Over the past few weeks we've been diving deeper into The Lord's Prayer. I hope you've enjoyed this journey with me as we look at what Jesus knew—because if we knew what Jesus knew, we'd pray like Jesus prayed. "Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (Matthew 6:11-13)
In the final section of The Lord's Prayer, we see that Jesus knew there was a daily emptiness that needed to be filled. In other words, we all have a daily need for God to fill even our most basic needs. This final section of Jesus' prayer is our declaration of dependance on God. We depend on him to fight for us in the most practical areas of life. We need him day by day, moment by moment, breath by breath.
We need him for all of our provision. We need God for food, health, shelter, finances, relationships, and so much more. Jesus teaches us that we must depend on God to provide. Matthew chapter 6 reminds us that God already knows every need we have. And our Father in Heaven is pleased to provide for his children. So it matters that we seek him first. You and I are not to live like those who don't have a Father in Heaven. For you and me, this means we ought to be "please & thank you" kind of people—asking God for his provision and thanking God for all he's done. How have you been praying please and thank you?
Jesus also teaches the need for us to remember our own forgiveness in order to appropriately relate with those around us. Forgiveness to others is based our own forgiven status before God. We often don't like the idea of forgiving those who have hurt us. The truth is, we couldn't forgive, had it not been for our own forgiveness. If we're having trouble forgiving others, maybe we should spend a little more time reflecting on own sin and what it cost God to give us. I suggest to you that we would eventually understand how desperate God wants us to forgive those who have hurt us once we understand the magnitude of our own forgiveness. How have you been praying to forgive as you have been forgiven?
Jesus also teaches us that when we pray, one of the best practices we can take on is to ask for spiritual protection from Satan's traps and snares. Satan is trying to undo you and everything good from God. He has schemes and traps designed to keep you from living the way God desires. Jesus understood this, and he encourages us to pray so that we would be protected from these traps and snares. But Jesus also teaches that, should we give into temptation, we would not stay trapped. He prays that Satan's plans would not keep us from living God's mission. What would it look like to have God's spiritual protection over you? How are you doing at praying for God's protection and winning against Satan's attacks?
Let me ask you, how's your prayer life? What have you been praying for lately? What is your prayer for 2023? I hope these past few weeks have been challenging, yet good.
Have a blessed week!
Notes from the Staff @The Woods