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Dan 6:00-10:00am

The Word For Today

Praying Jesus' Way (2)

'...before the throne of our merciful God... we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.' Hebrews 4:16 CEV

When you pray, 'Our Father,' you define every other relationship in your life:
(a) You define your relationship to the material world. Since God is your Father, you're not a stranger but an heir to the blessings of His universe (Psalms 24:1). But beware of the values of the world: 'Don't love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father' (1 John 2:15 CEV). Nothing must take God's place! (b) You define your relationship to others. Everyone around you is your Father's creation and as such you must accept, love and value them. We're commanded to love our neighbour as ourselves regardless of colour, creed or distinction. We're not to compete with them or strive for superiority over them or use them for our own ends.
(c) You define your relationship to yourself. God says He's your Father; what a foundation on which to build your self-worth! Regardless of what's been said or done in the past to make you feel inadequate or inferior, you can hold your head high. You're not a nobody once God calls you His child. (d) You define your relationship to God. Because of your relationship to Jesus, the Father declares you '...accepted in the Beloved' (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV). As He accepts Jesus, so He accepts you! '...As many as received Him...He gave the right to become children of God...' (John 1:12 NAS). You no longer need to approach Him in fear. You can walk right up 'before the throne of our merciful God [and] be treated with undeserved kindness and...find help.' It doesn't get any better!

SoulFood: Deut 30:1 - 32:28, Mark 6:14-29, Ps 57, Pro 12:15-17

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Praying Jesus' Way (1)

Overhearing Jesus pray moved one of His disciples to say, 'Lord, teach us to pray.' It's unlikely Jesus intended to teach them a rote prayer since He'd just said, 'When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again' (Matthew 6:7 NLT). His answer was more than a sample formula-prayer. He was teaching them powerful, effective principles for praying.

Let's see how we can benefit from them. William Barclay said, 'The Lord's Prayer has two major parts: the first for God's benefit, the second for ours. Honour the first part, and the second is guaranteed.'
Part one begins with 'Our Father'. It's intended for His family, collectively as well as individually. He used the plural words 'our...us...we' to indicate prayer is a co-operative exercise, where we pray with and for each other, not just for and by ourselves. It also teaches us the power of agreeing together in prayer (Matthew 18:19 KJV). Before asking for anything, we're to acknowledge God's fatherhood, because prayer is: (a) a matter of relationship. It's the Father and His children in session; those who are redeemed through faith in the blood of His only begotten Son. That's the welcome mat under your feet when you pray. It's also: (b) a matter of submission. Jesus' disciples understood that fatherhood meant headship and authority. Prayer isn't an attempt to get God to agree with your will, it's aligning yourself with His Word and will. He's a promise-keeper, not an indulgent parent.

SoulFood: Deut 28-29, Mark 6:1-13, Ps 44:17-26, Pro 12:12-14

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Thanks, Mum!

Erma Bombeck wrote: 'When God was creating mothers, on His sixth day of overtime the angel said, "You're fiddling around a lot on this one." God replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order? She's to have 18,000 replaceable moving parts, run on black coffee and leftovers, have a kiss that cures anything from broken legs to disappointed love affairs...and six pairs of hands!" "Six pairs of hands? No way!" the angel said. God said, "And the challenging bit is the three pairs of eyes mothers need. One pair that sees through doors, another in back of her head that sees what she shouldn't be able to see, another in front for looking at a child who's goofed and saying, 'I understand, and I love you', without speaking." The angel said, "Lord, take a break. Tomorrow..." "I can't," God said. "I'm close to creating something so like Myself. Already she can heal herself when she's sick, feed a family on a pound of minced beef, and get a nine year-old to stand under a shower!" Touching her, the angel said, "She's too soft!" "But so tough!" God replied. "You can't imagine what this mother can endure." "Can it think?" asked the angel. "Not only think, it reasons and compromises," God said. Running his finger across the mother's cheek, the angel said, "There's a leak!" "It's not a leak," God said. "It's a tear." "What's it for?" asked the angel. "It's for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness and pride." The angel declared, "Lord, You're a Genius!".'

Just a columnist's fictional story, but well worth pondering. Thanks, Mum!

 

Soulfood : Gal 5:22, Lk 19:11-26, Ps 36:5-9, Heb 10:19-23

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