bible, Prayer, Uncategorized

Intro to the Lord’s Prayer

So here goes a great journey into the meaning of the Lord’s prayer.  This could possible start sounding like blah, blah, blah… only because everyone has taught on this prayer.  Confession… I will probably not say anything revolutionary or new but hopefully this will be a reminder of the depth of Jesus’ teaching concerning prayer.

These articles are written with a particular person in mind.  For those of you out there who struggles in a big way to engage in a steady and profitable prayer life… this goes out to you.  I salute all those who fall short, as I often do myself, in having a successful prayer life.  Do you describe your prayer life with uplifting terms such as: shallow, empty, quick, boring, struggling, rare,  or confusing?  Maybe you have said, “I’m going to get around to it soon”, “sometimes I pray and sometimes I don’t”, “but when I do it’s always, ‘God, help! ‘”  Well then, welcome to the club!  Most of us out there struggle with prayer.  Andrew Murray wrote in With Christ in the School of Prayer,

At first there is no work that appears
so simple;  later on, none
that is more difficult.”

And why do we find it so difficult?  Well the simple answer is the Satan tinkles in his little underoos (hopefully you know what those are, just in case you don’t chick  HERE … I prefer to think of him wearing the Wonder Woman ones)  when the people of God engage in meaningful prayer.  So, needless to say he does everything in his power to distract and discourage from us doing so.  But, if you can press through and find a way to pray like never before you will find that God’s promises will begin to unfold before you in a beautiful array of blessings.

We often run from prayer simply because we don’t know what in the world were doing.  Not that it is rocket science, but remember the enemy distracting you thing?  Bingo!  Do you actually know what prayer is?  It’s nothing more than having an intimate conversation with God, like you would your spouse.  I always like to imagine I am sitting across from Him at a bistro table sharing a cup of coffee and having conversation.  Yeah, some of you uptight ppl out there are having a conniption fit because somehow you think I’m diminishing the holiness of God.  Well, I believe God is close.  Close to me!

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you… (James 4:8)

He is a God that can be approached and drawn close to.  He is my father, best friend and lover of my soul.  So you just go ahead and shout at Him from a distance as I enjoy my Cafe Mocha rubbing elbows with the God of this universe!

Which finally brings me to the Lord’s Prayer…

Jesus had just finished up praying and after doing so one of the disciples strolls up to Him and asks him, “Lord, teach us to pray.”  Whichever disciple this was he must have drawn the short straw.  Notice he didn’t ask for Jesus to teach “me” to pray, but rather “us” to pray.  He was asking in behalf of all the disciples.  You can almost see the timidity in his face.  These disciples had grown up in the Jewish traditions which would have required them to pray three times a day and now after all these years they are essentially telling Jesus they don’t know how to pray.

Is it that they didn’t know how to pray or that they saw something remarkably different in how He prayed?  It’s fair to say that what they witnessed in the private prayer life of Jesus and the resulting public display of power that pressed this ever important plea to learn how to pray.

Jesus responds by giving these men what we refer to the Lord’s Prayer.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind reciting this prayer, but that is not what He had in mind.  Mattew records Jesus as saying,

” Pray then like this:”  -Matthew 6:9

He was giving them a guide or blueprint, if you will, to guide our prayer lives.  If you disect it you will find seven petitions, three of which is towards God and the last for our dealings with man.

I can’t wait to dig into these specific blueprints for your prayer life.  Starting in my next post we will deal with prayer that is directed at God Himself.  In doing so we direct the focus where it should be… on Him.

Pastor Greg

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Uncategorized

Monday Morning Mind-dump

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  • My weekend was awesome… how about you?  I had to dig up my septic system, glove up and get to work.  I kind of felt like Indiana Jones with all my discoveries.   I bet your weekend wasn’t as awesome as mine.
  • I have an amazing wife.  She is so encouraging and supportive of all that I do.  She works harder than most men I know and sacrifices for everything she loves.  Bonus:  She’s also hot!
  • I’m proud of my son Jameson.  He went on Saturday and tried out for the semi-pro team the Atlanta Silverbacks.  The talent level was out the roof and he understands his chances are small.  However, I couldn’t be more proud of him for just trying out.  How many of us just sit on our dreams only bc the chances of success are slim?
  • I work with the best youth pastor in the land.  Blake Kitchens is not only my dear friend, but is also a rockstar youth pastor.  He loves these kids (my kids) with a great amount of dedication and passion.  He works full time, is a full time student, dates an amazing woman (also full time), leads worship at a college ministry and still has time for ministering to our youth….  He also regularly prays for the sun to stand still!
  • I have packed my coffin
  • The people at Hope Fellowship are amazing.  I love doing life with you guys.  All I have to say is this…
    • Get in – Sit down – and Hold on…. cuz this is gonna be a wild ride
  • I drink way too much coffee.  I’m talking about lots of coffee.  Is that bad?
  • GA primaries are tomorrow… I hope you are planning on showing up.
  • The Cochran bunch is crazy busy.  Three playing school soccer and multiple in the band.  Lots of games and concerts coming up.
  • Why do my hands smell like poo?

PG

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This one thing IS holding you back

OBEDIENCE… Could that be the missing link to our success?  Could it really be that simple?

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Sometimes, and I dare say, most of the time ministry becomes a chore. Speaking for myself, I get so busy doing the work of ministry that I neglect the ministry of the inner man.  Run like this for a season and you will quickly find out how ineffective you can be without feeding the soul.  Isn’t that what the church has become? An engine of incredible ministries while neglecting the spiritual disciplines that drive us to intimacy with God.  This may seem like a soap box, but if you would meditate on in for just a moment I believe you will also agree.  And let me clarify that the church, my church, does incredible ministry in and out of the church.  My question today is, how much more effective would we be if we were to retreat from the busyness of ministry and charge hard into the presence of God?

Reading this morning in Joshua 1 we can definitely see this in action.  Moses is dead and Joshua is given marching orders from God.  The promise is the same, the orders are the same, but a new man is at the helm.  While Moses was in the drivers seat we see constant disobedience from the people and a couple episodes from the fearless leader himself.  Now we see a changing of the guard and Joshua is faced with the same decision Moses previously had.  In chapter 1:6 we see the weight of this call to Joshua…

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.”

It is apparent that it is Joshua’s court to whether or not these people will ever see this promise fulfilled.  As we read on we see exactly what this depended on…

“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you…. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it” (Joshua 1:7-8)

It’s simple really.  Live according to My Words, keep them close, let them be your compass and you WILL see my promises fulfilled.  This goes way beyond church attendance, taking good sermon notes and even being involved in ministry.  It boils down to one thing… OBEDIENCE.

Church, it’s time to rise up and take God at His word.  Our Obedience to his life giving word is the key to our success.  Whether that be our personal endeavors or more importantly our call to take the Gospel to every nook and cranny of this crazy world of ours.  Today is the day you take back your time and passions and begin to walk out in complete obedience to God’s call on your life…

PG – ThAbIt

P.S. – You can’t walk in obedience if you don’t know His Word.  Get your Bible out today and begin to discover His love, His story and His call on your life.

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