The Lord's Prayer
Matthew 6:9-15 - "After this manner therefore pray ye: 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, for ever. Amen."
In the above scripture the Lord showed us the "manner" or the way in which we should pray and an example of the things we need to pray for. Volumes of books could be written on the truth that can be found in this one short prayer. Jesus was showing us the heart of the father and His will in redeeming us in this prayer.
But religion today has turned the Lord's instructions in prayer into the very thing the Lord said NOT to do in Matthew 6:7. They have turned this prayer into a mere tradition with "vain repetitions" often quoting it in public settings with no true meaning or understanding of what is being said. In doing so they have missed the awesome treasure the Lord was showing us. Without revelation from the Holy Spirit the Scriptures become just words and laws to follow, "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."
Jesus gave us this teaching on prayer in the middle of what is called "The Sermon on the Mount" which is found in Matthew 5 through 7. In these chapters are recorded the amazing teachings of our Lord where He sets a standard that no human on their own could ever fulfill. Those that heard Him were "astonished", they had never heard of such teachings before and saw that He "spoke with great authority". I am sure that there were more things spoken on that mountain that is still not completely understood by the majority. Even the disciples, His closest followers could not grasp all until the Spirit of Truth (John 16) came on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and began to teach them the things they could not receive before.
Sandwiched between an impossible picture of what true holiness and righteousness is, we find our answer…a prayer, the will of the father. What is impossible with man is possible with God, but it will take the Holy Spirit to open it up to us.
John 16:13-14 (13) "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
The words the Lord spoke on the mountain that day were Spirit and Life (John 6:63) and can only be understood by the Spirit. His words, that we have a record of in scripture today can be Life to us if He speaks them again into our hearts. When He spoke these words to the disciples they couldn’t understand them yet, but He brought them back to their remembrance through the power of the Holy Spirit, i.e. the Spirit of Truth. He opened up their understanding and they began to teach others.
Gifted writers by the power of the Holy Spirit, have been writing about the truth the Lord has shown them for the last 2,000 years, Andrew Murray, among others comes to mind. But, it will always come back to the Holy Spirit making the truths alive in us. Try as we might, we cannot "impart" to another, what the Holy Spirit has given us apart from the revealing power of the Holy Spirit i.e. the Spirit of Truth.
1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
When the Holy Spirit reveals something to our spirit, it may take only seconds to understand it, for in an instant we can know the truth He is showing us…but, because it is Spirit and He cannot be contained in mere words, it can take books to try to convey the truth He revealed to us in a moments time. In the first century, many began to write about these truths by the power of the Holy Spirit to explain the things the Lord was showing them and they wrote letters to one another to help guide each other in these truths. Some of these writing became what we know today as the New Testament. The Lord is still using them today and we are so blessed to have them available to us, but it will take the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth to make them alive to us.
Matthew 6:10 "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
In addition to the disciples/apostles preaching of the kingdom of God, Paul also wrote of the kingdom of God throughout his writings because this is what the "Gospel" is, i.e. the Good news of the Kingdom. It is the same "kingdom" Jesus mentioned in what is called "The Lord’s Prayer" saying "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". A couple of examples of Paul’s references to the kingdom are found in Romans 14:17. "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." And in 1 Corinthians 4:20, "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power". Jesus also said in Luke 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
Because men and their religions cannot comprehend the things of the Spirit, they are still looking for an earthly kingdom as the Jews did in Jesus’ time. In America and other so called "Christian" nations, they try to vote in kingdom rule with "Godly" leaders and making "Godly" laws. Even going to war and killing the "ungodly" that would dare to rise up against them, trying to bring in "thy will on earth" by human effort, forgetting we are told to "turn the other cheek" and do good to our enemies and bless them that would curse us and do us evil.
The Kingdom of God is within us…it is God's rule in our lives, causing us to do His will, not by our might, nor by our power, but by His spirit. (re: Zechariah 4:6)
Read the wonderful promises of this kingdom rule in our lives in Ezekiel.
(11:19) "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:"
(36:26,27) "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."
There is so much truth that can be revealed by the Holy Spirit through the teachings and the prayer the Lord gave us on that mountain 2,000 years ago. I don’t suppose the world could contain all the books it would take to hold it, but by the Holy Spirit, He can reveal them to us…precept upon precept, line upon line, from glory to glory.
One such truth the Lord has made real to me is the line in verse 13 that says, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil". James 1:14 says we are tempted when we are "drawn away of his own lust, and enticed". So it is this "evil" that must be done away with. This evil or “evil one” is the old nature we are born with…that heart of stone that wants to live for its own pleasure and have its own way. It’s the old nature that produces pride, self will, anger and all the other attributes of "self". While we can try to control the "fruit" of the "evil one", it takes God to deliver us from the evil nature and replace it with His own.
The prayer Jesus gave us shows us the heart of the father, that He is able and willing to deliver us if we turn to Him, trusting Him to fulfill His desires for us. Jesus gave us this prayer so we know we will be praying according to His will…and He will deliver us. We have learned this is a process, the killing of flesh. As we are brought through many trials and tribulations, and the temptations arise in us, if we turn to the Lord and ask Him to deliver us, He will do it. No sense in asking us to pray for something that He has no intention of doing.
I would encourage any to prayerfully read the words of Jesus in Matthew 5-7 and ask the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to lead us into the truth and to free us from the ways of the world and its desires, to seek the kingdom of God with all that is within us and learn to rest in the Lord for ALL our needs, both spiritual and physical.
Let His kingdom rule in our hearts today. Amen.
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