What I must pray for every day without fail / part 6

Spiritual Exercises

Lesson #4 / part 6

(Please see Lesson #4 / parts 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 for preceding Lesson content…)

WHAT MUST I PRAY FOR EVERY DAY – WITHOUT FAIL?

Read Matthew 6.5-15

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 

Pray then like this:

“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 this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 

15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

The 10 ‘Prayer Prompters’

Here is a summary of the 10 prayer prompters – then we will begin to address them in a little more detail as they apply to our own personal particular prayers concerns:

  1. I must pray every day without fail… to delight in God
  2. I must pray every day without fail… with confession of my sins
  3. I must pray every day without fail… for the grace of God to forgive those who have offended and violated me in any way
  4. I must pray every day without fail… for the salvation of those who are lost
  5. I must pray every day without fail… for my church’s ministry – for the pastors, teachers, elders, deacons, and leaders of my church
  6. I must pray every day without fail… interceding for pressing needs I know of that are afflicting those I know
  7. I must pray every day without fail… for my personal growth in grace and in knowing Jesus Christ – that is, Christlikeness
  8. I must pray every day without fail… for God’s will to be fulfilled and accomplished in my day’s activities 
  9. I must pray every day without fail… that God will improve my preaching, teaching, and witnessing to make me more effective in ministering His Word [this is for me – you will need to adapt it to your personal prayer needs…]
  10. I must pray every day without fail… that God’s Word will run throughout the whole earth and that Christ will be proclaimed and glorified…here, there, and everywhere

NOW, LET’S TALK ABOUT EACH ONE AND HOW TO PRAY THEM…

7. I must pray every day without fail … for my personal growth in grace and in knowing Jesus Christ – that is, Christlikeness

Prayer Prompter Words: “Your will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven”

I want to apply this prayer prompter to how the will of God is being perfected, fulfilled, and worked out in my daily personal life. We must pray for whatever God wants from us and for us to be performed in our everyday lives and activities.

First of all, let’s all recognize that God is going to do everything He does both in Heaven and on earth according to His own will and pleasure. God will always do what He wants to do and chooses to do. That is true in the whole universe, and it is true in the little world that is your life. That is how the universe was created and brought into existence, and that is how the universe works: “Your will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven.”

God always gets what He wants, and He always does what He wants – according to the counsel and purpose of His own sovereign will. And, that’s what we should always want for ourselves and what we should always pray for.

You remember how James counsels and teaches us to pray in all of the desires, intentions, and plans of our lives: “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” [James 4.15]. And so, we are always praying “…if it is Your will…” in everything we pray for.

Our praying is NOT for the purpose dictating to God what His will should be for our lives – rather, we pray to discern what God’s will is, to discover what God’s will is … and then to defer, surrender, and submit to what God’s will is. And, we pray even to delight in what God’s will is.

Yes – our praying is, is many respects, a tug-of-war between wills: God’s will and our will. But, God’s will ALWAYS wins, and God’s will is ALWAYS for our ultimate good – and the will that ALWAYS must change and yield to the other will is NEVER God’s will … it is ALWAYS our will!

Remember that Jesus Himself prayed to His Heavenly Father in His struggles in the Garden of Gethsemane and concluded with this surrender: “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

“Your will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven.”

And so, let’s just reiterate and remind ourselves again, to begin with, that we are not praying to change God’s mind about anything, or to bring God around to agreeing with us about anything we’re asking Him to do, or persuade God’s will in any way to conform with our will.

One of the primary, priority purposes for our praying is to bring our wills and lives into conformity with the will of God in every respect. And so, this brings us back to this prayer prompter as it applies to every aspect of our daily lives – “Your will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven.”

So, what is the will of God for your life and mine? We’re talking here, of course, about God ultimate, comprehensive will for our lives. What is our Heavenly Father’s ultimate purpose, design, and desire for everything He does in our lives? What is He aiming at in everything He brings into your life and mine? Where is He taking us?

Here is God’s will that He is working out in our lives – just like He performs His will in Heaven: God’s will is to progressively transform us into the image and likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Here it is from Romans 8.26-29:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, becausethe Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. 29For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers.

So, there you have it!

  • God’s will in Heaven is for me to conformed to the image and likeness of His Son here on earth
  • The Holy Spirit intercedes and prays through me and for me for this will of God to be done
  • I must pray by the Holy Spirit and with the Holy Spirit for this will of God to be worked out in every event, activity, and circumstance of my daily life

“I must pray every day without fail … for my personal growth in grace and in knowing Jesus Christ – that is, Christlikeness”

And so, just keep examining yourself by the Word of God and the witness of the Holy Spirit. Use Jesus Christ Himself as your standard for measurement and evaluation. Commit and strive to become more and more like Jesus Christ each and every day in your values, your character, your attitudes, and your conduct. And, in those areas you know you have failed and you fall short – and we all do, and we all will until we are glorified in the resurrection – then repent of your shortcomings and resolve to grow in that grace where you lack.

Just keep in mind, and keep reminding yourself, that Jesus prays this very same prayer for us also. Remember how He prayed to His Father in John 17.3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

And so, if Jesus prays to the Father that we will know Him and be conformed to Him as the expression of our eternal life, then we ought to pray to that end also.

Now, I know that I have been emphasizing that this prayer – and all our prayers – should be prayed in community: “we…us…our”. We should pray with our hearts, our minds, and our attention on all the others, and not just on ourselves.

But, the truth remains that we must also, and at the same time, be praying daily and constantly for our individual, personal lives … that each one of us would be in an on-going process of transformation into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.

We should pray like we sing:

“Have thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way;

Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.

Mold me and make me after Thy will

while I am waiting, yielded and still.” ~Adelaide A. Pollard

And, we should pray this same way for each other. Paul sums up how we should pray for one another in his prayer for the saints in the church at Ephesus:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. ~Ephesians 3.14-19

8. I must pray every day without fail … for God’s will to be fulfilled and accomplished in my day’s activities

Now, I know that this prayer prompter sounds a lot like the one I just explained – but it is different in this respect: in the last prayer prompter, we are praying that God will work out His will in His ultimate purpose for everything He brings into our lives.

In this prayer prompter, we are praying that God will work out His will in the specific performances of our daily lives – in other words, in every specific act and activity.

Here are the Prayer Prompter Words: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil [or, The Evil One]”

The Psalmist would add to this prayer request and prompter: “He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”

So, here is a twin / dual prayer prompter: I pray that God’s will and pleasure will be fulfilled and accomplished in my day’s activities by leading me away from temptations to sin and into paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.

I must pray every day this way – and I must pray this way constantly and continuously throughout every day. I must come to each day with the prayer Jesus prayed to the Father when He came into our world – and as He Himself lived every day of His life here among us: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God’” ~Hebrews 10.7

This prayer has two expressions:

[1] I must pray to not yield and respond to temptations. You will not avoid temptations. You will be tempted to sin at every turn and juncture of every day. We don’t pray that the Father will keep us from being tempted – because we will be tempted. But, what we pray for is that the Father will lead us away from that temptation, and out of that temptation without consenting to it, and yielding to it, and following it … and thereby sinning against Him.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus entered the Garden on the night before His Cross, He knew that He was going to be tempted by Satan to turn away from His obedience to the Father. He also knew that His disciples would be tempted to deny Him, and abandon Him to save themselves. That’s when He warned them and told them to pray that they would not enter into that temptation and sin. This may be the most neglected prayer that Jesus commands us to pray … that we don’t pray!

Luke 22.40: When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Mark 14.38: “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

[2] I must pray to walk in obedience to God and please Him in every activity of every day. I want God Himself to lay out my every day’s path and order my steps into whatever He has planned for me. God will work out His own good, perfect, and sovereign purposes and pleasures for me on a daily basis by leading me into those activities that will bring His will into practical fruition

Psalm 23.3: He leads me in paths of righteousness [or ‘right paths’] for His Name’s sake

Psalm 37.23: The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in His way

Jeremiah 10.23: I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps

I must pray every day without fail … for God’s will to be fulfilled and accomplished in my day’s activities

Here is the youTube link to this lesson segment:

https://youtu.be/UzbOHrU7TIk  /  Length 26:02

HERE IS A PDF COPY OF THESE SAME LESSON NOTES:

This entry was posted in I've been thinking, Prayer, Spiritual Exercises, Sunday School lessons and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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