Closing the Gap 6.18.18

Week 24 “How to Pray” Day 1

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

Matt. 6:9-13 This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Reflect:

Jesus did not say this is “what” you should pray.  He said this is “how” you should pray. This is not a formula to merely be repeated by using these words.  It is an approach to God that involves both the head and the heart. It is possible to pray the “intent” of this prayer without using the actual “content” of the prayer.  What is the intent? It is to approach God in a way that is in line with who he is. Who is he? He is our Father and he is in heaven. In Jesus’ time, people did not often address God as Father, but Jesus did it frequently.  Because we are familiar with addressing God as Father, we are prone to miss how profound this really is. The God who is too holy and awesome for a mere mortal to even glance at and whose power and might are beyond comprehension is our Father.  This term implies relationship, love, care, and closeness. God’s closeness to his children is also known as his immanence. God is not far off and he is not too great and powerful to be concerned with insignificant humans. He is close and he is engaged because he is our Father.  But he is “our Father in heaven.” Heaven is not some distant geographical space. It is the realm of his holy and transcendent existence. As “immanence” describes his closeness, “transcendence” describes his distance in terms of how much greater he is than we are. He is our Father and we can have relationship with him.  He desires for us to draw near to him so he can draw near to us, but he is still our Father in heaven. We must not take him lightly or for granted. He is God. His “rank,” so to speak, is God. His relationship to us is Father. That we can call him “Father” is our great privilege. That he remains our God is his great right.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

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