MATTHEW 6:10_in earth, as it is in heaven.
If you think it is easy to pray, “not my will but Thine be done” – you’ve never really prayed it. In this same account of Gethsemane, we find in Luke 22:44 (KJV),“And being in an agony he [Jesus] prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Praying for God’s will to be done caused the Holy Son of God to sweat blood!
During my time on earth I want the strength and faith to seek God’s will above my own. God’s will is always greater, and it is always full of love and mercy – although I may not see that until His will has been done. God’s will is always goodness and kindness toward people, and is founded on love.
In heaven, God’s will shall be done. I won’t have to be anxious about caving in to my own will. No wonder there will be lots of praising in heaven! Lots of hallelujah shouting! Lots of adoration worship! God’s will is done daily, hourly, and moment by moment. That’s reason to rejoice!
I couldn’t make it in this life without prayer. I need to talk with the Father. I need to pour out my heart before Him. I need to feel His comfort and reassurance in my uncertainty.
God’s will causes my light to shine.
Omnipotent God, Praise You that Your will is always better than mine. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows God’s will—His will make me shine!
MATTHEW 6:8_before ye ask him.
In I Kings 18, God knew Elijah wanted the fire lit. It wasn’t necessary for Elijah to ask. But it was necessary for everyone listening to hear God proclaimed as the LORD, and Elijah as His prophet. His audible prayer may cause some Israelites to turn from idol worship to the One True God. Not all prayers should be private. There is a place for prayer groups and out-loud prayers.
Mark chapter 10 (KJV) gives an account of a blind man named Bartimaeus, “48 And many charged him [Bartimaeus] that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, ‘Thou son of David [Jesus], have mercy on me.’ 49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, ‘Be of good comfort, rise; he [Jesus] calleth thee.’ 50 And he [Bartimaeus], casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?’ The blind man said unto him, ‘Lord, that I might receive my sight.’ 52 And Jesus said unto him, ‘Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.’ And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
Jesus knew Bartimaeus was blind. Jesus knew Bartimaeus’ cry for mercy was to receive sight. Jesus wanted Bartimaeus to tell Him – out loud. Bartimaeus did. And received his heart’s cry.
God of Heaven, I will make known to You in prayer, everything in my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to voice my prayers to Him—I will!
MATTHEW 6:8_for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of…
God knows our needs. That is not a reason to bail out on prayer. We decided prayer was primarily about building relationships. Getting to know each other.
If we’ve learned anything the past 150 plus days it’s Jesus’ teachings are right, holy, and true. Jesus’ teachings lead us to be salt and light.
We can learn a lot about prayer from the prophet Nehemiah. He prayed well and often. Nehemiah 1:11 (KJV), “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him [Nehemiah] mercy in the sight of this man [King Artaxerxes].”
Nehemiah had a large request to ask King Artaxerxes. He wanted some time off. Not just a few days – years! Nehemiah wanted to leave Persia, return to his home town, Jerusalem, build a wall, and renew Israel’s faith in the LORD. He prayed before he asked the king. Nehemiah just prayed a lot. Notice he asked God to be attentive to the prayer of His servant (King Solomon also prayed that). I learned from them. I ask God to let His ears be attentive to the prayers of His servant (me).
Prayer is not about coming to God because you feel obligated. Neither is it only about asking God to do something for you, or give something to you.
Prayer is a form of worship.
Jesus Friend, Thank You that I am Your friend. I want to be a loving friend who enjoys communicating with You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is my friend—I am His friend!
MATTHEW 6:8_Be ye not therefore like unto them…
Jesus doesn’t want His disciples to pray like the babbling heathen. For all their crying and cutting themselves, the priests in I Kings 18 could get nothing from Baal. Nothing. And there were 450 priests calling on him!
The contest between God and Baal was that the true god would set fire to the offered sacrifice, with no help from man. Before Elijah even begins to pray, he gives God an opportunity to show His power. As said, Baal had failed. Elijah pours four barrels of water on his wood, and he does it three times. Then Elijah prays. Elijah alone. No crowd shouting and cutting. Elijah prays to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (Jacob).
Carefully notice Elijah’s prayer. He never asks God to send fire. He asks three things. 1-That God make it known He is the God of Israel, not Baal. 2-That God make it known Elijah is the true servant of God, and whatever Elijah does comes from God. 3-That the Israelites return to worship the One True God.
This is real prayer, from a true believer, to the true God. The results were amazing.“39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.”
Holy LORD, Let my prayers cause You to be known as the One True God. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loves true prayers that honor God—I do too!
MATTHEW 5:21_Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time…
Jesus begins a series of principles to shed understanding on His fulfillment of the Law. He shares something which up until this sermon only Jesus could do – balance judgment and mercy. Now it is time to teach His salty-lit-up disciples how it’s done!
What was said by them of old time was the Law. The Old Testament covenant God made with Abraham and the laws he gave to Moses (the Ten Commandments, etc.). This was the standard the Hebrews lived by – their rules and regulations. This is how they worshiped, how they gave themselves to being Jews – God’s chosen people.
We Gentiles had no chance for the kingdom life because we were not chosen. Neither did we have the laws to teach us how to worship, serve, and know God. What was said by them of old time was for the Jews alone.
If that was enough, there was no need for a New Testament covenant and Gentiles would be in a heap of trouble! Jesus now becomes salt and light for the Old Testament.
If the Scribes and Pharisees have had trouble relating to Jesus before – watch out. They are about to throw a fit!
Father of All, Thank You for teaching me an understanding of balance. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ teaches balance—He helps me understand!