PrayerBro. David Chancellor
11/6/2005 11:00 AM
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread, And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
“…teach us to pray…” This isn’t about convincing God to do what you want him to do. It’s about how to walk and commune with God. Jesus prayed, and he accomplished something through prayer.
Some people approach prayer as a recitation. Jesus lets us know in Matthew that saying the same thing over and over isn’t what he had in mind. There’s more to prayer than saying words. Prayer involves walking with God and knowing him. When Jesus prayed, he and God got together and had a conversation. Prayer is pouring out to God what concerns you and listening to what concerns him. Jesus was talking about a relationship. We can talk to God about everything. Prayer’s full value is to those that know God, but the sinner needs to know how to pray, so that he can get to know God. Prayer is simple; it is just talking to God. The sinner needs to be taught to pray. Many people get religion without learning how to pray. If you would walk with God, you have to learn to pray. Who better to teach us to pray than Jesus? His disciples desired the communion with God that Jesus had.
Prayer is more than handing God a list of desires. Take time to let God talk back to you. Communion requires that both have some input. Our lives will go in much better ways when we talk with God about our choices.
And he came out, and went as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed. Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
“…And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation…” As we live, we may believe that we are in control of our lives, but there are many things that affect our lives that are beyond our control. Jesus had tried to inform his disciples of some things that were coming that didn’t quite match their expectations. He tried to prepare them because he wasn’t the only one facing things when he went to the cross. The disciples weren’t preparing because they didn’t understand what Jesus was telling them.
Life will bring things our way. We need to pray and prepare to go through whatever may come, so that God will be glorified. “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him…” Christ found strength for the trial in talking to God. he was facing persecution and opposition. He would rather have found another way, but he submitted to God and found the strength and help he needed to go through. The disciples slept instead of praying. They needed someone to strengthen them, too, but they didn’t do much praying.
And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Peter grabbed his sword and was ready to fight. He entered into the temptation. When he faced the little maid, he wasn’t ready to fight. He needed what would be found in prayer. The disciples needed to pray so that they wouldn’t be overwhelmed by it all. Jesus found in prayer what he needed to go through in the way God needed him to go through. We can ask God to help us not to cause trouble, but to handle the trouble in a right way if it comes to us. Jesus found strength in prayer to go to the cross for us. We need to find in prayer the strength and direction God has for our ways. We can ask God to strengthen us for trouble ahead. Time spent with God will be a source of grace, strength and understanding. God has a plan for our lives. Sometimes he needs to fit our ideas to accomplish his plan. The scriptures wouldn’t have been fulfilled if Jesus had had his own way.
2 Corinthians 13:3-9
Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking to me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even you perfection.
Paul was trying to assure them that he was an apostle. They were proof that God spoke through him. We need to make sure that we’re not our own worst enemy. Do you make it difficult for God to give you what he wants for you? We want our lives to bring good to God’s cause. We want to do what is honest and right. God can still get things done whether we allow him to use us or not. It’s better to let him use you. He has a plan for you. We want to spend time with God so he can complete in us what he’s started. He wants a life lived to accomplish his purpose and to life up his name.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness:
This was Paul’s prayer for these. This is what we want to achieve by prayer. It’s good to talk to God about our lives. God can give us direction about things that are for us and not for everyone. He’ll tell us what we need for our own good. Prayer can address personal needs. We all have events in our lives that need to be handled in a personal way. Prayer can build you up in the areas where you need to be strengthened. “…strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness…” Get the “joyfulness” part. Patience is being able to endure things graciously. Longsuffering also involves grace. We can suffer some things and still have joy. It takes inner strength to graciously handle whatever life brings our way. Prayer is where strength is found. Start your day with prayer and seek what you need for the day.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-3
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
Paul recognized his need of prayer. He desired that others would hold him up in prayer. Paul wasn’t trying to cause trouble, but he faced a lot of it. God’s plan and desire is to work in us and take us in the way he’d have us to go. Prayer acknowledges weakness and receives help from God. God has brought us to where we are so that his purpose can be accomplished.