Friday, June 29, 2007

Day 25 - Seven Points Of Prayer

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (Luk 18:16) Jesus loved when children came to Him. Their faith and trust are so simple and innocent. Children do not need complicated explanations or dissertations about God. They just simply trust - no questions - just action. Is it any wonder that Christ wants us to come to Him like children? God desires to be a Father to us. He desires for us to come to Him like a child - with child-like faith, knowing that our Father loves us and will take care of us. Is this too much to expect from your own child? Of course not! Why, then, do Christians struggle in this area of prayer?

Christ wanted us to have an intimate relationship with God. Christ did not want to leave us without power or empty-handed. Christ is our Shepherd and wanted to lead us in the perfect direction so He taught us how to pray. He gave us the perfect prayer. Since perfection is symbolized in the number seven, why does it not surprise me that the Lord's Prayer would have seven points! The Lord teaches us that we have the most perfect and complete prayer as a pattern for our own prayer life. Some religions teach that you have to repeat this prayer over and over. However, if this were to be so, it would have appeared word-for-word in Luke (Luke 11:2-4) as well but it was worded differently. Christ used this as a pattern to teach us how to pray.

Our pattern has seven points:

(1) Who we are to pray to:

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (Mat 6:9) Recognize who you are praying to. Notice that Christ, from the beginning, tells us that we are able to pray to our Father. My friend, because we are born again, we are now able to go to God like a child to his own earthly father! Does this not amaze you? Three times, the Word uses Abba, Father. The number three symbolizes the Godhead. How appropriate that "Abba, Father" appears three times. I simply stand amazed at the perfection of God's Word!

And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (Mar 14:36)

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Rom 8:15)

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Gal 4:6)

This verse continues and teaches us to honor our Father in Heaven. This first verse beginning our prayer time with the Lord teaches us to start with Him; recognize Him for who He is, our Abba, Father; and recognize that He is holy. This sets the mood for our spirit to pray. The number one symbolizes "beginning, one" - how appropriate that this first verse of prayer symbolizes the beginning of perfect prayer to the only One we should pray to!

(2) Acknowledge His Kingdom:

Thy kingdom come. (Matt 6:10) As we are looking forward to His Kingdom and being/reigning with Him, we must also remember that we are to work diligently in building that Kingdom through winning souls. Our Shepherd guides us but it is the sheep who make other sheep, my friend. Isn't it interesting that the number two symbolizes witnessing and the second verse of our perfect prayer talks about the Kingdom? Whew! I stand amazed at the spiritual beauties and gold nuggets found in my King James Bible.

(3) Desire God's will:

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Mat 6:10) Why would anyone want anything but God's will for their lives? It is in His will that we can find perfect peace and rest. God's perfect will is found in His perfect Word. What do we know to be the will of God? We know that God's commandments reveal His will. God's will is taught in the Word through His precepts, statutes and His commandments. God did not leave us empty-handed - we can easily find His will - His perfect law - through His Word. He has given us the Word, in flesh, and left us His Spirit to teach us. What a perfect example of the Godhead - the triune God! Amazingly, the number three symbolizes the Godhead and this verse depicts the Godhead in the perfect will of God.

(4) Petition your Father for your needs:

Give us this day our daily bread. (Mat 6:11) I truly do not believe that Christ is teaching us to pray for our daily physical needs here - otherwise He would be contradicting Himself in the following verses: Mat 6:25-26, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (25) Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (26) Instead, I believe that Christ is teaching us to ask the Father to feed us spiritually. Christ did not want us to worry about food, housing, clothing (earthly, physical needs). So much so, He stressed it again in Mat 6:31-32, Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (31) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (32) I believe the Lord was teaching us to seek after the things of God as He did. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? (Luk 2:49) The number four symbolizes "earth-creation-world" - how appropriate that the Lord would be teaching us not to be concerned about the things of the world but to be concerned about God - about His Kingdom - about His will - about His Word.

(5) Seek forgiveness and forgive:

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Mat 6:12) How appropriate that the One who gave His life so that we would be forgiven would teach us to seek forgiveness through Him and then forgive others for their transgression. The Provider of forgiveness faithfully goes to the Father seeking forgiveness on our behalf so why should we not follow His pattern? Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luk 23:34a) How can we expect to receive forgiveness and yet not forgive others who have sinned against us or offended us? It was by God's grace that we're sent a Saviour to die for our sin so we could receive His forgiveness. It is by God's grace that we are saved. Nothing we could possibly do would take us even one step closer to Heaven! How appropriate it is that this fifth point of prayer is about receiving God's grace and the number five symbolizes grace! Thank You, Lord!

(6) God's protection:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: (Mat 6:13) This is such a beautiful request depicting a child asking his Father to protect him from evil's way. This child is asking his Father to show him the path that he should take where he will not be tempted. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (Jam 1:14) But if he is tempted because of his own lusts, he can also ask his Father to deliver him and provide a way out of this temptation. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor 10:13) God is so good to us, my friend. Again, how appropriate that the sixth point of prayer deals with man's sinful nature and the number six symbolizes man!

(7) Praising God:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Mat 6:13b) The seventh and final point of prayer teaches us to praise God and acknowledge who He is, that all power is His, and all glory is His, eternally! God's kingdom will be perfect because He is perfect. His power is complete because He is perfect. Our God deserves all the glory because He is the perfect and holy God. The one and the only God! Again, how appropriate that God's perfection is reflected in the seventh verse and the number seven symbolizes perfection!

Does it surprise you that the Lord would teach us this perfect pattern of prayer and have it outlined in such a way that it completely reflects the meanings of the numbers from His Word? It does not to me! I stand amazed each time that I dig my nose into His Word, I find something that brings these Bible numbers out! Thank You, Lord!

A Blessing in Prayer
Eliza E. Hewitt

There is rest, sweet rest, at the Master’s feet,
There is favor now at the mercy seat,
For atoning blood has been sprinkled there;
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain:
There’s a blessing in prayer, in believing prayer,
When our Savior’s Name to the throne we bear;
Then a Father’s love will receive us there;
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

There is grace to help in our time of need,
For our Friend above is a Friend, indeed;
We may cast on Him every grief and care;
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain

When our songs are glad with the joy of life,
When our hearts are sad with its ills and strife,
When the powers of sin would the soul ensnare,
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain

There is perfect peace tho’ the wild waves roll,
There are gifts of love for the seeking soul,
Till we praise the Lord in His home so fair,
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain


Devotional by Kate Plourde

60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible

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