The Lord’s Prayer is like a spiritual house. Over the next few weeks, trust the Holy Spirit to teach you to dwell in His house of prayer.
Enter into His house with thanksgiving and praise
According to Psalm 100:4-5, the passport to enter the door of the house of God is thanksgiving and praise. Praise simply means to respond to God for what He has done. Praise and being thankful tells God that we believe He is in control of our lives and it pleases Him well. We are often quick to intercede, even fasting and praying for things that are important to us. Yet, we do not always take as much time to give Him thanks, nor do it with the same intensity and earnestness.
Focus on God’s perspective: To make thanksgiving and praise easy, consider starting a prayer request book. Take a moment and make a few notes of requests you remember that God answered. Give thanks and praise Him; in your heart, in words, in writing down such prayers, in singing or whatever way you feel comfortable. But let no excuse hinder you in giving Him thanks and praise.
Enter into His presence by honouring His Word
We begin to see ourselves from the Lord’s perspective when we meditate on His Word and the promises in His Word. The prayer of praise is our greatest weapon against a critical spirit. The Bible doesn’t promise peace to those who dwell on the faults of others. It says: You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You (Isa.26:3, NLT). Fixing your thoughts on God leaves little time for thinking about other things!
Focus on God’s perspective: It does not come easily to fix your mind on God. You literally have to exercise your thinking muscles to do this. One way is to spend more time with the Word of God, filling your mind with His thoughts. You can do this by reading the Bible, or listen to an audio version of the Bible. Whichever way works for you, make a special effort this week and just start doing it!
Only secure sons and daughters who are totally convinced
that their heavenly Father loves them will have
a close relationship with Him.
The LORD’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven
The ‘Our Father’ prayer is like a spiritual house. Over the next few weeks, we will trust the Holy Spirit to teach us to dwell in His house of prayer. The first ‘room,’ if you like, of this house of prayer is acknowledging Him as Your father. He is your Father in heaven, and He is available to you. He is never too busy to see you. Whether you believe it or not He really likes you. To have a healthy prayer life, you have to be certain of your Father’s love for you and live in a close relationship with Him. Only secure sons and daughters who are totally convinced that their heavenly Father loves them will have such a relationship with Him.
Focus on God’s perspective: Do you feel this way about your heavenly Father? It is not a shame if your answer is a straightforward ‘no.’ The beginning of the restoration of that ‘feeling’ is speaking to God your heavenly Father as if He is real, as if He is in the room. Think of Him as real and there with you right now. Do not be in a hurry, but take time to think about these questions and speak to Him, even out loud as if He is right there. Tell Him everything in your heart. He truly desires your fellowship.
Hallowed be Your Name
Will we ever comprehend the full meaning of God’s name? His name is not just something God is called by; it is who He is. His existence is from forever, His character and works are awesome, and though heaven is His throne and earth His footstool (Acts 7:49), God the Father and His Son choose to come and dwell within us (John 14:23). We are called to be holy for God is holy, to be like Him, in His image (1 Pet.1:16). The many names of God teaches us about His character. Meditating on His name helps us to know Him better. A book of remembrance is being written before God right now for those who fear Him and meditate on His name (Mal.3:16).
Focus on God’s perspective: The name of everyone who accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, is written in that book of remembrance. It comes at a price. It will cost you time and dedication to study God by studying His names, asking Him for the deeper meaning. Are you willing? It will help you to settle in the second room of the house of the ‘Our Father’ prayer. Begin by reading the Book of Psalms and mark every place where any name relating to God is printed. You will be surprised to learn about God by looking back at the names you highlighted.
Your kingdom come
Entering this ‘room’ in the house of prayer is special. Envision a room from where you can watch over the Kingdom of God. Jesus is our advocate with the Father; He sits at the Father’s right hand and intercedes for us. ‘Your kingdom come’ is an invitation to God our Father to guide us and rule our lives. It pertains to us, our families, the Church, nation and the nations of the world. The Kingdom of God is where He rules sovereign, where He is trusted as true and is not doubted, questioned or resisted. The phrase ‘Your kingdom come’ is not a pie in the sky that will drop if you concentrate hard enough and is then yours for the taking! It takes real steps of obedience by everyday people like you, continuously inviting God into different areas of your life until He is completely in control of it.
Focus on God’s perspective: Is it true of your life that God is really in control of every area? Or are there areas you struggle to ‘give up’ to His rule? Most of us have such areas. The solution is simply to admit it, confess it and ask the Father to help you surrender until you have given up that ‘area’ entirely. Then His kingdom has come in that part of your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas like these and spend time to pray through these issues with the Lord.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven
Surrender means to yield ownership and give up control over what we consider to be ours; our property, time and our rights. Surrender to God means we belong to Him. In the ‘room’ of surrender, we need to pause and consider the meaning of ‘His will.’ Christians make many claims as to what they believe is the ‘will of God’, often including comforts of the flesh to soothe the conscience. It is a willingness to be corrected if our mindset is wrong. Waiting upon the Lord requires all our attention. We cannot drift off into day-dreaming and call it ‘time spent with God.’ It requires our sincere attention and concentration to focus on loving God with all of our heart, mind, and strength (Matt.22:37).
Focus on God’s perspective: Let us be honest – to spend time with God is the most challenging thing with which to continue for most Christians. So let us not feel sorry for ourselves. Let us, with other Believers, set our minds to run the race set before us to the very end. Pressing in with God is the spiritual race we run in our physical lives. It is “His will,” therefore it must become our pleasure on earth as it is in heaven. Tell this to the Father; ask Him to show you real surrender that will give Him pleasure.
Give us today our daily bread
This ‘room’ in God’s house of prayer according to the ‘Our Father’ prayer, reminds us that He is committed to provide in our daily needs as we seek first His kingdom. But it does not say ‘bread for the rest of our lives.’ It says ‘daily’ bread. This is a hard thing, for it means we need to trust Him again tomorrow and the day after. We are never ‘OK’ to continue by ourselves. God can do ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine’ (Eph.3:20); not necessarily in volume, but in variety and complexity of what we need, even things we do not consider as being ‘provision.’ Furthermore, He supplies ‘more than enough’ (3 John 1:2) so that we can have abundance not only for ourselves, but also to give to others. The surplus is not necessarily meant for us. It is for us to have so that we can provide. If we consider that all we have belongs to God, we are just managing it. With receiving (blessing), comes responsibility.
Focus on God’s perspective: This is the most difficult ‘room’ in the house of prayer. Firstly because many do not believe God will provide for them as individuals as He does for others. Furthermore, because we often want more than our daily bread so we can relax, but we sometimes cover it up with: I want to have so I can bless, or it is for The Kingdom. Are you faithful with R10 or R100? Do you tithe and wisely use small amounts of money? The sincerity of your stewardship and mine is tested right here. God sees what no man can see. What you do with R100,000 will just be an amplification of what is in your heart concerning R100. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you surrender in this ‘room’ in the house of prayer. Asking His guidance with a willing heart to surrender is one of the wisest things to do.
Forgive us our trespasses
Forgiveness literally means ‘to untie’ or ‘to let go.’ To have your trespasses forgiven, you have to confess them. To admit what you have done wrong; to acknowledge that you are actually wrong. To be able to realize you are wrong, you have to consider your actions. The Holy Spirit helps you in this matter. Jesus died on the cross and shed His Blood to cover all the sins of mankind, but it is like having won a prize; you have to collect it. It is for free, but you do not have it unless you go and fetch it. You have to acknowledge your identity as a sinner and only then is it handed to you. In Christ, we have received the free gift of life and the cancellation of all our sin (1 John 1:7). Still, we need to humble ourselves and confess our wrongs every time the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, and ask forgiveness.
Focus on God’s perspective: When last did you just sit down and think about your life, the way you relate to people, do business or speak to someone at a petrol station or in a supermarket? More than jotting down rights and wrongs, we need to find out what the truly hidden attitude of our heart is. It is from our hearts that our actions flow. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what is in your heart. Is there anger? Disappointment? Why? What happened? Write these things down and begin to pray for each one. Remember to speak to God as if He is in the room with you, because He is!
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