21-days-of-fasting-web-inside-pagefasting-empty-plate-8So, yesterday we covered the foundation of prayer which is the state of the actual relationship. Today I want to dive into the foundational prayer. This is an extremely important part of our fast. Set aside the time and pray. I believe these foundations will be helpful.

I think it is awesome that the scripture records that even the disciples of Jesus were curious about prayer. As Jewish children that would have taught prayer and memorized prayers. They probably prayed several times a day, and yet look what Luke records.

Luke 11:1
1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

I think what they were saying here is: “We know how to pray, but when we pray and then we watch you pray, it looks completely different.” I think they saw passion, intensity and a boldness that only comes from a true relationship and it created a desire for them to have the same. Jesus then began to teach them a prayer and as a Rabbi would do he lined out the topics and order that they should pray in. Matthew 6:7-8 tells us that this prayer was never meant to be memorized and repeated verbatim.

Let me break down these areas into 8 topics in the order Jesus gave. The purpose of this blog is one of an overview, I will not be going into detail at this time (You can click here for an audio message on this)

9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven,

– You are to realize that he wants the intimate relationship of a perfect father, who wants to be involved in the minute details of your everyday life. At the same time understanding that he is also has limitless power and authority. He created the universe by the power of his words and breathed out suns. There is nothing he cannot do! In your own words acknowledge these concepts and say it out loud in your prayer

9 … hallowed be your name,

– This is one of my favorite parts. Proverbs 18:10 says that the “name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” This is so true, especially when we realize what is in His name. In the next several blogs we will unpack this in detail because I think they ask amazing question that will help in our quiet time while fasting.

10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

– Put God’s concerns first in our prayer and He will bless ours. But putting him first is always going to lead to your life being better. What is He concerned about? His lost sheep, or in other words all those who are far away from Him. Don’t ever forget, you are an ambassador for Christ!

11 Give us today our daily bread.

– This is where you express your needs, like get Him involved in every part of your life.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

– I love that you aren’t even asking for forgiveness until the 5th part of this prayer. I think so many times we think that we can’t come to him unless we repent, but Jesus is here saying come to me the way you are and after you have acknowledge who God is, what His name means, put His concerns first and asked for your needs …… then confess your sins. Probably the hardest part is asking the question: “Am I forgiving to the degree that I want to be forgiven”.

13 And lead us not into temptation,

– This should really be translated as: “Don’t allow us to be lead into temptation”. Realizing that there are temptations all around us, but God can always give you a way out.
… but deliver us from the evil one.
– We have to realize, like Ephesians says, that our battles aren’t just natural things that we can control.

“12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” ~Ephesians 6

I think sometimes we completely forget this aspect and it is an important reminder at the end of this prayer in Matthew 6.

13 … For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, amen.

– This is just a big ‘ole exclamation point! It is finished. It is done. It is ending the same way it began. Our God is infinitely powerful, He wants to be intimately involved in our lives and there is nothing he cannot do!!!
Happy Fasting!
P. Sean

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