By His Grace: The Lord's prayer
"This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Matthew 6:9-13 NIV
Many years ago when I was first seeking a personal relationship with the lord, I came across the Lord’s Prayer. It was during a time when prayer for me was short and simple, never knowing if they even reached the father. I was concerned I was asking too much, fearing he may not respond. This way of thinking was due to past disappointments. I depended on no one other than myself. I have mentioned before that my acts unknowingly excluded God's willingness to care for my well-being. Over time and through meditation on the word, I came to trust the lord and his many promises as well as appreciate all that he has done. More importantly, I now understand what it means to pray effectively and how to approach God.
Through recent testimony of others who experienced near-death encounters, I have learned that when we pray, our prayers beam up to heaven faster than light, reaching the father who delights in caring for us.
"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry." Psalms 34:15 NIV
It’s not enough just to ask for things. You must know how to approach God in a manner of prayer that will be effective. The key to ensure our prayers are received is that we pray with humble and sincere hearts clear of strife and the inability to forgive and definitely not with alternative motives.
When reading the Lord’s Prayer, the Holy Spirit instructed me to memorize the prayer and store it in my heart.
"You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." Deuteronomy 11:18
Have you noticed when meditating on the Lord’s Prayer the following?
The verse begins with the instruction, "This, then, is how you should pray." It is a clear indication there is a right and wrong way of petitioning the father. We continue in prayer on bended knees in a show of reverence in who he is and in the authority he holds. "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name." As believers and followers of Christ, we have assurance that what is asked of the father in the name of the son is available on earth if it is God’s will. "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
God’s awesome and never-ending love provides all our needs. "Give us today our daily bread." Even when we least expect it or recognize it, he opens doors of opportunity and provisions. Have you ever experienced a time when you quickly shot off a prayer, "Lord, I could really use $20 for some gas" and it is before you? It has happened many times to me and once actually at the gas station.
Then we come to a critical point in the prayer, confession of our sins to God for total forgiveness with the requirement on our part to forgive others. "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." The word of God makes clear we must love and forgive one another as he has you and me. And if you do not, you are not a child of God, and he cannot forgive your sins.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 NIV
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:15 NIV
God’s grace and mercy have kept us all these years. Many can testify that they should have been gone from this side of heaven long ago. The wages of sin are death, spiritual or physical. Time and again, God protects us from evil and prevents sickness or premature death from our disobedience.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
Remember when you play with fire you will get burned.
We are not to test or mock God when it comes to temptation. To deliberately set out to be defiant against his will is rebelling against God. He holds the power of life and death. This fact should never be taken lightly.
When next you confess the Lord’s Prayer, remember all that has been shared. Expect that your prayers are heard and have been answered even when you do not see it come to pass right away.
"In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." Psalm 5:3 NIV
And remember God loves us dearly. We were created for him to pour out his love. Receive and enjoy and remember to share the love with others along the way.
Allow me to extend an invitation to experience his wonderful love for you.
Please repeat this prayer: "Lord Jesus, forgive my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my lord and savior from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, amen."
Welcome into the family of Christ.
Until next week, be blessed and continue to bless others along the way. Shalom.
Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.