We tend to look for answers or some form of movement toward a resolve, I would guess.
How has God answered your prayers, my friends? I will like you to share with the rest of us just how He did answer the prayer. It can’t be a long story-please, (I will have to interrupt in that case.) Tell us some of the history behind your prayers and how He answered them.
Let's look at Daniel 9:20-23
LOOKING BACK OVER THE BOOK OF DANIEL, we can see few situations where God’s People were placed into a situation where it was, for them, sink or swim. No turning back. Full steam ahead--no matter what! The three men were NOT going to be intimidated by the threats of being burnt alive rather then bowing and worshiping the image of the king. When the horns blew, ALL of Babylon was to bow down and give the king worship/honor...whatever that might mean. But what it meant to the Hebrew young men was that they could not bow down to this non-god. They were caught. Arrested and threatened again. Do it or else!
Their response was both surprising and bold. They said “No way are we going to defile our lives with this worthless worship. As we did not eat the kings wine and meat while we were younger men, we will not bow down to this idol either.” After threats were spoken, the fire was made hotter than before. The young men were bound up and pushed into the fire. Those who guided them to the fire was burnt up. The fire was intense. But listen to what they said before...according to their heart knowledge of this God they believed in:
Zechariah 4:6 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.
Not by the mighty hand of the most powerful king the world has ever known, but by the grace from the King of kings and Lord of lords.
“But, Mother,” said the child, “if He does, we will still praise Him as long as we live; won’t we Mother?”
That is the kind of response we, who have much to thank Him for should be saying as well!
Why do we not stay in the state of praise? We are instructed in the Word to pray without ceasing.
I think you get the picture. We are to pray. And how are we to pray? Jesus taught us a way. He said in Matthew 6:9~13...
" 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, [but deliver us from the evil one for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
Jesus is not satisfied that we claim to agree with His ethics; He wants us to live accordingly. It is not enough to claim Him to be a good ethics teacher, we will need to live our lives under His authority.
We first start with the beginning. So, this preface deals with the object of the prayer. God Himself. In fact, the first three petitions deal with Him and His Honor. (The remaining three deal with our own concerns, both those things that do not last-worldly, and those issues that deal with our soul, spirit and the hereafter.)
In the words of one man who looked at this prayer: comprehending all our real wants, expressing all our lawful desires;
We must first KNOW this God before we can pray with confidence of being heard. This prayer test our own faith, our own humility and love of God and our fellows as we approach God in prayer.
Both in Ephesians 3:12 In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach the Throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive Mercy and find Grace to help us in our time of need.
We say: OUR FATHER: in saying this, we can begin to take in ALL His character, Power --His Name; above every name, Who is not only MY Father but the Father of the universe. He is known by every creature. He is known by every event in history, here on earth and in all the creation. “Our” speaks of community.
HOLY IS YOUR NAME: Again, His Character is known by this. When Moses asked Him what Name he should use back in Egypt to ID Him, He said: I AM THAT I AM! There is None other. He is the Holy One who created all things and now, you, in your little voice, are addressing Him.
YOUR KINGDOM COME: May His Kingdom of Grace come with fullness real soon. That Kingdom where all creation will bow down before Him as Lord and Master-not in a weird power thing, just the facts, People. That This Kingdom will be filled with God’s Righteousness, and Peace and Joy, with all holiness and divine happiness.
This may sound a little like a Hindu every-land: Nirvana. You can almost hear their priest say the same thing. The difference is found in the reality of Knowing Him. His Kingdom will come…
ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN: The great point at this junction is that it is His will that as things happen in Heaven--praise, holiness, redemption realized--He wills it to happen on earth. Within the spirit of Man is the element of His design that desires His best.
God is all that can fill the God-Shaped Vacuum within us. In his mid-thirties, Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) became interested in religion. He wrote:: "Within each one of us there is a God-shaped vacuum that only God can fill." Later, he wrote another book, "An Apology for the Christian Religion." In it he maintained that perfect knowledge arrived through Christian revelation. Pascal believed that faith is a sounder guide than reason; he wrote: "Reason can go only so far, but faith in God has no limits." Thus, reason hits a wall but faith opens a window, allowing fresh air and sunshine to invade.
Let’s close today with the one phrase: GIVE US. We ask God to give us all things that are needful for today in our souls as well as our bodies. In short, we pray for the needful supports and confronts during this time called ‘today.’
I wish this next material was mine. Years ago, Matthew Henry wrote this in his Concise Commentary on The Lord’s Prayer...which is not really The Lord’s Prayer but the Prayer the Lord used to guide His Disciples.
We ask for our daily bread; which teaches us constantly to depend upon Divine Providence. (Guidance)
We pray that God would give it us this day; which teaches us to renew the desires of our souls toward God, as the wants of our bodies are renewed each day. As the day goes on, we must pray to our heavenly Father, and come to terms with this power of His to supply it all! The serious fact is, we could go a day without food, but not without prayer.
So, let’s pray. And be mindful that our prayers are communication to the One who loves us and desires us to be close to Him...no matter where we are in the Journey of Life...even if your heart is not ready to even speak to Him-let Him hear that from your heart. Let’s all walk a little closer to each other so as to help each other and to encourage one another to press on.
~Next week: "Forgive us...or else?"