Daily Spirit & Word, 535: A New Way To Talk To God.
Good morning my friends, I don’t know about you, but as a School Governor, it fills me with dread whenever the Government brings out a new ‘brilliant’ initiative that will transform the education and outcomes of the school. Oh yes! I’ve heard it all before, time and time again, but most often they just lead to lots of work for teachers and senior staff in the school environment. So much time is given over to the new initiative that teaching takes a sad second place and the children are the ones who suffer the most, because you’ll get great teachers who’ve just had enough of government interference in stuff they know so little about and they’ll take redundancy or early retirement. It’s sad, because they’ve still got a lot to offer and their heart for the children’s learning is obvious.
When they come up with the new initiative, it’s accompanied with impenetrable instructions and ill-thought-through implementation procedures. However, through the Lord Jesus Christ he made the NEW WAY to talk and relate with God crystal clear and easy to follow.
HOW NOT TO PRAY:
Before Jesus taught His followers how to pray, He first told them how NOT to do it. This is really important, because we don’t want to make those stupid mistake do we 🙂
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
What Jesus saying about the above?
- Don’t be a show off or Shallow Prayer: Be sincere.
- Your Father will reward you when you go to Him.
- Don’t keep babbling like the pagans. It’s NOT about the quantity of our words, but about the quality, sincerity. Remember that God ALWAYS looks at the HEART. He knows when we’re being genuine and sincere. He knows what we need. It’s recognising that God is our FATHER and He knows what we need even before we begin to talk with Him, but He still wants us to talk to Him about it. However, you don’t need to go into all the details, He knows that already, just be straght-forward and let Him know what you need.
The NEW WAY:
We call the New Way of talking with God: The Lord’s Prayer.
You’ll be asking, “What’s ‘new’ about that?” Well, the Lord’s Prayer was such a radically different approach to communicating and meeting with God, that we need to look at it afresh in every generation.
Matthew 6:9-15 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 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.’ (for Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. For ever and ever, Amen!).
14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
(Also Luke 11:1-4)
NOTE: Jesus didn’t just tell them what to pray about, but He also gave us the reasons why we should do it that way, i.e. He explained why we needed to forgive others.
Before Jesus introduced us to the New Way:
In ancient times people related with God through Priests, they couldn’t do it for themselves. They had to make a journey to where the Priests operated and get them to interceed for them. However, so impressed with the way that Jesus lived, talked and did things every day, the first followers asked Jesus to teach them how to pray like He did. They said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray”. Jesus told His followers that they’ll be ‘RELATING’ to God personally, themselves, individually: He said, call God; “OUR FATHER”. God is GOD ALMIGHTY, but He becomes your Father the moment you are born of the Holy Spirit by trusting Jesus Christ for your Salvation. From that moment on you are in an eternal family relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son (who becomes your eternal Lord and brother), and the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful family to belong to, what a privilege, what a JOY.
Do you remember yesterday when I quoted Jesus “Come to me” statement? He said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”. He’s soooo right my friends, even the way that we pray to our Father is really easy. However, it’s also really deep. Because in just 70 words we can range from God’s Eternal Greatness right down to our most basic needs in life, our daily bread.
Instead of calling out to a far away, distant and unknowable God, Jesus introduced us to a New Way of relating to God: As FATHER. He said, “When you pray”. Notice Jesus expected us to talk to God. “Say, ‘Our Father'”…. WOWzer! Jesus was the Only Son of God, but He knew that after He died, we’d be brought into a relationship with God through our faith and trust in Himself, that we’d become Children of God. (John 1:12).
What an awesome privileged position Christians are in. It’s a bit like Prince George relating to his father Prince William. When we approach Prince William, as his subjects, we’ll bow and call him, “Your Highness”. Why? Because in society he’s higher than everyone else. However, little Prince George can run right up to him and call him “Daddy”. We can do that too my friends. So the new way is intimate and personal.
Your Father in Heaven: He rules. He’s the Boss of the Cosmos (I love that saying). He can do ANYTHING (apart from the things that go against His nature or revealed will).
Remember God is NOT limited by the laws of physics. Jesus could walk on water, raise the dead, turn water into wine, make a few loaves of bread feed thousands of people.
Your Father in Heaven wants you to know that even before you ask Him, He’s able to meet ALL your needs.
His power extends into every sphere; both physical and spiritual. He’s not in an equal fight against the forces of evil. One day God will make the Devil and all his host of demons pay, but even now God’s in total control and can deliver us from ALL evil.
It’s ALL Encompassing:
The Lord’s Prayer touches every aspect of our lives, it’s not a prayer that’s meant to be said by rote, but rather as a Springboard into a deeper prayer life with our Father in Heaven.
Remember that Father God also took up residence in your life, so Heaven is definitely in your heart too. (John 17).
When we say; Matthew 6:13 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
We are reminding ourselves that our relationship with God is ETERNAL, It’s Easy, It’s Personal, Powerful, All encompassing and we NEED Him every day.
The Lord’s Prayer: Is a powerful new way of communicating with God, He’s your Father in Heaven, if you’ve trusted Jesus as your Saviour.
It’s my hope and prayer that today you’ll feel encouraged to come afresh into the presence of God your Father and talk with Him in the NEW WAY and see His POWER at work in your life. Amen!