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Tag Archives: the Lord’s prayer

The Prayer of Jesus

When Jesus is mentioned in the context of prayer, the Lord’s Prayer/Our Father comes to mind.  Yet, I recently heard a pastor give a sermon on Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible.  The point he was trying to make is if you take the words of Psalm 119 and apply them as a prayer, this is what God desires for you.

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?  By living according to your word, Psalm 119:9.

The Lord’s Prayer teaches individuals to begin prayer by acknowledging and praising the God of heaven and earth.  Prayer is meant to draw you toward God’s will; not a Christmas wish list to seek selfish desires.  The Psalmist compliments prayer, revealing the path to purity.  Anyone who strives to live according to the Bible moves closer to fulfilling the prayer of Jesus.

Give us today our daily bread, Matthew 6:11.

One of the most overlooked passages in the Sermon on the Mount is the verse above.  While it’s simplistic in nature, Jesus stresses one vital aspect about prayer, take life one day at a time as tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.  The World Health Organization proves this point as 153,424 die each day.  If you want to know and follow God’s will, read, study and meditate upon Psalm 119.  As individuals turn their attention to biblical principles, the prayer of Jesus will transform your life.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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What Are We Praying for?

Frederick Douglass is a key figure featured every February during Black History month.  After escaping slavery in Maryland, Douglass completed his autobiography in 1845.  If you attended a public school, you probably never heard about this man’s great faith.  While talking to a friend earlier in the week, I was amazed to hear about his concept of prayer.  This made me wonder, what am I actually praying for?

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word, Psalm 119:9.

Instead of praying for the obvious, God’s blessings on your family, friends and work, Douglass narrowed in on a few simple things.  First, as a slave, Frederick prayed that his master would not beat him.  From here, Frederick fervently asked the Lord to have mercy on him so that his service would please his master.  Within his autobiography, Douglass comments on how his master’s treated him.  Oddly enough, those who claimed to be Christians treated him the worse.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well, Matthew 6:33.

Following this conversation, I was convicted, wondering how cruel I have treated others in this life.  Beyond the bubble that I live in, my actions are far from the grace, love and mercy Jesus demonstrated on earth.  Instead of treating prayer like some kind of Christmas wish list, perhaps it’s time to go back to the basics.  Whether this means using the Lord’s Prayer as a guide or quoting parts of Psalm 119, something has to change.  May this blog inspire you to put into practice Jesus’ words above, starting prayer by seeking God’s kingdom and righteous first.

by Jay Mankus

Petitions, Prayers and Intercession

If you are moved, passionate or perturbed by a certain issue, you might choose to start a petition.  This formal written request attempts to organize a body of concerned citizens uniting over a common cause.  While I have signed petitions in the past, I’ve never thought of prayer in this context.   According to the apostle Paul, Christians should come together to petition God through concerts of prayer.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—1 Timothy 2:1.

Growing up in a Roman Catholic church, I was taught prayer was suppose to be a private matter.  Jesus reaffirms this in the Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:6.  Nonetheless, Solomon professes in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time for everything.  Thus, whether its drug addiction, suicide or violence, its time to petition God with other like minded individuals to cease these cancers of society.

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise, James 5:13.

In times of desperation, intercession is one of the last lines of defense.  I’ve read several amazing testimonies from church members interceding on behalf of missionaries in the field.  One of my favorites involves a group of believers witnessing to a tribe of head hunters.  During one particular evening, this group’s village was surrounded, fearful for their lives.  Yet, instantaneous prayers ushered angels into action, spooking these warriors away in a biblical like miracle.  Though the situation you are currently encountering may seem dire, petition, prayer and intercession is the best solution to confront mounting issues in life.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Best Place to Start

When you know someone experiencing or going through tough times, its hard to know where to stop.  In most cases, the best thing to do is ask questions and listen.  If you are the type of individual who tries to fix people, you can only do so much.  According to the apostle Paul, the best place to start is with forgiveness.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you, Colossians 3:13.

During his earthly ministry, Jesus developed a pattern prior to healing someone.  First, Jesus wanted to know if a person in need wanted to get better as some tend to embrace the victim card.  Second, after probing patients, taking an assessment of the situation, Jesus turned his attention toward forgiveness.  During a dispute with Pharisees, Jesus tried to prove a point using logic.

Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? – Matthew 9:5.

In the Lord’s prayer, a condition is placed upon forgiveness.  If you forgive others, you will be forgiven.  However, if you hold grudges and fail to forgive others, God’s won’t forgive you.  Nearly 2000 years later, this concept still applies.  Therefore, if healing, restoration or recovery is what you seek, the best place to start is with forgiveness.

by Jay Mankus

 

21 Seconds to Pray

During my confirmation process in the Catholic Church in 8th grade, I studied the Lord’s prayer, also known as the Our Father.  According to author Dr. Mark Rutland, it takes the average person 21 seconds to pray this prayer.  After twenty years of using the Lord’s prayer as a foundation for prayer, Dr. Rutland believes that you can change your world if individuals begin to devote 21 seconds to prayer daily.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” Matthew 6:9-10.

Keeping a journal during this extended period, Mark began to see the impact Jesus’ words had on his prayer life.  Gradually, his heart, soul and mind were transformed by this basic, yet powerful prayer outline inspiring his book 21 Seconds to Change Your World.  While the average person struggles to pay attention or remain focused, 21 seconds is less than most commercials on television.  Therefore, why not make a resolution for 2016 to commit 21 seconds to prayer each day.

Give us today our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, Matthew 6:11-13.

Even when people draw near to God, prayer can be foreign to many.  Feeling asleep on my pillow in college was a nightly tradition, not getting far before I dosed off.  However, 21 seconds is realistic, a good starting point for novice prayers.  Therefore, I don’t have a good excuse to say I was too busy, didn’t feel well or was too tired.  Rather, now is a great time to start 2016 off on the right foot with 21 seconds to pray.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Greatest Virtue

As adolescents become adults, its easy to become jaded, scarred by hurtful individuals who tear others down.  In additional, certain personalities do not mesh, resulting in irritation as well as uncomfortable moments.  Throw in those hungry for control or power and you will find hearts hesitant to forgive.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, Matthew 6:14.

At the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, also known as the Our Father, Jesus introduces the reciprocal aspect of forgiveness.  According to the two verses that follow, forgiveness is not received unless it is first extended to others.  Similar to the Sowing Principle, you reap what you sow, forgiveness is conditional based upon the degree in which you forgive and forget the transgressions of others.

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins, Matthew 6:15.

This perspective of forgiveness makes it one of the greatest virtues.  However, a lack of forgiveness can make it one of the most dangerous, resulting in eternal damnation.  Coping and dealing with personalities that rub you the wrong way can be excruciating, requiring extra grace to those annoying souls you encounter.  Yet, as the apostle Paul states in Colossians 3:12-14, the key to forgiveness is loving others as Christ loved us.  Therefore, ask God for a new heart, willing to forgive, forget and treat others as you want to be treated.

by Jay Mankus

Healing or Forgiveness?

Whenever a trend setter comes along in a generation, there is always resistance to change.  People are creatures of habit so when someone breaks from the norm, audiences don’t always join in initially.  However, if a genuine individual arrives on the scene with an entirely new mindset with actions that back up one’s beliefs, hearts will begin to embrace their message.

Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? – Mark 2:9

In the season premiere of Lost, Season 2 begins with an episode entitled Man of Science, Man of Faith.  Matthew Fox plays a doctor named Jack, the main character who has two encounters with a stranger.  The doctor in Jack struggles to accept the concept of miracles, impossible to comprehend through his scientific mind.  However, when these two are reunited lost on an island, they switch roles as the seed of faith is implanted within Jack.

But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” – Mark 2:10-11

Nearly two thousand years ago, doctor’s didn’t appreciate the message Jesus brought to the sick and sinners.  This new teaching suggested physical healing could be dependent upon forgiveness not science, Matthew 6:14-15.  Using logic, Jesus confronts their skepticism.  Although most denominations reject Jesus’ words today, the sick, sinners and needy are left to wonder, “does permanent healing come from science or forgiveness?”  While the gift of healing is an abused and dying spiritual gift, the Lord’s prayer does suggest that a lack of forgiveness can prevent healing.  As this debate continues today, perhaps the only thing keeping you from experiencing complete healing is unconfessed sin? – James 5:16

by Jay Mankus