Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Covenant Prayer

The Bible records that Jesus was in a certain place praying and His disciple said to Him, "LORD teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples to pray." We then see Jesus' response...

So He said to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (Luke 11:2-4)

Notice the beginning words, “Our Father…” but also notice the ending words, “But deliver us from the evil one." or as recorded in Matthew 6:13, “For Yours is the kingdom and power and the glory forever. Amen” We need to understand that Jesus taught His disciples to pray this way before His death, burial and resurrection. In other words Jesus and His disciples were still under the Old Covenant and their prayers were spoken directly to God. However, Jesus mentions something in John's gospel which opens the door for prayer to answered prayer to those who are under the New Covenant that was established through His
death, burial and resurrection. This is very important for believe to understand if they want their prayers answered. As Jesus taught His disciples to pray under the Mosaic dispensation, He now tells them how to pray under the New Covenant that would be established and ushered in by His resurrection.

"A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father." Then some of His disciples said among themselves, "What is this that He says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because I go to the Father'?" They said therefore, "What is this that He says, 'A little while'? We do not know what He is saying." Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, "Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. (John 16:16-22)

Jesus explains to His disciples His soon departure from His time on earth as the Son of Man, in doing so He also tells them of His resurrection. Then He tells them a very important key that opens the door to the Father's will being done on earth as it is in heaven.
"And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:22-23)
Jesus tells His disciples (all believers) that asking the Father in His name is the key to seeing the Father's will being done. When it comes to asking the Father for something, Jesus says we are to ask the Father in His name. There is no other way to approach the Father in prayer or any other way. We come in faith asking the Father in the name of Jesus. Keep in mind what Jesus said to His disciples after His resurrection...
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18)

It was the Father that gave Him all authority. It is His name that, "Whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you", opens the door for the Father's will being done on earth as it is in heaven. It takes faith to believe that statement. Unfortunately, most believers have been taught not to believe that the Father will give them whatever is asked in Jesus' name or they have twisted this promise to think that the Father will give them whatever they ask even if it is outside of His will. Look what John says...

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15) Notice how we are to ask and who we place our confidence or faith in. We are to ask according to His will (His will is His word and His word is His will) and then have confidence, that is faith in the name of Jesus. Hallalujah, what an incredible promise. Believers must put away all the doubts that faithless church leaders have promoted concerning God's will and His promises if we are to live in the fullness of redemption. The reason why most Christians see God's will as unpredictable and even unreliable is due to not believing that what God says is so and exercising unwaviering faith in His Word.

The devil is a liar and will do everything he can to get Christians to live in a realm where they believe that some how God is behind all the bad things that happen in their lives. I want to leave you with this thought...
"For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
(1 Corinthians 11:29-30) Keep in mind that this is talking about Jesus' physical and spiritual body.

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