Last week while I was out of town, the ladies got together and discussed some Scripture passages on prayer I had given them. Along with that, I asked them to bring questions they had in reguards to prayer and over the next couple months of meeting together, I would do my best to answer them. I was so excited last week when I got their email and had a page and a half of questions. They were great questions too!
After going through the questions, I was able to come up with a great outline for our group as we continue studying prayer together. Last night I started part 1 of a 3-part study on the Lord’s Prayer. There are many foundational truth’s that can be built solely on this passage, and who better to learn how to pray from than Jesus himself!
Last night we discussed Matthew 6:9 (NLT), “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.”
“Our Father in Heaven”
– Addressing God as a Father speaks of a personal relationship
– God offers us this relationship to anyone who will accept it. It is a relationship received by grace, not because we deserve this type of love. (Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard p256)
– Understanding our position gives us an attititude of humility recogizing God as our Father, while we are his children.
Just because we call God “Father” doesn’t necessarily mean we have an intimate relationship with Him. We have to take time getting to know him, know his character, know his qualities, etc. The best, most effective way to learn about God is by reading & studying the Bible. We can never be intimately close with someone unless we know them. Many of the Psalms in the Bible are prayers that speak of the attributes of God. They are a great reminder of the character and qualities of who God is and what He is able to do.
A couple nights ago, I was listening to a message by Erwin McMannus on the topic of prayer. He asked, “how can we know if we are connecting with God?” His answer, “By the answers we are getting when we pray”. If we are connected with God and our hearts aligned with his, then the natural response would be “yes”.
“May your name be kept holy.”
– God is holy and we must fear and respect Him.
– Moral Implications- it can be pretty difficult to connect with God and develop an initimate relationship with Him if we are not submitted to Him and his ways. If we blatantly refuse to live by his commands, why would God come along and answer our prayers (the way we want) when He knows will turn around and live our life contrary to who he is?
As we closed our discussion, I asked everyone to read and meditate on Psalms 103 this week. This passage talks about some of the attributes of God as well as what He does for those who follow Him.
Our verse to memorize:
Psalm 103:13, “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”