Church OBX Blog

This is the blog for Church of the Outer Banks. It contains articles, devotions, and perspectives on what’s going on in our church and community. Check it out and add your comments.

Location: Nags Head, NC

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Lord's Prayer

The secret to Jesus’ powerful prayer life is found in the most important prayer of the Bible, commonly known as “the Lord’s Prayer.” It is one of the most popular passages of scripture; being read at funerals, weddings, and church services throughout the Christian world. But few people really grasp the meaning of this little prayer. It is Jesus’ definitive teaching on prayer. It is an outline by which we can shape our own personal prayer life and begin to learn how to pray according to His will.

“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom, and the
power and the glory forever, Amen.”
Matthew 6:9-13

There are several important things to look at when examining the Lord’s Prayer and applying it to our own prayer life. We will break down the Lord’s prayer in the following points.

1. Position.
God is our Father in heaven and we are His children. He loves us and wants to take care of us. He is our divine parent. James tells us, “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, …from the Father of Light.” James 1:17. Paul tells us that He is our Abba, father, which is Arabic and literally means “daddy.” Prayer begins by understanding that God is our loving Father and we are His children.

2. Praise.
The second part of the prayer is praise to God’s name. Hallowed, means to make holy. We are to make His name holy through praise and worship. In other words, prayer is an act of divine worship. It begins by acknowledging and praising God for His mighty acts and greatness.

3. Purpose.
The purpose of our prayer should be to pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done. Jesus himself told the Father, “not my will but your will be done.” Prayer is not just coming to God with our own personal agenda, rather it is seeking His agenda for our life. His ways are greater than our ways and His plan is always better than our plans. Sometimes we have to learn this the hard way.

4. Provision.
We should not be afraid to ask the Lord to meet our needs. “Give us our daily bread” means that we ask God to provide our basic needs. We need to understand that it is God’s desire to take care of His children. Philippians 4:19 says, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches and glory.” Whatever your needs are, don’t be afraid to ask God to help you with them today.

5. Pardon.
No one is perfect, except for Jesus. We all need forgiveness. In prayer, we must confess our faults and sins before God. The Bible says that, “he is just and righteous to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is God’s way for allowing us to continually come before Him. We can come to God broken and stained and leave cleansed and whole. Likewise, we should forgive others as God has forgiven us.

6. Protection.
He leads us away from temptation and protects us from evil. We need to be reminded that there are spiritual forces of darkness in this world and we need God’s help to protect us. The first thing you should do every morning is to ask for God’s protection throughout the day.

7. Power.
The prayer closes in a similar way that it started, by acknowledging God’s greatness. He is sovereign and in control. The kingdom, power, and glory belong to God! When we worship and praise God it gets His attention. He loves it when His children worship Him and acknowledge His greatness.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Passion for Prayer

“The most helpful way to understand prayer is to realize it is basically a relationship. Through prayer we abide in God. Prayer draws us into intimacy with the Father. It is a personal relationship.” C. Peter Wagner

We need a passion for prayer. More than ever before, Christians need to learn how to pray. The disciples asked Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray.” That must also be our prayer. The best way to learn how to pray is simply to pray. No matter how long we have been a believer, we can all benefit from a fresh study on the power and relevance of having a daily prayer life.
Prayer is getting to know God, not God getting to know us. Prayer has always been God’s way of communicating with His people. In every age men and women have talked with God in prayer. It is the primary way that we build a relationship with Him. It is the greatest of all the spiritual disciplines because is brings us into direct communion with the Lord. If prayer is so important then we must ask ourselves this question, “why don’t we pray more?” The answer is that most people have never been taught how to pray.
Prayer is first and foremost a personal relationship. Some people think of prayer like a business transaction or as something they have to do. We should think of prayer as a conversation between the closest of friends. What are some words that you think of when you think of friendship? You will probably think of words like loving, caring, warm, sincere, personal, and intimate. These are words that should be used to describe our prayer time with the Lord. Prayer should not be dry or stuffy; rather it should be warm and intimate.