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What to Pray For

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
November 7, 2021 7:00 am

What to Pray For

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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November 7, 2021 7:00 am

Do you ever wonder if your prayers are too self-centered, or if you pray too much for your own needs at the expense of the needs of others? Are your prayers for the Kingdom of God often an afterthought? Join Dr. James Boice on The Bible Study Hour as he describes Jesus’ instructions on what a balanced prayer life looks like from God’s perspective.

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Like the disciples we often wonder how we are to pray and what we should be praying for. Should our requests be largely for others, and under what circumstances, and for what reasons are we to pray for ourselves and welcome to the Bible study on the radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. One of the first lessons. The Christian is to learn about prayer is that would put God's interest at the head of our petition. But what about the rest of our prayer time. How should that be spent listened as Dr. Boyce continues his study of Jesus outline for prayer in the three petitions we are to make before God from Matthew chapter 6. One of the first great lessons that a Christian must learn about prayer is to put God's interests first, but after that there comes the area of our own interests are working families, homes, friends, finances and other things. These are also important.

Then we are rightly concerned about them. Perhaps now, especially as we look forward to a new year. What about these interests are.

We also pray for them. The Bible says yes and it teaches us that we are to pray again and again for each one in the prayer we been studying Jesus taught his disciples to begin to pray for God's name God's kingdom and God's will, would be thy name by kingdom come, thy will be done.

Having prayed for these things and thus having established a correct set of priorities.

They were then to pray for human interest.

Also, the last petitions say.

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. These are requests for physical needs forgiveness of sins and spiritual victories in the prayer then ends with a new acknowledgment of God's glory. These three petitions cover all of our physical and spiritual needs on this point Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones has quite accurately written, our whole life is found there.

In those three petitions and that is what makes this prayer so amazing and such a small compass, our Lord has covered the whole life of the believer in every respect. Our physical needs are mental needs and of course our ritual needs are included. The body is remembered. The soul is remembered the spirit is remembered that is the whole of man, we're going to look at the first of these three requests this morning of the first request deals with our physical needs of the phrase, our daily bread includes, by implication, all of the necessities of life as a prayer for food and clothing the home. Good job, and many other physical necessities the same time should be evident that it does not encourage us to pray for superfluity's Libyans 419 says that God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. But it does not say that God shall supply all your wants.

God gives us many of the obvious luxuries of life, sometimes says it seems to our spiritual hurt, but we are nowhere told to ask for these things we are only told to ask for necessities. The basis of our asking for life's necessities is found in God's avowed purpose to you what we ask for master cares for the needs of his servants.

A general meets the needs of his soldiers. A father provides for the needs of his sons. Each is willing and thus in the same way our father in heaven cares for those who have become his children through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ of your saying as some people do, but how can I know that God is willing to answer my request for life's necessities.

The answer is that Jesus himself taught that God was willing. In fact, taught it in the very next chapter of the sermon on the Mount in a passage that is actually the best possible commentary on this petition and the Lord's prayer, Jesus said ask and it shall be given you seek and you shall find Moloch, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that ask receive with and he that secret finder than to him that Marcus, it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent be then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your father was in heaven give good gifts to them that ask him. This passage says three things about prayer.

First, we must be God's children before we can come to God. Second, as God's children, we are invited, and even urged to come in third, God delights to answer those who do, when we come to God in prayer through the Lord Jesus Christ and in his Holy Spirit.

We will not come as God's enemies become as God's children and therefore as close members of his family.

Many things in an earthly father would not do for a stranger are many more things that he would not do for an enemy, but there is almost nothing good that he would not do for one of his beloved sons or daughters the same way we come to a God who is not distant, was not harsh was. Not stingy. You are begrudging in his gifts. We come to a God who is loving, willing and merciful and who is anxious to be known and be loved by his children. This God urges us to come. What is more, he urges us to come regularly and repeatedly. The prayer says give us this day our daily bread. The idea of regular and repeated prayer is suggested twice, once by the words this day and once by the adjective daily. Anything repeated twice in an abbreviated prayer of only 65 words 72 in Greek is important for many years commentators and linguists did not know the exact meaning of the Greek word translated daily and even today, there still some doubt, this was because the word did not occur in either literary or popular Greek and therefore because there was no means to check it does several interpretations impossible.

Now, however, the word is been found again in the papyrus from upper Egypt, which seems to reveal its real meaning. Manuscript is part of an account book in the relevant inscription reads one half and opal for Apple who this point, the writing is broken off, but there's little doubt that the last word is the one that occurs in the Lord's prayer that it refers to what we would call a daily ration probably the phrase belonged to a shopping list is therefore a reminder to someone to buy supplies for the coming day. This meeting is supported by a seemingly parallel inscription in Latin found at Pompeii contains as part of a list of expenditures. The words five asses for D'Auria is a term based on the Latin word for day since both of these expressions would seem to be pointing to items that were part of a days ration for the person or a group of persons would be natural to take the word apple loose Eos in this sense, in this case. The fourth petition the Lord's prayer would be a request that God grant us daily. Our daily ration of life's necessities. We see that this prayer is a simple prayer for the things that we have need of every day and that God invites this type of praying certain great truths emerge from it first, it shows that God cares for our bodies always been some of the Christian church will tried to minimize the body in the belief that only the soul or the spirit is important. Sometimes this type of religion is taken the form of asceticism or celibacy. Other times there is been outright abuse of the body. None of this is biblical and it's contradicted by the whole tenor of the Bible as well as by explicit teaching Jesus showed us that William Barclay notes in his excellent commentary on Matthew, the Jesus spent much time healing men's diseases and satisfying their physical hunger. He was anxious when he thought that the crowd would followed them out in the lonely places in a long road home and no food to eat before they set out upon it and see what God thinks of our human bodies when we remember that he himself in Jesus Christ took that body upon him simply soul salvation is the whole salvation. Salvation of body, mind and spirit which Christianity aims. Second, this part of the prayer also teaches that if we live as God intends us to live. We are to live one day at a time and is to be anxious about the unknown future aura to fret about it were to live in the moment by moment dependence upon God. I'm convinced the meaning of this request must vary slightly from one culture and society to another.

Basically it means that were not to take thought for tomorrow, but to ask God only for what we need for today. This is a different meaning in the society in which the needs of the future are met through the family structure and the society like ours, in which the needs of the future are met through financial planning and saving our society would be wrong for a father to neglect to say for his children's education's own retirement and old age, and the grounds that he should ask only for one days ration at a time in our society. Part of this days ration consists of the money to be laid aside for the next consequently were not to neglect our families by neglecting insurance policies as pension plans or saving accounts to do that would be to misinterpret Christ teaching the same time, however, we are obviously not to become entirely wrapped up in these things are life and our future depended ultimately on them instead we are to wrap ourselves in the warm mantle of God's faithfulness. If you're Christian you ever known God to be unfaithful to you.

You lacked the necessities of life.

I know there are times when God does deprive us of things sometimes to teach us something and at times merely to bring forth praises to himself and we are often lacking in things that we believe are necessary but are not yet, not the rule for God to permit his children to suffer real want God faithful all of course he's faithful you can trust him or your today's and tomorrow's. We must not leave this request for our daily bread without pointing out that we need spiritual nourishment. Also, this is the third point we need to feed spiritually on God viewer notice that there's only one other place in the entire Bible, where the request to give us bread to spoken in the midst of Christ's sermon on the spiritual bread recorded in John six Jesus and said to his hearers. Moses gave you. Not that bread from heaven, but my father giveth you the true bread from heaven made answer toward ever more give us this bread. Jesus said I am the bread of life he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believe upon me shall never thirst.

The Jews were thinking of physical bread, no doubt, just as the woman of Samaria had been thinking of physical water.

But Jesus turning them away from these physical things to himself as the one who could satisfy the far greater hunger of the soul. What does it mean to feed spiritually on the Lord Jesus Christ means quite simply that he is the source of all spiritual life and that we will grow spiritually. Only as we draw close to him and learn about them. Moreover, unless we do this we will inevitably be starved spiritually and we will feel spiritually hungry's tragic that so many Christians will allow things to intrude between themselves and Jesus and therefore go on being hungry. God says this happen repeatedly during the Old Testament.

For the Bible says that the people of Israel desired things instead of him. Consequently he gave them things, but he sent willingness to their souls. We do the same thing today. I must far too many believers find themselves like those described in one of our hymns rich in things, but Corrine soul you know such leanness. Such hunger.

Perhaps you have filled yourself with all the means of satisfying your physical hunger and yet you have not looked gone first ritual feeding you pray, give me my physical bread but you have never prayed. Give me that spiritual bread that comes down from heaven is quite sad. All of our hungers are useful in themselves. Of course the right within their bounds. They been put there by God who made as we have a hunger for achievement for love for happiness. All of these things are good in themselves when they are used, as God intends them to be used as tragic that many Christians will satisfy these hungers or attempt to satisfy them at the expense of the truly satisfying time that one can spend with God. God wants us to seek spiritual blessings also and he will provide them as we feed spiritually upon the Lord Jesus Christ we've seen in John six Jesus is the source and sustainer of life, we must add to this that Jesus will fill us with a abundance of spiritual life. Only as we give some of what we have received others, we come to Christ for filling, but we must share some of what we've received. If we are to receive more at his hands. Our lives as Christians are like a bottle of rich perfume fragrances. Christ, we are called to dispense his fragrance in the world cannot do it if the bottle is sealed at the top is left on if we dispense it. If we break the seal shall find not only that others will come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ through us, but also that Jesus will constantly refill us to overflowing by the same miraculous power that multiplied the loaves in Galilee of the wine at the feast of Cana procure one room.

This word is particularly relevant been raised in the church in which you've been amply fed with spiritual things are home blessed by Christian parents been taught in the word but you've failed to share what you've learned. That is, so it must be corrected must share your experiences with Jesus supposed you do not well in that case there will come a moment when you will be full. You will be unable to absorb any more than you will go one year after year, knowing only the same things, believing only the same things really living the same old spiritual lesson, you will be unable to advance anymore in the Christian faith God would have you be a witness right where you are at this moment crafters work for you to do that you've thought about. But you've put off an opportunity to speak to a new family in the neighborhood make them welcome to befriend some poor secretary at work to start a Bible class in your home or some other such thing. God is leading you to do this you must respond to his leading you will find that only as you share the fragrance of Christ in your life will God fill you again and again and only then will you inevitably learn more and more about him. All of this actually leads us back to the wording of the Lord's prayer for the final lesson there is that we are always to pray also for others. You notice that each of these last three requests the request for life's necessities for forgiveness for deliverance from Satan's temptations are not given to us in the singular higher me, but in the plural. We us in our what is this mean simply this means that we are not to pray selfishly we are to pray collectively for ourselves a long with others. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Next time you pray, stop right in the middle of your prayer and think whether you've prayed selfishly may not have, but it's likely because many of us do you have learned that Jordan ask God to provide for others as he is provided for you to forgive others as he is forgiven you, and to deliver others from temptation as he has delivered you in that way, you shall intercede for others you shall be led to give to others and you shall enter more fully in the mind of Jesus who prayed thus for all of his followers and our father, we would so pray asking the blessings that we have received through Christ might come to many other persons.

We pray in his wonderful name. Amen. Your listing to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce. The question posed by Jesus disciples is one that's been repeated throughout the ages, Lord, how should we then pray.

Jesus gave us a pattern for prayer and Bible teacher Phil Reich examines that outline in his message when you pray, we like to send you a free copy of this message on CD is our way of saying thanks for listening. Give us a call at 1-800-488-1888 we be happy to send you a copy of when you pray that number again is 1-800-488-1888 if you'd like to help. The mission of the Bible study our in a significant way prepared to make a financial gift on November 19 that day. All donations will be stretched by the sponsors of the extraordinary give in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Again, that's November 19. Please consider making a gift with extra impact before midnight Eastern time that day at the Bible study our data work. You could also call us directly at 1-800-488-1888, and our mailing address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Thank you, think and act biblically is Dr. Boyce's daily devotional that corresponds with the message you just heard on the Bible study our read and subscribe to think of act biblically at the Bible study our daughter work by Mark Daniels thank you for joining me today the director of a psychiatric hospital once said that he could discharge half his patients. If only they could be assured of forgiveness mankind searches for forgiveness but doesn't know where to find it. The second area of requests for our own needs that occurs in the Lord's prayer which we been studying concerns this subject of forgiveness. But if we are to understand this request accurately. We must realize that it is speaking of forgiveness. In one sense only the forgiveness that is given after his justification to a disobedient child of God we must realize that before this forgiveness is possible. It must be preceded by another type of forgiveness by which one becomes a member of God's family in the first place. You see the request given here is certainly not a prayer for forgiveness in the same sense that we ask for forgiveness and we first believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. That request involves the acceptance of Christ death is the one sufficient sacrifice for our sin, past, present and future, and it's something that is done once for all. If the fifth petition in the Lord's prayer is referring to this initial forgiveness, will, and we can have no real security before God. We cannot say as Paul does, that he with begun a good work and you will keep on performing it until the day of Jesus Christ. We cannot say with Jeremiah, God will remember our sins no more.

We cannot say as far as the east is from the West so far at the removed our transgressions from us.

All of these verses would be meaningless if that forgiveness were meant know the Lord is not speaking of the forgiveness we receive in the first moment of our salvation. He is speaking of a forgiveness that comes later that comes repeatedly forgiveness that restores a broken relationship with God. Join Dr. James Boyce as he explores the greatest malady affecting the human race. That's next time on the Bible study our preparing you to think of act biblically

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