Monday Devotional

1. Opening Prayer

2.  Jesus’ disciples came to him and asked “Lord, teach us to pray.” Putting yourself in their shoes for a moment. . . you’ve lived with him and followed him and observed him for a number of months now, what would lead you to ask such a question?

3.  Jesus’ response, which we call the “Lord’s Prayer,” was never intended to be prayed, as is the custom of many today. Instead, it was given to us as an outline for our ownprayers. Jesus never said, “Pray this prayer”; he said, “Pray likethis.” While it’s not a sin to turn it into a prayer, it IS misleading and confusing.  Jesus didn’t want us to repeat his words, he wanted us to do what he was saying. 

     What does the Lord’s prayer tell us we should do in our own prayers?

     a. He wanted us to hallow and adore his name.

     b. He wanted us to put his kingdom first

     c. He wanted us to desire his will above our own

     d. He wanted us to ask for our daily, present needs; not our future ones.

     e.  To forgive others as he’s forgiven us.

     f. Perhaps remembering his own temptations, we are to ask God to keep us from temptation

     g. We are to ask him to deliver us from the evil we encounter

     h. And when all is said and done, we are to remember that it’s his kingdom, his power, and his glory that go on forever.  

4. Jesus’ next words, his first words to his disciples on how to pray, were revolutionary.  “Our fatherwho art in heaven. . .”

       1. Never before had God been addressed in such intimate terms. The Hebrew/Aramaic word “Abba,” “father” is sometimes translated “daddy” for it presumes the closeness and affection experienced within one’s own human family.

       2. Drawing either from your own experiences, or those you WISH you had, how would you describe the best kind of father today?  What characteristics would he display? 

       3. That’s how God wants you to experience him. 

5. Of all the parables that Jesus told, the one that most powerfully portrays the kind of father God wants to be to us is the parable of the “Prodigal Son.”  

     a. Who would like to briefly summarize that story?

     b. How would you describe that father? 

6. You’ve just described God, your heavenly father, and the relationship he wants to have with you.