The Lord’s Prayer part 2

Finally, the start of this teaching:

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,

Jesus starts off his teaching of the disciples on prayer this way:

This is how you should pray!

Now I don’t know about you, but any time Jesus specifically says this is how you do something, then we need to pay really good attention! Jesus has already set the scene (see past 2 days entries), where he teaches us to find a private, quiet place alone and then to pray simple words (not fancy religious babble).

First point is the prayer is addressed to the Father. And Our Father who is in heaven. At the start of the prayer, I am reminded that God is not only God (the Almighty creator of heaven and earth, who is worshiped 24×7 as the Holy One), but that he is my Father. Jesus taught us elsewhere to call God the Father “Abba” (daddy). So the prayer starts of by addressing our father (one who we know loves us as a father) who is in heaven. I am so encouraged when I think of Him being in heaven, where he is preparing a place for me.

His name is to be adored “Hallowed be thy name”.

Then Jesus prays this…

“Thy Kingdom come”

Noe stop right there. Do you know what the kingdom of God is? It is firstly the central theme of the New Testament, but it means were God is in total control. When God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1) he created everything that was good. This was the kingdom of God on earth. Everything followed God’s purpose and plan. When the kingdom of God comes, then God’s will happens. The Jewish people knew that when the kingdom of God comes, then fighting and war would end. Sorrow and sadness and sickness would come to an end. Thee would be no more anger and bitterness and gossip, and hating one another.

When the kingdom of God comes, there will be no sickness. Wherever Jesus walked while he walked the earth, the kingdom of God manifested. If someone was sick, Jesus healed them. Miracles happened. The dead were raised to life, and blind eyes were opened. Those in captivity to leprosy and demonic power, were set free.

In Revelation 21 we see a picture of how things will be when the kingdom of God comes fully.

 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

When Jesus was on earth, this is what followed him – the dead came back to life and the sick were healed. Jesus said at times that the “Kingdom of God is near” and at other times he said “the kingdom of God is here” and “the kingdom is within you”. I don’t want to get into the whole teaching on the Kingdom of God, but if you want a comprehensive study, check out books by Derek Morphew on the subject.

The important thing to understand is what the kingdom of God looks like. And Jesus tells us to pray “thy kingdom come”. The exciting thing about praying this is that you can pray the kingdom to break through in your life and circumstances. This means that what you are really praying for is supernatural intervention and provision in your life. if you are sick and you pray “thy kingdom come” you are inviting God’s kingdom power into your world and that will transform and heal. If you are struggling financially, God’s kingdom power can break the power of debt and lack because there is no debt and no lack in His kingdom.

So from no on when you pray this prayer, and you pray “thy kingdom come”, remember what you are asking God to do. You are inviting His kingdom to break out in your life and in your family and business and church, with God given power and abundance. And the best part of it all is that Jesus told us to pray this. He would never have told us to pray this unless it was possible (and likely) that God the Father will answer by sending his kingdom into our daily walk, as we ask it of him.

Wow, I hope you are excited by that. I am!

 

Lessons from Isaiah 53 v 5

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

This prophecy is amazing in that it came hundreds of years before the death of Jesus.  But Isaiah speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit, could see into the future, and tells us of a time that is coming when God will secure our peace and healing through punishment. However the punishment will be on “him”. Piercing is a clear reference to the way that Jesus died. Crucifixion was  unbelievably cruel. It was so cruel that the Romans even abolished it eventually, as it was inhumane.

Jesus died by being nailed to a cross. In this way he was pierced. His hands and feet were pierced and the scars remained even after Jesus rose from the dead. Remember that Thomas did not believe it was Jesus, after Jesus appeared to him post his resurrection. Thomas said that unless I can put my hands into the nail-prints, I will not believe. Then Jesus invited Thomas to do so, and at that point Thomas believed. Jesus was pierced / crucified because of our transgressions. Transgressions is another word for sins. Jesus died for our sins. Our means yours and mine. Jesus took your sins and mine onto himself when he died.

Then Isaiah says he was crushed for our iniquities. Transgressions is probably a less harsh word. It is more like the word we might use today meaning our mistakes. Our errors. But iniquities refers to evil. Our evil nature that causes us to sin. Jesus died for it all. God crushed Jesus. How did this happen? I believe this happened by God placing the entire wight of the sin of the world onto Jesus. That weight would crush anyone. I think there is also a more subtle meaning – in that when God the Father turned His back on His Son as Jesus was abandoned on the cross, Jesus said “My God why have you forsaken me?”(Matthew 27:45-46) – I believe that Jesus was crushed in spirit at that time.

Why did Jesus die?

He died to bring us peace with God and He died to bring us healing. When you have sin in your life, you cannot be at peace with God. But Jesus removes sin. the Bible says that our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103 v2). The sin which keeps us from having peace, is now gone and we have peace with Almighty God.

And finally by his wounds we are healed.

Many Christians believe as do I, that God brought about divine health and healing to the body of Christ through the death of Jesus. If we were healed, then surely we must be healed in the future. So we can appropriate the healing that Jesus bought for us with his blood. But like all of God’s gifts, they must be received. I encourage you to pray for healing using this verse as the basis of your prayer.

 

Lessons from Isaiah 53 v 2

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

I am continuing to look at God’s love and mercy for us, and why we should not blame God for tragedy and sickness in our lives. Jesus is portrayed in this prophecy as coming to the world with no beauty and no majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. Jesus was the embodiment of the principles that he taught us while on earth. he taught us that we do not walk by sight, but rather by faith. That we need to look at the things which are not seen, rather than the things which we can see.

This idea is a tough one for many Christians. We are naturally conditioned through our western world, and through generations of teaching that we respond to that which we see. One of the things I have been dealing with in the last two days, is the subject of healing. Now this subject is the perfect example of where we have vastly conflicting ideas about whether or not God heals today. I heard Andrew Wommack say that when someone says “I believe God can heal” then that is hope. When you say I know that God will heal, that is faith. Jesus came into the world in a very subdued manner – born in a manger with no pomp and ceremony. Surely for the Son of God no-one would have minded if he had been born in the King’s palace. But God’s way is gentle and unassuming. So Jesus came in a way that did not impress us as people. He was Born as any child would be born and there was nothing special that would have attracted us to him physically. But the star that shone from the east was announcing that this was no ordinary child. Even the stars shone over him.

Jesus told us through his life, that God does not look at the outward – God looks at the heart and the motives. God is not impressed by the things that impress humans. We are told to walk by faith and not by sight. So we need to then act on that. When we know that God wants someone to be healed, then we can pray confidently. We know that Jesus has already healed us by his stripes. So I hear you saying that “not everyone gets healed.” That is true. I believe that healing is a tricky subject. We are subject to the curse of the ground on this earth, and Satan rules this earth. As believers we have in us the power of the living God and we are no longer under the power of Satan. So we are told to resist the devil and he will flee from us. Death and disease is a curse that came upon mankind by sin. So we live in a fallen world which subjects us to death and to other laws (like gravity) which we cannot escape from. Within this world, God wants us to be healthy. We can make oursleves sick by eating badly, behaving badly, by holding grduges, getting angry, through unforgiveness and bitterness and more.

Jesus said that the kingdom of God is near. When Jesus was living on this earth, he healed all who were oppressed by the devil. That was a glimpse of the kingdom of God. The kingdom og God is coming. Jesus told us to pray for the kingdom of God to come (you remember from the Lord’s prayer). When the kingdom of God comes, it restores the order and balance back to God’s original intention.

Some people when they pray for the sick, will pray “if it be your will”. There is no prayer in the Bible which tells us to pray like this. Jesus did not say “if it be thy will” when he was in Gethsemane. Jesus knew the will of the father and he said “nevertheless, thy will be done”. The prayer that says “if it is your will” destroys faith. Because then we are praying without power. God wants us to find out his will (which he reveals by his word) and then to walk in faith and do his will, even if we cannot see the immediate evidence. Sometimes we pray and when the person is not immediately and miraculously healed, we think God never heard us. But we will allow antibiotics to take a weke or two to work, so why does all healing have to be instant.

And yet not everyone is healed. I believe when people are not healed it is because of our lack of faith and because of our lack of closeness to God. Jesus never failed to heal anyone. he healed every time. EVERY TIME. And Jesus said we will do at least what he did, and even greater things. But to do that we have toi wakk with him, closer and closer every day, so that we learn the rythms of his grace.

 

Lessons from Isaiah 53 v 2

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.

Jesus is described here as one who grew up as a tender shoot. The word tender indicates a caringness, and a gentleness of spirit. Jesus said on his sermon on the mount “blessed is the poor in spirit”for he shall inherit the earth. Poor in spirit means meek – it means gentle and humble. The sense that Jesus the Messiah was born and grew up as a tender shoot before God indicates He was gentle and tender. This is not what you would expect of  God who is always angry with us, who lays sickness and tragedy on his children for reasons we are not expected to understand. Why would Jesus do that? I tell you why – it is because he would not! The tragedy and sickness and devastation in  people’s lives comes from us living in a fallen world, where we are victims of circumstance. Other people who may be under the control of Satan, may drink too much, get behind the wheel of a car and then drive into us, maiming or killing us.

The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. It is because when God gave control of the earth to man, it was all set up to work for us – to be a place of blessing. Instead, man fell and God cursed the ground. Evil came into the world via Satan, who was the super slick deceiver – the master musician and seductive creature. The word tells us in the book of James that every good and perfect gift comes from our father in heaven. Sickness and disease is not a good and perfect gift. On the other hand we read that Satan goes around like a roaring lion, seeking those he may devour. We read that Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. So when you look at those two things side by side, who do you think brings sickness and tragedy? Certainly not God!

So many people say, whilst God does not do these things – he allows them to happen to us, for a reason. When we try to understand what reason a loving father could want to allow one of his children to be injured and become a quadriplegic, then we say it is to teach us a lesson maybe. Or perhaps we use the good old line – His ways are higher than our ways – it is not for us to understand! Well I disagree . God’s ways are higher than our ways – but he is always consistent with hos character, and that is to bring goodness and life.

Here’s my final thought for today. If Jesus allows us to get sick, because it is his will for us to learn something through it, why does he tell us to heal the sick? I mean if God is allowing you by His will (for reasons we can’t understand) to become sick, then if I am to pray that you be healed, like the word tells me to (actually the word says heal the sick, it does not say pray for the sick), then I would be praying against God’s will. So since I never know if the sickness is allowed by God as part of His will or not, it is pointless for me to pray for healing, because how could we pray to God to ask him to change his will?
Makes you think, I hope.