Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Luke 11:1-13

v. 2-4 The disciples asked Jesus how to pray.  The prayer in Matt. 6:9-13 and here in Luke 11:2-4 differ a bit.  This shows that there is not just one correct way to pray, although this is the guide line that we can follow. 
"Father, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation."

Father, first Jesus praises God and establishes His place as Father.  We are to come to God as a child.
If you do not recognize His Holiness then your prayers might just turn into a checklist as if it is nothing special. 
The next part is focused on today, not yesterday or tomorrow.  God gave the Israelites enough manna in the wilderness for that day.  What happened when they took more than they needed for that day?  It turned into rotten food.  He gives us what we need for today and no other.  We are to rely upon Him daily. 
Forgiveness - Something that is last on our list yet we want it first from God.  It is so important to forgive.  Would you like it if God held forgiveness from you like you hold forgiveness from others?  I can not stress enough how important this is.  I believe prayer if blocked if you have unforgiveness.  Matt. 5:24 "Leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift."
Last, God can keep us from temptation.  God will allow us to be tested, but we can pray for guidance and to be kept from many tempting situations.  He will give you a way out.  The Holy Spirit is here to help us pray.  If I feel the Holy Spirit leads me to pray for something then I pray it and I also believe it even if it doesn't seem to make sense or seems impossible. 

Even though we sin daily it is a comfort to know that we are encouraged to come before God and pray.  We do not always like the outcome, but He will never return void.  I do not believe in unanswered prayers.  I believe they are always answered.  Yes, it may take decades before you see it, but they are answered. 

v. 5-8 Jesus tells of a man that came to a friend's house late at night in search of some bread to feed some friends.  The man was persistent and bold so he received his request.  We are to be the same with God.  I don't think people are bold enough in their prayers.  Just in the last several years my prayers are getting bolder that ever. 

v. 9-13 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone that asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."  We can ask for anything yet we might not get it if it's not in God's will.  Sure it would be great to win the lottery but it just may not be in His plans for you.  I believe these verses heavily lean toward our basic needs and things like wisdom, patience, etc; not material things.  It says that even though we make mistakes we can still give our children good things.  Then how much more will God give to those that ask Him!

Prayer is underestimated in our world.  There are some that think it's quaint or completely useless.  Prayer is more powerful than we know, it is part of our armor.  It is a weapon to be used in the battle against evil. 

What if we prayed boldly and had the faith to back it up?  He is waiting to work in our life, we only need to ask.  God works through people and circumstances.  How many angels sit waiting to get the call for work and no call comes?

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