If you think you really know The Lord’s Prayer, think again!

If you think you really know The Lord’s Prayer, think again!

I was getting closer to it when God opened my eyes to it being Hebrew poetry, a royal psalm. But God has opened my eyes even more through a dry, technical book by a German academic, Joachim Jeremias, who really puts it in context.

  • It is radical, urgent and immediate.
  • A prayer for revival and for the end times.
  • A prayer for the hallowing of God’s name where it is defiled.
  • A prayer not to fall from belief in the great apostasy that will precede Jesus’ return.
  • A prayer linked to communion, to Jesus our spiritual food.
  • A prayer for the New Covenant.
  • A prayer recognising God’s kingdom is here, now, and seeking its complete fulfilment and consummation on earth.
  • It is both a prayer to be spoken and used at regular times of the day, and before communion, and a prayer outline.

If you think you know The Lord’s Prayer, think again!!!

Prayer After the Fall – Genesis 3:9-13.

Sin messed things up big time, if ever you wanted a lesson in how not to pray, well here it is!

All Prayer in the Bible

But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:9-13 NRSV)

This is man’s first conversation with God after The Fall.

God initiates the conversation and gives both the man and woman chance to repent. Instead they evade God’s questions.

You could say this is one of the best examples…

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Prayer Before the Fall – Genesis 3:8.

The first of my blogs looking at All Prayer in the Bible.

All Prayer in the Bible

They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8 NRSV)

In this first post I shall be looking at what prayer was like before The Fall. This actually says a massive amount about what prayer is, and how a life a prayer is in fact just a life ‘walking’ with God. I shall be looking at the effects of The Fall in the next post.

God was accustomed to meet with Adam and Eve ‘at the time of the evening breeze’, which is the beginning of the Hebrew day. Christians in the West in particular seem to think that they have to spend time with God first thing in the morning. The times I prefer are…

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Defining Prayer.

Here is the first post on a new blog I have started in which I shall work through All Prayer in the Bible. I thought the best place to start was to define prayer.

All Prayer in the Bible

How am I going to define prayer for the purpose of this study.

This is the beginning of the definition given in Easton’s Bible Dictionary,

‘Prayer, is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory or formal.’

This is a very good description of prayer, but not quite the one I shall use. For the purpose of this study I shall define prayer as follows.

‘Prayer is our part in any conversation with God that does not wholly consist of an act praise or worship. It acknowledges that God is the greater partner in the relationship and we are the lesser partner.’

This is a very broad definition of prayer which is intentional. I know from my own personal experience that I do not just pray when…

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Vision – A Prophetic Word for 2014 – The Ring of Fire.

On New Year’s Eve as I was going to bed I had the following vision:

In the vision I saw a of a ring of angels and messengers of God who were like flames of fire. The phrase God brought to mind for this was ‘The Ring of Fire’. Overhead were storm clouds, very dark, swirling and ominous.

In the centre of the ring was one angel who had been sent from the throne in heaven itself. He had raised a great sword which was the Word of God which was cutting through the clouds and allowing light to reach the ground.

As I was watching I saw others coming, these were the saints in prayer who were seeing what the Father was doing and were responding. As they too raised their swords the hole got larger and more light was able to stream through the clouds.

The numbers of those who were raising the Sword of the Spirit in prayer were not great but they had a massive effect on the region within the Ring of Fire where they were, they were changing the spiritual climate where they were.

This happened as God broke the power of the storm clouds and shone his light on the land. This light did two things, it revealed that which people had hidden in the darkness, and it also gave new life and hope to those who could before only see darkness and despair.

 Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire.” (Hebrews 1:7 NRSV)

 … and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. (Ephesians 6:17-18 NRSV)

 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NRSV)

 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.” (John 5:19-20 NRSV)

 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NRSV)

Philippians 3:8 – All or Less Than Nothing!

More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (Philippians 3:8 NRSV)

How much does the Lord Jesus Christ mean to me? Can I say, like Paul says, that ‘everything’ else is a ‘loss’ and give the reason for that being ‘because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord’?

If you truly know the Lord Jesus then you will have all your eggs in his basket. It is to be all or nothing or it is worthless. Paul knew that nothing else was worth the ‘value’ of a personal relationship with Jesus. It is that personal, experiential ‘knowing’ that is unique to true Christianity.

The ‘value’ of that is way beyond what we can get with our own righteousness. All that can give us is filthy rags rather than the relationship that Jesus, God’s Anointed One and our Lord gave us.

ONE BY ONE BY ONE

One voice, or a few voices with God is amazingly powerful. Let’s speak out God’s word and make it happen. This is a fantastic blog post by John Noble of Stockport House of Prayer.

johnnoble1

Beloved,never underestimate the power of your voice.

It is not a question of volume,it is an issue of anointing.As a believer your voice is anointed,the words that you speak convey enormous spiritual influence.I have seen whole regions change simply because an obedient person spoke forth a decree.

I have seen huge gatherings which have made very little impact,and I have seen a small handful of believers standing in agreement and obedient to the call of God that have sparked revival.

You never know the impact that your words will have when amplified and multiplied by God.

In fact,the only time that they will have no impact is if you decide not to speak out at all.

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Galatians 4:21-5:1 – Children of the Promise.

Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac. (Galatians 4:28 NRSV)

In this section Paul uses the allegory of Abraham having children by the slave woman, Hagar, and the free woman, Sarah, for the two covenants – the first, the law given on Mount Sinai and the second, corresponding to the covenant from Jerusalem above, given through Jesus.

Were we born into slavery or freedom? Through an act of the flesh, or through faith in God’s promise?

We are all, like Isaac, ‘children of the promise’, born through faith and into freedom.

Paul had known the weight of the Law, he had lived as a very strict Pharisee, but now he had tasted freedom in Christ he could not imagine choosing to be enslaved once again by the law that leads to death. It is no wonder that Paul’s pleas in this letter are so heartfelt and genuine. His pleas touch your spirit, as you touch his heart while reading his letter.

Were we set free to remain free or so that we could choose to go back into slavery? As Paul says, ‘For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.’ (Galatians 5:1 NRSV). Are we going to be firm and remain living in the victory that Jesus won for us on the cross or are we going to act as if Jesus never died and rose again and return back to slavery?

Heavenly Father, Thank you that I am a child of the promise, and as such I choose to remain in the freedom that Jesus won for me. Help me never to go back voluntarily into a slavery to a system that can condemn me but never save me. Amen.

Two Dreams

I first posted this blog on 22nd September 2012 and I’m feeling that it is time to share the dreams again. I hope you are blessed and encouraged by them.

The Bountiful Reaper

I have recently had two dreams where God was speaking to me.  This is extremely significant, as God does not normally speak to me through dreams.  The first one I had on 24th August and the second on the 20th September.

The First Dream.

I was somewhere in Africa on a crusade with an evangelist.

The first thing that happened was that I went back to the room where I was sleeping and there were two robbers there one of whom was carrying a knife, all I could do was to pray out loud and take authority in Jesus’ name which I did.  I told them that they had to put the knife down which they did, and then that they had to repent and follow Jesus, I barely shared the basics about becoming a Christian but they repented of their sins and gave their lives to Jesus.

Later, at…

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Galatians 4:8-20 – Back in Bondage or Living Free

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods. Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits? How can you want to be enslaved to them again? You are observing special days, and months, and seasons, and years. I am afraid that my work for you may have been wasted. (Galatians 4:8-11 NRSV)

Before we became Christians we were slaves to false gods who were in fact no gods at all. One person’s god might have been alcohol, another’s could be evolution, and someone else’s the false gods of Hinduism or some other religion. On the surface these gods give freedom, but in reality all they bring is slavery, but a slavery that those enslaved cannot see.

Once we have become a Christian we now know God and more importantly, he now knows us. This is as real a relationship as any physical relationship – if anything more real – as we are now spiritually alive and our spirit and the rest of us is now known by the Living God. This is true life and freedom.

Knowing this it is no wonder that Paul is shocked and incredulous that they are turning back to legalism, slavery and bondage instead of living in the permanent Sabbath and Jubilee that is in Christ Jesus.

The spiritual eyes of the Galatians seem to be closed, and so they seem to be back to living solely by natural sight. It is no wonder that Paul is shaking his head in frustration.

It is no wonder that about 10 years later when Paul writes to the Ephesian Christians that he says how he is praying, ‘that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.’ (Ephesians 1:18-19 NIB) It is so important that we pray for spiritual light, life and growth for each other so we don’t turn our back on the great salvation that we have in Jesus!

Heavenly Father, open our eyes to see if we have slipped back into bondage and slavery in our lives, or if we are living in the fullness of all that you have for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.