BY DR DOUG MAMVURAÂ
Today I am going to discuss a very controversial subject and I know by the time you finish reading this article, I will have lost a few of my religious friends because I am going to touch on a raw nerve. However, I am sure those of you who follow my writings now know that my objective for writing these articles is not to get friends or please people. I desire to share the undiluted gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ uncompromisingly.
I would like to state from the beginning that I believe that the Bible is the Word of God and so I believe in the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Having said this, it is very important for every believer to take the advice of Apostle Paul that we should learn to “rightly divide the Word of God”. Some of us think that the difference between the Old and New Testament, is that blank page in the Bible which divides the two Covenants.
We should never put new wine in old wineskins as some of us are in the habit of doing.
We see in Luke 11: 1- 4, the disciples coming to Jesus asking Him to teach them how to pray. It is very important to note that Jesus’ disciples never asked Him to teach them how to preach or do miracles. They asked Him to teach them how to pray. They recognized that it was His personal relationship with His Father that made everything else possible.
When you consider that Jesus was the greatest miracle worker who had ever walked the earth and the greatest preacher who had ever lived (Matthew 7:28-29), (Mark 1: 22) and (Luke 4:32) it is amazing that His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. Why didn’t they ask Him to teach them how to work these miracles or how to preach like Him and amaze the people with their doctrine?
It’s because Jesus’ prayer life was even more powerful than His miracles or His doctrine. Indeed, it was His union with the Father that gave Him His power to work miracles and His authority to speak as no man had ever spoken before.
Jesus taught them what has now become known as the Lord’s prayer. That is the focus of my discussion today. Growing up as a child we used to recite this prayer every day at school. I know in some of our churches, we still recite this prayer every Sunday.
Did you know that this prayer has already been answered by God? Before you start throwing stones at me, let us go step by step analyzing the words of this prayer (Luke 11: 1- 4).
“Now it came to pass as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” 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 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”.
The first thing Jesus did when His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray was to teach them God is their Father. God is no longer some deity that couldn’t be reached or is disconnected from His creation. Jesus taught that prayer is about a relationship and not a religious exercise to appease God.
Prayer is an expression from those in a safe and secure relationship with their Father.
Today, that is a reality for all who have placed their trust in Jesus. God is now their Father because they are born again by His Spirit. They have His nature, His spiritual DNA. “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him” (1 John 5:1).
Next, Jesus taught them to pray that God’s kingdom would come. Today, as believers, we live and exist in God’s kingdom because of what was accomplished on the cross. Paul tells us God’s kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. So, we can easily see we don’t have to ask God to send His kingdom because it is here. The kingdom today is received by faith; it is not something you must wait for.
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17).
Jesus also taught them to pray “thy will be done.” Because as believers we live in God’s kingdom, we are equipped to know God’s will and live in it as He desires us to. Knowing the will of God is no longer a mystery. It is simply all about trusting in the love He has for us, which enables us to love ourselves and others.
“Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14).
The cross is where God forgave all of mankind for their sins. Today, we rest in the truth we are and have been eternally forgiven. Instead of asking Him to forgive us we should thank Him for forgiving us and receive His forgiveness.
“To open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18, KJV).
Because we have been forgiven, we are now equipped to forgive as we have been forgiven. So, “forgiving our debtors” is easy because we forgive as Christ has forgiven us.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
“Lead us not into temptation” is fulfilled in the fact that the Holy Spirit leads us daily as children of God.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13).
Finally, “deliver us from evil” happens when we believe the gospel and the truth sets us free. We are no longer slaves to sin but now servants to righteousness.
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18).
You can see the Lord’s Prayer has been answered by God and today, we are the beneficiaries of those answered prayers.