How to Pray – Sermon – May 28, 2017

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in Sermon |

The Lord’s Prayer – A guide to Praying | May 28, 2017

Open your bible to: Psalms 37:4

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

In doing a word study in the Strong’s Concordance, you find that the word, “delight” was translated from the Hebrew word, Aw-nag, meaning… “pliable or soft.”

We’ll revisit this scripture later in this message.

Understanding the root meaning of God’s Word is essential to every believers understanding of who God is, and helps us decipher His voice over the imitator’s.  

Our relationship with God, similar to the relationships we have here on earth – the more you involve a person in your life, the more we intimately know, their heart, will, thoughts, opinions, and passions. You can figure out how close someone is with someone by watching the choices they make for them when they’re not around.

For instance, once Olivia was having some girl stuff done. In conversation with her beautician, the girl mentioned to Olivia about her “spiritual” life, which at that time, did not include Jesus Christ. She talked about Angels, healings, etc… Upon hearing her mention that she wanted to learn more, Olivia told her about some of our experiences, and told her that I had similar experiences in life and still operate in the “supernatural.” All excited the woman asked if she could meet with us and speak to me about her experience and her power. Knowing me, Olivia said, “I know my husband, and I know he will say yes.” Olivia made plans with her and told me later. Obviously, I said yes and was very proud to know how much my wife knew me. We met with her, I told her my experiences pre-Christ and post-Christ and gave her a few words of knowledge and prophetic words. She is now saved and I understand that she is still a strong believer.

Looking back over my life, I noticed how God skillfully placed me in tough situations, personally knowing me, my personality, my heart to never give up, He positioned me in roles which eventually moved and grew me to where and who He needed me to be. Being no different, as a good Father, He maneuvers us through each differently, carefully opening and closing doors to get us to become the person He needs us to be when He needs us to be it.  

Prayer & The Lord’s Prayer

Early in my journey with God, similar to many of you, I learned the importance of prayer and especially the importance of the Lord’s prayer.

Why is prayer taught so quickly to new believers? Because a strong prayer life is essential to cultivating a strong relationship with God and an unbreakable direct line of communication with our Heavenly Father. The more we speak to Him, the more we can recognize His voice thru all the noise. Recently, in reading the Lord’s prayer, I noticed a consistent trend in all the various versions leading up to the actual “prayer,” let’s have a look.

Open your bibles to Matthew 6, starting on verse 9. Today, I’m reading from the Amplified version.

Matthew 6:9-13 (AMP)

Pray, then, in this way:

Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done.
On earth as it is (already is) in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
Okay, now let’s go back to verse 9 and only read that first line. I’ll read what it says in the Amplified bible, if I can have a few of you read from your version, if it’s different.

Did you get it? In that Amplified, it says:

  • Pray, then, in this way:
  • ESV: Pray then like this:
  • NKJV: In this manner, therefore, pray:
  • NIV: This, then, is how you should pray:

The Lord’s prayer, although is powerful and can be prayed exactly the way it was documented, is actually a guide to prayer and a prayers life.

Ok, let’s break it down:

Our Father who is in heaven,
This line, recognizes who we’re praying to, and where He makes His abode. Basically, recognizing who our God is?

Hallowed be Your name.
A recognition of His holiness, goodness, and perfection.This is important because it begins to position our heart in honor of Him.

Your kingdom come,
This line, calls down Heaven to invade our situation, person, or location.

Your will be done.
Reminding us that it is not our will or the enemy’s will that we are seeking, but His will.

On earth as it (already) is in heaven.
This reminds our circumstances that by design, all things on earth should reflect what is already happening or already exists in heaven. This positions our heart for the extraordinary, especially when it comes to healings (signs, miracles, and wonders).

Give us this day our daily bread.
Bread is mentioned as manna throughout the bible. Just as God provided fresh manna (bread) daily to sustain the Israelites in the bible in Exodus 16:4-12, we request a our portion of God’s bread (provision) for our situation.

And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.
Forgiveness, is one of the to fundamentals of being a follower of Jesus Christ. It was through His forgiveness of our sins and His death and resurrection which allowed us to enter and call down the kingdom. Therefore, this line emphasises the importance of making sure that you do not have any unforgiveness lurking in your heart which may withhold God’s love.

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
This last line, to me, the greatest temptation during prayer, is to pray our will(s), above seeking and praying God’s will. Your hearts during prayer should be so yielded to our Heavenly Father’s that when He asks us to do something, no matter what, or who it is for, we remain obedient.

In one of my last churches, a woman showed up, who has spoken against me, helping to spread rumors about me while I was in ministering, for 23 days, in the slums of Kisumu, Kenya. The moment I saw her, my heart sank as anger filled my heart. I did notice that she was on crutches at that time, but I had no interest in seeing her and especially no interest in praying for her.

At the end of service, she went up for prayer and God gave me a vision of me walking over to her, getting down on one knee and laying my hands on her foot and injured ankle. Those who know me, know that I’m not very big on touching anyone’s feet other than my wife’s and my own. In seeing the vision, I declined and told God that if He wanted to heal her, He would have to do it through one of the other prayer partners. I sat and watched as the prayer partners prayed and watch as she tested it out, time and time again, each time with no improvement. Suddenly, I felt compassion fill my heart, as I saw unworthiness fill her heart. After a few minutes, I sucked up my pride, putting past hurts aside, walked over and reenacted exactly what God showed me.

When I finished the prayer. I looked up and said, test it out. She nodded and hesitantly took her first step, then her second, and continued. Miraculously, after the third or fourth step, she was walking without a limp and when she walked back up to me, still on one knee, she was completely healed. Then God told me to say… “If you ever once questioned if God loved you, heard you, or saw you… the answer is Yes, He does.” In hearing that, she fell back into her seat and weeped.

Looking back at that day, I wonder, if that healing was more a lesson for me than for her?

Was my my negative thoughts towards her, holding her back from her miracle? Possibly.

Was my negative thoughts, building a gap between my Heavenly Father and myself? Yes, it was.  

Throughout scripture, God reiterates the importance of the position and condition of your heart. As you go about your walk with Christ, you begin to notice that this physical world that we’re a part of is actually more spiritual than physical. In our prayer lives and relationship with Jesus Christ, the condition and position of our heart far exceeds the importance of what we speak. Although, what we speak has power, the more we live for God, the more our hearts will beginning to overflow what God is wanting.

Let’s go back to the first scripture.  Psalms 37:4

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

I shared that the meaning of the word, “delight” was translated from the Hebrew word, Aw-nag, meaning… “pliable or soft.”

Meaning this scripture is saying that, “If we are pliable or soft for God (easily moldable), He will give us the desires of our heart.

The condition of our heart must remain soft and pliable and the position of our heart must remain facing God. We will alway walk towards the direction our heart faces.

Thank you for joining us this week. If you heard this word today, and want to position or reposition your heart towards God, or if you have a stiff or hard-heart toward yourself, a person, or situation. Or, if you heard this message and you either want rededicate yourself to Jesus Christ, or receive Him as your Heavenly Father, Lord, and Savior, please stand up. Place your hands on your heart and repeat after me.

Lord, my heart yearns for You. I ask You to be my Lord, Savior, and Father today. I ask You to come into my heart, soften it, position it towards you, wash me and it in Your blood, and make me completely whole. Today, I have received your free gifts of healing and salvation and I choose You, as my Lord and Savior, in Jesus name, amen.

If you need personal prayer, come up and we would love to pray with you.

Have a great week, God bless.