Closing the Gap 6.21.18

Week 24 “How to Pray” Day 4

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:

“Hallowed” be your name, means “holy be your name.”  Jesus is not, of course, praying that God would become holy, but rather that he would treated with the respect and reverence that is due him. This is more than not using God’s name as profanity; it is to live in such a way that demonstrates a belief in his utter holiness.  His “name” is who and what he is. It is God as he has revealed himself to men and women. Holiness is less an attribute of God than it is a description of him. It means “separateness.” He is set apart from all other beings in a way that is utterly unique. Christians have been declared to be holy by God, but this is a description of how God relates to us in light of the gospel. Christians can also choose to act in ways that are holy.  But God IS holy; he is utterly set apart from all of created reality.  To “hallow his name” means that we approach him as he truly is.  He is the uncreated creator. We are not to approach him casually or flippantly, but with reverence and awe.  Yet, it is “our Father” whose name is to be hallowed. How do we deal with this seeming contradiction? Can we approach him confidently, joyfully, even playfully?  Of course, we can. After all, what do fathers enjoy more than the knowledge that their children enjoy them? But what about his holiness, how do we deal with this fact as well?  There are many answers to that question, but one answer is that we rejoice in the fact that our Father is the holy God. For the child who has a heart to obey, having a “Holy Father” is a source of supreme comfort.  For the child whose heart has turned away, having a “Holy Father” is a source of supreme discomfort. There is no conflict between “Holy” and “Father” when our hearts are set in his direction. It is the fact that he is holy that makes him such a good Father.

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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