Frank Peretti wrote a book entitled, This Present Darkness. In the book he seems to teach that the prayers of Christians could influence the outcome of spiritual battles. The prayers of these belivers could summon God's help in sending of angels to protect or defend them.
I was not too comfortable with that imagery when I read it over 10 years ago. However, as we have looked at the Lord's prayer these 2 weeks I have begun to ask just how much we are actually able to influence the outcome of things. It is as if God is inviting us to pray and see Him work! That is an awesome thing.
In the NT Jesus tells the story of a lady who continued to knock on the door of a mean judge that would not rule in her favor. Apparently she was getting evicted and needed to have protection. As a widow in that culture she had no "protector" and so the judge was her only option. She wore him out! Over and over she knocked on his door to get his help. Finally she prevailed. She wore him down. He gave her what she requested.
Jesus goes on to tell his audience that this is how we are to approach God in prayer ... knock and keep on knocking until God answers. He is careful to point out that God is not like the unjust judge but allows the other point to remain in tension, namely that God can be influenced. That is a wild and dynamic thought!
Somehow in God's wisdom and grace he allows us to participate in the outcomes and to influence Him. How else can you account for Abraham pleading with God to spare Sodom or Moses pleading with God to spare the Israelites in the wilderness?
So, this morning we go back to prayer. I want us to pray through the Lord's prayer again. Let's knock on the Lord's door and see what happens.
Read: Matthew 6:9-13
9Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 10Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 11Give us today our daily bread. 12Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.’
Think / Do:
When I come to God in prayer I want to pray the way Jesus taught His disciples to pray. I want to come boldly but carefully. So, when we pray, let’s remember to say:
1. Our Father – take time to worship God for being a Father. Take time to acknowledge that He is in heaven and above you and your circumstances. Take time to recognize that He is worthy of your praise. Let’s enter his courts with praise!
2. In Heaven – reflect on where God dwells and where you are heading when you die. Is he big enough to take care of your needs today?
3. Holy – take time to reflect to Him how awesome and holy He is. Think through His character and His names. This is a worship time for sure. Ask Him to help you reflect His holiness in your life today.
4. Kingdom – pray for His will to be done in your life, pray for the lost and pray for Jesus to return to earth – these are the components of His kingdom.
5. Needs: pray for your needs and the needs to others. Do you know anyone that is sick or in financial trouble? Do you know anyone that needs God’s mercy or help? Pray for them. Bring the list. Now is the time.
6. Forgive: take time to confess sin and forgive others. Ask God to reveal any sin in your life. It might be an attitude or something you said, it might also be something you neglected to do. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you. Be careful not to make something up. God will communicate if you will listen. You will find He is far more gracious in His rebuke/challenge of you then you would even be to yourself.
7. Temptation: pray to be protected from the evil one. Be aware of that is going on around you. Do not be tricked or naive.
8. Glory: close in a time of praise to God’s glory.
*Note: apparently the music player is causing some systems to lock up. I have suspended it until I find a work around. Can you let me know if your system had trouble with it or not? Thanks.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.