored and there is joy in heaven. What amazing grace and love that God would love sinners enough to die for us!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 09-10-2019

“The Love of God”

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.— Romans 8:39 NLT

Romans 8:35-39 NLT

The love of God is perfect and is far too great for the human mind to grasp in its entirety.   How could the Creator of the universe and everything in it stoop to loving us?  Why does He bother Himself to listen to and answer every prayer that we pray?  At our worst, we are wretched sinners and even at our best, we fall so short of being what God created us to be.  We can only bow our heads and say with the Psalmist, “what are human beings that you should care for them”?  Yet, you gave up all of your glory in heaven, put on a human body and lived among us.  You revealed your love to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Such matchless mercy, such generous grace and such limitless love is more than we can even imagine.  With our sins, we crucify you afresh every day, yet, you continue to forgive us and love us back to you.  Help us, Lord, to love you enough to be channels of your love to those around us.  Even though it may be painful at times, Lord, stretch us and fill us with your love until we overflow, until your love breaks forth from us and washes over those around us bringing them into “the healing stream that flows from Calvary’s mountain” Amen.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-18-2019

“Who Did Not Ignore My Prayer”

20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.— Psalm 66:20 NLT

Psalm 66:16-20 NLT

God wants to bless us all the time. He gave us His Son, so why would He withhold any good thing from us? For this to happen, we must stay “prayed up”, instantly repenting for any sin that we do, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally. When God’s Spirit brings conviction, we must agree with God that we have committed a sin and ask His forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive us. Then we must thank Him and praise Him for that forgiveness. God inhabits the praises of His people. He is within us, with us, surrounding us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. His mercies are new every morning. Let your first words every morning be praise and thanksgiving. Your attitude will be sweeter and your day will go more smoothly.

Romans 8:32-34 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-17-2019