Archive for May 2015

Listen to Praying As Jesus Taught, Part 3

Matthew 6:5-13

When we pray for God’s name to be hallowed (sanctified), worshipped, adored, and exalted in our hearts and the hearts of those worldwide, we are praying for His will. His ultimate desire is for His name to be glorified and praised through our lives. We were created to give Him glory. Everything He has done and will do is for His glory. In asking us to hallow His name and joyfully be satisfied in Him above anything else in life, He is both truthful to who He is (our greatest satisfaction) and loving to us (giving us ultimate satisfaction in our intended design and purpose). Through Christ, God rescued us from living an idolatrous life of living for our glory to a life able to be lived for His glory.

Questions to Consider

  1. How has God shown Himself to be the only One who is able to satisfy our soul and is worthy of our glory?
  2. How are we tempted to live for our names instead of His?
  3. How does the gospel reveal God’s glory and His desire for His name to be praised?
  4. How can we tell if our prayers are informed by our desires or desires to glorify God?
  5. Are you praying constantly for God’s name to be worshipped by all?

Action Steps for This Week

  1. God is most concerned for His glory above all else. Visit this article and note how this truth is revealed all through the Scriptures.
  2. Consider whether you are overwhelmed with God and the glories of His name. Learn one new thing in Scripture about God this week that leads you to worship Him. Share that with someone so that they may worship Him as well.
  3. Reflect on the prayers that you pray and if/how they need to change to reflect a desire to see God’s name honored. Begin to pray that way.

Listen to Praying As Jesus Taught, Part 2

Matthew 6:5-13

Because of God’s incredible grace in Jesus, believers get the privilege of having a intimate relationship with the God of the universe. Prayer is a gift given to the believer whereby we can commune with God and honor Him, ask for His will in and through our lives, and seek His purposes. We should never use prayer to honor ourselves in front of others. Public prayer is not wrong, but Jesus highlights the importance of personal, solitary prayer with God. And our prayers were never intended to be passionless, routine prayers. When we pray, we should do so with a genuine heart overwhelmed by God’s goodness and mercy to us, with a genuine desire to see God work for His glory in whatever we are requesting of Him.

Questions to Consider

  1. How can someone who loves approval from others selfishly use prayer to gain it? Why is that a misuse of prayer?
  2. How can we avoid using prayer to honor ourselves and impress others?
  3. How does the gospel humble us and exalt God?  How should that inform who we seek to honor (ourselves or God) in our prayers?
  4. How can we avoid praying passionless, routine prayers? What is the difference between “saying” your prayers and “praying” your prayers?
  5. Do you pray because you “have” to or because you “get” to? How does the gospel inform our motivation to pray?

Action Steps for This Week

  1. Find a regular, solitary spot to pray each day this week. Begin your prayer by acknowledging God’s worthiness of worship.
  2. When you pray for whatever you pray for, ask for His will and not your own. Let what you learn about His will in your daily Scriptural study inform what you ask for.
  3. Read Ephesians 1:3-14. Continue to reflect on to whom you are praying: a Loving Father and the Sovereign of Heaven.

 Listen to “Praying As Jesus Taught, Pt. 1”

Matthew 6:5-13

Prayer is a gift given to the believer in Jesus. In prayer, those rescued from sin commune with Father God through praise, confession of sin, and a seeking of His will, provision, guidance, and help according to His plan for His glory. As Jesus indicates here in verses 9-10, prayer isn’t giving God our wish list, but asking God for His wish list and putting ourselves in a position to ask Him to accomplish His will through us and the situations of our lives, for His glory.  With thanksgiving, the believer who truly understands what we were saved from (sin, seeking our own glory) and what we were saved to (life, seeking His glory) should desire and pray for His will through his/her life, because it is for His glory and our good (Romans 8.28).  Through prayer, our requests declare our dependence upon God.  We pray to our Father (loving, intimate, caring, providing, protecting, etc.) in Heaven (the holy One who is sovereign and does as He pleases – Psalm 115.3).  Through His fatherhood and sovereignty, He did what only He could do by providing salvation for us and bringing us to Him.  Knowing He is Father and sovereign should bring us great joy, confidence, and worship as we pray.  Believers are commanded to pray (Luke 18:1; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2). Jesus prayed (Matthew 26:36; Mark 1:35), and in Matthew 6:5-13, He begins to teach us how to pray.

Questions to Consider

  1. What keeps you from praying? How can you intentionally disrupt your schedule and reclaim solitude to make time for thoughtful prayer to seek His will?
  2. How can we tell if we are using prayer as a tool to impress others or as a means by which to truly share with God our heart’s desire?
  3. How has God shown Himself in Scripture to be a loving, intimate, perfect Father? The holy, sovereign, King of all? Knowing we are praying to Him who is both, how does that inform our prayers and our approach to prayer?

Action Steps for This Week

  1. If you are struggling with finding time to pray, intentionally build a regular time for prayer into your daily schedule this week that nothing else gets to interrupt.
  2. Pick a different psalm or another prayer found in Scripture each day to read. Pray that psalm or Scriptural prayer to God that day.
  3. Spend some time reflecting on Ephesians 1.3-14 and the intimate, loving fatherhood of God and the sovereignty of our holy God in how He saved us according to His plan.  Reflect on how these truths should affect our attitude and approach to prayer, and our confidence that He will work for His glory and purpose (which is for our good – Romans 8.28).