Joyce Meyer - The Lord's Prayer
Prayer is the greatest privilege that we have. Prayer is not just a duty or an obligation, it's not a last-ditch effort. It's not, "Well, I've done everything I know to do. I guess all I can do is pray". Prayer should be our very first line of defense. But you have to have faith and confidence in the power of prayer, and you need to believe that God hears you. And even if you don't get some kind of an outstanding breakthrough immediately, you still need to believe that when you pray, that God goes to work in your life, and at the right time you will see change. And I think a lot of us wonder, "Well, what is the right way to pray"? And the disciples actually had the same question, so in Luke chapter 11, they said, "Lord, teach us to pray".
And Jesus said, "When you pray, pray like this. 'Our Father who is in heaven, holy is Your Name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory, amen.'"
Well, that took all of about 30 seconds. And every denomination around the world prays that prayer. There's probably not one of you in here tonight that did not recognize that prayer.
In 40 years of teaching, I've never taught on the Lord's prayer. And I walk in the mornings, and I pray, and I don't know why, but I get a lot of great, anointed, creative ideas when I'm walking. And a couple of weeks ago, I was praying the Lord's prayer, and God began to just take it apart for me and show me just really how amazingly powerful this prayer is. And I felt very compelled that I was to teach on this prayer.
And I think after hearing this teaching tonight, that you will never again pray what we call the Lord's prayer and it not mean something a great deal more to you than it might right now. So, we're all going to pray this together, we're going to put it up on the screens. Are you ready?
Let's go, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen".
Now, our Father who is in heaven. If I don't work at it, I'd spend the whole night talking about the first sentence of this prayer, our Father. God is our Father. And that's especially good news to those who had an absent father, or no father, or even worse a bad father.
I think honestly, like the situation I was in and many of you had similar situations, you were mistreated growing up, or maybe you weren't loved, and maybe somebody yelled at you all the time, maybe you were hit or punished unfairly, maybe you were sexually abused like I was. But I would have been better off to have had an absent father rather than the one that I had. And so, I have no frame of reference at all for what it would be like to have a loving earthly father.
Now, those of you who had a great dad, you should appreciate him, and you should tell him how much you appreciate him, and you should let him know that you're grateful for the way that he raised you because not all of us had that opportunity in our life.
But God always wants to be anything and everything to us that we might have missed in the natural. And the Bible says in Psalm 27:10, "Even though my mother and my father have forsaken me, the Lord will take me up and adopt me as His own child".
So, guess what? You all have a loving Father. My Daddy loves me, can you shout that out? My Daddy loves me, amen. There are scriptures in the Bible that make reference to the Fatherhood of God. We're going to look at just a few of them.
1 Corinthians 8:6, New American Standard says, "Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from Whom are all things and we exist for Him". I love that, "And we exist for Him". We exist for Him. We exist for Him, amen? "And one Lord, Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we exist through Him".
Now, Romans 11:36 is one of my favorite scriptures. I love Romans 11:36. And I open this up sometimes, I did this last week, and I just look at it and I just shake my head because it's just so powerful.
Romans 11:36, "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. For all things originate with Him and come from Him". God our Father is the source of all things. Everything that we need is wrapped up in Him. All things live through Him. Everything that's alive is alive because God gave it life. "And all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him. To Him be the glory forever, amen".
Now, although this message tonight might be considered a little more spiritual, it is also very practical because when you really know who God is, and that He's for you, that He's never against you, that He loves you, and that He is the source of everything that you need, boy does life ever get good and exciting.
You have a Father who loves you, and nobody better get in His way when it comes to His kids. From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. In other words, it's just all about Him, isn't it? You know, when we get in trouble is when it becomes all about me instead of all about He, amen?
Isaiah 64:8, New American Standard, "But now, o Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay and You are the Potter". We are the clay and You are the Potter. So God, You can take us and just do whatever You want to with us, and it's really none of our business. We're not here to boss You around. "And all of us are the work of Your hand".
I'll tell you, any one of you who feels bad about yourself tonight, I just wish that I could unzip you and fill you full of Psalm 139 that says, "In our mother's womb, He created us with His own hand. Intricately and curiously, in secret He created us and formed us".
And God looked at everything that He made and said, "It is good". It is good. Don't ever let anybody tell you that you're no good. Don't ever let anybody tell you that you were an accident, they didn't want you. Even if your parents didn't plan to have you, God planned to have you. And He's got a purpose for you, and a plan for you, and He is your Father. You have somebody on your side that is the biggest of the biggest of them all.