Closing the Gap 7.20.18

Week 28 Day 5

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 taught us how to pray, not what to pray.  You can repeat this very prayer, word for word, over and over and that would be a very helpful thing…if.  If you are praying and not merely repeating words.  There is no magic in these or any words. There is no “power in prayer” either.  God is powerful and he is able to accomplish his purposes. To say prayer is powerful is like saying an extension cord is powerful.  An extension cord is a means of tapping into and directing power towards a purpose. But an extension cord that is unplugged has no power. Prayer is an important way of aligning our will with God’s and making requests accordingly.  Prayer without a yielded relationship with God is like expecting an unplugged extension cord to power a machine; it will not. The realm of God’s power for your life is the realm of God’s will for your life. To live in his power for your life, you must continually return to the realm of his will for your life.  “Not my will, but yours be done” is always a very good prayer. He will not empower you towards a life that is away from him, so surrender is a prerequisite in effective prayer. His power in your life is always to more fully and accurately reveal himself in your life. Many religions around the world pray mindless prayers, repeating words over and over.  Sometimes prayers are put in a sort of “wheel” that is able to be spun without thinking and then you are able to pray constantly without giving any attention to those prayers. This is tragic because it turns prayer into magic. Prayer is communication with God and from God. Prayer is built on relationship. Prayer requires engagement and commitment. It is never “mindless” activity; it always requires all of who we are.  There are times when we don’t know what to pray, perhaps we are overcome with grief or confusion. During these times our prayers may be a sort of “groan,” but even then our minds and hearts are turned fully to God. We are not distracted; we are focused because our pain or confusion has turned our full attention to God. This daily prayer for daily bread, and for his will in our lives, and for forgiveness and protection is an ongoing reminder to pay attention.  Do not move through life with a distracted relationship with God. Be still, remember, pay attention, and pray with attention: “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.”

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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