Saturday, January 29, 2011

Forgive us our debts


Matthew 6: 9-15

Story & Lessons

Prayer expresses our sense of helplessness and dependence upon God.

We should pray for ‘our daily bread’ and not for luxuries.

God is concerned for His children. He will supply all their need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

We need to pray for daily forgiveness of our sins.

We all sin every day in thought, word and deed, or by neglect of Christian duties.

Our sin puts us in debt to God. We cannot repay this debt, but the Lord Jesus has cleared it through his death at Calvary.

We must also gladly forgive those who have wronged us and who seek our forgiveness.

We must have a forgiving spirit.

Reflection...

Do we remember to seek God’s forgiveness every day?

Do we ignore our own sins and refuse to forgive others?

The prayer, “And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” recognizes that God is sovereign in all our trials and temptations.

Temptation is seduction to sin. It is important that we all understand that there is a difference between temptation and sin. Temptation only becomes sin when we yield to it.

This prayer reminds us that we are vulnerable, that we must be on our guard and that we cannot defeat Satan in our own strength.

Every Christian can have confidence in prayer because God is his heavenly Father.

We may be weak, but He is strong!

He reigns in sovereign power and majesty forever.

He cannot be toppled from his throne! — “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Friday, January 21, 2011

How do you pray?


Matthew 6: 9-13

Story & Lessons

The Lord’s Prayer illustrates how we should seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness when we pray.

When we pray, we must remember our relationship to God. He is ‘our Father in heaven’.

He welcomes us to his throne of grace. He delights in us and wants to receive our worship and our prayers.

Though God is our Father in heaven, we must hallow His name; we should reverence, honor and exalt Him.

God’s name reveals His character; he is holy and awesome in splendor and purity.

Reflection...

We must never be sloppy in our worship.

When we pray, let us remember always to come before the Lord with reverence!

If we love the kingdom of God, we will pray for the coming of that kingdom through the spread of the gospel and the return of Christ.

Prayer also involves submission to the will of God – “Your will be done.”

If we are rebelling against God’s will in our own lives, we can hardly pray sincerely and effectively!

Prayer involves worship, adoration, a desire for the glory of God through the increase and coming of His kingdom; it involves submission to the will of God.

How do you pray?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

When You Pray


Matthew 6: 5-8

Story & Lessons

The Lord Jesus warned against hypocrisy in praying.

"When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites".

The Pharisees loved to parade their eloquent, self-centered prayers. They wanted to impress men, but they did not impress God. They had the reward they wanted – the applause of men.

Our spirituality is not measured by the length or eloquence of our public prayers, but by our prayers in the secret place.

*******

The Lord Jesus also warned against using vain repetitions when we pray.

Have we slipped into the habit of saying the same things every time we pray?

Reflection...

We are all prone to hypocrisy concerning our prayer-life.

It is all too easy to pretend that we are disciplined and faithful in private prayer when we know that we are not.

It is a sad reflection that many of us are reluctant to come to the secret place to meet with our heavenly Father who sees in secret.

What a privilege it is to be able to come to God in prayer! We are able to come to him with confidence because he knows what we need before we ask him.

God is waiting for us to come to Him — if we do not ask, we will not receive.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

When you do a charitable deed


Matthew 6: 1-4

Story & Lessons

The Lord Jesus shows how we should practice our righteousness.

The problem with the Pharisees was that they wanted to be seen and praised by men when they gave to the poor, when they prayed and when they fasted.

We must not be like them!

We must seeks God’s glory rather than self-glory.

We must love our neighbor.

Jesus expects us to be generous in giving to the needy.

"When you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets" (2).

Reflection...

If we only give because we want people to think well of us, or if we want everyone to know that we are generous, our motives are sinful!

Those who want the praise of men will get the reward they are seeking — the praise of men! They will have nothing from God!

When we give, we should afterwards forget about what we have given and get on with our lives.

We are only able to show benevolence to others because the Lord has blessed us.

All that we have, we owe to his goodness.

Our Father in heaven sees our hearts, sees our motives, sees all that we do, and he remembers.

What great rewards await those who serve the Lord for His own glory!