For many of us, this will be a new way to pray. If not, good for you! You get to be reminded, anyway.
Jesus was asked how to pray.
11 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our[a] Father [b]in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. [c]Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, [d]But deliver us from the evil one.”
While most of us think of prayer as first being petition, this prayer is not so much petition as it is a series of declarations of what is true. It’s a series of important and true statements that are already true, that we are being taught to affirm and declare.
Now, let us be ready to not only declare or ask, but also be ready to pause and listen, pause and hear, after each declaration. (Always a good idea, is to pause and listen for a response from God. And this also allows what we declare and say to sink in more deeply. While also giving Holy Spirit a better opportunity to work in us and through us.)
The whole prayer, made clearer as a series of declarations might be read like this:
Our Father is in heaven. (We have the same father, he is not on earth so much as he is in heaven. We are speaking this to Father. Just as Jesus prayed – to our Father; and just as Jesus taught us to pray.)
Your Name is holy. (The nature of who you are, is holiness.)
Your Kingdom is coming.
Your will is being done.
It (your will) is being done on earth as it already is in heaven.
You give us this day our daily bread. (You meet our needs each day.)
You forgive our sins in the same way that we forgive others.
You never lead us into temptation.
You deliver us from evil.
Now for the next step in learning to pray this prayer.
After you declare each idea, each line, one at a time, pause and be silent, be still in the Presence of God. Listen and pay attention.
You might not hear words, but I believe you will find it is different when you do this, and that you are transformed, so that you are different.
This can be a wonderful way to pray. After all, Jesus teaches us this. With Holy Spirit.
Let Jesus teach you, and you – you be responsive to Holy Spirit.
Those of us who use even a somewhat Evangelical approach to salvation have a few prayers that we encourage so that someone can experience salvation.
The Bible takes a different approach. So much so that the most frequent method to attain salvation in the bible is one I’ve never seen or heard of being used with a potential convert. By hindsight, this is a bit astounding.
Yet in real life, it makes perfect sense. And the usual prayers are used for several good reasons.
It really is wise and good that we get to know more consciously about Jesus, and Jesus as our Lord. And that this be expressed clearly in our prayer.
So what is this most frequently mentioned method of achieving salvation in scriptures that is so unused for making converts? It’s actually a method frequently used by the rest of us.
A very common prayer, used by many of us when we need help, when we need and want to be saved. Just seldom used to help someone become a convert to Christianity.
What is this frequently used approach for getting help when most needed, but seldom if ever used to help someone become a convert?
It’s simply this: call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved.
Biblical theology is probably wider and more inclusive than our theologies. God is certainly more broad minded than we are.
And this illustrates very well how some things are taught about to us and for us in scripture from many angles, in many ways. And we tend to focus on one way, sometimes proof-texting, yet even so, we tend to focus on one very good way. But God and scriptures offers more options than we often think about and sometimes more options than we even normally trust or believe in.
Thank you, Lord, for being so broad minded, for thinking differently than we do, for being more loving and generous than we yet are able to grasp.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving us eternity to continue to get to know you and your love. We need you. And we need eternity to explore and learn about your love and your depth. Thank you, Lord!
A friend, who believes she has gifts as a prophetic seer and gifts of healing, asked some important questions. This may answer some of your questions, too. We need to practice using our Spiritual Gifts to we become more skillful; just like we need to practice playing an instrument even if you are gifted at music. Here’s our dialogue, lightly edited for clarity.
Q. Will be for Questioner, A. for Answerer.
Q. Will there be anything happening soon in my life?
A. You are learning to ask Jesus questions, and pay attention to Holy Spirit for answers. As you learn to do this, and to act on what you learn, your life will transformed hugely. This opens whole new worlds of doing and ministry for you. And you will be adding even more love to your ministry. The generous, God kind of love: agape. As in 1 Corinthians 13.
A. And you can ask for more of him in you. I find this makes hearing God much more practical and better. When I do this, I hear God so much more and more easily and better. Even though I don’t feel a thing – I can experience the difference, having asked for more of Holy Spirit. And I can ask for Holy Spirit to be on me more. On me for ministry for others. Holy Spirit can transform the atmosphere of where you are, the room you are in. Ask how, and do as you are shown. It’s a wonderful thing to do – for yourself as well as others.
Q. I will
A. People will gradually learn that the atmosphere is better where you are. Some people will learn more quickly, others more slowly. Yet many will learn. And this opens doors. For more ministry.
A. People who come to my house report that the atmosphere is full of peace. That’s the Presence and Spirit of God doing that.
A. You will do this, also. You will transform the atmosphere of where you live and work. The Presence of God and Holy Spirit will transform the atmosphere of places you go. People will notice and be helped. Some even heal without your doing anything, as Holy Spirit ministers in the place where you are. You get to be an active participant in all this!
Q. Glory to God!! Interesting
A. You invite more of Holy Spirit. You are transformed, and Holy Spirit will do what Holy Spirit does in that place and with the people there. Invite more of Holy Spirit. And receive with faith. So simple; easy to forget to do. Yet Holy Spirit is literally our Helper. Your Helper.
Q. Got it
A. The same Helper that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and will help you. Invite and call on and receive more of Holy Spirit.
A. I find this stunning, I am amazed, and when I remember these things I want to call out to God in praise or even song. (Considering how much I love worship in silence, that’s amazing.)
A. And when you find a partner who will pray for you as you do these things or minister, ministry results will improve even more. And later, you can pray for them as they minister. And talk to each other about how it went. What you are learning. Encourage one another. Jesus always sent out his disciples in pairs. When I have no partner, I look for someone who will pray for me when asked. Then I have prayer support while ministering. They and I can talk about it afterwards, what happened, what we’re learning. It can be exhilarating and joyous. This is what I want for you; these very things.
Q. Oh how I want this for myself
A. Good! This is what our Lord wants for you.
Q. God will send me some really special A. Yes. You can copy and paste from these notes into your prayer journal, or start one. Or other notes in a file or notebook. Then start practicing these things and learn as you go. Learn as you ask your Helper to help you learn these things and to help you do these things. And give you even better ideas, from Jesus. Who knows so much more than you or I. Here’s an interesting principle, not well recognized: how much you seek God with your heart – is how much God will make himself known and present to you. And even more. He will always do the same or more, as you. (I think more; yet the more you do, the more he multiplies the grace he gives you.) If he made himself totally known to us, our brains would fry. So he is gentle and careful. And gives of himself in proportion to how much and how strongly you seek with your heart.
Q. Amazing and wonderful! . A. Yes. So just practice.Look for people who need healing, ask how to heal them, and do as Jesus tells you through Holy Spirit. You will be ministering like Jesus, who only did what he heard and saw.
You hear the voice of Jesus.You may not always recognize that it’s his voice. Part of the maturing process is learning to hear his voice in more ways – and recognizing that it is his voice you are hearing. That may sound a bit odd. Let me explain.
Jesus says that his sheep hear his voice. That’s us: we hear him.
Where is your sphere of influence, your “metron”? It’s probably larger than you have noticed or expect. Good idea is to do a review of this and ask some good friends you trust.
Who is called to receive through you? Who makes you seem smarter? Who receives well through you – probably one or more people-groups, different kinds of people.
Who are you called to serve? Gifted to serve? Who receives really well through you? Who is smarter when you are with them?
What do people tell you that you are gifted at? (Many of us have a habit of not taking such things told to us seriously. So you can do a careful review of this, too.)
What sorts of people do you love being around? You may have similar gifts and callings or you may have ones that compliment and complete or help balance the gifts of those you serve.
What do you have energy to do? And who do you have energy to do such things with, or for?
I encourage you to experiment and explore. Make mistakes, great ones that you can learn a lot from.
Let your audience teach you what they need that you offer. And what they want. (Wants and needs do not always overlap.)
I encourage you to review and learn from your mistakes. Especially your big ones. Painful ones. Mistakes you don’t even want to think about. Learn enough through these, and your life will change in wonderful ways.
I’d love to hear from you. And to learn what else you want or need. What I’m missing here and not saying that could be helpful. Any thoughts, ideas or musings that you will share.
Most of us are called to minister in our sphere of influence. There is a deep satisfaction to ministering where we are to people we can touch with the Kingdom of God.
This is a safe place to practice, learn, and minister in. Your ego will be tempted far less than in some other spheres. It’s a good idea to start where you are, and to follow Holy Spirit as in Galatians 5. The Fruit is good!
I notice that when I minister in my sphere of influence, Holy Spirit often noticeably helps. I feel safe, secure, helpful. Inspired. Temptations of my ego and flesh are minimal. Holy Spirit moves.
Please notice for yourself what it is like for you when you minister in your sphere of influence.
Jesus sent disciples out in pairs. See Mathew 10 & Luke 10. Go. Go minister. Jesus even gives directions on how to do this without money or buildings. Sent people go out in pairs. Take little with them. Depend on resources to live from where they stay, in houses of peace. Ministering to the people who know and are in contact with a house of peace is easy. As healing happens, as people are set free, you become busy.
Be not burdened with seeking fame, money, or expensive buildings that eat up resources for ministry. Follow the pattern in the Gospels. Share the Good News of the Kingdom. Heal the sick. Free the bound. Some people will be eager to learn more: make disciples, of all sorts of people. Disciples that meet together are the start of an ecclesia – often translated as church.
(A church is a gathering of believers, not an expensive building.)
Doing these things will cause increasing numbers of people being ministered to, healed and set free. You will become busy as word gets out – the need is great and there are many in great need. Disciples who plant ecclesias will multiply, and multiply, and the numbers can become amazing before too long.
This is a simple and powerful pattern that Jesus demonstrated, taught, and that his Disciples followed. This pattern still works today.
A few are called – a few – to larger and more public ministry. These are few, and the traps and dangers are many: various temptations. Big expenses and big egos are rampant. Selling the current culture of entertainment works, and becomes part of ministries – too often without Holy Spirit. Tricks of theater can become ineffective substitutes for Holy Spirit, as can enlarged egos of people who seek fame.
Theater skills and lessons can be used well in ministry. Some do this on a full time basis, some part of the time. Too many are distracted by worldly fame and worldly methods – this is not a path that is safe or good for everyone! Take care. Follow Holy Spirit, always; and you will be doing well. For Jesus sends us Holy Spirit for such reasons as these.
The most successful ministers and ministries have intercessors – before, during and after ministry. (This is true whether ministry be large or small; is part of the the Normal Pattern of Ministry Growth that Jesus gave us. Jesus sent people out in pairs. One prays while the other ministers, I was taught early on – and this works amazingly well.)
Teams of intercessors leads to more effective and powerful ministries.
Best is to always minister where God calls you to minister. If you are not clear, ask for more of Holy Spirit. Then ask for where you are to minister. Usually you will not be given a grand plan or a grand assignment. Usually you will be given a single step to follow and do, where you will learn what you need for future next steps.
You will make mistakes and run into obstacles. Holy Spirit will show you what’s next, as you continue to learn. We love our successes and learn most from our failures. After five or six good failures, your ministry will likely be taking off.
You may become famous or have acclaim. If this is for the glory of God, you and your ego and flesh may be safe from temptation.
Experience what heaven is like, now. You can do this.
It has been explained to me that the essence of heaven is being face to face with God. Even more near God and God more fully present to us than we have experienced yet here on earth. (Sounds to me like more close than we could experience here and live.)
And yet, we can experience more of our Lord. Being with us and near us; which is the start of how Jesus preaches the Gospel of the Kingdom: the Kingdom is at hand (literally within reach).
We can experience more of this now. By faith.
Let us take seriously such promises, and seek to experience more of them now.
When the New Heaven and New Earth come about, God will literally be our Light, all the time. This is how close we will be: our Light and ability to see is from our Lord. On a daily basis, regularly.
This means that as we go about our business, doing what we do…God is our Light. God is experienced more vividly by us.
So when we read such things as this in the book of Revelation, let us take it seriously; meditate on such verses. Appropriate them and know them as true, by faith.
Then, in such faith, you will experience more of God – even during ordinary life and events. While you are busy and doing things, God is our Light in the New Heaven and New Earth.
Know the truth of this now. And in your heart, with such faith, even to just understand a little bit, such verses and such promises, you will find yourself experiencing some of this – more than has been normal for you.
On earth, these days, when we get busy we get distracted, usually, from thoughts, experience and realization of the reality of God and the Kingdom. In the New Heaven and New Earth, God is the center and literally our Light. We can have awareness of God at all times.
Begin to experience this now, with faith. How wonderful and unusual, experiencing God as close and as our Light even as we go about our business.
Such is the Kingdom of God, for us. Appropriate and receive and experience this in your heart now, with faith, simply by taking his Word seriously. With faith.
And your heart will know and experience the Light of God always with you now….
Father always knew what is is. Jesus knows what it is. Holy Spirit can help you find out.
You can discover your Purpose in Life. You can have such clarity. You can have certainty. Suddenly, many things become clear.
It is simple. Oh, so very simple. And not always easy!
I will tell you what it is, your Purpose in Life. Yet, you will, at best, need your own revelation from God. Then you will understand your Purpose in greater depth. And probably in a way different than I put it, though this way is certainly correct and true.
Your Master and master teacher is Jesus. You are, I certainly hope, a disciple; if you are not sure – please pray and ask for forgiveness and make a new and deeper decision to learn to be a good disciple.
So you can grow into the character and ministry of Jesus (start with the Fruit of the Spirit, see Gal. 5; and go on to the Gifts of the Spirit so you can minister more like Jesus does, see 1 Cor. 12).
Your Purpose in Life is to learn and grow into being more like Jesus. Having the character and ministry of Jesus, becoming more and more like Jesus. In how you are, who you are, and in what you do. Express more and more of Jesus in your life.
I encourage you to pray, to ask, seek and yes, to knock – and let Holy Spirit impart a revelation to you of this, a revelation Father saw for you from before time, let Jesus model and teach you through scriptures and in your life, andHoly Spirit will give you access to the character and ministry of Jesus in your own time and place and in your own unique way.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18, NKJV)