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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, April 28, 2015
This is often called the Lord’s Prayer because Jesus gave it to the disciples. It can be a pattern for our prayers. We should praise God, pray for his work in the world, pray for our daily needs, and pray for help in our daily struggles.
The phrase “Our Father in heaven” indicates that God is not only majestic and holy but also personal and loving. The first line of this model prayer is a statement of praise and a commitment to hallow, or honor, God’s holy name. We can honor God’s name by being careful to use it respectfully. If we use God’s name lightly, we aren’t remembering God’s holiness.
The phrase “May your kingdom come soon” is a reference to God’s spiritual reign, not Israel’s freedom from Rome. God’s Kingdom was announced in the covenant with Abraham (Matthew 8:111), is present in Christ’s reign in believers’ hearts (Luke 17:212), and will be complete when all evil is destroyed and God establishes the new heaven and earth (Revelation 21:13).
When we pray “May your will be done,” we are not resigning ourselves to fate but praying that God’s perfect purpose will be accomplished in this world as well as in the next.
When we pray “Give us our food for today,” we are acknowledging that God is our sustainer and provider. It is a misconception to think that we provide for our needs ourselves. We must trust God daily to provide what he knows we need.
God sometimes allows us to be tested by temptation. As disciples, we should pray to be delivered from these trying times and for deliverance from Satan (“the evil one”) and his deceit. All Christians struggle with temptation. Sometimes it is so subtle that we don’t even realize what is happening to us. God has promised that he won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. Ask God to help you recognize temptation and to give you strength to overcome it and choose God’s way instead.
Jesus gives a startling warning about forgiveness: If we refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive us. Why? Because when we don’t forgive others, we are denying our common ground as sinners in need of God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of our forgiving others, but it is based on our realizing what forgiveness means. It is easy to ask God for forgiveness but difficult to grant it to others. Whenever we ask God to forgive us for sin, we should ask, “Have I forgiven the people who have wronged me?” (NLT)
Matthew 6:9-15 – [Jesus said] “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. – Matthew 6:12 (NIV)
Sarah Negroni (Louisiana) titled her story “STRUGLING TO PRAY;” here is Sarah’s story:
“I could not understand how someone I trusted could have committed such a horrible offense against me. That person had broken my trust so much that it seemed that everything I believed about the relationship was wrong. I was devastated and angry. Alone in my room, I tried to pray. ‘Dear God,’ I began, but I couldn’t finish. The only thing I could do in my anguish was cry and moan.
“I spoke with my sister-in-law, someone who has also been a spiritual sister to me, about my inability to pray. She suggested that I try praying the Lord’s Prayer until I was able to put what was on my heart into words.
“Even though it was difficult to do, I recited the prayer. When I got to ‘Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us,’ I couldn’t continue. I suddenly realized that I had done this very same thing to someone else years before. I wondered if that person had been as distraught as I had been in the past few days.
“Too often I overlook the Lord’s Prayer as something I say without really thinking about it. This experience helped me understand how important this prayer is, how important it is for me to forgive others, and how much I need God’s forgiveness.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – We need to forgive as much as we need to be forgiven.
Prayer Focus: THOSE STRUGGLING TO FORGIVE
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
PERFECT, PERFECTION: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/perfect-perfection/
MIRALCES, MIRACLE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/miracles-miracle/
RESPOND, RESPONSE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/respond-response/
FORSAKE, FORSAKEN, FORSAKING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/forsake-forsaken-forsaking/
EXPECTATION, EXPECTED, EXPECTS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/expectation-expected-expects/
1 Faithful people of God from “all over the world” will be gathered to feast with the Messiah. The Jews should have known that when the Messiah came, his blessings would be for Gentiles too. But this message came as a shock because they were too wrapped up in their own affairs and destiny. In claiming God’s promises, we must not apply them so personally that we forget to see what God wants to do to reach all the people he loves. (NLT)
Matthew 8:11 – [Jesus said] “And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
2 The Pharisees asked when God’s Kingdom would come, not knowing that it had already arrived. The Kingdom of God is not like an earthly kingdom with geographical boundaries. Instead, it begins with the work of God’s Spirit in people’s lives and in relationships. We must resist looking to institutions or programs for evidence of the progress of God’s Kingdom. Instead, we should look for what God is doing in people’s hearts. (NLT)
Luke 17:21 – [Jesus said] “You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is among you.”
3 The earth as we know it will not last forever, but after God’s great judgment, he will create a new earth. God had also promised Isaiah that he would create a new and eternal earth. The sea in John’s time was viewed as dangerous and changeable. It was also the source of the beast. We don’t know how the new earth will look or where it will be, but God and his followers—those whose names are written in the Book of Life—will be united to live there forever. Will you be there? (NLT)
Revelation 21:1 – Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.
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