What a wonderful time we have spent diving into some of the most important prayers in the Bible this fall. Which of those prayers did the Holy Spirit grab your attention? Which of those prayers does the Holy Spirit want you to ponder, memorize and pray?
As God has led me to these prayers, Abraham's active listening prayer and then his bold and scandalous prayer still grips me. I must pray that prayer regularly.
Several of the Southtowners have shared with me that they are re-reading those prayers and praying those prayers for their families, our church family and our Pentapolis.
Another prayer that I love is the prayer Jesus taught and teaches us. It's known as the Lord's Prayer. Remember how we started looking at that prayer?
That prayer reminds us who God is and who we are. When we pray it with this view, God re-calibrates who we are and what our focus is on each and every day. Let's take a look at that again.
Prayers Who God is… Who we are…
Our Father in heaven -Father -a child away from home
Hallowed be Your name -Highest -a worshipper
Your kingdom come -King -a subject
Your will be done -Sovereign -a servant
Give us today -Provider -a beggar
And forgive us our debts -Savior -a sinner
As we forgive our debtors -Confronter -a revenger
Lead us not into temptation -Protector -a sinner in danger of being a greater sinner
As we look at this prayer from this perspective, we naturally see our descending spiritual state, which is so true. But, when we are reminded of Jesus' teaching, "Blessed is the spiritually poor..." we learn that it is also a spiritual ascending prayer as well. The more we walk with Jesus openly and honestly, the more Jesus helps us understand our full need for Him to be our Confronter and Protector. The more spiritually close we become to Jesus, (the more spiritually mature), the more we realize how much of a danger we really are in. So, when we pray these many prayers in the Lord's prayer, let's be very mindful of these two spiritually descending and ascending realities of who we are.
For the past 15 years, every Sunday morning I pray the Lord's prayer on all of you, all pastors, all churches and 7 plus billion people alive. It usually takes me about 15-20 minutes to pray all these wonderful prayers in the Lord's prayer.
Maybe you might adopt one of these 9 prayers that we looked at all fall and pray that prayer on certain days or with certain people or in another way the Holy Spirit leads you to pray them.
Wrestling For The Twin Cities - Abraham's prayer
Wrestling For The Family - Hannah's prayer
Wrestling For The Meaning of Life - Jacob's prayer
Wrestling For Identity - Moses' prayer
Wrestling With Finances - David's prayer
Wrestling For The World - Daniel's prayer
Wrestling Through Darkness - The Psalmist prayer
Wrestling For Strength - Paul's prayer
Wrestling With Jesus - The Lord's prayer
Wrestling with Jesus together,
How are your relationships these days?
Are they close or distant?
Can they be counted on during challenging times?
Can you trust them?
Can they trust you?
You might be thinking this Encourager is about human relationships, but it is not. We have spent over five months on building our relationship with God through different Biblical prayers this year. So, let's use those same questions and shift them from human relationships to our relationship with God...
How is your relationship with God these days?
Are you close or distant?
Can God be counted on during challenging times?
Can you trust Him?
Can He trust you?
Remember this past Sunday we looked at Jesus' three instructions about prayer...
-Be aware of Public Prayers v Private Prayers. Matt 6:5-6
-Be aware of Rehearsed Prayers v Relational Prayers. Matt 6:7-8
-Be aware of Fire Prayers v Forgiving Prayers. Matt 6:14-15
As we think through our closeness and excitement about Jesus these days, let's have a spiritual mentor from a few hundred years ago encourage us.
George Whitefield was an Anglican Pastor and Evangelist in the 1700s. God used him in wonderful ways. He created the following list of questions to encourage himself to not take God for granted.
George Whitefield’s self-examination prayers
(1) Been fervent in private prayer?
(2) Used stated hours of prayer (morning, noon, evening)?
(3) Used prayer every hour (spontaneously)?
(4) After or before every deliberate conversation or action, considered how it might tend to God’s glory
(5) After any pleasure, immediately given thanks?
(6) Planned business for the day?
(7) Been simple (avoid luxury) and recollected (aware of God’s presence) in everything?
(8) Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could?
(9) Been meek, cheerful, affable in everything I said or did?
(10) Been proud, vain, unchaste, or enviable of others?
(11) Recollected in eating and drinking? Thankful? Temperate in sleep?
(12) Taken time for giving thanks according to William Law’s rules?
(13) Been diligent in studies?
(14) Thought or spoken unkindly of anyone?
(15) Confessed all sins?
Maybe we need to print this list off, carry it with us and look at it throughout the day for awhile.
Seeking to be close and excited about Jesus together,
What attracted people to Jesus?
Why did hundreds and thousands seek Jesus out?
What caused so many conversations about Jesus when they heard He was coming to town?
Why did so many bring their loved ones who were sick, evil controlled and disabled to Jesus every night for Him to heal and pray for them?
Jesus was different.
When facing a life situation, Jesus responded differently.
When it came to decisions, Jesus decided differently.
When responding to others, Jesus' attitude, words and actions were different.
Doesn't the life of Jesus sum up His sermon on the mount?
"You have heard that it was said... but I tell you..." Matt 5:21
Think of all those topics Jesus preached on; anger/murder, lusting/adultery, marriage/divorce, oaths/keeping your word, revenge/grace, dealing with enemies, etc.
His teaching theme which was His life, "Be Different."
Are you different?
Is your attitude different than the world's and more like Jesus'?
Is your thinking different than the world's and more like Jesus'?
Are your words different than the world's and more like Jesus'?
Are your actions different than the world's and more like Jesus'?
Are your prayers different than the world's and more like Jesus'?
Are the people in your life amazed at how you respond and relate to them because you are more like Jesus than everyone else?
Which nature is more alive in you, your old human nature or Jesus' new nature?
Praying to be more like Jesus in every day life together,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.