Daily Devotion for February 16, 2017

'How to Pray'

Luke 11:2-13 NLT
Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:

“Father, may Your name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

Then, teaching them more about prayer, He used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

I'm sharing my notes from last night's Bible study—on how to pray—because the study was GOOD! It reminded me that it is the business of every Christian to pray, and the privilege of every Christian to pray...

1. “Father:” When we pray, we are coming to the good “Father”—that's who He IS! He's our Creator, Protector, and “Abba” Father (Daddy!)! He loves and disciplines us like a father, and He desires intimate fellowship with us!
2. “may Your name be kept holy:” prayer isn't about us—it's about Him—and He is our Righteous and Holy GOD. We pray that God's holiness would be on display in our lives.
3. “May Your Kingdom come soon:” we Believers don't set out to create our own “kingdoms.” Rather, we submit to God's will, God's ways, and seek to join God in His kingdom work (every day!).
4. “Give us each day the food we need:” we recognize that we depend upon God day by day—as children—and He daily supplies us with the EXACT “fresh mercy rations” our day will require.
5. “and forgive us our sins, as we forgive:” We acknowledge that we are indebted to Christ—and that we are still NOT holy, so of course we can completely forgive those who have sinned against us.
6. “don’t let us yield to temptation:” God is to be depended upon and sought for deliverance from all evil. We pray that we won't run into evil, and that Satan would not be able to bring evil upon us.
7. “A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat:” We recognize ourselves as needy, and we go to the One who can provide! Moreover, we boldly go to God on behalf of others (the “friend!”)—for their needs, and especially for their greatest need (SALVATION!).
8. “keep on asking, and you will receive:” “When we ask of God those things which Christ has here directed us to ask, that His name may be sanctified, that His kingdom may come, and His will be done, in these requests we must be importunate, must never hold our peace day or night; we must not keep silence, nor give God any rest, until He establish, until He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Matthew Henry, Isa. 62:6, 7).
9. “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead?” Our Father gives what is good, and what is good for us (that which grows us into His Son's image!). What is NOT good for us, He withholds.
10. “How much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him:”
The best gift of all has already been given us by our Father: the life-giving Holy Spirit! We pray to have MORE of everything the Spirit has to give us.

Thank You, Jesus, for teaching us to pray. We ask in Your name that we remember it is our privilege and business to pray—and that God is our loving Father who gives of Himself abundantly through answered prayer...


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