January 21 – Today’s Readings – Matthew 8-10 and Psalms 21
I need to go back to Chapter 6 and review a common teaching on the “Lord’s Prayer”. Even though it is quite old, I often still use this same prayer model and it usually takes me from 15 minutes to a half hour if I pray through the Lord’s Prayer in this manner(although I can spend an hour on just one section at times). I am hoping this brief summary will encourage you to pray from the Word.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” – Here we begin with worship and acknowledging our Father-God. We then pray all the names of the Lord and what they mean to us – Emmanuel (God with us and in us) – Protector – Strong Tower – Shield – Warrior – Prince of Peace – Counselor – The One Who Sees Me – The One Who Provides – Holy – Almighty – Creator – Judge of all the Earth – The Lamb – The Lion – The Dove – Healer – Owner of Everything – King of Kings – Lord of Lords – the One who sticks closer that a brother – the “I will never leave you” – the Lover of my Soul. This list of names describing the character and nature of God can be added to as you read every book of the Bible for He is revealed in every book in a slightly different fashion. Remember, for every need in life, there is a Name of God that meets that need. It can take some time just to focus on who God is and all that this means to me.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” – We now respond to God. We let Him know that we want Him to rule and reign in our lives, our jobs, our families, our church and our city. At this point in prayer you need to focus on things in your life and your world that either are or are not presently under His “Lordship”. You also need to declare heaven’s will over situations that are obviously negative in your world.
“Give us this day our daily bread” – This statement reaffirms that God is the one who supplies your needs – not your job, your clever investments or your inheritance. “Our Daily Bread” speaks to me of spiritual, emotional and physical needs. He is the one who can and will fill us all spiritually every day. When our emotions are topsy-turvy, He is the one who brings peace in the middle of the storm. “Daily” is the operative word in this prayer as yesterday’s relationship with God is not enough – we need renewal on a daily basis.
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” – God puts tremendous “weight” on our human relationships and our relationship with Him. Consider the fact that all of the Ten Commandments have to do with right relationships! Remember, forgiveness is not an option. Consider this – forgiveness means setting people free – turning them over to God so He can deal with them the way He sees fit.
“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” – We do have a very real enemy who seeks to snare us in a thousand ways. We need God’s covering and deliverance from temptations that could trip us up at any time. We then end up by reaffirming our need to acknowledge that it’s all about Him – not about us.
1. Make a list of people you have not forgiven or “given to God”.
2. Is there any area in your life you have not surrendered to God?