Share This Episode
A New Beginning Greg Laurie Logo

How to (and How Not to) Pray | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 24, 2024 3:00 am

How to (and How Not to) Pray | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 2090 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

March 24, 2024 3:00 am

What does your prayer life look like? Pastor Greg Laurie helps us stay on the right track as we examine the way Jesus instructed His disciples to pray.


Matthew 6

Jesus did what the disciples had asked; and in doing so, He was acknowledging that prayer is something that can be learned.

The Lord’s prayer shows us how to pray Jesus’ way.

But first, Jesus shows us how not to pray.

Read: Matthew 6:5–8

Sin knows no boundaries; it afflicts us when we are far from God and follows us to the very throne of Heaven.

It is possible to pray with no thought of God Himself.

Prayer is not to inform God but, rather, to invite God.

The response to the question: “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Read: Matthew 6:9–13

We pray to a Father in Heaven who loves us. A Father who loves and misses His children when they go astray. A Father that longs for communication and fellowship with us.

God is not just our Father; He is our “abba” or “daddy.”

Romans 8:15

We begin our prayers with “our Father.”

Then, we are to worship Him and contemplate Him before we offer our petitions.

Matthew 6:9 – “Hallowed be Your name.”

When we pray, we should always ask for God’s Will to be done.

Matthew 6:10

Prayer is not getting my will in Heaven, but it is God’s Will on Earth.

1 John 5:14

Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the Will of God. God only answers the requests which He inspires.

Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the Will of God.

We should pray for God’s Kingdom to come.

Matthew 6:10

When we pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” we are praying for God’s rule on Earth.

Revelation 11:15

The word come indicates a sudden, instantaneous coming.

2 Peter 3:14

God’s Kingdom is brought to this Earth every time a new soul is brought to Jesus.

We should be praying for the salvation of nonbelievers.

We should pray a person sees their need for Jesus.

We need to bring our personal needs before God.

Matthew 6:11

Job 7:17

When you ask someone to give you something, you are acknowledging that they own it.

We are completely dependent on God; God is completely independent from us.

You will never have a proper relationship to all of your possessions until you understand that everything you have, everything that you need, and everything that you own comes from God.

Everything we have, ultimately, comes from God!

James 1:17

Deuteronomy 8:18

James 4:2

Romans 8:32

We need to pray for personal forgiveness, and we need to forgive others.

Matthew 6:12

Forgiven people should be forgiving people.

Matthew 6:12

“Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have someone to forgive.” —C.S. Lewis

If we harbor resentment and fail to forgive, we grieve the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30–32

We need to pray to not fall into temptation.

Matthew 6:13


Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

Support the show:

See for privacy information.


Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie, encouraging you.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to Well, Lord, would you teach us how to pray. And you gave them what we call the Lord's prayer. So as we think about prayer and how to pray more effectively, we would say the same thing as those disciples, Lord, teach us how to pray. We commit this time of Bible study to you now, in Jesus' name we pray, amen.

You can all be seated. Happy St. Patrick's Day. I'm wearing green, you see, and I also have a green Bible, but I always have a green Bible. You know, I did one of those 23andMe tests and found out that I'm mainly Irish. I always thought I was Scottish because Laurie is a Scottish name. I found out I'm Irish, so I'll be doing the rest of my message like an Irishman.

Lucky charms are magically delicious. I haven't really worked on the Irish accent too much, but happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you, and I have a very special announcement to make. So 35 years ago, we took a bold step of faith. We are already in our church in Riverside, but Pastor Chuck Smith called me from Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa and said that he wanted to reach younger people. I was younger back then, 35 years ago. He said, Greg, would you come down and do a Monday night Bible study?

And I did. It went on for about 14 years. In fact, I still run into people that used to go to that Monday night Bible study. So after it was going, and it was doing very well, and many people were coming to Christ, Chuck said, why don't we go to a larger venue and do an evangelistic outreach, sort of like a Billy Graham crusade? I said, great, where do you want to go, Chuck? He said, the Pacific Amphitheater. I said, wow, that's kind of a big place.

He said, well, Greg, we serve a really big God. So that was our first crusade in 1990. We broke all attendance records, and then the next year, we went to Angel Stadium, then called Anaheim Stadium, and that's where we've been for the last 35 years.

Now listen to this. Since the first crusade in Southern California alone, 3,612,000 people have attended in person. Can you imagine that? Even better than that, 332,000 have walked down those aisles to make a profession of faith. 332,000.

Seriously, is that the best you can do? 332,000 people. That's more than the entire population of Riverside. That's more than the entire population of Maui. And speaking of Maui, hello to you, watching from Maui, also Riverside, you that are watching that Harvest at Home as well. So the Harvest Crusade is the largest, longest-running evangelistic event in American history. There's never been anything like this before, anywhere. Now as you know, all these years, we've been meeting in Angel Stadium, but last year, they informed us that we could not have people walk forward down on the field to make that profession of faith.

Well, that's kind of part of what we do, isn't it? So we went over to Honda Center. How many of you went to the Honda Center event? How many of you could not get into the Honda Center?

Yeah, that was the problem. We had to turn a lot of people away. So I'm happy to announce that this year, we're returning to Angel Stadium. And people will be able to walk down on the field to make that profession of faith as well. This is going to be our 35th Crusade, and the date is July 20th. So mark it on your calendar, July 20th. We've got a great lineup of music this year.

Chris Tomlin, Phil Wickham, other surprise guests, Brooke Lagerwood, and we'll tell you more as it gets closer, but let's remember what the objective of a Harvest Crusade is. It's not just a big Christian party, though it is kind of that. And I'm glad we can have something like that to go to every year for three decades plus. But really it's an evangelistic event. That's why it's free.

Because normally if you go see any of these artists, you're going to pay for a ticket. But our events have always been free because we want to make the gospel without charge, right? So the objective of this event is to see people come to Christ, and that's where you come in. There's three operative things you need to do. Pray, invite, and bring.

Number one, you pray. You pray for people that you know that are not Christians. How many of you know someone that is not a Christian? Raise your hand.

Some are not raising their hand. You live in a Christian bubble, I don't know. But think about those people and start praying for them by name. Specifically, Lord, I pray for this person that you would soften their heart, that you would open their spiritual eyes to see their need for Jesus.

You pray, then you invite. Now you've prayed for them. You've prepared the soil with prayer. Now you plant the seed. Hey, have you heard about the Harvest Crusade? You'll be surprised. Many people have heard about it because it's been around for so long and there's all those crazy bumper stickers, which we'll have for you soon.

And more crazy bumper stickers. So you invite them, and here's the key. You bring them. You don't send them, you bring them.

Say, I want you to join me. And here's why bringing matters. 80% plus of those that come forward on the field to make a profession of faith were brought by a friend. So we're going to encourage you to start praying, inviting, and soon you'll be bringing people to the Harvest Crusade, July 20th, one night, Angel Stadium.

It's going to be great. Okay, grab your Bibles now and turn to Matthew chapter six. The title of my message is how to and how not to pray.

How to and how not to pray. Heard the story of a pilot who was flying a plane load of passengers to their destination. Suddenly the rudder malfunctioned. He radioed the control tower in panic and said the rudder has malfunctioned.

What should I do? The air traffic controller said, keep calm captain. Just repeat after me. Wings flap, check. Velocity, check.

Altitude, check. The pilot made the appropriate adjustments and everything was fine. A few moments passed and the starboard engine failed. He goes back to the radio tower. The starboard engine just stalled.

What should I do? The air traffic controller radioed back and said, okay, keep calm captain. Repeat after me. Wings flap, check. Velocity, check.

Altitude, check. Now both engines went out. Mayday, mayday. Both engines have gone out.

What should I do? The air controller said, now keep calm captain and repeat after me. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. The Lord's Prayer.

Most of us know it or at least we know parts of it. It's a prayer that is sort of behind glass. In case of emergency, pull this prayer out. And there's certainly nothing wrong with praying the Lord's Prayer verbatim but it's more than that.

It's really the words of Jesus given to us and how we can pray. Imagine if you went to an elite university and you were able to be taught by the most impressive people throughout history. For instance, you could study music under Beethoven himself. Or you could have a drama class taught by William Shakespeare. Or a political science class taught by Thomas Jefferson. Or a philosophy class taught by C.S.

Lewis. How about this? A class on prayer taught by Jesus Christ. I'd sign up for that.

I'd be all over that course. I'd want to know what Jesus had to say about prayer. And that's what the Lord's Prayer is. It all started when his disciples came to him and said, Lord would you teach us how to pray? And the encouraging thing is Jesus did what they asked and in doing so, acknowledging that prayer is something you can learn. You learn how to pray.

It takes time. I love when little children are just starting to pray. And we'll say, you pray. And they'll offer their cute little prayers. And they're learning.

They're growing. I remember as a young Christian, the first time I was asked to pray publicly, I was so nervous. You know what I'm talking about? What am I going to say? So it was a big prayer circle and we went around the circle and somehow I ended up being last. By the time it got to me, all the good stuff had been prayed for. I didn't know what to say or what to do.

And you know that feeling. Well Jesus is teaching us now how to pray. So this is a model prayer or a template prayer. You know when you go to a housing track that's being built and they have the model homes. I love model homes. Because you walk in and it's as though someone lives there but they don't. They have fake fruit and fake things in the fridge and photos of who knows who who supposedly live in this fake house. But it gives you an idea that that pile of dirt over there is going to turn into a home. Well that won't look anything like this actually.

But it's a model home to give you an idea of what the homes will look like. Jesus gives us a model prayer to show us what our prayers ought to look like. But before we learn how to pray, let's learn how not to pray. Matthew 5, excuse me, 6. Matthew 6, verse 5. Jesus says, When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing on the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. You might underline that.

That they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go to your room. When you have shut your door, pray to your Father, who is in the secret place, and your Father, who sees in secret, reward you openly. When you pray, don't use vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think they'll be hurt for their many words. Therefore do not be like them, for your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

I'll stop there. It's a tragic thing, but really, sin knows no boundaries. It can follow us to the very throne of heaven, where I'm actually missing the whole point of what prayer should be.

Focusing the intention upon myself. This was the problem with the Pharisees. They prayed to be seen by men. The Pharisees loved the theater of prayer.

It was sort of like a performance. They would go to a street corner and stop and pray loudly. And people would go, look at that religious man. Oh, how devout he is.

How impressive he is. Jesus is saying, God's not impressed. He's not impressed one bit because you're doing it for others to see. And so He's showing us that is not how we should pray, nor should we offer ritualized, repeated prayers. That's why I don't really love memorized prayers that people pray over and over again. Just say, ten our fathers and you'll be OK. Is there some magic in a little prayer that we pray? When we pray, God looks on the heart.

It's a conversation with God. For instance, here's a memorized prayer. We'll say to our children, OK, honey, it's time to go to bed. Now pray this prayer.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Who came up with this crazy prayer? This is not a good prayer. You're saying to a child, if you should die before you wake, honey, you may die in your sleep tonight. My only hope is God will take your soul, you little heathen child. So sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite. Oh, great.

This is pointless. You want to teach them not a memorized prayer, but you want to teach them rather how to pray. And so Jesus told the story of two men that went to pray. One was a Pharisee.

One was a publican or a tax collector. The Pharisee literally prayed this prayer. God, I thank you. I'm not like other men. I don't cheat. I don't commit adultery. I don't sin.

And I'm certainly not like that tax collector over there. Meanwhile, the tax collector, the sinner who would acknowledge as much, just said, God, be merciful to me, the sinner. Jesus said that man, the sinner, went down justified before God because the other men prayed a prayer to impress other people. It's very easy to pray and not be thinking about what you're praying about. Don't tell me you haven't done it.

I've done it. What is worship? It's prayer set to song. So when I'm singing a song, especially one that's directed toward God, I'm praying. But are you always thinking of what you're saying and thinking of what you're praying when you're singing that?

Or are you thinking of other things? After church, I'm going to go to Chick-fil-A. No, I can't. They're closed on Sunday.

I'll go to In-N-Out Burger instead. Or why is she wearing that at church? That person is singing too loudly.

What's going on over here? Why is Greg so strikingly handsome? It distracts me. Excuse me, those are my thoughts, but... Actually, they're not, but... The point is, I'm thinking of other things with no thought of God whatsoever. Sometimes in prayer, people use it as an opportunity to brag about their accomplishments. It's more of a bragimony than a testimony.

You've seen this. Someone praise God, I thank you that as I just read 15 chapters of Leviticus this morning, breaking my three-month fast, I was able to share the gospel with 12 people. Stop. What is that about? That's about you. That's about you trying to impress other people. Sometimes people use prayer as an opportunity to impress others. Our most gracious Heavenly Father, our most bountiful God, we come before you today to beseech Thee.

Okay, nice, but is this really about God or is this about you trying to impress others? Or long prayers. Long prayers. You know, a meal comes. You should ask a blessing on the meal. I was just over on Maui last Sunday speaking at our church, which is doing great, strong and healthy, and I was flying back, and there was a guy a couple rows in front of me and his meal came, and he prayed.

He bowed his head and prayed. I thought, well, that guy must be a Christian. And afterwards, he said, hi, I'm a Christian, I recognize you. Oh, nice to meet you. And he goes, why didn't you pray over your meal? And he was right.

No, it's not true. But I don't know if I did, because sometimes I forget. Do any of you ever forget to pray? Okay, the food comes.

It's hot. Someone says, let's ask the blessing, and you're asked. Don't pray a 20-minute prayer. Other times, people use prayer as an opportunity to gossip. You're praying, and someone says, Lord, I just found out that Jim has been unfaithful to his wife. Wait, what? Jim who? All of a sudden, it's not about prayer.

It's about the latest gossip you just heard. These prayers go no higher than the ceiling. Jesus gives us insight, this insight, verse 8. Your father knows the things you need of before you ask him. God knows what you need before you ask him. Therefore, why should I pray? After all, I can't change God's mind. Well, listen, the objective of prayer is not to change God.

It's to change you. God knows what you need, but prayer is not to inform God. Prayer is to invite God.

Let me say that again. Prayer is not to inform God. Prayer is to invite God. The value of prayer is it keeps me in touch with God. Prayer is getting closer to God. Sometimes God allows things in my life to bring me to him in prayer. It can be a challenge. It can be a need.

It could even be a tragedy. And I come to the Lord, and I call upon the Lord. So that's how not to pray. Let's talk about how to pray, Matthew 6, verse 9. Now this is the Lord's Prayer.

I'm going to put it up on the screen because I would like us all to say this out loud together. Let's see what Jesus says. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth 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. The Lord's Prayer. Great one. Memorize that.

It's not too long. A template for all prayer. The first three requests in the Lord's Prayer deal with the glory of God, our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. The final petitions deal with the needs of man. Give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Don't lead us into temptation. So how do we pray?

Here's point number one if you're taking notes. We pray to a Father in heaven who loves us. We pray to a Father who art in heaven. Our Father who art in heaven. Not our vending machine who art in heaven.

Not our butler who art in heaven. Our Father. A Father who longs for communication and fellowship with us. A Father who loves to bless us. He's a generous Father. He's a good Father. Jesus said it is your Father's good pleasure to give to you the kingdom. He's not a stingy God. He's a generous God.

So I come to my Father. I remember when I first met Billy Graham, I called him Dr. Graham. That's what everyone called him, Dr. Graham. So I called him that. And one day he said to me, Greg, don't call me Dr. Graham, call me Billy. I said, well, Dr. Graham, I don't know if I can do that. And it took me a while to get comfortable with calling this man that's been so powerfully used of God Billy.

It just seemed too personal. But I eventually started calling him Billy. But I noticed his children called him Daddy, as they do in the South. Even adults still call their parents Daddy and Mama. And then the grandchildren called him Daddy Bill. Well, I didn't call him Daddy Bill.

That was not my privilege. That was only for his grandchildren. But in a way, though, I can call God Daddy. Because the Bible says God has not given us a spirit of bondage again to fear, but one of adoption whereby we cry Abba Father. Abba Father. Abba Father is the Hebrew equivalent of Daddy or Papa. It's a term of endearment.

I remember times I've been in Israel and I'll see a little Jewish boy calling his father. Abba, he'll say, or his mother, Ima, it's a term of affection. This is the kind of relationship we have with God now where we can call him Father, but even more, Papa, Daddy, Abba, all the same thing. When Jesus was grappling with what was ahead in the Garden of Gethsemane before he went to the cross, his first words were Abba Father.

A term of dependency, affection, closeness. And after Jesus rose again from the dead, remember he said to Mary Magdalene, Don't cling to me. I'm going to my God and your God, to my Father and your Father. A whole new relationship with God, our Father who art in heaven.

So I contemplate that. And then I say, verse nine, hallowed be your name. Hallowed be your name. It means I set God apart in my life. In other words, he is above everything else. He is Lord of all.

Because if he is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all. When I say hallowed be your name, it means in my life and character, I'm setting Christ apart and I'm seeking to live a holy life. Therefore I should ask myself about things I pursue.

My ambitions, my interests. Is this for his glory? Can I write hallowed be your name over this? This career choice. Can I write hallowed be your name over this?

This TV program, the music I listen to, the sites I visit, the things I stream, et cetera. Can I write hallowed be your name over it? If I can't ask the Lord to bless it, then I shouldn't do it. So when you got up this morning, let's go to church. Can you say this is for God's glory? Of course you can. Let's go to lunch. Can you say this is for God's glory?

For the most part, yes. But now you're gonna go to a party and get drunk. Lord, just bless this night as we go get drunk. No, you can't ask God to bless that.

Lord, I'm gonna go with my boyfriend tonight and we're gonna have sexual relationships. No, no, there's no blessing there. Now you're outside of the will of God. You can only ask God to bless the things that will bring him glory.

Point number two. When we pray, we should always ask for God's will to be done. When we pray, we should always ask for God's will to be done. Look at verse 10. Your kingdom come, your will be done.

Did not Jesus model this for us in the Garden of Gethsemane? He said, Father, if it's possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done. Reminding me the primary objective of prayer is to line my will up with the will of God. True praying is not overcoming God's reluctance.

It's laying hold of his willingness. Prayer is not getting my will in heaven. It's getting God's will on earth. Prayer's not getting my will in heaven. You don't want your will in heaven. You want God's will on earth. First John 5, 14 says, this is the confidence we have in him. If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us and will have the petitions desired of him. Prayer is surrender to the will of God. So our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Point number three. We should pray for God's kingdom to come. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Now this is a multi-leveled request with different shades of meaning. What is the kingdom of God? It's the rule and reign of Christ in your life. Jesus said on one occasion, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you. And what he meant was I'm here and wherever I am, that's what the kingdom of God is. So when we're told in Matthew 6, 33 to seek first the kingdom of God in his righteousness, that means put Christ first, put the will of God first, have Jesus rule and reign in your life. Sometimes we confuse men's kingdom with God's kingdom.

We get very worked up about politics. Having said that, every Christian should register and vote and vote biblically. I think it's irresponsible for Christians to not vote. It's so important but having said that, even if your candidate does not win, the kingdom of God marches on.

We can't forget that. His kingdom is more powerful than the Democratic kingdom. His kingdom is more powerful than the Republican kingdom. His kingdom is more powerful than any kingdom and in the end, he will reign. Your kingdom come, your will be done. So it's a prayer for God's kingdom in my life but it's also a prayer for Jesus to return to the earth.

The word that he uses here for kingdom does not refer to a geographical territory but his sovereignty and dominion. So when I'm praying your kingdom come, I'm praying for the rule of God on earth. In other words, I'm saying Jesus, come back really soon.

I really want you to return. This should be the heart cry of every Christian. Like the apostle John, we should say, even so, come Lord Jesus.

Come back soon and you should live in such a way that you long for and desire the return of Christ. When Jesus uses this phrase, your kingdom come, it essentially speaks of a sudden instantaneous coming. Lord, I'm praying your kingdom comes and it comes soon but it's also a personal request where I'm asking him to rule and reign in my life but also it's a request for the salvation of those that don't know the Lord. So I'm praying that the kingdom will come to people who are not Christians yet. This is why we do these Harvest Crusades. This is why we're always looking for creative new ways to get the gospel out to new people because we want the kingdom to come in their life but we recognize only God can bring this about.

That's why we pray for it. I just were tempted to pressure people. I was over on Maui a while ago and I went to this restaurant there called Leota's, really good restaurant, fresh bakery. They make a killer hamburger. So I walked in and some lady recognized me. She said, aren't you Pastor Greg Laurie?

Yes, I am. This is my husband. He's a heathen. Guy's just sitting there and he happened to be holding the burger. He was just getting ready to take a bite. This is my husband who's a heathen.

Say something to him. The guy's like. I felt sorry for this guy because he's married to Karen.

Right? I don't know how this started, this whole Karen thing. Is anyone here named Karen? No Karens.

That's amazing. Okay, well, I changed my name actually. I guess somewhere some woman named Karen went on a rant.

Someone filmed it, posted it. And now every time something like this happens, they're called a Karen. And so this woman was a Karen for sure. The poor guy just wants to eat his burger. Say something to my heathen husband.

I looked at this guy and I said, enjoy your burger. God bless you. That's not the opportunity to assault someone with the gospel.

Come on, we're supposed to build bridges, not burn them. So we pray your kingdom come. And some take longer than others. I prayed for my mother for over 30 years to come to Christ. And she finally did. And sadly one month later she died and went to heaven. But I'm glad she finally came around.

My mom was stubborn. But she finally got it right. And so we're praying that others would come to Jesus. And we should pray for non-believers. Jesus modeled this as Isaiah 53, 12. 53, 12 says he interceded for the transgressors. He effectively prayed for the non-believers, remember? His first words from the cross were, Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Who was that prayer for? It was for the people that pounded the spikes in his hands and feet and pressed the crown of thorns on his head and tore his back open with a whip. Lord, Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.

Here's number four. We need to bring our personal needs before God. Bring our personal needs before God.

Verse 11, give us day by day our daily bread. It's really an amazing thing that this all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipotent God who created the entire universe would have any interest in us personally. But he does. He cares about you. Why would he make so much of this? Why would he care about our needs? I don't know, but Job 7.17 says, what is man that you make so much of him and give him so much attention?

The answer is pretty simple. I think it's because he just loves you and he loves me. And he's not gonna hold something back if you need it. Jesus says in Matthew 7.9, you parents, if your children ask for a loaf of bread, are you gonna give them a stone instead? If they ask for a fish, would you give them a snake? Of course not.

If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him? So if your little kid comes up, Mommy, I'm so hungry, can I have a little piece of bread? No, but you can have a rock instead. Mommy, can I have some fresh fish? No, but I have a live snake. Here you go, kid.

Who would do that? We take care of our children. God takes care of us as well. Give us this day our daily bread. Notice it doesn't say give us this month or this year our yearly bread.

This keeps us dependent on God on a regular basis. By the way, bread was a staple in the Jewish diet at this time. They had bread with every meal. They were on the keto diet back then. So they would take their bread, they would dip it in various sauces and have a meal together, not unlike what we would do with chips and salsa. By the way, don't be a double dipper.

Karen, are you listening? What is a double dipper? You dip the chip, you take the bite, and you come back with the same chip.

No. Get that chip out of here. We want a fresh chip, right? So they would dip the bread and they would eat it together. So it was a staple. So when we say to God, give me this day my daily bread, I'm not just speaking about bread or even about food, I'm talking about everything.

Lord, give me everything that I need. It's a funny thing, back in the 60s, we used to use the word bread to speak of money. You'd walk up to someone, hey dude, you got any bread? Right?

How many of you remember that? All the old people, hey. I feel as an older person, I can mock older people, okay? So give us day to day our daily bread. You know when you ask someone to give you something, you're acknowledging they own it. You're acknowledging also that you need it. They don't owe it to you.

You don't deserve it. He's not saying we should pray, pay us our daily bread. Give us our daily bread. This reminds us we're completely dependent on God. And it's an affirmation that everything you have comes from God. Everything you have comes from God. James 1.17 says, every good gift and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. You can work hard, you can invest your money wisely, you can do all the things that you do, but ultimately remember, it all came from God. Deuteronomy 8.18 says, remember the Lord your God.

He's the one who gave you the ability to produce wealth. So we thank Him, but we also pray about our needs. If you have a need, pray about it.

James says you have not because you ask not. Do you have a need right now? It's a physical need, a financial need, a medical need, something else. Pray about it. Lord, would you give this to me? Now of course, Lord, I pray your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. If there's something in this request that's outside of your will, overrule it. But Lord, I do need this and I'm calling out to you and I'm praying about it.

God Almighty has promised to answer your prayers. But that does not mean that we sit around like lazy bums and say, Lord, just provide. You know, get off your big fat lazy boy recliner.

What did you think I was gonna say? And get a job. Somehow people think the world owes them a living. The government owes them a living. Their parents owe them a living.

Well, my mom and dad will take care of me even though I'm 50 still. Wait, get a job. Have a little self-respect. Well, they don't pay enough. Just go out and have a work ethic. The Christian should be the hardest of all workers, doing it for the glory of God. The Bible says if a man doesn't work, he should not eat. You need to work.

Now maybe you're not able to work. Well, that's another situation. I'm talking about those who are able. So we need to do our part. God will do his part and he'll provide your needs and number five, we need to pray for personal forgiveness and extend forgiveness to others. We need to pray for personal forgiveness and extend forgiveness to others and this is in the context of daily. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us. Just as I need to pray for daily provision, I need to pray for daily forgiveness. You sin every day more than you think and I don't mean you only, I mean me.

All of us do. The Bible says if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. So we say, Lord, cleanse me of all sin. Forgive me my debt as I forgive my debtors. Some people don't think they need forgiveness, but they do, everyone does. Having received that forgiveness, I should also extend it to others. Forgiven people should be forgiving people and according to Jesus, our generous and constant forgiveness of others should be the natural result of our understanding of the forgiveness that God has extended toward us. I loved the statement by C.S. Lewis or loved the statement by Lewis where he says, quote, everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have someone to forgive.

Right? It's a great concept. Oh, yes, I love forgiveness. Oh, let's all forgive. Until someone wrongs you, just someone hurts you, but you too should forgive. Well, they don't deserve forgiveness, do you?

I'll answer it for you, you don't. Again, what did Jesus do? Praying for his very enemies. Father, forgive them.

They don't know what they're doing. If you harbor resentment and fail to forgive people, you grieve the Holy Spirit. The word grieves means to make sad or sorrowful. Ephesians 4, 30 says, don't bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit, but the way that you live, get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words. Instead, be tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God through Christ has forgiven you. By the way, there are fringe benefits to forgiving others. You'll live longer, literally. A new field of research has developed on the subject of forgiveness, and recent studies suggest that those that do not forgive are more likely to experience high blood pressure, bouts of depression, and problems with anger, stress, and anxiety.

So you can keep it all inside, and you can be that person in the restaurant, and they call out your name. Bitter, party of one. Or you can be a forgiving person. It's your choice. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us, and don't lead us into temptation. We need to pray to not fall into temptation. We're saying, Lord, don't let me be tempted above my capacity to resist. The problem with temptation is we find a way to rationalize it. The problem with temptation is it's just so tempting. And we say it's okay for me.

We're so quick to jump down the throat of someone else doing something, but somehow we excuse it in our own lives. Lord, don't let me be tempted above my capacity to resist. And listen to this. There's always a way out of every temptation. 1 Corinthians 10, 13 says, There is no temptation taking you, but such as is common to men. But God who is faithful will not allow you to be tempted above your capacity to resist, but will with the temptation make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it. Let me paraphrase it. There's always a way out. He'll never give you too much. Sometimes it's as simple as the door, as simple as the off button, as simple as terminating a conversation, whatever it is.

Lord, don't lead me into temptation, but deliver me from evil. There it is, the Lord's Prayer. Certainly not an exhaustive treatment. So much more that can be said about so many aspects of it.

It's sort of a flyover. But what a privilege it is to pray. But does it ever seem to you as though you pray and no one is listening?

Does it ever seem to you like God doesn't hear or answer your prayers? Well, look, prayer is a privilege for a Christian. Now, anyone can pray, but a Christian has the privilege of constant communication with God. Now, a non-believer can pray. They can say, God, be merciful to be a sinner.

God will hear that prayer, and you can begin a whole new life and relationship with Christ. But if you're a non-believer living in sin, you're not gonna have what we might call a prayer life because your sin separates you from God. So God says, it's not like my ear is deaf or it can't hear you or my arm is short and I can't reach you, but your sins have separated you from me, see? So as long as I'm living with sin in my life, it puts like a barrier in front of me and God.

And the only way that barrier will come down is if I will acknowledge my sin and turn from it and ask for his forgiveness, which he will generously extend. God wants a close relationship with you. He doesn't wanna just be the man upstairs. Oh, the man upstairs.

Who are we talking about exactly? The good Lord is what I call him. Always the good. Make sure you get good in there, the good Lord. He wants to be more than the good Lord or the man upstairs. He wants to be your best friend.

He wants to be your father. He wants to hear from you and he wants to speak to you, and that can all happen for you right now if you'll admit you're a sinner. Going back to that story Jesus told.

He just said, God, have mercy on me, the sinner, and God did. And if you'll say that to God, he'll hear your prayer. So we're gonna close now, and I'm gonna extend an invitation for you to ask Christ to forgive you of your sin so you can enter into this relationship with him so you can be ready for his return, which could happen at any moment. So you can be ready for the afterlife and you can know with certainty that when you die you will go to heaven.

So you can discover God's plan for this life, his plan for you, and start walking in it. He's just a prayer away. Let's pray. Father, I pray for every person here and every person watching or listening wherever they may be.

If they don't have a relationship with you, let this be the moment they believe. I pray that your Holy Spirit will speak to their hearts and show them their need for Jesus and draw them to yourself now. And I ask this in his name.

And while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, and we're praying. Maybe there's somebody here or you're watching the screen and you don't have this relationship with God yet. You don't have the confidence that if you were to die you would go to heaven.

You don't know Jesus in this personal way we've been talking about, but you want to. You want to go to heaven one day. You want to be ready for the Lord's return. You want to know God's will for your life.

Well, you need to ask Jesus to come into your life. So if you want your sin forgiven, if you want Christ to come into your life, if you want to go to heaven one day, if you want this relationship with God we've been talking about, would you just lift up your hand wherever you are, and I'd love to pray for you. God bless you there. God bless you. Lift your hand up high where I can see it, please. You want Christ to come into your life. Let me pray for you. Raise your hand up.

I can see you wherever you are. God bless you as well. God bless you.

Anybody else? God bless you that have raised your hand. Yes, God bless you too. Now others are watching the screen. I can't see your hands, of course, but that doesn't matter. The Lord sees. Now I'm going to ask every one of you that has raised your hand to just pray this prayer right where you are. You could even pray it out loud after me.

Just pray these words. Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner, but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. Jesus, come into my life. Be my Lord and my friend. Be my Savior and my God. I choose to follow you, Jesus, from this moment forward. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. Amen, and God bless each one of you.

Hey, everybody. Thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to And to find out how to know God personally, go to and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-24 04:13:24 / 2024-03-24 04:31:00 / 18

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime