csibiblestudy


Remember to Whom We Are Praying
November 26, 2012, 5:46 am
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Beginning with praise to our Father- Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

  1. Putting our Father in charge of our priorities- Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
  2. Relying on our Father for provision- Give us this day our daily bread.
  3. Trusting our Father with our relationships- And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
  4. Seeking protection from our Father- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
  5. Reminding ourselves about our Father- For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

As I worked on this lesson, I was captured by the thought that as I sat typing, reading, praying and trying to put together a lesson, Christ was with me, helping me and wanting to help if I let Him.  I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives within me!  It is important that we end our praying by reminding ourselves to whom we are praying.  Imagine our lives if we lived with a sense of the presence of God continual with us.  The name “Immanuel” means “God with us”.  In what ways would your life be different?  As you study the Disciples’ Prayer, do you have an awareness that in this room is the Lord Jesus Christ?  Remember His promise, where two or three are gathered, He would be there too.  What would be different about you if you realized that sitting with you was the Lord Jesus Christ?  All of us would have to admit that at times we act as if we are the center of the universe.  With Christ in our midst, that would bring us back to reality.  At night, when you sit down to relax, what would be different with the realization that Christ is with you?  How different would you be at work, at school, with friends, writing on Facebook, and in doing Christmas shopping if you saw Christ by your side?  What would be different about your worship if you saw Christ sitting in the midst of the congregation?  Remember He is there when we wake up and when we fall asleep.  Are we drawing near to Him in our actions and attitudes, or would we seek a break from His presence?  As we draw near to Him, He promises to draw nearer to us.  When you pray, do you see yourself, in His presence, entering into the throne room of the Father?

Notice the parallels with which we start and end the Disciples’ Prayer.  We focus at the beginning on “Hallowed be thy name” and remind ourselves that His is “the glory”.  We pray that His “kingdom come” and then remind ourselves the only true and lasting kingdom is His.  We pray that He accomplish His divine will and then remind ourselves that He can through His unlimited power.  Finally we recognize His control over heaven and earth and then remind ourselves that His control is forever.

I see four major truths for us to focus upon when we end our prayers.  They are included in what we call the doxology.  Jesus knew that if we were to pray without a reminder of the greatness and majesty of God, we would focus on the problems we had just lifted up to God and our hopelessness in providing a solution.  We start by honoring the name of God and end by praising God for His sovereignty and glory.  Prayer is “talking to my Father in a close intimate way to let Him know of my specific needs, admitting to Him my total helplessness apart from Him, and declaring my total dependence on Him”.   Christ knows that I need to be reminded that I can be totally dependent upon Him because of who He is.  These four truths are the ones most helpful to remember that although we live and pray, in a fallen world He is MORE!

The first truth Jesus reminded us was that God is sovereign with the words “thine is the kingdom”.  In John 18:36-37 Pilate listens to Jesus talk about His kingdom and then asks Him is He is a king.  Jesus replies that He became a human through His birth to set up His kingdom.   Later in the Bible we read that Jesus is the King of Kings, , Ruler of the kings of the earth, and King of the ages.

In the book of Daniel we read of a king named Nebuchadnezzar who became so proud and arrogant that he lifted himself about all authorities, including the True and Living God.  His pride led God to humble him by taking away his mind.  For seven years, this proud and arrogant king lived like an animal.  In Acts 12, we read of a similar story involving Herod, who in his pride and arrogance tried to lift himself up before God.  He died and like all, was eaten by worms.  Napoleon Bonaparte, during his last days in exile wrote the following words:

I die before my time and my body shall be given back to the earth and devoured by worms.  What an abysmal gulf between my deep miseries and the eternal kingdom of Christ.  I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself and Alexander and of Caesar should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant, Jesus, should be able to stretch his hands across the centuries, and control the destinies of men and nations.

Jesus is the unparallel King of kings and Lord of lords.  While the earth seems out of control today, just remember that He has allowed Satan, for a short time, to control the earth, within the limits He allows.  Satan has made a mess of things, but soon Jesus will rule over His kingdom and peace and order will be evident.  Satan and his cohorts will be removed, never to bother us again, for they will be cast into eternal fire.  All this happens at the appointed time.  Never forget, that when you pray, He is still in control and when we pray according to His will, He steps up and does things that we never thought were possible.  He far exceeds our expectations with His answers.  Never forget that no matter how depressive the times, our God is in control and He will never let us down.  Everything about which we pray is in His control.

The second truth is tied to the first.  God is powerful.  We often describes His power this way, He is omnipotent or all powerful.  Each day, God is activity energizing this world and keeping everything in order and working.  He never is surprised and He never is left without a plan.  He is so powerful that He will never find anything as difficult.  In Romans 4, Abraham is described as having a body that needed to be “quickened” or made alive.  He erased the inability of both Sarah and Abraham to have a child because of their advanced age and gave them a promised child, Isaac.  Out of an impossible situation came the fulfillment of a promise by an unlimited God who is All-powerful and able to do whatever He determines best, whenever He determines it.  Things that man considers as impossible, God easily accomplishes.  When praying for the impossible, just focus on our God who is so powerful that nothing is impossible.  One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?”  There is no situation so bad, no loved one so lost, no need so big that God can’t take care of it.  He is powerful and there is nothing that is consistent with His nature that He can’t do.  God is powerful beyond our imaginations and we are promised that He is able to do abundantly beyond all that we ask or need Him to do.

The third truth is seen in the word “glory”.  Glory is the splendor, honor, and beauty, and brilliance that is majestic and “heavy”.  “Heavy” is seen in the Old Testament several times when His glory is spoken of as falling out of Heaven and filling the earth as it becomes evident.  Glory is more than the reputation of God.  It is the presence of God.  Jesus was introduced to us in John 1:14 with a statement that said we beheld the glory of the only begotten son of the Father, full of grace and truth.  We clothe ourselves each day with the things we wear, but God is so majestic that He clothes Himself with light in the same way that we put on clothes.  He is brilliant light, without any darkness whatsoever.  We are praying to the One whose brilliance fills the earth.  If He removed Himself, all that would be left would be darkness.  In heaven, there is no need for the sun because His glory lights all.

The final truth is God is eternal.  Turn with me to Isaiah 57:15, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”  God inhabits eternity like we inhabit our house.  When we think about eternity, we see the “bigness” of God.  Trying to understand eternity is difficult but if you have ever taken a small child to the beach and tried to explain how big the ocean is, you get the picture.  You go to the shoreline to the ocean and start explaining how big it is by telling them about the continent that is miles away on the other side.  But the small child doesn’t understand because he or she can’t imagine it.  As long as you’re there nearby, the child doesn’t fear the “bigness” of the ocean because they have you as their security.  Remembering that God inhabitants eternity reminds us that He is going to be with us and will never leave us.  With God, every day is the present tense because He is the great “I Am”.  No matter where life leads, He is there and He is in control, powerful enough to let His light shine and take care of us in spite of what we might face.

Let me end with a quiz.

  1.  Can you say “our” if you exclude others because of difference?
  2. Can you pray “Father” if you have not been born again and adopted as His child through the blood of Christ?
  3. Can you say “in heaven” if all your interest and focus are being pursued on the earth through material and temporary things?
  4. Can you say “hallowed by Thy name” if you don’t see Him as holy?
  5. Can you pray they kingdom come if you’re unwilling or resentful about giving up your independence in order to accept His righteous rule?
  6. Have you relinquished your own agenda to pursue His will?
  7. Can you do your part in having Him supply daily needs?
  8. If you hold a grudge against another, can you pray forgive us?
  9. If you choose to remind in situation where you’re tempted, can you pray “lead us not into temptation”?
  10. Can you asked to be delivered from evil, if you’re not armed with your spiritual armor?
  11. If you fear the limitations others impose on you, can you pray “thine is the power”?
  12. If you seek your glory, can you pray “for thine is the glory”?
  13. If you’re worried about the here and now, can you pray “forever”?

The key to learning is to put into action that which you have learned.  If we want to see God build the fires of revival here at Vienna that will spread to our community, city, state, and world, we need to start making prayer our priority. Are you in?  Pray according to the pattern Jesus gave and see God begin to work in ways we never have imagined.

 

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