DAILY DISCIPLINE #125
By Colleen Donahue
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gave to his disciples some straightforward instruction on how to talk to God. Prayer is to become such an important part of life that Jesus laid out a "pattern" for prayer in response to the request of one of His disciples (Luke 11:1) These verses in Matthew 6:9-13 are traditionally called "The Lord's Prayer". But, it is actually a pattern for all of us. It should really be called "The Disciple's Prayer" and thus "Our Prayer".
Our Lord's Teaching on Prayer --Part 2
Day 1- In these two words we learn that it's impossible to pray without a relationship with God. It is "in Jesus" that we become part of the family of God and thus can call God -- "Our Father". Belonging to Jesus makes us also one with God the Father. What startling claim did Jesus make which reinforced this?
John 10:30 / John 14:6,9,11
Day 2- The Bible amplifies some of what God is like as our Father.
Psalm 68:5 / Matthew 7:11 / Romans 8:15 / 1 Peter 1:17
Merely having a relationship to God as his children is not enough. It is when we fellowship with God that we have an effective prayer life.
Day 3- The Jews didn't understand God as Father. They didn't even say His name out loud. They thought of God only as a distant judge. But under the Old Covenant (the time before Jesus) God had invited his people (the Jews) to call him "Father".
Isaiah 64:8 / Jeremiah 3:19 / Hosea 11:1
What was their response?
Jeremiah 3:20 / Hosea 11:2
Day 4- God wanted to be a Father to the Jews. As a Father he wanted to lead, liberate, and feed his children.
Sadly, they refused God as their father.
Hosea 11: 5,7
How did this rejection affect God?
Day 5- So, when Jesus taught his Jewish disciples to call God "Father" this was a new concept. The word for father is "Abba" and could be translated "daddy" -- a very familiar and loving name.
How can we know God as Father?
Without Jesus, no one can know God as father. What does Jesus describe himself as?
Day 6- When we commit our lives to Jesus, what takes place to enable us to call God "Father" or "Daddy"?
Romans 8:15-16 / Galatians 4:6
Day 7- We call God "Father" along with other brothers and sisters that belong to Jesus. Jesus teaches us to say "our Father" and not "my father". We cannot have an effective prayer life without the body of Christ.
So here in the first two words of this prayer - "Our Father" we learn.....
1. We must have relationship with God
2. We must fellowship with Him.
3. We must depend upon Him with others.
4. We must be led by the Spirit in order to call him Father.
"Who Art In Heaven"
Day 8- The fact that we pray to our Father in Heaven reminds us that he is holy and all powerful. We must know God's authority in our life. Our familiarity in calling God "Father" must never sentimentalize his fatherhood. He is not an easy going parent that winks at our faults.
Psalm 96:13 / 1 Peter 1:17
"Hallowed by thy name"
Day 9- The Greek word used for hallowed was hagiazesthai and it was usually translated as holy. To treat a person or thing as hagios meant to treat it as different or separate. The idea expressed in this phrase is that we are to treat God's name differently from all other names. It is a name that is unique. But what's in a name? In Hebrew, a name means the character or personality of the person. God had not one but twelve names! (We'll look at them in a moment). So these names stand for all that He is. We are to give to God the unique place which His name deserves. We do this when we reverence God. To reverence God we not only recognize His existence but that He is a God of holiness, justice, and love. Reverence is more than the words we speak. It involves a life lived in constant awareness of God's presence followed by our obedience and submission to His will.
Deuteronomy 28:58 / Isaiah 57:15 / Ezekiel 36:23
We hallow God's name by giving Him the place that he deserves in our life. I just mentioned that God has twelve names in Hebrew. Each name gives us a more thorough picture of God's nature than one name alone can give. Let's briefly look at these names. As you read your Bible you will probably not see the Hebrew names, but if you take the time to trace the name for God in that verse back to its source, you will discover these same twelve Hebrew names are used.
Day 10- The first name for God is Elohim which means creator.
We all know God first as Elohim or Creator. The angels, all of creation, and the world knows God as Elohim.
Day 11- The second name for God is Jehovah which means "the Lord God". He is the self-existent and eternal God -- the God of his covenant people. In Genesis chapter two we see the name Jehovah used in many verses.
In these verses, relationship is introduced which is missing if we just know God as Creator. This revelation of God's name is given with the creation of man NOT angels. (Notice in Genesis 1 everything is "God said" , "God said" ..... but in Genesis 2 it changes to "the Lord God"). Angels only knew God as creator but man can call Him "the Lord God" because God established a covenant with man. As Elohim, you obey God but as Jehovah you love Him.
Day 12- The third name for God is El Shaddai which means "Supplier".
God is saying to Abraham through this new name "I am your supplier. I am your more than enough God." With God as our father we are to acknowledge him as the supplier of our needs and to trust Him to do so.
Day 13- The fourth name for God is Adonai which means lord, master, or owner.
Now God becomes the one whom we reverence, submit to and obey. Notice that God becomes Lord AFTER we acknowledge that he is the supplier of our needs.
Day 14- The fifth name for God is Jehovah Jirah which means "it shall be seen" or "the Lord will provide".
Here we have God as provider. God supplies your need because you are his child. He does this even if you are a rebellious child. But provision deals with desire. God gives me my desires because I obey him. Supply follows the Fatherhood of God, while provision follows the Lordship of God. He can't supply until you become His child and he can't provide until you obey him.
Day 15- The sixth name for God is Jehovah Rapha which means "He is your healer or deliverer".
Day 16- The seventh name for God is Jehovah Nissi which means "He is your victory or banner".
Day 17- The eighth name for God is Jehovah M'kaddesh which means "He is my sanctification". God is the one who sets us apart as holy.
Day 18- The ninth name for God is Jehovah Tsidkenu (sid-cane-oo) which means "He is our righteousness".
Day 19- The tenth name for God is Jehovah Shalom which means "He is our peace".
Day 20- The eleventh name for God is Jehovah Rohi which means "He is our shepherd".
Day 21- And finally, the twelfth name for God is Jehovah Shammah which means "He is our divine presence".
Notice that everything before Addonai comes because God is our Father. But everything after Addonai comes because we obey God.
So here in the first petition of the Lord's prayer -- "Hallowed by Thy name" we are called upon to acknowledge God as....
My Shepherd and
My Divine Presence
But we must do more than acknowledge. We must trust Him to become for us all that His name and character are.
"Thy Kingdom Come"
Day 22 - This is the 2nd petition of the Lord's prayer. What is God's kingdom?
In other words, when God's kingdom comes we'll see the Holy Spirit's power and the overthrow of Satan.
1 Corinthians 4:20
Day 23- The establishment of God's kingdom must first take place in our own hearts.
John 3:3 / Acts 2:3-4
And then God's power will come through us! When this happens the next thing to happen will be the salvation of others. What will they be brought to experience?
Day 24- As our lives become witnesses to Jesus Christ here on earth, we're also going to see things happening in our own life as a result of God's Kingdom taking root and growing.
1 Chronicles 29:11-12
In other words, we're going to see God's greatness in our life -- His power, His glory, His victory, His majesty, His ownership and His authority! Hallelujah! Could we have any other response but the following?
1 Chronicles 29:13
"Thy will be done"
Day 25 - This is the third petition of the Lord's prayer. There is a "secret will" that only Heaven knows and then there is a "revealed will" that only earth can know.
Day 26- The secret will of God cannot be effected or stopped by man.
Psalm 33:11 / Isaiah 46:10 / Romans 9:19
An example would be prophecy that effects the future.
Day 27 - But the revealed will of God can be opposed and frustrated by men. For example:
Jesus Christ is asking us to pray for the revealed will to be done. Notice that David was constantly asking God to help him do His will.
Psalm 25:4-5 / Psalm 119:27,33-37
"on earth as it is in Heaven"
Day 28 - It is the angels that obey God in carrying out His secret will in Heaven.
We can pray something like this..... "Just as the angels obey your secret will in Heaven so Lord help us to obey your revealed will on earth."
Day 29- So many of us have delayed God's will because of our laziness. We need to pray like David to help us do God's will with speed and strength. Therefore to pray this prayer is to pray that we would submit our wills entirely to the will of God. It demands the submission of my mind, heart and will -- i.e. my whole life.
Psalm 40:8 / Ephesians 6:6 / James 4:15
Day 30- Jesus Christ gave us a perfect example of what is needed in our own life.
When we submit to God we establish a divine relationship.
So, the first 3 petitions in the Lord's prayer all deal with God's will and not man's......
1. Hallowed by Thy Name
2. Thy kingdom come
3. Thy will be done
"give us this day our daily bread"
Day 31 - This petition is the first of four requests for ourselves. As God's children we recognize we are dependent upon God. He is our source. It is God who meets our daily needs and not the work of our own hand. Jesus again teaches us to pray "give us" and not "give me". Our provisions are always to be shared. God gives to us that we might be the provider for others. TODAY is what we are concerned with. We are not to stockpile God's blessings away as children who are afraid He won't give more for tomorrow.
In this simple prayer we are taught by our Lord to look to our Father daily for the needs that we have, knowing that His warehouse is always full and that there will be no reluctance on His part to provide for those needs.
Isaiah 65:24 / Philippians 4:19
So we are to first ask God for his provision.
"and forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors"
Day 32 - In this next part of the petition the conjunction "and" is important to notice here as it connects this phrase with the one before it. We are to ask God to forgive us as often as we need to eat. And we are to forgive others as often as we need food.
The Greek word for debt used here is opheilema and it means a failure to pay that which is due or a failure in duty. Every disciple has failed in some way in their duty towards God and thus Jesus teaches us that all our obligated to ask God's forgiveness.
The important thing to see is that God will forgive us only as we forgive others. If we refuse to forgive a person, then God will refuse to forgive us.
Day 33- What is important for us to do when we discover that there is "something" between another person and ourselves?
As we forgive others how will God act towards us?
Micah 7:18 / 1 John 1:9
Therefore our second request of God is for pardon.
"and lead us not into temptation"
Day 34- God never tempts anyone.
So why are we instructed to pray this third request? The Greek word used here is peirasmos from petrazo meaning to test, prove, or examine. We are to ask God to keep us from being tested or proved by the things or circumstances in our life.
Matthew 26:41 / Luke 22:40
Day 35- Notice again the conjunction "AND lead us not...." It ties this request again to our daily bread. We need to ask God to prevent us from doing the same besetting sins as often as we eat. Jesus is asking us to ask God that we should not do the sin we just confessed.
So, God never tempts us but He does test us. How are we tempted?
James 1: 14-15
How does God test us? and why?
2 Chronicles 32:31
Day 36- As this verse suggests God will at times withdraw his presence so he can show us what is really in our heart. The goal of testing is to lead us to first see and then to repent. But even in testing notice how God works to smooth the way for us and make us winners!
Luke 10:19 / 1 Corinthians 10:13 / 2 Corinthians 1:10 / 2 Timothy 4:18 / Hebrews 2:18 / James 1:12 / 2 Peter 2:9
"but, deliver us from evil" (or from the evil one)
Day 37- First we are to ask God for provision, then pardon, then protection and now for preservation. This last request starts with "but" rather than "and". We don't need deliverance from Satan everyday. He comes every "season" but not everyday. God gives us a "season" to get refreshed and strong again.
We are to ask God here to give us illumination so we can see the evil one coming. We need discernment so we can stand firm.
Day 38- We need to ask God for strength to resist. We resist Satan by standing firm in our faith.
1 Peter 5: 8-9
Day 39- We need to ask God to keep our flesh under submission to him. How do we do this on a day to day basis?
Day 40- How do I keep my weakness/flesh under control?
In summary, after we acknowledge God as "our Father" -- and our authority "who art in Heaven", we are to ask for seven things on a regular basis:
1. That God's name be hallowed or that He be given the unique place which His name deserves.
2. That God's kingdom will come -- meaning that His rule would be established in men's hearts.
3. That God's will would be done here on earth as it's carried out in Heaven.
4. That God would give us what we need daily.
5. That God would forgive us our daily besetting sins just as we commit to forgiving our brothers and sisters.
6. That God would keep us from being tried by our life circumstances
7. That God would deliver us from the evil one who works through people and circumstances to destroy us.
Finally, some manuscripts close the Lord's prayer with Matthew 6:13b.....
"For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen."
It ends the prayer instruction as it began -- recognizing God for who he is.
Day 41- The Lord's pattern prayer is now finished but the two verses following this prayer amplify the need for forgiveness -- the fifth petition of the "Our Father". What two things are implied when you read these verses?
First we see that at some time in life someone will "sin against you". You can count on it. But the second fact implied is that each of us have already sinned against God and may do so again. Therefore what is the sum of these implied statements?
Romans 3:23 / 1 John 1:8
Day 42- Now read again these verses and carefully notice what I'll call "If -- then" statements. There are two of them.
Do you hold unforgiveness in your heart towards anyone? If you answer is "Yes" then wake up and realize that God will hold you accountable for all you have done against him. He will withdraw the forgiveness he has extended to us through his son Jesus.
Acts 5:31 / Acts 13:38 / Ephesians 1:7
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