Category Archives: Prayer

New Covenant Prayer – The Foundation

NEW COVENANT PRAYER – THE FOUNDATION

Prayer is a common activity in all religions. In fact, religion is a felt need because human beings are incomplete within themselves and need a higher power upon which to depend in their weakness and to supply their needs.

Since people are essentially at enmity with God and refuse either to acknowledge His existence or to recognise their accountability to Him as their Creator, they have created gods for themselves which are both figments of their imagination and beings (though non-existent) made in their image so that they can manage and manipulate them for their own ends. Prayer to these “gods” is not true prayer. This kind of “prayer” has no fellowship with its god, and it does not submit to the will of such a god. People relate to their gods on the basis of fear. Whatever they do is often an attempt to appease or to manipulate them for their own ends.

We cannot understand true prayer unless we understand our essential relationship with our Creator. In order to short circuit our accountability to our Creator, we have invented both gods and what we call “prayer” but that does not absolve us from accountability in any way. We can neither make God go away, nor can we shake off our responsibility to Him just because we choose to do so.

God has two very valid reasons for calling us to account for what we are and what we do with our lives. He is both our Creator and our Reconciler.

1. GOD IS OUR CREATOR
There is no other account of creation that gives a simpler or saner record of the event. Unlike all other attempts to explain how the universe came to be, including the theory of evolution that many scientists support that presupposes that everything just “happened”, the Bible explains the origin of all life by starting at the beginning.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen.1:1)

Since God claims responsibility for all of creation, He has the right to direct the affairs of individuals and nations.

I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself (Isa. 44:24).

2. GOD IS OUR RECONCILER
In Paul Young’s book, The Shack, the main character, Mackenzie, asked Papa (the person who plays the part of God the Father), the question, “What exactly did Jesus accomplish by dying?” Papa’s response was both simple and riveting. “Honey, you asked me what Jesus accomplished on the cross; so now listen to me carefully: through His death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world.”

“The whole world? You mean those who believe in you, right?” Mack asked.

“The whole world, Mack. All I am telling you is that reconciliation is a two-way street, and I have done my part, totally, completely, finally. It is not the nature of love to force a relationship but it is the nature of love to open the way,” responded Papa.

God has opened the way for the world to be reconciled to Him. He invites us to change our minds about Him and to return to Him. He reinstates all who receive His forgiveness as His beloved sons and daughters.

…God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. (2 Cor. 5:19).

It is this Father/son relationship which qualifies us to come to God and to call on Him for a response to our prayers. There can be no true prayer outside of this relationship.

Prayer: Lesson 7 – Problems With Prayer

LESSON 7

PROBLEMS WITH PRAYER

INTRODUCTION

Prayer has many facets to it. Both the Old and the New Testaments are full of examples of people’s prayers. Unfortunately the Bible is not a manual for prayer. We have to glean our understanding from people’s experiences and God’s responses.

It is easy to misunderstand prayer because, as human beings, we do not find it easy to understand how and why we should communicate with Someone we cannot see and who does not communicate with us in an audible voice.

We tend to think of prayer as communicating with God on the same level as we communicate with one another. We have probably been taught that prayer is talking to God – in a sort of one-way monologue that does not expect a response and doe not understand how to interpret the responses we may get from Him.

Prayer is a learned experience

Even Jesus’ disciples, having watched and listened to Him praying many times, asked Him to teach them to pray. Listening and speaking to God takes practice. If you find it difficult in the beginning, don’t give up. Learning to communicate with God is worth the time and effort you put into it.

We can’t possibly deal with all the problems we encounter in prayer. We can only highlight a few of the main ones under the following categories:

1. PROBLEMS WITH OURSELVES

Speaking to an unseen Being

Until we get used to the idea that God is real and He is as near to us as our breath, speaking to someone we can’t see feels foolish. It takes practice to become God-conscious. Proverbs 3:6 is good counsel to help us develop an awareness of God.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him…”

Hearing the sound of your voice

Praying aloud will help you with the problem of a wandering mind. It may be difficult to do in the beginning because you may feel silly talking aloud when there is no other visible person there.

Praying the Psalms aloud will help you get used to hearing your own voice.

Dealing with a wandering mind

Reading Scripture, especially the Psalms, as well as verbalising your thoughts will help you to concentrate.

It is good to have a notebook and pen with you to write down anything that is taking your attention away from God that you can deal with later.

Being selfish and self-centred

Discipline yourself to start with setting your mind on God. No matter how pressing your need might be, keep in mind that God is with you, that He is good and that He is in charge. There is no situation outside of His control and care.

Go back to Jesus’ pattern prayer. Begin with “Our Father…”

Humility and honesty

Humility is not about feeling like a worm before God. It is about taking your rightful place before Him. You are both a created being and a son.

Don’t tell God what you think He wants to hear. Be honest. Tell Him how you feel, what you think and what you believe. He can work with that.

Prayer is more about changing you than changing your circumstances. Your circumstances change and your needs are met as you are being formed into the image of Jesus.

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect (contemplate) the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit .“ 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV).

Question: Discuss some of the problems you face with prayer relating to yourself as a human being.

2. PROBLEMS WITH GOD

Praying to the wrong god

It is possible to pray to the wrong god if our concept of God comes from our imagination and not from the Bible.

The God of the Bible is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God Jesus mirrored in His life.

Use the Scriptures to develop your understanding of who God is. Read passages like Ezekiel 1; Isaiah 6; And Revelation 1:12-18; 4:1-11

Having a wrong expectation of God

We can become disappointed and disillusioned with God if our expectations are shaped by what we learn from others and not by what the Bible teaches. Too much of our “faith” is trusting God “for” something instead of trusting God, full stop.

Be careful of the faith teachings that take Scripture out of context and expect God to do what you demand because you try to hold God to His word. That is manipulation, not faith.

Having a wrong perspective about God’s will

God has a plan for you but His plan is subject to His bigger plan for His kingdom to be established on earth. His will for you is much more about shaping your character than about making you comfortable.

Being a son means being in submission and obedient to Him regardless of what you want.

Question: Explore the possibility that your unanswered prayers relate to your wrong concepts of God and His will.

3. PROBLEMS WITH PRAYER

We can pray sinful prayers

If our prayers arise out of the consequences of our disobedience.

“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Stand up! What are you doing on your face? Israel has sinned.’” Joshua 10:10,11a

God had instructed the Israelites to destroy everything in Jericho. Achan disobeyed and brought disaster on the whole nation. Joshua’s praying was unacceptable to God. The solution to the problem was to get rid of the offender.

We can pray presumptuous prayers

Job prayed many presumptuous prayers. It was the philosophy of his day that God blesses the righteous and punishes the wicked. Because his experience did not fit his philosophy, he challenged God because he believed he was righteous and therefore his suffering was unjust.

God responded by answering him, not in quiet, sympathetic voice, but in a whirlwind and storm, challenging him to be God.

“The Lord said to Job, ‘Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? Let him who accuses God answer Him.’” Job 40:1,2 (NIV).

God had to strip Job down to nothing until he realised that, though he thought he knew God, he knew nothing.

“‘My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.’” Job 42:5,6 (NIV).

We can pray selfish prayers

God is gracious and generous but He does not pamper us or encourage small-minded and selfish prayers. He wants us to learn to see beyond our own needs to the needs of those around us, to pray for one another and to what we can to meet other people’s needs so that others in turn can meet ours.

“You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives that you may spend what you get on your pleasures .” James 4:2b,3 (NIV).

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests,. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV).

Question: In what ways do you pray prayers that God cannot answer?

CONCLUSION

1. Prayer is simple but it is not easy.

2. God deals with us as His sons and daughters.

3. Prayer is about putting God and His kingdom in their correct perspective.

4. Prayer is about getting God’s will done on earth so that His glory is put on display.

5. When we pray according to God’s will, He hears us.

6. When we are more concerned about God and others, He will take care of all our needs.

Prayer: Lesson 6 – The Outcome Of Prayer – God’s Kingdom

LESSON 6

THE OUTCOME OF PRAYER – GOD’S KINGDOM

 INTRODUCTION

Prayer is primarily about bringing about God’s rule on earth so that His glory can be put on display. God has personally involved us in this enterprise because He gave man the earth to manage for Him as His vice-regents.

The kingdom of God is His family business. God relates to us as sons and daughters and allows us to share His rule by carrying out His will on earth.

The best way to get an understanding of our role in bringing God’s kingdom to earth is through watching and listening to Jesus who is our perfect  pattern.

1. JESUS IDENTIFIED WITH THE HUMAN RACE

Jesus came as a human baby to grow up and be one of us. He had to learn to be human and to experience everything that humans experience.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (NIV).

He also had to learn the meaning of being a son.

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Although He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered and, once made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation for all wo obey Him…” Hebrews 5:7-9 (NIV).

Question: In what ways was Jesus just like us and in what ways was He different from us?

He was made like us in every way: He was tempted like we are; He functioned as a human being; He was empowered by the Holy Spirit; He had to learn.

He was different in that He was both fully God and fully man. He did not function as God in His earthly life. He set aside His deity and lived purely as a human being.

2. JESUS PARTNERED WITH HIS FATHER AS A MATURE SON

He was already aware of His sonship at the age of twelve. His obedience to His heavenly Father took precedence over His earthly parents.

“Why were you searching for me?” He asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49 (NIV).

He spent hours with the Father, nurturing His relationship with Him, growing in confidence in His Father’s disposition and will, learning how to partner with Him in His ministry and how to establish His kingdom on earth. He spent hours watching the Father and listening to Him.

“Jesus gave them this answer: ‘I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can only do what He sees the Father doing because whatever the Father does, the Son does also. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does.’” John 5:19,20 (NIV).

Question: In what ways can we imitate Jesus as a son?

3. JESUS ALWAYS PUT GOD’S GLORY AND GODS KINGDOM FIRST IN EVERYTHING HE DID

Jesus always viewed every circumstance from God’s perspective. relating to God’s rule.

Three examples:

1. He viewed sickness and death as an opportunity to show people what God could do.

“Walking down the road, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?’

“Jesus said, ‘You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.’” John 9:1-3 (The Message).

Jesus received a message that His friend, Lazarus was sick.

“When Jesus got this message, He said, ‘This sickness is not fatal. It will be an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.’” John 11:4 (The Message).

2. He viewed all circumstances as relating to people’s relationship to God.

“About that time some people came up and told Him about the Galileans Pilate had killed while they were at worship, mixing their blood with the blood of the sacrifices on the altar. Jesus responded, ‘Do you think those murdered Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans? Not at all. Unless you turn to God, you will also die.’” Luke 13:1-3 (The Message).

3. He taught and brought the kingdom of God into people’s everyday lives.

“He tried again, ‘How can I picture God’s kingdom for you? It’s like yeast that a women works into enough dough for three loaves of bread – and waits while the dough rises.’” Luke 13:20 (The Message).

If we are the sons and daughters of God, we need to be imitating Jesus. Since it is our role to continue the mission of Jesus on earth, we cannot do it in a hit-and-miss fashion.

Jesus gave His life to transfer us from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light.

“For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” Colossians 1:13 (NIV)

4. OUR RESPONSE TO JESUS PASSION FOR GOD’S KINGDOM

Jesus came to announce God’s kingdom and to set it up in people’s hearts by dealing with sin and opening the way to the Father.

His work would be in vain if we are not passionate about what He is passionate about.

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15 (NIV).

Paraphrase: If you value what I value, you will do what I tell you so that you do not break my heart.

Jesus focussed all His energy on teaching and establishing God’s kingdom. His prayer was directed to doing His Father’s will.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42 (NIV).

Question: In what practical ways can we imitate Jesus in His passion for the Father’s kingdom and glory?

CONCLUSION

1. Jesus is the model we are called to follow.

2. His passion for God’s rule in people’s live spilled over into everything He said and did.

3. His prayer life was the engine that drove Him. Anything less is unworthy of Him.

 

Prayer: Lesson 5 – The Pattern For Prayer – The Lord’s Prayer Part 2

LESSON 5

THE PATTERN FOR PRAYER – THE LORD’S PRAYER

PART TWO

4. GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD

Let your word feed and nourish me every day.

Again we have to read this in the whole context of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5-7. Prayer is not about needs, so what is this request all about?

The Hebrew mind would automatically connect with the concept of bread in the Torah. There were two kinds of bread in the experience of the Israelites as they went through the desert into the Promised Land. “Daily bread” would refer to the manna which they gathered in the wilderness daily, while the second kind of bread was the “showbread” which was placed on the table in the Holy Place in the tabernacle and was eaten weekly by the priests.

The manna which they gathered daily except on the Sabbath, had to be processed before they could eat it. It appeared on the ground as hard seed which had to be pounded or ground into flour before they could cook it. Grinding it would release both its palatability and its nourishment.

“…that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Deuteronomy 8 (NIV).

God’s word is like manna. Its value is locked within the seed and needs to be worked before it releases it flavour and nourishment. Jesus is God’s word made flesh.

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us…”John 1:14 (NIV).

He is our nourishment.

What are we praying when we ask for daily bread? We are asking for revelation truth about Jesus, whom the Holy Spirit will reveal to us as we open our heart to Him.

Only the Holy Spirit can give us accurate understanding of God’s truth.

But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13a (NIV).

Question: Why do we need the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth about Jesus to us?

The Holy Spirit is the author of the Word and we need His help to understand it. If we trust our own understanding, we will be open to error and deception because the devil trades on our ignorance.

“…..The mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2b-3.

God’s word is the manna which we have to process through prayer and meditation until the Holy Spirit unlocks its truths to our hearts and gives us insight into God’s heart for us and for the world over which we have an influence for the kingdom of God.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practise (If you work these words into your lives – The Message),  is like a wise man who built his house on a rock.”  Matthew 7:24 (NIV).

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk along th road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV).

Question: Can we be part of God’s kingdom on earth if we neglect the study of God’s word and prayer?

Since these are our tools for governing on earth, without them we are useless and of no value in placing His kingdom over the kingdoms of this world.

5. FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS

Cancel the debt of sin I owe you in exactly the same way as I cancel the debts of those who have sinned against me.

This is the only part of the prayer which Jesus comments on. Apart from blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, unforgiveness is the only sin for which a believer will be sent to hell. This is very serious.

Matthew 18 expands on this issue of forgiveness. Any sin, whether against God or another person, which is ultimately against God (Psalm 51:4), incurs a debt which demands payment to be made by the debtor. Once payment is made the debt is written off and no-one can demand payment a second time.

Since Jesus paid the debt for all sin for all time, when we demand payment for the debt someone owes us, we are going against God’s justice and incurring a debt of our own.

1.  Refusal to forgive places me above my debtor in an attitude of arrogance because I consider myself above God who has freely forgiven my sin because of Jesus. I make myself my own idol because I think I know better than God.

2.  Refusal to forgive is a misunderstanding of God’s grace.

3.  It sabotages ECHAD because it breaks unity, disrupts fellowship and fosters an attitude of bitterness.

4.  Refusal to forgive is a reversal of all the characteristics of God’s name which are the characteristics of kingdom citizens, humility, generosity and mercy.

This prayer invites God to treat us in exactly the same as we treat others.

Question: Has  Jesus forgiven all sin, even the sin of those who do not believe in Him?

His does paid for all sin for all people for all time. Those who do not believe have not received His gift of forgiveness and have not experienced it in their lives.

6. AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE

Save me from myself.

Jesus ends this pattern prayer with the indication that He is aware of our biggest problem – not the Evil One but the evil eye – the “Yetzer Harah”. It is the inborn greed, selfishness, self-absorption and wickedness in our hearts, more than the devil, that is the cause of the mess man has created on earth. The devil plays on these things to lure us away from God’s best way to live.

If our biggest problem were the devil, we would be victims and God could not hold us responsible for our behaviour. However, together with God’s gift to us of free will comes the responsibility to choose His way and the consequences of the choices we make.

It is not in the devil’s power to make us do anything, but his capacity to deceive us is where we fall into His trap. As believers, God has given us His own nature and His indwelling presence to deliver us from the evil eye, but we are subject to deception when we do not know the truth.

Hence the prayer “Give us today our daily bread.”  Without the diligent study of God’s word to reinforce our souls with God’s truth, we will be easily caught up in Satan’s deception and the bondage to our old nature which comes with it.

And so we ask God to save us from ourselves because our selfishness and greed makes us easy prey for the devil’s deception.

Question: Where does the greatest battle against the devil take place?

In our own hearts because we still have the old nature against which we contend. Our real enemy is ourselves upon which the devil preys through his lies. We will be easy picking for him if we are not fortified by the truth.

SUMMARY – YOURS IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Although this is not part of the original text, it summarises and takes us back to the first thought in this prayer. Prayer is much more about God than about us. It must be a focus on Him, on the awareness of who He is and what His will is for us within the bigger picture of His kingdom and His will for the earth.

It’s all about awareness of and dependence on Him first.  He will take care of our needs as we place our attention on what He cares about and values first of all – the display of His splendour to the world that does not know Him so that His rule can be extended across the whole earth for the sake of His name and for the good of His creation.

CONCLUSION

Our study of the Lord’s pattern prayer leads us to the conclusion that our concept of prayer and Jesus’ understanding of prayer are poles apart.

1. God, His name, His kingdom and His will should be the focus of our prayers, not ourselves and our needs.

2. God is as near to us as our breath. We do not need to attract His attention or try to gain His interest. He is our Father – our life source and supply.

3. Prayer is not getting God to meet our needs – He told us that generosity towards others creates a current that comes back to us. That’s how the kingdom of God works.

4. Prayer is acknowledging that we need God’s grace to treat others the way He treats us – generously letting go of their debts as God has let go of ours.

5. Prayer is acknowledging our weak spot – the evil eye – where Satan can get in and trip us up and asking for God’s help to lean on Him.

 

Prayer – Lesson 4: The Pattern For Prayer – The Lord’s Prayer Part 1

LESSON FOUR

THE PATTERN FOR PRAYER – THE LORD’S PRAYER

PART ONE

 INTRODUCTION

Jesus taught His disciples this pattern prayer not to be recited, but rather that the principles in it would be a guide for all prayer interaction with the Father. It forms part of the glimpse He gives us of life in the kingdom of God – Matthew 5-7.

THE LORD’S PRAYER – Why it is a pattern?

We have looked carefully, first of all, at what prayer is not. Now we need to examine what prayer is.

As we are discovering, prayer is more about awareness than about asking. What we are asking comes into line with a greater awareness of God, who He is and what His focus, His heart and concerns are rather than ours.  Because it is natural for us to be inward-looking and need-orientated, it is absolutely necessary for us to have a pattern that shows us how God envisions prayer rather than what we think it is or should be.

There are six facets to this prayer and each leads into the next. Having  explained that prayer is not about performance, words or needs – Matthew 6:5-8.Jesus proceeds to explain what prayer is:

1. OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN

Firstly, prayer is about changing our awareness from self-awareness to God-awareness. We are approaching a perfect Father who knows our needs better than we do and who has accepted full responsibility for His children.

God is our Life-Source (our Father)

Prayer is not unique to the Christian faith. There is an inborn need in every human being, no matter what god people believe in, to worship and serve someone or something greater than ourselves. Our first priority, therefore, is to identify who we are becoming aware of.

It is vitally important to know who we are becoming aware of, not some visible but dead idol or vague unknown being out there somewhere but:

1.  He is our Father, our life-source, our Creator, the one who breathed His own life into us and to whom our spirits are fused by faith, through the Holy Spirit, so that we are ECHAD (one) with Him.

2.  He is the one on whom we are dependant for life and everything that our life involves.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1: 3ff (NIV).

3.  He is the only true God, the one who is described as “gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and full of love and faithfulness, forgiving sin…” He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not to be confused with any other god.

4. “Those who come to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him..”Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

Secondly, prayer is about recognising that God is closer to us than our breath. We centre down into an awareness that He is here and that He is here in all the fulness of His deity. He is all-knowing and all powerful in His omnipresence. We do not call Him in to meet with us. We acknowledge and become aware that we are always with Him.

Whatever our situation or problem, He is already here, or there as we intercede for others.

God is as near to us as the breath we breathe

The God we address in prayer is unseen.  He is Spirit and we cannot and must not try to create Him in our imagination.

“God is spirit, and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

He has no physical form. We can know Him by what He does and where He has been.

The concept of heaven is confusing if we view heaven as some geographical place the whereabouts of which we do not know.  How do we pray to a God who lives in some place far away to which we have not access?

Just as we need to change our awareness from ourselves to God, we also need to change our awareness from God somewhere far away and inaccessible to a God who is as near to us as our breath.

“For in Him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28.

Genesis 2:7 – God breathed into man the breath of life (His own ruach – breath, spirit) and man became a living being. Man has in his lungs the very breath of God.

Prayer is therefore, first of all, becoming aware that I live in the environment of God. He is spirit, He fills the entire universe and I am, therefore, immersed in His Presence like a fish in water.

Question: What can we do to develop an awareness of God?

We develop a God-awareness by putting Him in the centre of our lives and by changing our perspective on the things that happen. Jesus referred everything to God – e.g. Lazarus’ sickness and death

2. HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME

I hallow, acknowledge and become aware of Your Name

In Hebrew thought, a name was a prophetic utterance of character. Without going into detail, everything that God is, is encapsulated in His name. Therefore the God of whose presence I become aware, is not some vague, characterless being, but a God whose nature, character, values, standards, desires, intentions, plans and purposes are all summed up in His name.

Progressive revelation

God’s name was revealed progressively to His people.

To Abraham He was El Shaddai – God Almighty

To Moses and the people of Israel He was JHWH – the I AM – the intimate covenant name of God.

The understanding of individuals was enhanced and expanded through their personal experiences of God who was to them what they needed at that moment. eg, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Rohe, Jehovah Shalom, Jehovah Tsidkenu, Jehovah Shammah, etc.

Jesus – the name above all names

The clearest picture and demonstration of the name of God is to be found in Jesus. To see Him is to see the Father.

I have revealed your name to those you gave me out of the world.” John 17:6 (NIV)..

To acknowledge and become aware of God’s name is to become aware of the character of Jesus as He went about doing good and healing all those who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:28), revealing and putting God’s name on display.

Question: How best can we hallow God’s name?

 

We hallow His name, not so much by what we say as how we live because as children of God, we wear His name.

3. YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN

Let me place your kingdom over the kingdoms of the world so that the world will know who you are.

This is not a vague hope for the future as much as it is the expression of a desire to be part of the future. In the unseen realm of the spirit, the government of God is implemented to perfection. God’s will, which is the expression of who He is, is perfectly done, which means that there is nothing broken, or imperfect where He rules. Only in the realm where sin has disrupted the perfection of God’s rule, is there need for restoration and renewal.

It is God’s design for us who are now representatives of His kingdom, to put God’s rule in place wherever we are as a foretaste of how His kingdom will ultimately replace all the corrupted kingdoms of this world.

Jesus is God’s appointed King –

“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill...” Psalm 2:6(NIV)

In Matthew 5, Jesus has already explained how He kingdom rule works in the ungodly world system. As kingdom people we are not to conduct our lives the way the people in the world do. We are to live generously towards other people, treating them with love and mercy, not reacting but responding as our heavenly Father would respond. To be able to do this, we need God’s grace.

This is another piece in the puzzle about prayer. Prayer is not about us as much as it is about our part in the bigger picture of God’s kingdom – Matthew 6:33 – Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…

As we put the pieces together, we are starting to see what prayer is all about. God is busy reestablishing His rule on earth, but He has chosen to do it through man. He does not act independently of man, His vice regent, but through him but, in turn, man must not rule independently of God.

He does this by revealing the pattern of His will to us through His word so that we can ask Him to do what He has already purposed. God does nothing on earth without us.

It is through prayer that we become aware of who God is and what He plans are for our world which is a small part of the whole world. As we put His reign in place in our world in cooperation with Him and through His power and grace, His kingdom comes and His will is done increasingly on the earth as it is done in heaven.  When Jesus returns, He will perfect what He has begun through us now.

God desires that we be partners with Him in bringing heaven to earth through our prayers and our lives as His sons and daughters.

Question: How does this teaching help you to understand your role in prayer?