The Lord’s Prayer

women kneeing in prayer

Recently I had the honor of sharing with a group of women.  As I prayed each day prior to the day, the Lord began to speak to me about giving them insight to the Lord’s Prayer as given in Matthew 6:9-13.  I felt the Holy Spirit say give them a new meaning, one they can use when journeying deeper in their relationship with Me.  I call this a Jesus Habit. Prayer and studying God’s Word are a true level of connecting with Him in an intimate way.  It’s important to attend church or a Bible study to gain insight from others, however, your quiet personal time with God will bring new meaning to your relationship with Him.

Read Matthew 6:9-13, take note of my comments and write ones of your own as God speaks to you.  There is meat in these scriptures.  Use this as a guide in your daily prayer time.  I would like to say, don’t let others or the devil make you feel as if you have failed if you do not hold to a specific time of day or a hard rule of when and where to seek God.  He is always with you.  So whenever and wherever works! The point is just do it!

One more thing, get a Bible! Don’t relay on your phone, tablet or iPad, even a computer.  There is nothing better than the written Word in a tangible printed way.  Write in the margins, add pages using some of the new techniques used by art journalers. Let your Bible express your love for Jesus.  As your relationship matures your Bible will reflect that relationship, or provide a history of your journey, no electonic device can show your love better.

v6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” 

Intimate, private relationship with God – praying and studying His Holy Word alone grows your relationship with Him.  Empty platitudes spoken in public prove  nothing but expose your pride.

v7-8 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” 

Do not be meaningless, repetitive, God knows your mind and heart’s motive. He knows before we ask so be honest. Come surrendered and humbled, lay yourself open before your Lord.

v9 “Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” 

Recognize His Authority, Who He is, the great I AM. Then declare His  Holiness… Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord for the whole earth is filled with His Glory.  Isaiah 6:3

v10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” 

Acknowledge the need for God, and the need for all people to know Him, we have a responsibility in representing Him to the world through our life and in spreading the Gospel with those we encounter.

v11 “Give us this day our daily bread.”

We are depend, so make our-self dependent on God for all things.  Acknowledge that only God can give you what you need…physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Matthew 6:33 says “seek Him first, His Kingdom and His righteousness and you will receive all you need.” 

v12 “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

God forgives us of our (debts) sin, through this we have an example of forgiveness for those who hurt or sin against us.  We cannot claim God’s forgiveness if we harbor anger and unforgiveness towards  others.  Ask God to continually and daily to reveal any bitterness we may hold in our heart.

v13 “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the   kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” 

God does not tempt us with evil,  James 1:13 says “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.“ Ask God to guide you and give you discernment.  God will deliver you from evil when we stand in God’s strength and authority based in His Word.  James 4:7  tells us to “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee.”  Finally have confidence in God,  I Corinthians 10:13  confirms God is there for us, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 

This afternoon of sharing turn into an amazing day of lives changed through God’s Word.  I am but his empty vessel, set on a course of sharing truth, and the life changing experience found in living and serving the one truth God…Jesus Christ!

Be Blessed,

Laurie

 

Thank You Lord

Scripture: He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the lord.  Proverbs 18:22 NIV

Observation: This proverb says it clearly. I can’t add to or take away from it.

Application: I must understand and appreciate the wife that God has given me. I sure don’t deserve her. One more evidence to me that God loves me unconditionally.

Prayer: Father,  thank you for giving me Laurie. Help me to be worthy of her. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

A Dad’s Discipline

Scripture: Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Revelation 3:19 NIV

Observation: Jesus is talking of the church at Laodicea. This is the luke-warm church that is about to be “spit out!” They are neither hot nor cold. He is closing his words to John about that church with a reminder to learn from discipline when it is administered.

Application: If a parent loves his child he will discipline him instead of letting him learn that running into traffic is dangerous by allowing him to actually be hit by a car. The difference is teaching a valuable lesson and a trip to the hospital or worse. I am not a Theologian but I do know that there are occasions throughout scripture where God’s name must be translated as “daddy.” In this passage I believe that he wants us to know him as “daddy” and he wants, just like our earthly fathers, for us to heed his discipline and know that it is given for our own good.

Prayer: Daddy, thank you for loving me so much that you will show me when I sin and allow me to make amends and learn from my mistakes. Amen

Doug

Merry CHRISTmas

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

Doug

Our Number One Tool

Scripture: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16 NIV

Observation: Paul clearly states that all scripture is from God and is good for and intended for instructing to improve ourselves and/or others.

Application: I have to read it and apply its words in order to use the bible as it is intended to be used.

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me a means of learning how I must live and for giving me a way to share that information with others. I thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

Be Job-like

Scripture: At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:20&21 NIV

Observation: The wealthy, God-fearing, humble man Job just lost all of his possessions and family and yet he worships and praises God.

Application: Oh to be like Job instead of his wife, “His wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!’” Job 2:9 NIV I want the humility and integrity of Job. That is my prayer.

Prayer: Father: help me to accept all of life’s circumstances, good and bad, and see how they are blessing in my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

God’s “Pay it Forward”

Scripture: “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:8-11 NIV

Observation: Malachi relays God’s words about the tithe.

Application: To my knowledge this is the only place in the bible that God says that his promise may be tested and I believe that this promise is specifically about tangible possessions. God says right here in Malachi that if we tithe we will be so richly blessed that we will have more “stuff” than we can handle. I believe that our inclination will be to then give the excess away to help sustain others because that’s a natural inclination God put within us–give to him, he gives back to us in excess, we give to others. In the secular world a few years ago they termed it, “paying it forward.” That was a big theme in a movie that gave no credit to God as the author of the concept but it was basically God’s tithe principle. When we give back to God what he has given us, he blesses us with all that we need and so much more that we bless others by giving to them as well as back to him. Then they bless him and others…and so on. Ain’t God cool?!

Prayer: Father, thank you so much for all of the blessings that you give to me. Help me to bless others as you make it possible by providing for those blessings. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

No Greater Joy

Scripture: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4 NIV

Observation: John tells of his joy in knowing that the followers that he and the other disciples had converted were flourishing.

Application: There is no greater joy than knowing that your children are following the Lord.

Prayer: Father, thank you for children that strive to know you. I ask that you continue to strengthen them in their walk. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

For My Kids

This is for all of my children. Especially Andy on the eve of his marriage.

Scripture: A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.  Proverbs 12:4 NIV

Observation: King Solomon shares many truths through Proverbs 12.

Application: Andy & Heather, Rodney, Grace, and Ashley, as I read today I felt compelled to share with you how true I know this Proverb to be.  I lived my life in the past as I saw fit. I sought to please myself and my selfish desires.  I did not seek the Lord’s guidance in my personal life or my marriage. I was led by my lustful heart; my marriage failed.  I know that it was because of my sinful heart and that I never exhibited any spiritual leadership in my home that I failed. In many ways my ex-wife is like decay in my bones. She is a constant reminder to me of my failure to God, to her, and to my family.  Kids, I apologize for what I put all of you through because of my sinfulness and lack of leadership.  However, even though I know I don’t deserve it, God gave me another chance. He blessed me with Laurie.  She is a woman of God and she truly is like a crown for my head.
Andy, learn from my mistakes.  Don’t repeat them. Cherish the gift the God has given you in Heather. Remember how Tommy Nelson taught from the Song of Solomon that a man is to treat his ” ewe lamb” of a wife.  Adore her, encourage her, and she will grow in nobility before men.  Then she too, will be a crown that adorns your head like Laurie adorns mine.
Ashley, Rodney, Grace, all of you please remember to always treat the spouse that God gifts to you as something much more precious than yourselves. Do that to please the Lord and your marriages will be greatly blessed.

Prayer: Father, thank you for blessing me with a crown of honor that is Laurie. I pray for the same honor and blessing for my children.  I wish for them all to learn from the mistakes that Laurie and I made in our pasts.  I pray that they not repeat those mistakes and that their marriages are blessed and their spouses are crowns of honor for their heads. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

The Potter

Scripture: But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ”  Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?  Romans 9:20,21 NIV

Observation: Paul clearly places God and man into their proper perspectives.

Application: I was talking to my pastor the other night and I was explaining how much of what I read in Romans is confusing to me. Paul says, “if I think this, but not that” or “since I was that but thought like this, I may have once meant to be…”  I don’t mean to be blasphemous I just mean to say that the book is very hard for me to follow and understand most of the time.  That said, today’s passages are very clear to me. Paul asks, “who are we to question God?” There is no misunderstanding in this to me. I get it and I agree with him…who am I?  What right do I have?  I need to know and understand that God is God and he created me. He did it for his pleasure and in his timing. He’s the Potter; I’m the clay and I exist because God wants me to exist. He’s in control and he loves me.

Prayer: Father, thank you for creating and caring for your creation. I know that at times I wonder “why,” but thank you for the passages in Romans that remind me that you are God and you are in charge.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug