The Lord’s Prayer Outline – Part Eight

Let’s examine Jesus’s personal blueprint for prayer.  Remember, you build from it, you don’t live in it.

Text for Today – Matthew 6:9 – After this manner therefore pray ye . . .


Make your declaration of faith, speaking those things you desire, based on what you have prayed according to the Word of God.  Exercise yourself in the spirit of faith that believes, and therefore speaks.  Imitate the Lord as you have been commanded and begin to call things that “be not as though they are.”  Always remember that the Word of God is the source of, and the sustenance for your faith. 

Realize that the kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, all belongs to the Lord, and that He has fully shared it with you as His joint-heir.  Think of that: you are not merely and heir of God, but a joint-heir with Jesus.  To receive any blessing directly from the hand of God is an awesome thing, but to know that you are a joint-heir with Jesus Who has received from the Father God all that He has and can do is absolutely awesome.  Being a joint-heir does not mean that you share in what the Father has given Jesus, but rather that whatever the Father has given to Jesus, he has given to you, too.

With these thoughts in mind, the final element of our devotional study on prayer should be evident.  For all that the Lord has made available to us through this outline of prayer, one should surely come to a conclusion with the highest possible thanksgiving, praise, and worship of so grand and gracious a God as He is.  Therefore, let the close of this prayer time be a return to praise and worship of the God to Whom you have made petition, supplication, and intercessions.

So model your prayer after, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.   Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

And don’t overlook the “AMEN.”  It doesn’t mean, “That’s all for now.”  Rather it is a final and settling statement that one has prayed the will and purpose of God as it is declared, “SO BE IT!”

Manna for Today – Job 22-28; Romans 8:17; Philippians 4:6; Romans 10:17

The Lord’s Prayer Outline – Part Seven

Let’s examine Jesus’s personal blueprint for prayer.  Remember, you build from it, you don’t live in it.

Text for Today – Matthew 6:9 – After this manner therefore pray ye . . .

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL” – At least as important, if not the most important element of this segment of prayer is realizing you own role in deliverance.  It’s up to you to be sure you are wearing the “whole armor of God.”  Have you loins girded about with TRUTH, have on the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS, have your feet shod with the PREPARATION of the GOSPEL of PEACE, have on the helmet of SALVATION, above all the shield of FAITH, and the sword of the Spirit which is the WORD of GOD.

Be sure that when you pray, you pray the Word of God, and in so doing, build up a hedge of protection about yourself, your family, your church, your profession, and those whom you serve. 

And please make the determination to never again live the life of a defensive Christian.  It would seem that anyone living on the defensive is living in a perpetual state of expecting to be offended.  The Christian, on the other hand, should plan on taking the offensive. I am not talking about offending brothers and sisters in the Lord through our words or actions, but rather about taking the offensive against the enemy of your soul.  It’s time for believers today to go on the offensive.  Pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations, cast down every high thing that tries to rise up and exalt its position above the authority of God’s Word, and bring into captivity every thought that comes to you to the obedience of the Word of God.

When you read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, you will notice the work begins in faith.  Well, it ends there, too.  But one thing we often overlook is verse 6: “having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”  Being ready to revenge is being constantly ready to go on the offensive, as Abram did with his 318 armed servants to retake Lot and his possessions from captivity.  At the same time, don’t misunderstand or misread the words “when your obedience is fulfilled.”  That means to walk in obedience to the Word of God, which more simply defined, is to walk in the love of God.  Whatever you do, never forget that the God kind of faith always works by the love of God.

Manna for Today – Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Psalm 91; 1 John 5:3

The Lord’s Prayer Outline – Part Six

Let’s examine Jesus’s personal blueprint for prayer.  Remember, you build from it, you don’t live in it.

Text for Today – Matthew 6:9 – After this manner therefore pray ye . . .

AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS” – Oh what a wonderful portion of revelation knowledge from the Word of God: absolutely profound, and yet remarkably simple to understand.  Doing it, on the other hand, is a great work of faith.  Now note the relationship of being forgiven to forgiving.  You will be forgiven as you forgive.  In fact, the whole ability of faith to work for you as it should is based on your ability and willingness to forgive.  I don’t know of anyone in the world who has never been wronged or offended.  All of us, at some time, have had someone mistreat us, lie to or about us, steal from us, or even try to physically harm us.  Regardless of the offense that is committed against a believer, the believer really has only one choice: forgive!  If you expect to be forgiven by the Lord for your own sins and failings in life, you must first forgive those who have sinned and failed against you.  If you choose not to forgive, you had better pray that you never, ever, sin again.  If you choose to walk in unforgiveness, and you do sin, God won’t here you and Jesus won’t forgive you until you have forgiven those who have sinned against you. 

These are hard statements, but they are nonetheless absolutely true.  This is exactly what the Bible teaches.  In short, my friend, you cannot afford to harbor any unforgiveness in your heart against anyone.  To harbor unforgiveness in one’s heart is to be entrapped in strife, and that is one of the most frightening places I can imagine.  In that place of unforgiveness, one is ensnared by Satan, and Satan can do with that person what he chooses, when he chooses, how he chooses, and that person can’t stop the devil.  What’s even more dangerous is that strife effectively blocks God from working in one’s life.  So let nothing stop you from forgiving anyone and everyone.  It makes no difference what a person has done to you, since faith is not a matter of emotion, but rather a matter of faith.  True forgiveness requires the cooperation of the Lord with you in that work as you believe His Word and obey it.

Rely on Holy Spirit to show you anything in your life you need to release, or from which you personally need forgiveness.  Forgive and release others so that your prayers and faith life will not be hindered.  Make a willful determination to forgive those who sin against you.  Exercise your will and your faith powerfully in this area.  Success in this spiritual arena opens the door to so many other areas for powerful success in your faith.

Manna for Today – Mark 11:22-26; Ephesians 4:32; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; John 16:13; Luke 17:1-5

The Lord’s Prayer Outline – Part Five

Let’s examine Jesus’s personal blueprint for prayer.  Remember, you build from it, you don’t live in it.

Text for Today – Matthew 6:9 – After this manner therefore pray ye . . .

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD” – Here in one petitioning statement is an extremely wide ranging set of needs.  Knowing that God knows your heart, and that He knows what you need before you ask Him for it, it would seem that understanding the extreme broadness of this petition would be quite valuable to the petitioner.

First, notice that this is a daily petition.  Just like the children of Israel who had to gather manna daily (except for the Sabbath), or it would rot before the next day, here is the need of the believer to ask and receive on a daily basis for that which is needed today.  And note, too, it’s not just for self.  Once again we see the word “OUR.”  This is not only a petition for your own need, but also the needs of others to whom you can minister.  But what is “BREAD?”  “BREAD” is . . .

. . . your daily food your physical body needs.  Here’s a thought: if we only ate that for which we could believe God, I wonder how many believers would have weight problems?  Still, please note that this is a daily petition.

. . . your healing as it belongs to the child of God.  Jesus told the Syrophonecian woman that He shouldn’t give bread (healing) to dogs (unbelievers).  You see, children eat at the table.

. . . your finance as it is known in the vernacular of our day.  Since God knows the “end from the beginning,” I am sure He knew in advance how our language would develop.  Believe me when I say that God understands your heart, regardless of the language you speak.

. . . revelation knowledge of the Word of God, the bread of life.  Jesus said He was the bread of life, and at that point, He was not talking about biscuits and cornbread.  He was speaking very clearly about the living Word of God, the bread of life that proceeds from the mouth of the Father.

. . . the mind of God for you each day; what God wants you to do.  At the well of Samaria, Jesus said His “meat” was “to do the will of the Father.”  He was talking about spiritual food that sustains the whole being, and this is still the “bread of life.”

Manna for Today – Psalm 37:25; Mark 7:27; John 4:34; Matthew 6:24-34

The Lord’s Prayer Outline – Part Four

Let’s examine Jesus’s personal blueprint for prayer.  Remember, you build from it, you don’t live in it.

Text for Today – Matthew 6:9 – After this manner therefore pray ye . . .

THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN” – Here is one of the most powerful and profoundly clear statements made to us concerning the will of God.  Jesus told us to pray for the will of God to be accomplished in the earth in the same manner and authority as it is accomplished in heaven.  I am sure that you understand that Jesus did not tell us to pray a certain way, and would then deny us the results of that prayer.  Let’s examine His prayer command.

Notice that it is God’s will that needs to be done, not our own.  But don’t fall prey to the fallacy that God’s will is always accomplished.  After all, the Scriptures do teach us that in God’s eyes, it is NOT His will for anyone to be lost, but for everyone to be saved; yet we all know that does not happen.  While we must pray for His will to be done, we must also work toward that end to the degree that we play a role.

One more point I should make; praying for God’s will to be done in the earth as it is in heaven is NOT asking God what His will is.  We can go to His Word and discover His will in so many areas of our life.  When we know what His will is, we still need to pray for it, and then, once again, fulfill our role in working towards that end in our obedience to and walk with Him.

Now let me ask you two questions.  Is there sickness, disease, deception, poverty, lack, demonic oppression, depression, or possession, or failure of Godly endeavors in heaven?  The answer is, of course, NO!  Well, that should settle the issue as to much of the will of God in the earth, especially as it relates to His people.  The other side of the coin is the question, how IS the will of God done in heaven?  Once again, the answer is really simple and already revealed in the God’s Word.  God’s will is accomplished in heaven the same way He accomplished His will in “the beginning.”  “And God said” . . . “and God said” . . . “and God said.” 

In Mark 11:22, Jesus said we were to have the “God kind of faith.”  What is the God kind of faith?  It is the kind of faith that believes, and then speaks what it believes, without doubting, and holds fast to its profession of faith.  Now you and I have been empowered to see the will of God accomplished in earth as it is in heaven.

Manna for Today – Mark 11:22-24; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Hebrews 10:23; Joshua 1:8; Zechariah 4:6; Hebrews 11:6

The Lord’s Prayer Outline – Part Three

Let’s examine Jesus’s personal blueprint for prayer.  Remember, you build from it, you don’t live in it.

Text for Today – Matthew 6:9 – After this manner therefore pray ye . . .

THY KINGDOM COME” – What a powerful petition to bring before our Lord!  We’re not talking about a political party or governmental regime.  We’re not speaking of a man’s kingdom.  We ARE calling for the very kingdom of God to come.  Romans records that the Kingdom of God is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”  Let’s take a look at it.

RIGHTEOUSNESS – Righteousness is positional in that it means to be in right standing with God.  Keep in mind that if the “root is holy, so are the branches.”  Well, since Jesus is holy, or righteous, so are you.  Righteousness is also a very personal identity.  Jesus is our righteousness, but before He became our righteousness, He was made to be sin for us so we could be made the righteousness of God in Him.  And one more thing I would like to interject here for today; righteousness speaks, and what it says is very special (see Romans 10).

PEACE – I LOVE this word, peace, or in the Hebrew, Shalom.  Simply defined, it means “nothing missing; nothing broken.”  Now that’s the way to live!  And He is our PEACE, having broken down the wall of partition that would have separated us from the Father God.  This PEACE passes understanding.  People who love His law have it, and cannot be offended. It is this PEACE that Jesus gave to us, and it is this PEACE that Jesus always comes speaking in the time of storm and trouble. And finally, those whose mind is stayed on Him are kept in this perfect PEACE.

JOY in the HOLY GHOST – This joy is not a matter of happiness.  Happiness is an emotion based on present circumstances.  Joy, on the other hand, is a part of the fruit of the spirit, and is based on relationship, not circumstances.  It is this joy in the Holy Ghost, or the joy of the Lord that is our strength at all times, and especially when there seems to be no other source for joy.

So understand clearly, my friend, that His kingdom is not a natural thing, nor is it some state of mind.  Rather it is very real, very powerful, and supernatural through and through.  It is His will for it to be manifest in your life and in this earth, but there’s more to that than just praying it.  If you pray it, you must believe; and if you believe it, you must live it.  You can count on the fact that if you pray it, believe it, and live it, He will make it manifest in your life and in your world.

Manna for Today – Romans 14:17:Romans 10:6-10; 1 Peter 2:24; Philippians 4:7; Psalm 119:165; Isaiah 12:3; James 1:1

The Lord’s Prayer Outline – Part Two

Let’s examine Jesus’s personal blueprint for prayer.  Remember, you build from it, you don’t live in it.

Text for Today – Matthew 6:9 – After this manner therefore pray ye . . .

Today we continue in our examination of the Lord’s Prayer outline.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME” – Oh what an awesome thing, the Name of the Lord.  Whether we are speaking of the Father, the Son, or Holy Ghost, His Name is truly awesome. As a point at which to begin our meditation, let’s look at His redemptive Names.

Jehovah-Tsidkenu – the Lord Our Righteousness

Jehovah-M’Kaddesh – the Lord Who Sanctifies

Jehovah-Shalom – the Lord Our Peace

Jehovah-Shammah – the Lord is There

Jehovah-Rapha – the Lord Our Healer

Jehovah-Jireh – the Lord Our Provider

Jehovah-Nissi – the Lord Our Banner and Captain

Jehovah-Ra’ah – the Lord Our Shepherd

And if those are not enough, consider Who He is in His Word; Creator, Passover Lamb, Scapegoat, Rod of Aaron, Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace, King of kings, Lord of lords, Bright and Morning Star, the Root of Jesse, Alpha & Omega, the Beginning & the End, the First & the Last, Plumbline, the Water of Life, the Bread of Life, the True Vine, and the First Born of Many Brethren, the First Begotten from the Dead.

Can there be any wonder why we consider His Name holy and worthy to be praised and honored?  Oh how He loves us!  Consider His sacrifice and the price He paid to make us His Own.  Truly He is our great Enabler, making it possible for us to do all things through Christ.  And surely, He is the great Supplier of all our need. 

I encourage you to set aside some time today to consider Who He is: this man from Galilee of Whom the Romans said, “Ecce Homo,” or “Behold, the Man.”  Above His Name is no other name, and it is at the mention of His Name that every knee must bow, of beings in heaven, in earth, and beneath the earth.  Meditate upon His Name, and do it often.  Come to know Him better day by day.  He is Lord!  Worship Him!  Thank Him!  Praise Him!  Honor Him!  Speak His Name with reverence and awe!  And speak TO Him often!

Manna for Today – John 14:14; Philippians 2:9-10;  Colossians 3:17; John 16:23

The Lord’s Prayer Outline – Part One

Let’s examine Jesus’s personal blueprint for prayer.  You build from it, you don’t live in it.

Text for Today – Matthew 6:9 – After this manner therefore pray ye . . .

I am sure that the number of times we annually recite what has been called The Lord’s Prayer is phenomenal.  However, the truth of the matter is this; what we have traditionally called The Lord’s Prayer is NOT The Lord’s Prayer.  His prayer, if we would identify one as His, is found in John 17, and what a prayer it is!  But our focus is the traditionally called, Lord’s Prayer.  In actuality, it is really His outline of prayer, that if followed, will build a wonderfully effective prayer life for the follower.  Let’s look at it.

OUR FATHER” – Two observations stand out in these first two words.  For prayer to work, there MUST be a Father/child relationship between the pray-er and the Father to Whom we pray.  Secondly, note the word “OUR.”  Jesus did not say “My Father,” but “OUR FATHER.”  The point is, selfish prayers don’t get answered.  No, I am not saying God doesn’t want you to have your wants; only that if your wants are for selfish, personal consumption, and will not be used in some way to bless others, that such selfish praying for things that will be “consumed upon your own lusts” will not be answered.

WHICH ART IN HEAVEN” – We must realize when we are praying Who it is before Whom we are coming.  His status is that of Jehovah, the God of the ages, exalted in the heavens.  His throne is exalted above all gods.  Angels bow before Him continually.  He is the Creator of heaven and earth, and all that is in them.  His ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts.  He is exalted above all the earth, and in that exalted place and position, He reigns supreme through the Lord Jesus Christ Who has been given all power in heaven and earth, and He hold the keys of death and hell.  His exalted position puts Him over all, and there, as Eternal God, He is worthy of all honor, glory, worship, praise, and thanks.  His position in heaven settles His unique perspective as our loving heavenly Father to Whom we should offer continual praise.  Truly He is our exalted Father God Who is seated upon His Own heavenly throne.

Manna for Today – Matthew 6:9-13; Mark 11:22-24; Luke 11:13

Watch Your Weight

God’s people should carry a great weight of authority and power in this life.

Text for Today – Daniel 5:27 – TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

The Scriptures are very clear; God hates false, or wicked balances.  In short, God demands integrity in our dealings with Him, with one another, and even in our dealing with the world.  The world may try all manner of schemes to gain and unfair or false advantage over us, but on our part, God demands integrity.

I remember reading a story many years ago about a man who had run an old-fashioned country store for many years, and was ready to retire.  He decided to sell his store.  He had sold everything people would need from food, seed, tools, household goods, and cloth.  For the measuring of the cloth he sold, he had used the same yardstick for the many years he had owned the store from its very beginning.  He prided himself in how he had taken care of things over the years, and the fact that he had never broken his cloth measuring yardstick.  When the sale of the store was finalized, the new owner came in with new ideas and plans to change things.  When he laid out his new yardstick for measuring cloth, it looked very different from the old one left by the previous owner.  On examining closely, he discovered that the old yardstick had been used so long, it was actually worn down an inch shorter than his new yardstick.  So he thought he would just continue using the old one, and in so doing, each time he sold 36 yards of material, he would be getting an extra yard to sell for pure profit.  His cheating caught up with him and he soon lost customers and ultimately the business.

The point of this story, one might call it a parable, is that you can’t measure yourself by someone else.  When you stand before the Lord, there will be no false balances.  There will be no one to put his thumb on the scales for you, to make you appear to be worth more than you are.  Is Jesus your Lord?  If He is, he’s your yardstick.  He’s the Plumbline by which your life will be measured; not by anyone else, and not by a flawed standard. 

It’s up to you to be sure you measure up in life.  The choices you make in life will all add up to affect your final weigh-in before the Lord.  Live a life obedient to the Lord, according to His standards, imitating Him in every arena of daily living.  The Lord has made it possible for you.  He has saved you, filled you with His Spirit, equipped you, enabled you, and taught you.  So watch your weight.

Manna for Today – 2 Timothy 2; Proverbs 16:11; Proverbs 20:10 & 23; Micah 6:11; Matthew 23:23; Amos

The Joy of the Journey

Our greatest strength is in the joy of the journey, not the joy of arrival.

Text for Today – Psalm 37:23 – The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Most folks I know who are about to take a trip plan for it.  When my younger son graduated from high school, he wanted to go to out West to Yellowstone National Park.  So I took him there for his graduation gift.  We had a marvelous and exciting time.  But we didn’t just go to Yellowstone after awaking one morning and thinking, “Today’s the day.”  What we actually did was invest weeks into the planning, reading, and studying about Yellowstone, the wildlife, the geography, the sights to see, the places to stay, and so much more.  By the time we left to take the journey, we were ready. 

We knew where we were; home.  We knew where we wanted to go; Yellowstone.  But between where we were and where we were going, there was a journey of over 1,000 miles.  That’s the way life is for you and me.  We have a pretty good idea where we are, and we may have a pretty good idea of where we need to go, but the work comes in getting from where we are to where we are going.  That’s the journey.  The Scriptures tell us that Jesus endured the cross and all that came with it for the joy that was set before Him.  You see, the cross was NOT the destination.  It was merely one of the modes of transportation He would need to arrive where He needed to go.

In our trip to Yellowstone, we drove to an airport; no problems here because we know exactly where to go.  We flew to Salt Lake City.  The work here was luggage checking, waiting, luggage carrying, luggage claiming and rental car pick-up; not difficult, but not something we did every day, and often waiting in line.  We rented a car in Salt Lake and drove to Yellowstone; long, tiring drive over seemingly endless miles of unknown highway.  Then once we were in Yellowstone, we almost felt at home after studying so much about it.  For us, the real work, the tiring work was the journey from where we were to our destination.

Do you have a need today?  Healing, deliverance, provision, favor?  You know where you are; in need.  You know where you need to be; in full provision.  The work is in the journey.  Keep your focus on what is before you; your destination.  That will enable you to enjoy the journey for what you know is waiting at the end of your journey, and if you’re well-packed, you can count on arriving at your destination.  Pack your prayer with the Word and faith, travel patiently, and arrive at your chosen destination.

Manna for Today – Job 29:6; Psalm 18:36 & 119:133; Proverbs 4:12 & 16:9; Hebrews 12:1-3