Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

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Why should we pray the Lord’s Prayer?

September 21, 2012

Christ came so that we would have life, not only a good life but an abundant life.  Part of that abundant life is found in the discipline of prayer.  In Matthew 6 Jesus is in the middle of His “Sermon on the Mount,” a conversation concerning the role of the blessed in relation to: each other, to society, to the Law, and to God their Father.  Present were His disciples, 12 men in the presence of the Light of the world, yet still in the dark about how to live a blessed life pleasing to God through, working, fasting, giving, and praying.  This is where Jesus said; Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth…You are the salt of the earth… The light of the world… Love your enemies… when you give, sound no trumpet before you… and when you pray, Pray like this…

Prayer is a given for the followers of Jesus. Jesus tells his disciples “when you Pray..”  not “if you pray” or “should you pray” but when.  It is an assumption that the disciples will pray and that we will and should pray.  Jesus here, is instructing them how to pray.  We seek advice on “How To” do almost everything.  A quick search of Amazon.com reveals over 950,000 titles on How to do everything.  There are 20,000 books on how to do home improvements, 57,000 books on how to use electronics, 15,000 books on how to play sports, 5,200 books on how to take care of babies.  And Just in case you are curious there are 48 nonfiction books on How to Pray, by various authors some Christian and some of other faiths.

In Matthew we have the ultimate expert instructing us on how to pray.  Jesus was one with the Father, (John 10:30) and even with that unique oneness relationship He could do nothing apart from the Father.  Prayer was essential for Him as He lived his life, and embarked upon His Work.  If He had to pray, how much more are we in need of God’s help through prayer?

Jesus knew How to approach the Father, He was perfect without sin, He knew that we must learn to ask God for what we need.  Later in the next Chapter of Matthew, 7:7-11 Jesus describes the response of a father to the need of his children, “which one among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?  If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give what is good to those who ask him!”  “ask and it will be given to you; and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

Why is this prayer important?  It is literally God’s instruction to his disciples and through them to us on how to approach Him in prayer, what we should say and what our attitude should be when we approach the Father in Prayer.

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Why should we pray?

September 20, 2012

Over the next several posts we are going to be examining prayer, specifically the Lord’s Prayer as found in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:9-13.

First we will address the reason why we should pray.  Beyond the fact that we are commanded to pray, what should motivate us to engage in prayer:

For our Divine Relationship:

We are created for relationships.  This is evident in every one of our lives.  The fact that you are here listening to me is a key sign that you desire to be in a relationship with other people.  The church is nothing if it is not a community of believers seeking a relationship with God through His son Jesus.  By far the most important relationship you have is the one with your heavenly Father, God.   Just like any relationship you have, your relationship with Him is aided on communication.  He communicates to you through His word, through His Spirit, through his Preachers.  You communicate to Him through worship, worship in song, worship in His Church, and worship through Prayer.

Think of the relationships you have in your life.  How are they affected by communication, especially with the ones you love?  If I told you that I loved my wife, but I also confessed to you that despite the benefits of talking to her and communicating with her, she and I haven’t spoken in day, weeks, perhaps even months.  Despite my insistence that she and I were in love, and that we were in a relationship, how healthy could that relationship be if she and I never communicated?  Consider you relationship with God.  In his word we are told to Pray.  Jeremiah records God’s promise to him in Jeremiah 33:2-3 ” Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish, the Lord is his name, ‘Call unto Me and I will answer you, I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'”  We know that when we call on the Lord our God He hears us, “I Love the Lord,” The Psalmist says, “because he hears my voice, and my supplications (cries for mercy), because he has inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.” (Ps. 116:1-2)

Among First marriages in America Statistics show that some 45-50% of marriages end in Divorce, (www.divrocestatistics.org ) Research done on the causes for divorce reveal, that “Lack of communication is one of the leading causes of divorce. A marriage is on the rocks when the lines of communication fail. You can’t have an effective relationship if either one of you won’t discuss your feelings, can’t talk about your mutual or personal issues, will keep your resentments simmering under wraps, and expect your partner to guess what the whole problem is about.” (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/common-causes-and-reasons-for-divorce.html)

How can you expect your relationship with the Father to flourish if you don’t communicate through prayer?  Are you Strong enough to go through this life on your own?

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Depression’s Death: There is H.O.P.E.

May 17, 2012

 

Many of us, if not most of us, will at some point in our lives battle depression. And ‘battle’ is an apt term to describe dealing with depression, for it is as an insidious an enemy as exists for the Christian. Depression will at some point lay siege to your emotions and arrest your energy, so how can you prepare for the onslaught? I propose that you HOPE in God. This HOPE involves; Hearing the Word, Opening yourself to others, Praying, and Engaging in Service.

“Therefore preparing your minds for action, and being sober minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13)

Hear the word. Put yourself in positions to hear the word of God, read it yourself, listen to sermons, go to church, listen to podcasts and the radio, God is communicating through His word so soak up as much as you can, knowing that His desire is for you to have life and life in abundance. The Bible is a record of those who have been afflicted, persecuted, abandoned, and fear-filled, and yet who have found unending hope in God and salvation through His Son. “Long for the pure spiritual milk of the work that by it you may grow up into salvation, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (I Peter 2:2-3)

Open yourself to others. Satan’s goal is to isolate us from one another and from God. From the first sin in the garden man has been hiding from each other and from God, covering his sin and shame. But God comes to us, as He did to Adam and Eve, calling us from out of our hiding and seeking us out. He has given us the church to be His voice and His hands in our lives, to speak the promise of His hope, and the wisdom of His instruction. Open yourself up to others, so that they may share in your joys and your sufferings. (Gal 6:2) John Piper puts it this way: “This is exactly what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:4 where he speaks about comforting others with the comfort with which he had been comforted by God. God ordains that one person walk through a valley, find comfort in the valley, come out, turn around, go back to the beginning of that same valley, and help other people walk through it with the very comforts they discovered there.”

Pray. That’s right, go to God in prayer. In times of depression, Satan would have us cast our gaze inward, searching out the dark recesses of our troubled soul. But God, in His word, admonishes us to “lift up our eyes to the hills, from whence cometh our help” our help does not come from inside us, “our help comes from the Lord.” (Ps 121) and in times of trouble and fear, when we are depressed, we are commanded to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, than at the proper time He might exalt you; CASTING ALL YOUR ANXIETIES UPON HIM for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7) We guard against depression by continually casting our anxieties upon God, so that they never get the opportunity to take hold in our hearts.

Engage in service. This may seem simple, but often depression comes when we have too much idle time, time to reflect on our problems and be overcome by them. This is related to complacency, in that we were created by God to work, and to do all things “heartily for Him rather than for men.” (Col 3:23) Often getting involved in serving others, serves to bolster our spirits by allowing us to grow in Christ-likeness. We also keep guard against idleness, if we are focused on others, then we will be less likely to obsess about ourselves.

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Why Should We Pray?…

April 18, 2011

For our Divine Relationship:

” [T]he world [is not] fundamentally a constellation of discrete atomic individuals; we are all in our lives intimately related with one another.” (Charles T. Mathewes, author)

We are created for relationships. This is evident in every one of our lives. The fact that you are here listening to me and reading this is a key sign that you desire to be in a relationship with other people. The church is nothing if it is not a community of believers seeking a relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ. By far the most important relationship you have is the one with your heavenly Father. Just like any relationship you have, your relationship with Him is aided by communication. He communicates to you through His word, through His Spirit, through his Preachers. You communicate to Him through worship, worship in song, worship in His Church, and worship through Prayer.

Think of the relationships you have in your life. How are they affected by communication, especially with the ones you love? If I told you that I loved my wife, but I also confessed to you that despite the benefits of talking to her and communicating with her, she and I haven’t spoken in day, weeks, perhaps even months. Despite my insistence that she and I were in love, and that we were in a relationship, how healthy could that relationship be if she and I never communicated?

Consider your relationship with God. In his word we are told to pray. Jeremiah records God’s promise to him in Jeremiah 33:2-3 ” Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish, the Lord is his name, ‘Call unto Me and I will answer you, I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'” We know that when we call on the Lord our God He hears us, “I Love the Lord,” The Psalmist says, “because he hears my voice, and my supplications (cries for mercy), because he has inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.” (Ps. 116:1-2)

Among First marriages in America Statistics show that some 45-50% of marriages end in Divorce, (www.divrocestatistics.org ) Research done on the causes for divorce reveal, that “Lack of communication is one of the leading causes of divorce. A marriage is on the rocks when the lines of communication fail. You can’t have an effective relationship if either one of you won’t discuss your feelings, can’t talk about your mutual or personal issues, will keep your resentments simmering under wraps, and expect your partner to guess what the whole problem is about.” (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/common-causes-and-reasons-for-divorce.html)

How can you expect your relationship with the Father to flourish if you don’t communicate through prayer? Are you Strong enough to go through this life on your own?