The Lord's Model Prayer.
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Our Lord, Our King and Our Redeemer!
Anything from the heart is beautiful.
(So BEFORE WE CONSIDER THE GOSPEL MESSAGE TODAY PERMIT ME THE OFFER SPECIAL THANKS TO SOME MEMBERS OF ALL SAINTS CONGEGATION.)
ENVISIONING A DREAM IS EASY-
FOLLOWING THROUGH IS NOT.!
I speak of the dream of having New Curtains in the Outer Vestry- for a long time there was just talk about this,and various suggestions of how we should house our servers robes and sacred song literature. However, that dream has now become a reality. Last Sunday Rev'd Ken Davies, dedicated these, They have now been hung ,and are truly beautiful – they enhance the area as well as having a practical purpose.
A few persons who donated funds for this, wish to remain anonymous,but I felt it would be rather remiss of me ,as the one instrumental in effecting this,if I did not publicly thank all the donors who contributed towards this venture.
Rev'd Sarian Pyne-Bailey
A Thank you card will be posted on the notice board later... but right now let us offer a round of applause to the donors.
Bar- B- Q after Church-
The Gospel for today is taken from Luke 11:1-13 . That famous passage in our MANUAL, THE BIBLE... that we are all familiar with THE LORD'S PRAYER !
It speaks of the disciples concern of PRAYER. After seeing Jesus praying they asked Him to teach them HOW to pray.
The Lord proceeded to give a model for prayer which provided a pattern for them then and still serves us well today !
So,one may ask... What exactly is Prayer?
One definition for prayer is :”talking ,conversing,communicating with God, and another says.:- “Prayer is the soul's earnest heartfelt desire,uttered or unexpressed....while a rather common Dictionary definition for Prayer is “the soul's communication or dialogue with God or Diety.
However, whatever definition is used one can clearly see that the mind ,the heart ,God, and communication are all involved.
Prayer is heartfelt communication with God.
That clear I can still hear one questioning – not
only WHAT is Prayer.
But also HOW?....
So as we look at the Model Prayer, as outlined by Jesus, we shall also consider these aspects of Prayer carefully so that we leave this edifice clearly knowing that prayer is not only essential,but the reason and benefit of doing so.
First of all, the basis of Prayer is RESPECT for GOD. BELIEF and FAITH.
We must believe that He is GOD,the CREATOR of all ,and the PERFECTOR of everything,and the REWARDER of all who diligently seek Him. As the
scriptures tell us.
There is no rule about the position that should be adopted when praying.. although Christians are taught to kneel and place the palms of the hands together in front of them as a sign of humility and supplication.
Muslims prostrate themselves in the direction of Mecca.
Jews sway from right to left or forwards and backwards.
Buddhists sit in a lotus position.
From my perspective the best thing to do is assume a position that is comfortable and where you can focus on God..
“Jesus tells us to start by acknowledging our relationship with our Father God and to build up our relationship to greater intimacy.”... and that is what is most important.
So unlike those before Him Jesus taught us to know and love God as our Father. Naturally then there is no best time as such but whenever we feel the need to do so and the time most conducive to the type of prayer we offer.
Nonetheless we should attune with the Divine at least once every day!
When we see God as our Father, really see Him this way, we can draw close to Him in an intimate and personal way. He is not a God afar off. He is within and without, Our Creator, Sustainer, our very own loving Father.
The Word ACTS can help us to quickly remember the 4 types of Prayer:
Devotees of various religions tend to think that to go to a place of worship makes their prayers more effective. Such as a Church,Mosque,Temple or Ashram.
Although it is true that such buildings are propitious for introspection and encourage us to pray because of the atmosphere prevailing there,yet wherever we are we can raise our consciousness towards God.
In this respect it is IMPORTANT to understand that the most sacred temple is WITHIN each person!- it is called THE HUMAN TEMPLE
This means then we can pray any place- for wherever we are our soul will also be there!
We should hold God's name in awe. Hallow it.
That the creator of the universe would ask us to call Him Father is a real privilege !something that should fill our hearts with love and appreciation.
The basis for prayer is RESPECT for GOD.
BELIEF and FAITH. Human beings are designed with the need to look within and to communicate with God. If we do not do so, we are forgetting or foregoing our duty as Christians / mystics an deprive our soul of a vital desire and of a practice essential to our spiritual well being and growth.
We are also admonished to pray for others,as well as ourselves. To give thanks. To display faith,seek help and spiritual support from our God who knows the end from the beginning....and He cares for us.
Jesus asks us to pray for God's kingdom to come. I hope that you realise the part we are to play as Christians in bringing that to pass. We are carrying the Kingdom to everyone we meet; or rather we should be. All the people that we converse with should have an encounter with the Father who loves them as much as He love us if we have LOVE among ourselves we are truly God's disciples.
The pre-eminence of the Divine reality within us cannot be perceived consciously because of its subtle nature,but its effects can be seen in our lives.,therefore,Jesus asks us to pray that God's will should be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Do we see our calling in these words? When Jesus was in the world He only did the will of His Father. He did what He saw the Father do and only said what He heard the Father say. Now that He is in heaven we are His body here on earth. Do we only do what we have been asked to do and only say what we hear from the Father.? Do we? We should. Remember that in Matthew Chapter 12, verse 36, Jesus tells us that in the judgement we will have to give an account for every idle word that we ever said.
So do we consider how much of our speech is made up of idle chatter, gossip, or even innuendo. We should. God is listening and I dare say at all times !
You'll notice that it's only after we've drawn close to our loving Father and asked Him to make us more like His begotten Son, Jesus, that we think of ourselves and any petitions we might have.
So what are the petitions that Jesus mentions?
1. The things we need to sustain us on a daily basis. Here I would suggest that bread represents everything we need, spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially. Jesus came to give us life and indeed life abundantly. So we can pray for all these things to further our walk with God.
2. To wipe the guilt and condemnation from our hearts and minds from sins we commit and to give us the same heart that He has, so we forgive any wrongs done to us. God has already forgiven us through the death of Jesus for our sins. Now we are to follow His example and forgive others. It's part of doing the will of the Father.
3. To keep us humble and contrite of spirit so that we will not be tempted by our pride and our lusts. For God to be with us as we live in the victory Jesus has obtained over the devil and overcome by the blood of Jesus and out testimony of His word.
Finally we return to our relationship with our Father as we close the prayer.
We have been translated from the kingdom of darkness and placed into the Kingdom of His dear Son Jesus. Jesus now has all power and all authority and has given that authority to us in this church age to use in advancing the Kingdom.
But of course God the Father is over all. When Jesus has put all things under Him, He will present everything to the Father.
His is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory.
For Ever! Amen!
Having given this model prayer Jesus went on to illustrate one very important thing. He tells us that God only gives us GOOD things. Anything else is not from God. And one especially good thing that God wants us to have -
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Personal prayer is a private matter.
However,PRAYER OFFERED IN FAITH IS ALWAYS ANSWERED.
JESUS ALSO TAUGHT THAT EFFECTIVE PRAYER DEPENDS UPON HUMILITY & PERSISTENCE or PERSEVERENCE.
My Brothers and Sisters, family and friends, I urge you today to take a fresh look at your relationship with God? Look into your prayer life. Make it a point to set aside some time each day to commune with the God of your heart,as we have been taught by the Greatest Teacher this world has ever known.
Our relationship with God is very SPECIAL and everyone's story will be unique. Yet even more incredible is the underlying reality for all humanity. God has already acted on behalf of us all. Through Jesus,all of us are reconciled to God.
I have always been included.
YOU have always been included.
Truly believe and trust this in your heart,, receive Jesus alone as your Saviour,declaring JESUS IS LORD, it means Salvation from adverse Judgement,and en eternity in Heaven!
What is your response?
If you are already a follower,I urge you to persevere in Prayer...
For others, procrastinating. ...Commit TODAY!
For those who still have questions, you are invited to continue to read the MANUAL and to ASK the God of your heart / the God of the BIBLE. To reveal to you the True Gospel.
My prayer is that God will continue to actively work through His Church to deliver this fantastic message to all the world. Also that He would grant the gift of FAITH today to all who hear the message, as we all rejoice in God's Grace!