Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Advent Seeking Christ: Day 11

And He said to them, When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’” (vv.2-4 NASB).

Jesus had a habit of praying. He knew that He needed to commune with Father to strengthen Himself for the work set before Him. How I would love to lay peacefully nearby to listen to Jesus as He spoke with the Father. The disciples had this privilege. They hung on every word that flowed from His mouth. The disciples witnessed His prayer life and how He connected with Father in a beautiful, intimate relationship; they wanted the same. The disciples knew Jesus prayed confidently and faithfully, and He nurtured His prayer life (see Day 5 for earlier writing on the subject). They asked Him to teach them to pray the same way.

Jesus begins by teaching them that we must approach the Father with reverence and awe. God is our Father and His Name is to be hallowed. We are to pray that His kingdom comes to the earth and operate as it does in heaven and for His will to be done. He also teaches us to ask for daily provision for our needs; He cares about every need we have and by bringing our needs to Him, we are demonstrating our trust in Him. Jesus also charges us to ask for forgiveness for our sins, however, our forgiveness hinges on our ability to freely forgive others. We are also to ask for God to deliver us out of situations that would cause us to sin. We will never be exempt from temptations—but we are strengthened to overcome them with God as our Father, Christ as our intercessor, and the Holy Spirit as our comforter and guide. We pray to be delivered from the evil in this world because we are not of this world though we must reside here.

We are God’s children and we have, through Christ, the right to ask God for anything—especially when asking for help to live the way He instructs and to spread the good news of the Gospel. Jesus tells the disciples and us, that we don’t have these things because we have not asked. He reveals through a parable (vv. 5-13) that we must be persistent in our prayers. We must ask, seek, and knock. Jesus promises that the Father is good and will give to those who ask of Him when we pray in the manner Jesus taught:

If you then, being evil, 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?” (v. 13).

Reach out to the Father. Come to Him in awe and wonder, knowing that He cares for you and will take care of you. Cultivate your relationship with the Father by coming to Him through Jesus Christ. Stand in awe that the Creator of the universe came to love you and set you free and reconcile you so that this wonderful, awesome relationship is possible.

~Out of love for humans God became human.
~The reason for God’s love of man or woman lies not in man or woman, but only in God Himself. [1]

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Mystery Of Holy Night (New York: Crossroad Publishing Company, 1996), 33.

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