When Do You Quit Praying?

When Do You Quit Praying?

  Traveling back and forth to Hot Springs, we’ve been watching the progress of the widening of the highway along the way. It’s been a mess. I’ve yet to see anything completed. But because they are still working, there is obviously some progress being made. One day the project will be complete and everyone will see the outcome. Those construction workers are not quitting simply because it’s taking so long. And they are not quitting because it’s a bigger mess than before they started. When it comes to prayer we love the outcome – we are so enthralled with what …

The Kingdom, The Power and The Glory

The Kingdom, The Power and The Glory

  “For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.” [Matthew [6:13]*, NIV] This ending of The Model Prayer is a doxology: an expression of praise to God. The doxology brings the prayer full circle, beginning and ending with God’s kingdom. FOOTNOTES AND BRACKETS Take a moment and read Matthew [6:13] in your Bible. Unless you have a King James Version, you may be in for a surprise: this doxology appears in a footnote (GNT, NIV, RSV) or is placed in brackets (The Voice). The reason is that this ending to the Lord’s Prayer isn’t in the oldest …

Keep Us Safe From the Evil One

Keep Us Safe From the Evil One

“Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.” [Matthew [6:13]] DO NOT BRING US TO HARD TESTING Testing is a reality in Scripture, beginning with Adam and Eve. Even Jesus was tested. Immediately after his baptism, the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the Devil. (Matt 4:1) During this time of hard testing, Satan tempted Jesus with everything from food to power. Jesus defeated Satan with the first commandment: Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’” Then the …

Forgive Us…As We Forgive

Forgive Us…As We Forgive

  Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.” [Matthew [6:12]] FORGIVE US THE WRONGS WE HAVE DONE Jesus taught us to pray, “Father…forgive us the wrongs we have done.” As we reflect on the petition for forgiveness, we must consider what Jesus meant by “the wrongs we have done.” The best way to do that is to review the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). But let’s look at one example: Jesus’ teaching on anger (Matthew [5:21]-22). “You have heard that people were told in the past, ‘Do not …

Food From God

Food From God

  “Give us today the food we need”. [Matthew [6:11]] When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Give us today the food we need,” he reminded them of the manna God sent to their ancestors. When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, the people didn’t have enough food. They began to complain, and God stepped in. Exodus 16:4 summarizes the events: The Lord said to Moses, “Now I am going to cause food to rain down from the sky for all of you. The people must go out every day and gather enough for that day. In this way …

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

“May your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” [Matt [6:10]] MAY YOUR KINGDOM COME Matthew 13 contains seven parables Jesus told to describe God’s Kingdom, all based on everyday life in the first century. The one that caught my attention this week is the parable of the yeast: Jesus said, “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with a bushel of flour until the whole batch of dough rises.” [Matthew [13:33], GNT] YEAST FOR THE WORLD As Christians, we’re called to be yeast for …

A Model to Pray By

A Model to Pray By

  When his disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he gave them a sample prayer. We usually call it The Lord’s Prayer, but another title works just as well: The Model Prayer. I can’t remember when I memorized this prayer: it seems as if I’ve always known it. Too often I recite it without paying attention, mouthing words like hallowed, thy, and thine that I never use outside of church. This week as we reflect on the prayer Jesus gave us, I’ll use the words of the Good News Translation (GNT). “This, then, is how you should …