Sometimes the answers to difficult questions are no where to be found. Sometimes there are disappointments that don’t seem fair. There will be sicknesses that will have no explanation or cure. There is abandonment that you don’t deserve. There is betrayal that hurts at the deepest level. Sometimes we depend on people and find our identity in titles and things. All this can rob us of our confidence. But a mature Christ follower will have faith, will persevere and will grow in confidence in the word of God and cling to the will of God.
“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36
When all the answers seem illusive and the future doesn’t seem hopeful, Jesus shows us how to pray. Essentially, how to depend on Jesus. Prayer isn’t sexy or very flashy, but when it all comes down to it, it is what works. A bad attitude, discontentedness, bitterness and complaining and venting will not help, But Jesus teaches us to depend on Him through submitting to His sovereignty. This is one of the deepest theological truths we can ever grasp. But we won’t understand it in a day, it will take a lifetime.
How Jesus Taught Us To Pray… (Matthew 6:9-12)
#1 Revere His Place – “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Stop for a moment. I know it hurts, but when you question God you become a form of your own God. Here is the miracle: God will allow you to question Him. Humble yourself, honor Him, put God in His proper place. Be careful in your words to him. Worship him with honor and passion. Who was sent to die for you? Who forgave you? Who created the ends of the Earth and spread out the expanse of the seas? Who gave you life? Who in Trinitarian glory has designed earth and heaven?
#2 Pray His Plan – “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” To spend a lifetime trying to fathom this one statement of Jesus is a worthy cause and life well spent. His Divine timing and kingdom is to be prayed down from heaven. It isn’t our preference or desire that is to be supreme. We are to pray with eternity in mind. Pray both for the sliver of time, the suffering in the now, and the blissful glory of heaven to come. In heaven we will worship Him in full glory, serve him unrestrained with new bodies, and fellowship with the Saints in heaven who have been predestined and called of God, a perfect and fully redeemed bride of Christ realized with absolute grace and love.
#3 Depend on His Provision – “Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus doesn’t say pray for the excess, but just enough for today. The writer of the Proverbs says it like this… “give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” (Prov. 30:8-9) His provision is not just physical but total. It is an emotional provision of security, a literal provision of food, an eternal provision of health and a new body. Self dependance creates idolatry and poverty, while interdependence creates understanding and wealth. You were meant to be the church and provide for the needs of others. Your excess is to be shared with the poor and needy.
#4 Desire His Providence – “…and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.'” His providence for you is that by faith you have been forgiven. You are a child of God. You are adopted. You are chosen and predestined before your birth. You are more than a conqueror. He has equipped you with spiritual gifts. He has forgiven your sin, forgotten your weakness and He forges ahead for your advantage. He has given you grace so grace and forgiveness may be extended. This is His will for you. Forgive the debt, for he has buried the bitterness. Pray down His providence, submit to His will. The answers may not come now, but His will has been and will be done.
Be hopeful in confidence, it is a privilege to walk this life with you together as the church.
This week at 217church week 4 of our Defining Moments series, Jael: When Insecurity Meets Confidence Judges 4:12-24.
Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00. Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday. If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us. Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here