Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Teach Us to Pray

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

The disciples watched Jesus’ every move; after all, they followed Him everywhere. Perhaps that’s why I use the term Christ follower more than Christian when referring to people who have committed their lives to Christ. And there is no more important place to follow Jesus than in your prayer life! I’m convinced that the weakest practice among Christ followers is the discipline of prayer. 

The disciples wanted to be like Jesus, just as you do, so one day they asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” [Luke 11:1]. And He did. He gave them a blueprint, a model prayer. We call it The Lord’s Prayer, but it’s really The Christ-follower’s Prayer. It’s found in Matthew 6, and I’m sure that most of you can recite it from memory. 

The implications of The Christ-follower’s Prayer are profound, powerful, and far reaching. When I wrote my book, But YOU, When You Pray, I ran across an anonymous piece, and I used it as the closing words of the book:

I cannot say OUR if my religion has no room for others and their need. 

I cannot say FATHER if I do not demonstrate this relationship in my daily living.

I cannot say WHO ART IN HEAVEN if all my interest and pursuits are in earthly things. 

I cannot say HALLOWED BE THY NAME if I do not give Him honor, glory, and trust. 

I cannot say THY KINGDOM COME if I am unwilling to have His Kingdom grow in my heart, my home, my church, my country, my world. 

I cannot say THY WILL BE DONE if I am unwilling or resentful of having it done in my life. 

I cannot say ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN unless I am truly ready to give myself to His service here and now. 

I cannot say GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD without expending honest effort for it or by ignoring the genuine needs of our brothers and sisters. 

I cannot say FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US if I continue to harbor a grudge against anyone. 

I cannot say LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted. 

I cannot say DELIVER US FROM EVIL if I am not prepared to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapon of the Word and prayer.

I cannot say THINE IS THE KINGDOM if I do not give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal subject. 

I cannot say THINE IS THE POWER if I fear what my neighbors and friends may say or do. 

I cannot say THINE IS THE GLORY if I am seeking my own glory first. 

I cannot say FOREVER if I am too anxious about each day's affairs. 

I cannot say AMEN unless I honestly say, "Cost what it may, this is my prayer." 

And all God's readers said ... "AMEN!" 

Let’s get to praying, Christ followers. And when you do, make His kingdom your focus. Make His power your strength. Make His glory your goal. If you do, the doxology of the prayer will resound as a song in your heart: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen! [Matthew 6:13].

Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1

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