1 Corinthians 3:1-4, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?”
Hebrews 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Matthew 11:15, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
There has been so much talk lately on social media and in the news (yes in the news!) about prayer, and so many articles written about different ways to pray and prayers that will bring miracle answers, and miraculous healings and so forth and so on that it has caused a “restlessness” in my spirit!
Last night, the Lord kept speaking to me over and over again in my mind and spirit about HIS Word, what has HE said, what has HE instructed! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against “praying” the Scriptures, reciting those things from long dead Prophets of God, especially when there are living truths in their recorded words as inspired by the Holy Spirit.
BUT ——- in all the things written about prayer and how to pray and what to pray and what you should and shouldn’t say in your prayers, teaching on WHY we pray to begin with has gone by the wayside and with that lack of teaching, HOW to pray and WHO to pray too has also suffered! This is the Churches fault; those like myself that have been called to SERVE others through teaching and exhortation, etc., gifts given from the Holy Spirit for ministry (service) to the very Church we are called to hold up and strengthen!
We have become so split in our organizations that our doctrines and theocracy and what we believe has become more central and more important than what the BIBLE, the Living Word of God, tells us to do! We need to remember that when our Heavenly Father, God Almighty commands His Son to return for His children and when Christ Jesus, Himself breaks through the clouds, He is only coming for one Body, one Bride, one CHURCH!!!!
Do you not remember the implication (see Genesis 3) found in the beginning of the Book of Genesis, that God WALKED with Adam and Eve and communed with them intimately. Why did He do that, if not for His love of His creation and the desire for their love in return? Do you think that their sin stopped the Father’s willingness to continue in communion, for wasn’t it after their initial sin that the implication of God’s willingness to continue to commune with them is stated in the examples given? God CONTINUED to speak to mankind in a way that man COULD hear and understand Him for a long while after that initial fall into sin!
The whole point of the first chapters of Genesis is to show our Heavenly Father’s undying love AND desire to continue to commune with mankind. Our Heavenly Father, God Almighty, the Creator of everything that is and ever was, WANTS an intimate relationship with His Creation and it always came through communion or communication!!!
Remember that when you read man’s journey from his first sin until redemption that it was NEVER God who stopped talking to man, but rather it was man’s shame because of his sin that caused man to stop communing with God, his Heavenly Father! This is what prayer is all about, communion and communication with the ONE Who created us to be a part of Himself!!!
So why make “prayer” so hard? Why turn it into something that is so extravagant, so convoluted that even a person with average intelligence is afraid to tackle it or explain it, let alone a little child? Have you ever watched a little child truly pray? In their innocence and simplicity, it is one of the most precious events you can ever be privy too! Yet that is exactly what the Lord wants from us and Jesus Himself taught us through His disciples!
When we pray, when we “TALK” to our Heavenly Father, we approach Him like we truly are, HIS CHILDREN! Jesus taught it very simply, very straight-forward this way as found in the Gospel of Matthew, as well as the Gospel of Luke:
Matthew 6:7-8, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” —- Matthew 6:9-13.
NOW — let’s break down this prayer into the components that are important and why Jesus taught us to pray following this guideline. Remember also, this IS a guideline and not just some words to memorize. It comes back to what I repeat from the Scriptures again and again concerning HOW I should look at the Word of God:
2 Corinthians 3:6, “who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Let’s now look at the SPIRIT of this prayer:
Our Father in Heaven —– Jesus immediately starts off with WHO we are to pray too! Why is there so much confusion today? I don’t get it or understand it and especially so for those that say they read their Bibles daily! Jesus makes it perfectly clear that we are to pray to our FATHER in Heaven! It is God, our Father Who created us, it is God our Father from the very beginning that desired (and still desires) communion with us. Jesus came to pave the way so that the spiritual connection that was broken could be reignited!
John 14:4-11, “And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”
Our Father in Heaven denotes a personal, intimate relationship with the ONE Who looks upon each of us as more than a mere creation, but looks upon us as an individual, personal child of His! It denotes a belonging and an heir to the One Who loved us enough to bring us into existence. He IS a Father, but not just that, when we pray, we recognize Him as OUR Father. We recognize immediately that He is NOT as our or other earthly Fathers, but has a home in a spiritual realm that will one day, by virtue of our being His child and heir, be our home also. We are NOT orphaned, or abandoned, but rather are away “at school” as-it-were, to learn and to grow into the heirs that He wants us to be, for when we DO return Home!
Hallowed be Your Name —– Hallowed be Your Name meaning that not just You as our Heavenly Father, not just the Person that You are, but your very NAME is to be honored as holy, exalted, revered, praised as divine, worshipped and adored. It is not just Him as our Father, for truly He IS God Almighty and HE IS Holy and to be praised, etc., but His very Name is Holy for His Name cannot be separated from Who He IS! His Name also identifies who we are to Him and who IS His by the very fact that we ARE His progeny, His children having and identity with Him spiritually!
1 Peter 1:14-16, “as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
When we commune or communicate with our Heavenly Father Who Is God Almighty, we must remember that we are communing with a Loving Father, but a Father who is also Holy, Just, Perfect, Eternal, etc., and Who deserves by the very virtue of His Existence to be praised and exalted, magnified and LOVED above all other things! These are not things that should be done out of obligation, but rather out of the Love that SHOULD be reawakened in us spiritually by the very fact of His Spirit drawing us to Him!!