Scripture Reference: Luke 11:1-13
Jesus is a man of prayer! Being omniscient Jesus knows everything there is to know about prayer. Let's enroll in his seminar on prayer this morning. Our lesson today will focus on the Our Father Prayer. While there are many truths contained in this concise treatise on prayer we will only focus on a few aspects. It is impossible to mine all of the powerful truths contained in these brief but eternal words.
There are three things the Holy Spirit wishes to convey today: prayer must be relational, prayer must have a proper posture, prayer is always to have predetermined results. As we consider the first powerpoint we are commanded to pray, "Our Father which art in heaven hallowed by thy name" (Luke 11:2). Jesus is teaching us the necessity of understanding how relationship works in prayer. Prayer is a relationship between father and child. The Father always provides what is needful and beneficial to his children motivated by his love for them. Truth statement: God is always going to give us what we need irregardless of our behavior! Bad behavior will always be met with discipline by the Father, but it will never cancel out his provision. Beloved brothers and sisters we must reconcile ourselves with this truth. This is what it means to be in a truly loving relationship. And, only the Father can or has ever perfectly walked this out. Do not forget it.
Next we come to the posture of prayer. Jesus says we are to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, as in heaven, so in the earth (Luke 11:2). What does this have to do with posture? Everything. The posture of prayer is surrender and submission. We must always yield to God's working in our life and walk in obedience to what he commands. When we truly come to a place of love and maturity in our relationship with the Father, posturing ourselves becomes less and less difficult. It is only in the place of surrender and submission that we can benefit from the provision of prayer.
Did you notice that the provision of prayer is singular. You have to read Luke 11:13 to understand why. It is here that Christ is recorded as saying that the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those children who ask him. The Holy Spirit is always God's answer to prayer. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to impart grace (power and favor) to the people of God - his children. It is in this context we should understand Jesus' instruction to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" (Luke 11:3). Our bread (necessities of life) come from God. Our ability to forgive comes from God. Therefore, we do not need to exact revenge on those who wrong us. Our ability to be kept from evil influences, you guessed it, comes from God.
This concludes today's class. Go out and walk with the Father. Remember to surrender to his leading by the Holy Spirit. And, he will take care of providing whatever the day demands.
Bishop W. R. Turner
Intercession Focus. Today we are interceding for leaders, persons in any type of authority over us. Let us pray for wisdom to govern, faithfulness in their responsibilities, and submission to the truths of God.