Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 12, 2012

"Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."  Matthew 6:11-12
I didn't agree with everything that Rick Warren wrote in his "Purpose Driven Life" book, But I strongly agree with one of his main premises in the beginning of the book. Warren states that "It is not about you" - "it is about God". And it is!

Why then do we act as though we think prayer is about us?

In response to the disciple's request "Teach us to pray" Jesus gave them this prayer we have  come to know as The Lord's Prayer. Truly it does teach us about praying but also reveals much about the God to Whom we pray.

Jesus taught us to use prayer as a way of worship. Since prayer connects you with the Person of God and brings you into the presence of God and helps you praise God, this prayer is indeed, worship.

Also, prayer helps you do the will of God. Through prayer you can align with the will of God and accept His will and then act on it in daily living.

So, Jesus reveals that prayer is important to worship and important to doing His will, but also prayer helps you get what God wants for you. I know that many believe the purpose of prayer is to convince God to give them what they want from Him. But if you study it you will see that it is more about getting what God wants us to have.

First, God wants to give us food each day. Based on the word used in the original language, you could conclude that God wants to provide for you physically, emotionally and spiritually! You cannot live without food and God wants you to live and live abundantly.

Second, God wants you to enjoy fellowship with Him. God wants you to rely on Him on a daily basis so that you will have to commune with Him daily in order to receive the supply He has for you. We saw the evidence that God wants you to know Him in the "NOW" and enoy Him in that moment.

Third, God wants you to to know forgiveness for your sins. Being forgiven allows you to come into fellowship with a Holy God. Receiving His salvation through Christ for the forgiveness of sins is HUGE! Once you are forgiven you will find grace to forgive those who might sin aginst you.

Food, fellowship and forgiveness are three things you want and desparately need. God will give you those things if you will pray and ask Him! According to the Lord's Prayer He wants those things for you!

Why should you care about prayer? You shoudn't care about prayer unless God's worship is important or unless His will is important or if His wants matter to you.
If any of those or all of those are important to you, then you need to understand the importance of prayer. Pray away!

February 11, 2012

"Give us this day our daily bread and forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors." Matthew 6:11

This phrase is as much a proclamation of praise as it is a petition of prayer.

Both are vitally important because God is worthy and God is able!

As you pray "give us this day our daily bread" you are recognizing God as your source!

He is your source because He is the Creator. As Creator we know He has the power to simply speak into existence things that are not! He can command manna from heaven! He can speak water into wine. He can make a simple lunch into an all-you-can-eat buffet!

Why not acknowledge Him as your Source? Why not trust Him and call upon Him as Jesus admonishes in this prayer?

We are living in under an increasingly oppressive government that seeks to be your source for everything. Nearly one-fourth of Americans are turning to them as their source. But there is a high price for these handouts - a loss of freedom because of the crushing $16 trillion debt incurred.

If you choose God as your Source, He can give on a daily basis and not be diminished in the least!

Jesus also tells you to make God your supply!

When you pray "Give us THIS DAY our DAILY BREAD...." you are not only declaring that God CAN and WILL supply exactly what you need in the right amount at exactly the right time!

If you make God your Source He will supply what you need BUT not just in the form of a hand-out, He will supply you with a job and with job skills and with the strength and health and intelligence to supply yourself and your family! When God is your Source and your Supply He feeds your physical needs but your emotional, psychological and spiritual needs as well!

God wants to be your Source and He wants to be your Supply but even more so He wants to be your Savior! When you pray ".......and forgive us our debts (sins) as we forgive our debtors (those who sin against us)" you are asking God to save you from your sins. It is those sins which separate you from a Holy God. But when you receive the forgiveness provided by Jesus on the Cross you can then enter into a personal relationship with God - that is the game-changer!

Coming into a personal relationship with God your Father, your Creator, your Source and Supply will allow to experience His incredible love and grace! Filled with His grace you will discover a new love for others welling up with your spirit! Out of that love you will find the desire and the strength to forgive others who have sinned against you!

Being forgiven and being able to forgive others brings unbelievable spiritual freedom! You will find freedom from guilt and freedom from shame and freedom from fear! You will experience and amazing peace and security when you acknowledge Jesus as your Savior and God as your Father!

The Lord's Prayer is a powerful resource because it teaches about and reaches to a great God Who delights in being your Source, your Supply and your Savior!

Let me ask you, "Are you relying on Him as your Source?"

"Are you requesting Him to be your Supply?"

"Have you received Him as your Savior?"

The Answer is only one prayer away!