If you are like me, anytime you start to read the passages from the Sermon on the Mount, or any tied to the same teachings, you feel challenged and convicted at the same time. Yet, through these teachings is room for grace and learning. Each one of us can sit down and see where growth areas are, and our struggles are. My hope, as you have read these, is that you find encouragement that there is a God who loves you and cares for you so much that He wants to teach you truth and the way to live that honors Him.
Scripture – I want to focus this blog on Matthew 6:5-13, the Lord’s prayer. If you were at cherry hills on Sunday, September 22, pastor Jeff gave an awesome message on prayer. This text is another way to tag along in encouraging you to keep being in prayer and making it a lifestyle.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
Observation – The verses above have always impacted me because the prayer starts with God and who He is. Jesus is showing us that we are to start with God, not ourselves and our wants. Then it flows into what He wants, “His will be done,” what our focus should be on as followers of Christ. After the time is spent on God, then it comes to us, “give us today our daily bread,” which is Him feeding us through our time with Him. Then we are to look at ourselves as we search where we need to confess in ways we haven’t been in right relationship with God, or others, and have the heart to go after that right relationship. Finally, we are to pray against allowing Satan, or our temptations to have an impact in our lives.
Application – If you are like me, many of my prayers instantly start with me and what I want. My hope for all of us is that we can follow this guideline that Christ gave His followers and spend time talking and listening to our Father. Will you be willing to take the next week and practice this prayer in your life? Even taking parts of it and talking to God throughout each part of the day? Here is an example:
When you wake up – pray verse 9, focus that time on who God is and name ways He has impacted your life.
Before you leave for the day – pray verse 10, let God show you where He is at work and go along with Him as you are an example to those around you as we strive to do His will on earth.
At lunch time – pray verse 11, rest in Him and let Him speak to you and refresh you for the rest of the day.
During the evening – pray verse 12, think about things you need to confess to God, and/or, people that you might have to go back and have a right relationship with, having a heart to forgive.
Before bed – pray verse 13, focus this one for your sleep and the next day, that God would protect your heart and mind as you sleep and protection for the next day.
Prayer – Father, thank You for who You are, and how You have impacted our lives. Thank You for loving us so much to teach us Your ways and how to live. Help us be a family that does Your will. Help us to rest in You and just be with You, to talk and listen. Help us to live in right relationship with You and those that are in our lives, having a heart of forgiveness. Please protect us from our temptations and Satan as he tries to hurt our relationship with You and the impact we can have on others for your glory and honor. Amen.