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A Thought for the Week—Lord, Teach us to Pray

Monday, September 4, 2006

"Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray." (Luke 11:1 NKJ)

Jesus was a man of prayer. He prayed all night when He knew He must choose twelve of His disciples to be His apostles (Luke 6:12-13). He had many disciples, but twelve of them were to be selected to be His apostles. He knew God’s plan to have 12 of His followers judging the 12 tribes of Israel during the regeneration of the heavens in the millennial kingdom (Matthew 19:28). He knew of the special training He was to give them, and of the special relationship with Him these men would have. But He also knew that He was not to select them based on what He Himself felt. He was not to judge based on what He saw but on revelation from the Spirit of God (Isaiah 11:3). Therefore Jesus went into prayer, and continued all night, seeking revelation from His Father.

Jesus would pray all night after spending the day healing the multitudes (Mark 1:34-35). Jesus would go off by Himself to pray after doing miracles (Luke 14:23-24). In the incident cited above, recorded in Luke 11, Jesus was praying; when He stopped, one of His disciples came to Him and asked Jesus to "teach us to pray." This disciple was interested in having Jesus teach all of them TO PRAY. The disciples had heard Jesus teach about prayer and about the importance of praying. They needed more. They needed Jesus to give them the motivation and the desire to pray. The church today is often in a similar position. We know much about prayer and we know many of the spiritual principles involved in prayer, yet we do not spend significant time in prayer. We also need to say, "Lord, teach us TO PRAY."

This disciple who came to Jesus observed Him praying. We need to see this. As we see Jesus, as a man, spending time in prayer we can realize that He knew the need of prayer, but He also DID IT. He has the desire, experience and power to pray. He has within Him the spirit of prayer, and can therefore give us the grace to pray, just as we need His grace for all we do in our Christian walk. Jesus lives today in heaven to pray for us. The Spirit of grace and supplication is still present with Him and in Him.

God wants His house, our bodies, to be a house of prayer for the nations. He is working situations in our lives and the nations that can only be resolved through the Divine intervention of His power and kingdom. He is making us increasingly aware of our being in His heavenly kingdom so that we can bring the things of His kingdom into our lives and onto the earth. God has promised to do this. He says, "Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations" (Isaiah 56:7 NKJ).

Father, we rejoice that we can pray to You through Jesus. We say, "Lord teach us TO PRAY." Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week—Lord, Teach us to Pray 

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

"Now it t came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven,’ " (Luke 11:1-2 NKJ)

Jesus was praying. One of His disciples saw Him praying. He was moved to speak on behalf of all the disciples and asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They knew that they were called to pray as did their Master. They knew that the responsibility of the Master was to teach His disciples all that He knew and to train them to be like Him. Jesus had previously told His disciples, "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher." (Luke 6:40 NKJ). Jesus healed the sick who came to Him and had trained His disciples to do this also. He sent them out to do what He had trained and equipped them to do. Now He was to give them insight and revelation so that they would pray more, as He did.

Jesus began by telling them to pray to His Father. He knew that God would be a Father to all those who received Jesus as the Son of God. He knew that God wanted the followers of Jesus to be as little children before Him. Jesus knew He was the Son of God, and He knew and spoke of God as His Father. He spoke of His being One with His Father. He lived in the spiritual oneness with His Father, focusing on Him and doing what He saw His Father doing. He knew that His Father had a plan for the world, and for Himself as part of that plan. He knew that His Father wanted to unite heaven and earth together in Himself. He was dedicated to His Father’s will and plan. He knew He was to have disciples whom He was to train, equip and send forth in His Father’s will, purposes and plan. He loved being the Son of God, and He loved His disciples. He wanted them to know and live in their relationship to God as sons, knowing God as their Father. He spoke to His disciples and told them to address God as His Father, their individual Father and as the Father of all of them, because they received Him as the Son of God. He taught them to pray, "Our Father."

Jesus came from heaven. He knew His Father dwelt in heaven. He came to bring the ways of heaven onto the earth. He had the life of heaven--the very life of God--in Him, and He came to bring that life of heaven to earth. He knew God’s destiny for Him. These truths motivated Him to pray. He told His disciples to remember that they were praying to this heavenly God, who was their Father. He told them to say, "Our Father who art in heaven."

Father, we rejoice that You have revealed Yourself to us as our Father who dwells in heaven. Help us to come to You and to know and revere You as our Father. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week—Lord, Teach us to Pray

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

"He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name’" (Luke 11)

God wants us to know Him--His nature, His character, His plan for us, His ways, and all He is and wants to do for us. One of the ways God reveals Himself to us is through His names. One of the primary names God gave to His people in the Old Testament was the Name "Yahweh." Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary says, "One of the most important names for God in the Old Testament is Yahweh, or Jehovah, from the verb "to be," meaning simply but profoundly, "I am who I am," and "I will be who I will be." The four-letter Hebrew word YHWH was the name by which God revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush " (Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

When God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let the children of Israel go, Moses asked God for His name. The Bible records God’s response. "And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Moreover God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: The LORD ["Yahweh" is the correct word] God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This [Yahweh] is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations." (Exodus 3:14-15)

God is who He is, He has always been who He is, and He always will be who He is. The name "Satan" means "deceiver." He can come to us in one form or another. He will always deceive, He will always hate God and will always rebel against Him and seek to lead others into his rebellious and self-seeking ways. That is who he is. His ways will not last. His character will not always be present on the earth. GOD IS HOLY, and HIS NAME IS HOLY. BECAUSE GOD’S NAME IS HOLY, He cannot let evil continually be in His kingdom. BECAUSE GOD’S NAME IS MERCIFUL, He has a plan to bring His people out of the sinful world and into His holy heaven. BECAUSE GOD IS ALMIGHTY, He will bring the ways of heaven into His people so that He can bring the ways of heaven onto the earth. He will remove sin from the world and will remove all beings that want to live in sin from the world. He will fill the heavens and the earth with His power and glory.

God's ways are eternal. They were conceived in eternity and will last forever. His will will be done on earth. That is His eternal desire for His creation. His heavenly kingdom will come to the earth and the heavens. That has been His desire; that is His desire, and that always will be His desire. These things will happen because that is who God is, and He always will be this way. He has revealed these things to us, by telling us His names. Let us hallow the great and glorious name of our God!

Father help us to hallow Your great and glorious name. Amen

 

A Thought for the Week—Lord, Teach us to Pray

Thursday, September 7, 2006

"He said to them, 'When you pray, say: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come,’" (Luke 11:2)

Jesus is giving His disciples things to say and understand so they will pray as He prayed. Here, He is telling them that when they pray they should say to their Father, "Your kingdom come."

God lives in heaven, reigning over all things. He has a heavenly kingdom, with a heavenly throne upon which He reigns. God wants the ways, principles, and functions of heaven to be established on the earth. He knows that the only way for there to be peace on the earth is for His heavenly kingdom to be established in the hearts of His people, and then through them into the heavens and the earth.

God had promised the nation of Israel that He would send a Messiah who would establish a kingdom that would overcome all of the kingdoms of the earth (Daniel 7:14). The children of Israel were looking for a Messiah who would deliver them from their natural enemies so that then they could reign in peace. They did not understand that God must first reign in them so that then He could reign through them.

Jesus came preaching the message that the Kingdom of God had come. However, He did not at that time give the people deliverance from all of their natural enemies; He first came to free the people from their spiritual enemies. He knew that our primary enemies are the evil spiritual powers that Satan uses to reign over people and nations. Unless these powers are removed, there will always be evil on the earth. Jesus came to give us a way we could have spiritual freedom so that we would not be in bondage to sin and the ways and rule of Satan’s kingdom. HE OVERCAME the rule of Satan through His death on the cross. He now rules over the spiritual realm. He said, "The kingdom of God is within you." He now gives us the ability to reign in our spirit over the lusts of the flesh, over the evil ways of this world, and over the spiritual rulers of evil. Jesus first came to rule in us, by establishing His ways in our hearts so that we become united with His Father as He was. Then He can use us to bring about His reign in all the earth as He promised to do.

Jesus wants God’s kingdom to come into the earth so that the ways of His heavenly kingdom will be established in all facets of the lives of all the people on the earth. He is now establishing His rule in us and in our life, amidst the presence of evil. He will then come and establish God’s rule in all spheres. Then He will remove all evil so that heaven and earth will be united.

Father, we rejoice that You have a heavenly kingdom, where You reign. Let Your kingdom come to this earth, first into us and then through us. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week—Lord, Teach us to Pray

Friday, September 8, 2006

"He said, ‘When you pray, say: …Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’" (Luke 11:2).

God, who lives in heaven, has created all things for His plan and His purposes (Colossians 1:16). He is gathering all things together in Christ (Ephesians 1:10). He is uniting heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1-2). The way God will accomplish these things is through His will. He will unite the will of men and of spiritual beings with His will. He will bring spiritual rulers forth who seek only His will. He will raise up kings and other earthly rulers who only seek and do His will. All nations will worship Him. His people will voluntarily love and serve Him in the days when His power and glory are fully revealed in and by His people (Psalm 110: 3).

Jesus knew and loved the will of God. He had faith in God’s will and believed that it was best for Him. The Bible says of Jesus, "…when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.’ Then I said, 'Behold, I have come-- in the volume of the book it is written of Me-- to do Your will, O God'" (Hebrews 10:5-7 NKJ). Jesus knew that before He came, the Jewish priests made sacrifices and offerings on behalf of the people. He knew that God wanted more than animal sacrifices. The animal sacrifices could not remove the sins of the people; they could only symbolically express what must be done, that sins must be atoned for. Jesus knew that a human must die for the sins of the world so that God could put the sins on this human and that he could take them into hell on behalf of the world. God wants sin removed from His presence. He is holy.

Jesus did the will of God, loving the people, healing the sick, teaching the people, feeding the people, and discipling some so that His work could continue into eternity. Jesus knew the eternal plan of God to remove all sin and sickness from the world. He knew the plan of God to destroy the works of the devil. He knew the plan of God to send the demons of evil into hell, along with those who did not want to live in the kingdom and will of God. He knew the mercy of God to bring His love and longsuffering to all the nations through this age and into His millennial reign, so that men would know the longsuffering of God.

Jesus knew that the only way for this to come about was for Him to die on the cross, suffer separation from God, ridicule from men, affliction from Satan, going into the depths of hell--all for us. When the time came for Him to do this, the natural desires of His body cried out. His soul was in anguish. His spirit knew what lay ahead. He prayed, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39 NKJ). Jesus knew and did the will of God. He had faith. Now we can receive the life and faith of Jesus so we too can say, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Galatians 2:20).

Father, we rejoice in Your will. We want to live in Your will. Help us to know it and to live in it. Amen.

A Thought for the Week—Lord, Teach us to Pray

Monday, September 11, 2006

"He said, ‘When you pray, say: Give us day by day our daily bread.’" (Luke 11:2)

Jesus is teaching His disciples to pray. We need to pray. Prayer is communicating with God. Prayer is bringing our requests to God. Prayer is acknowledging that we need help from God. Prayer is acknowledging that there is a God and that we believe that He wants to help us. Prayer is sharing our inner desires and inner longings with our Heavenly Father.

God created us so that He could bless us. He has agape--an unconditional love--for us. Agape is a love that loves to see our needs met, to see people blessed. Agape seeks to see people filled with righteous desires and motives, so that they can enjoy the blessings of life. God created us so that He could meet our needs. He wants to enter into our lives each day and reveal Himself to us. He does this by introducing us to communicating our needs and desires to Him through the act of prayer.

Jesus prayed—regularly—fervently--continuously at times. He prayed for Himself and for others. He prayed for the needs of others to be met. He knew the necessity and the value of prayer. In today’s passage, He is teaching His disciples how to pray. He had told them about acknowledging God as their Heavenly Father, and seeking His kingdom and His will. Now He is teaching them to ask for the daily needs of life. He is telling them to ask their Father for their daily bread--their daily needs. He did not tell them to ask for a week’s supply; He said to ask for a daily supply. We need to know that God wants us to live each day to its fullest. He knows we often live in the future, looking forward to tomorrow, or we live in the past, regretting past mistakes. Jesus is telling His disciples to live each day to its fullest. Come to God each day and share with Him your daily needs. As we pray, God often imparts special revelations into our spirit. We miss specific revelations for each day’s events if we do not pray each day. We need to live focused on the needs and events of the current day. We need to pray.

As we pray each day, God will give us greater understanding of His plans and purposes for our lives. He will give us insight into His plans for the future of His world, and we will see things from a higher perspective. God will give us insight into how the things of today are being orchestrated to enable us to live in His eternal plan for us. As we pray each day, our daily needs will be met, and we will also know how to draw strength from God’s eternal plan for us and for His world and His people. Revelation of the future is given to those who live for the day with the reality of the daily provision of God’s wisdom and life. God’s daily wisdom and life is eternal. Daily prayer brings us an eternal perspective. Let us pray for daily bread daily.

Father, we thank You that Your plans and blessings are eternal, and that You reveal and impart them to us daily as we pray. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week—Lord, Teach us to Pray

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"He said, ‘When you pray, say: And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.'" (Luke 11:4)

God is holy. He is pure. He is filled with light; in Him there is no darkness at all. He loves what is pure, holy, loving, righteous, truthful, faithful and compassionate. God hates evil; He knows what it does to His people. He knows what Satan is able to do to people when they follow his rebellious ways. He knows what sin does to people. He has a plan. He has a plan to remove sin from the world and make it a holy environment to live in. He has a plan to remove the evil spiritual beings from the earth, from His light, and to send them into darkness--total darkness.

God wants to remove sin from His people. Jesus came to take our sin upon Himself and bring it into the darkness of hell. He did that by going to the cross. The Bible says, "The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all." The Bible calls Jesus the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." God can take away our sin and our sinful ways and put them on the cross of Jesus.

The Bible says that if we confess our sin, God will forgive us and cleanse us from our sinful ways. We must confess our sin. We must come to God and confess the sins we have committed and ask Him to forgive us. The word "forgive" means "to send away from." God will remove our sins from us (forgive us) when we confess them, because that is what Jesus accomplished for us when He went to the cross for us.

Jesus died for all, including those who sin against us. He wants us to forgive others when they sin against us. He wants us to bless those who harm us, and to pray for them, that they too might know the forgiveness provided by God through Jesus. People who harm us will have to answer to God for what they have done to us, His people. God will eventually avenge Himself on them, if they do not come to Him and confess their sin. He wants to forgive the sins of people who harm us. He therefore asks us to pray for them, and show them love, so that they might repent of their wrongdoing, confess their sin, and seek God’s forgiveness. He will convict people of sin through the work of His Holy Spirit, who will also impart into them the righteousness of God. If we choose not to forgive them through prayer, and seek to punish them ourselves, we are living outside God’s plan for dealing with the sins of the world. If we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. The wrath of man does not lead people into the righteousness of God. Our anger or bitterness toward people will not impart God’s righteousness into them. Therefore He says, "Forgive, so that you might be forgiven."

Father, we rejoice in Your plan to forgive us and to remove our sinful ways from us. Help us to confess our sin and to forgive others so that Your righteous ways can be established in all of us. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week—Lord, Teach us to Pray

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"He said, ‘When you pray, say: And lead us not into temptation.’" (Luke 11:4)

Jesus is teaching His disciples to pray. He has taught them to remember that we are praying to our Heavenly Father. He has taught them to pray for the kingdom of God to be established on the earth so that the will of God could be done on earth as it is done in heaven. The underlying truth is that there is another kingdom that is reigning on the earth; Satan has established his kingdom in the heavenly places of influence over the earth. He has held the world in bondage to sin and to his ways. But Jesus has come to take back the kingdom! He is bringing His warring mentality to His disciples; He has reminded them that only by complete dependence on God for all their provision--natural and spiritual food--could this be possible. He reminded them that only by seeking the removal of sin, from their lives and the lives of others, could the kingdom of God be established. Now He is telling them to pray that God would lead them, not into temptation.

We know that God does not tempt anyone with sin. The Bible says that we are tempted by letting the desires of our flesh, the devil and the world allure us into the false attractiveness of sin, and then to commit that sin. When we sin we give ground for Satan to have access to us. God wants us to seek His strength so that our conscience can rise up when we are tempted, and we can resist the temptation. The Bible says that if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will not give in to the desires of our flesh. We need the power and revelation of the Holy Spirit to live this way.

When we are in a war--which we are--we must follow the General. When our Leader is leading the troops into a particular battle, we want to be in that battle. We do not want to lag behind. Neither do we want to wander off and fight an enemy that our General is not yet fighting. God has a plan for dealing with all of the sin in our lives, in our family, in the nations, and in the world. He will conquer all, with us as His army.

When the children of Israel went into the promised land, God had them take the land city by city. He did not give them the whole land at once. He said, "And the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you" (Deuteronomy 7:22 NKJ). God had them fight one city at a time, and then occupy that city, before moving on to the next one. Sometimes we get rid of a sin, but because we have not replaced the sinful ways with righteous ones, the old ways come back. We need to become freed of sin so we can be filled with righteousness. This is His purpose for us.

Father, lead us, so that we are able to resist the temptations of the world. Guide us so that we fight the battles that You are fighting and giving us victory in. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week—Lord, Teach us to Pray

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"He said, ‘When you pray, say: But deliver us from the evil one.’" (Luke 11:4)

There is evil in the world. Evil is not a mystical force that exists throughout the world. Evil is not just some misguided actions by "good" people who have had a difficult childhood and are now acting out their hurt and pain. Evil comes from an evil being who has a plan to destroy what is righteous and holy and to replace it with his evil ways. Evil comes from a being who was created good but voluntarily rebelled against the will of God and led a group of other spiritual beings in his rebellion. This being wants to live apart from God’s will. He seeks to develop his own kingdom on earth. Darkness exists where there is no light. Evil exists where good is not sought or done. Satan, the being through whom evil came into the world, is the father of evil. He left light to dwell in darkness. He lives in evil. He is the evil one.

Satan, having been created as a being of light, can disguise himself as an angel of light. He is able to deceive people by doing seemingly good things for them, but hiding his ulterior motives. He is able to deceive people through religious leaders who do all kinds of religious activities but their hearts--their inner desires and motives--are not in union with the Spirit of God. Jesus called the devil "the father of lies." The religious leaders of the Jewish people told Jesus: "...we have one Father—God" (John 8:41). But Jesus knew that although they knew all about God, they did not know and serve God in their spirit--they were deceived. He told them, "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:44 NKJ).

Jesus said of Satan that he "…does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Jesus offers us His life, a life that loves the will of God and will not depart from it. Jesus offers to bring His life into us. LET US RECEIVE IT AND LIVE IN IT, AND LET IT LIVE IN US.

Father, deliver us from the evil one. Let the life and the Spirit of Jesus become our life so we live in Him and for You and serve You forever and ever and ever and ever. We receive You, Lord Jesus, into all of our being. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week—Lord, Teach us to Pray

Friday, September 15, 2006

"For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen."

These words are not in the original text. They have been included in this prayer because they do express the eternal and complete purposes, plans and manifestation of the kingdom of God.

David said, "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all" (1 Chronicles 29:11 NKJ). David said, "All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name" (Psalm 86:9 NKJ). Again David said, "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD'S, and He rules over the nations" (Psalm 22:27-28 NKJ). David saw the full manifestation of the kingdom of God, when all that is not in union with God is removed from the earth and from the spiritual realm above us, and all that remains will worship Him and will rule with Him.

John, in the revelation he received of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, saw everything in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, worshipping The Father and Jesus. He writes, "And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’" (Revelation 5:13 NKJ). John too saw the culmination of God’s eternal plan and eternal destiny for His creation--everything worshipping and honoring God.

Jesus, speaking of the times of regeneration of the heavens, said to His disciples, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28 NKJ). In the book of the "Revelation of Jesus," John says, "Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 1:5-6 NKJ)

We will be kings and priests in God’s eternal kingdom, reigning in, with and under Jesus Christ. Jesus is preparing us for those days. When they come we too will say with all of God’s creation in heaven, on earth, under the earth and in the seas, "Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever." Amen and Amen.

Father, we give You glory now and forever, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

 

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Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ

     
Rich and Kay Fick, Directors, Cyrus Ministries International

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