“Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” – Matthew 5:16
Followers of Jesus noticed the way he prayed and asked for guidance. “Pray like this,”
Have some frequent private personal prayer time with God. – Matthew 6:6
Don’t repeat words that are meaningless to you, thinking that the repeated activity will get you what you want. – Matthew 6:8
The Lord’s Prayer “Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” – Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13 Luke 11:1-4
power tool, pattern, memorize, meditate on it as a bridge to, pray these words first, and then work it into conversation with God
“A Simple Way to Pray” – Martin Luther wrote for his barber, Peter, who was being sent away for drunken murder of his son-in-law.
1. Start with meditation on previously studied text.
2. Paraphrase the Lord’s Prayer.
3. Pray from the heart. This is where our thoughts and feelings converge on God.
“rescue us from the evil one.”
“Rescue us from danger.” “evil” – literally the evil one, our enemy
Remember the context of the prayer. In part, this is about guidance. To whom am I giving influence in my life? There are three potential sources of life direction: God, humans, enemy.
We see that, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” – Romans 16:20
Jesus has the spiritual authority. “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” – Matthew 28:18
We are part of the church Jesus is building. We have been given a measure of Jesus’ spiritual authority. “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” – Matthew 16:19
We are instructed to resist our enemy. “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” – James 4:7-10
Resist the enemy. Watch out for spiritual pride. Be sure to live in wholehearted personal devotion to God.
Following Jesus and the example of the early church…
We walk in spiritual conflict with our enemy, here and now on this earth.
Frequently praying through this spiritual exercise:
“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” – Ephesians 6:10-18
“For the Lord will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.” – Isaiah 52:12
The cloak of zeal – Isaiah 59:17
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
“Stay alert! watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” – 1 Peter 5:8-10
You could say, “I will let these words be my weapons as I fight.” – 1 Timothy 1:18 TEV
Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. (not in the oldest manuscripts.) Return to focus on the powerful majesty of our God.
“Jesus gives the “Lord’s Prayer” in plural grammer: “Father give us, forgive us, deliver us,”
C. S. Lewis argues that it takes a community of people to get to know an individual person. Reflecting on his own friendships, he observed that some aspects of one of his friend’s personality were brought out only through interaction with a second friend. That meant if he lost the second friend, he lost the part of his first friend that was otherwise invisible. ‘By myself, I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets.’ If it takes a community to know an ordinary human being, how much more necessary would it be to get to know Jesus alongside others? By praying with friends, you will be able to hear and see facets of Jesus that you have not yet perceived.” – Prayer by Timothy Keller
Pray as a church family!