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Monday, November 9, 2015

The Lord’s Prayer really is Powerful!

“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.
Matt 6:9-13 NIV

When asked, this is how Jesus instructed His followers to pray.  And it’s how we are still instructed to prayer. 

I was taught this prayer as a kid, but to be honest I hadn’t given it much thought. Put another way, I hadn’t ever really used it as a prayer—it was more of a template for how I prayed.

But a few months ago verse 13 became my “go-to” prayer. 

One year ago my husband and I purchased our “forever house”…and it’s a fixer upper. We have invested much time and money into it (and still have a LONG way to go) but it’s worth it because this is the house we hope to live in until we go to our heavenly home.

But then a kink came into our plans. 

My husband was offered a REALLY good promotion. The only problem—we had to relocate half way across America. While the company was going to cover our moving costs, it was disconcerting to think we might lose money by selling a home we so recently purchased and sank money into. Our realtor wasn’t sure the market was strong enough, especially since we didn’t have any equity in the house.

So we went to the Lord in prayer:  God, what do You want us to do?”

As I was seeking God, He led me to The Lord’s Prayer, specifically “Lead me not into temptation.” 

While that wasn’t the exact answer I was looking for (I wanted a clear “yes, go” or “no, stay”) it was an answer from God. A promise that He wouldn’t let us be deceived by satan, that He would “Deliver us from evil.”

Turns out we rejected the promotion three times before the company finally realized we were not going to relocate no matter how much they sweetened the deal (It was soooo tempting to take their offer). By worldly standards it seems crazy that we turned down such a great opportunity, but we try not to go by “worldly standards”.

Instead, we sought God’s will. 

We trusted His promise that He would LEAD us away from the temptations before us and DELIVER us from the evil trying to get us outside of God’s will.

As the weeks of negotiations dragged on this verse gave me peace and confidence that we could trust God… even if we didn’t have all the answers. 

The Bible is full of wonderful, life changing promises. 

That experience taught me that I should never leave my childhood lessons in the past. The Lord’s Prayer is as applicable now as it was when I was a kid learning how to talk to God.

And it reaffirmed that I should hold tight to any lessons Jesus taught His disciples. If those lessons were important for them to know, then they are important for me (us) as well. 

Today, I encourage you to embrace the Lord’s Prayer. Use it to guide you and keep you. Trust the promises found in that prayer and throughout the Bible.

And remember, when you pray, you may not get a blatant “yes” or “no” answer, but you WILL get an answer when you take the time to seek God and LISTEN to His voice. 

If you’re interested in learning more about distinguishing the voice of God from the lies of satan read John 10:1-18 (The Good Shephard).

UPDATE: Bill and Kari brought up a great question in the comments section: HOW DID WE KNOW WE MADE THE RIGHT DECISION TO STAY?
Answer: PEACE.
During the process of negotiations we didn't have peace. We kept wondering if we were doing the right thing. We wavered as the deal was sweetened each time we rejected it. It caused us to wonder if we weren't listening to God correctly. But satan knows how to tempt each of us. Being tempted with a promotion and money was hard for us to turn down...we kept thinking maybe God was trying to bless us and we were being too dumb to realize it.
But ultimately we didn't feel "right " about going. So we decided to turn it down for good and once we did we both had PEACE. Not just a sense that a decision had been made, but absolute contentment that money and a status change would not have been right for our family. We also both got really hopeful at whatever else God has in store for us.
We were tempted, but God is faithful, He will make a way of escape.
"...But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" 1 Cor 10:13 NIV

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