V. Deliver Us

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

–Matthew 6:13

What I love about this verse is its honesty. Jesus is guaranteeing that following Him will not always be easy; there will be temptations and encounters with evil.  However, this verse also unlocks the key to overcoming both.

Jesus tells us to humbly come before our Heavenly Father and ask Him for His help each day.  To invite our mighty God into our daily lives so that we know that He is right there beside us, whatever we may face.  We can live life with great confidence, knowing that if we listen carefully to the Holy Spirit living within us, He will lead us, so that we can make good choices when faced with temptation.  We can also put our faith in the One who defeated all evil on the cross to deliver us, so that we can live in His freedom.

God has an amazing plan for all our lives, He promises to never leave us or forsake us.  If we will only stop trying to live in our strength and instead fully rely on Him, He will see us through. His mercies are new every morning and never fail.

Today, why not take a few minutes to ask God into every part of your day, to relinquish control and place your life in His hands, trusting that as you walk by His Spirit He will give you the strength, grace and wisdom you need.

Prayer for myself – Thank you that you are always near. Help me to draw near to You, particularly when I find myself face to face with anything evil.

Prayer for our church – Ask God for His protection for Lifehouse Church, and our Leaders, as we seek to see His kingdom come in Chesterfield.

IV. Forgive Us

Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors.

–Matthew 6:12

What an amazing but challenging verse?  It is amazing that God forgives us of ALL our wrong, but at the same time, God expects us to forgive ALL who have wronged us.  As Christians we can put so much focus on the fact that God has completely forgiven us of all our failures and wrongs, but so often we fail, or forget, to forgive those who have wronged us!  God makes it clear in His Word that He can’t forgive us if we don’t forgive others – see Matt 6:14-15 (Ouch!).  God wants us to continually forgive one another whether that’s seven times or seventy-seven times (Matt 18:21-22).

The truth of the matter is that forgiveness can be incredibly hard.  Why should we forgive someone and let them get away with it, when we’re the ones who got hurt?  I love what C.S Lewis said – ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ Wow!! This in itself should be enough to lead us to forgiveness. I think it’s also worth mentioning that choosing to forgive can be more beneficial for you than it is to the offender.  Unforgiveness is like personal torture – we feel bitter, hurt, angry (the list goes on)! But when we choose to forgive the offender, we’re choosing to release all the hurt and pain and allow God to deal with it. Why don’t you make it a priority, not just today, but daily to forgive and not to hold onto grudges. 

Prayer for myself – Thank you that you have forgiven all my wrongs and that there is nothing I can do that you can’t forgive!

Prayer for our church –  Help us at Lifehouse to daily forgive others and continually show grace to one another. 

III. Daily Bread

Give us today our daily bread.

–Matthew 6:11

We are so blessed in our western society; we have such a lot compared to the majority of the rest of the world. Yet this verse still gives wisdom around the challenges and issues related to provision.

Notice here how the prayer is to “give US” and not ME. Could it be that we sometimes become dissatisfied with what has been provided because we have forgotten that it is not just for ME but it is for US. God is faithful and abundant in the way that He provides for us, so that we can bless others with that too. From the overflow of God’s provision in our lives, we can be a blessing to people outside of  ME.

The words ‘today’ and ‘daily’ show a real hunger or expectation of fresh provision (bread in this case). Regardless of what bread there was earlier in the week it is important for us to go to God daily (frequently) for provision, not just bread, but for the wisdom, strength, patience, life & love that we need to meet the demands of our day.  If we do not lean on God frequently for our provision then we have an unrealistic view and expectation of bread. We know it is always good to have bread in the house, but after a few days bread becomes stale and not very pleasant to eat. Equally we cannot expect to live off last month’s provision or revelation for the rest of the year. It is important that we seek God for His fresh (‘daily’) provision and revelation in our current season (‘today’).

Prayer for myself –  Father God, help me to see your blessings of provision as fresh opportunities to be a blessing to others.

Prayer for our church – Create in our church a hunger for fresh provision and revelation from You.

II. Your Kingdom

YOUR Kingdom come, YOUR will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

–Matthew 6:10

 Your Kingdom meaning: rule & reign
In this prayer Jesus speaks of his desire to do his fathers will, it is a prayer that has lost none of its relevance or power through the ages. I’m sure, like me, you remember reciting these words in a school assembly or meeting at some point in your life. They are lines that we can repeat with such ease, but hold such significance to our life every day. It represents the daily battle that rages within all of us, to live either for self or a greater cause.

In asking Father God, “Your Kingdom come”, we are agreeing to see His rule and
reign in our own lives – to put Him first.  The opportunity we have at the start of each day is to say “Today, let Your rule and reign start in me”. Most of us start the day ruled by the events and tasks that our diaries hold, obviously a fruitful life will be an organised life. The key, however, is to exercise your ability to say, in everything I have planned for this day let YOUR kingdom come. In Luke 22: 42 we read Jesus saying “Not my will but yours he said“. This week gives us all a fresh opportunity to create a new habit that would say, “today in me let your rule and reign be present”

When we can understand the significance of this declaration it will mean, no matter what you face, you are simply asking for God’s purposes to be outworked in your own life. While we can pray to see his rule and reign on earth, I believe it has to start within us individually. Just imagine a Church of a thousand in Chesterfield that lives with this prayer as there life motto.

Prayer for myself – Lord God, today I put YOUR plans and purposes for my life as my
 starting point.
Prayer for our church – God give us the courage as a church to go where You are asking us to.

I. Our Father

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name

–Matthew 6:9

Sometimes, prayer can be hard. Where do I start?  What do I say? Am I saying the wrong things?

Jesus knew that these are questions we would all ask, therefore in the Lord’s prayer He provides a pattern, a guide, that we can follow during our time talking to Him.

The Lord’s prayer starts in such a wonderfully powerful way… “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”.

Starting with the words “Our Father”, Jesus reminds us that we have direct access to Father God when we spend time in prayer to Him.

We are so privileged to be able to do this. In the Old Testament there were rules and rituals that needed to be observed, and only a chosen few were allowed to access the holy of holies (the presence of God). Through His sacrifice, Jesus made a way for us all to freely access our Father in heaven. He created a new covenant which means that we can have a personal relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth – so amazing!!

Hallowed be your name” is a direct acknowledgement of the majesty and highest place that God holds over all. However, just like a loving father who answers the phone call of his child that needs to talk him, Father God is interested in you and is waiting for you to speak to Him. Another life changing truth running parallel to this is that He wants to speak back to you too.

Prayer for myself –  Father God, thank you that whilst You are seated above all of heaven and earth, you are interested in me, waiting for my call, waiting for me to speak to you. Today, I thank you that you are always there. I thank you for the relationship you want to have with me.

Prayer for our church –  As I call out to you today I will wait to hear what you are saying, not just to me but to other people in our church.