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By PASTOR JOSEPH CHOI 12 May, 2017
Author: Jason Kim, NBCC Worship Leader

“And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”

‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭20:22-24‬ ‭(NLT)


The only thing Paul was certain at this point of his life and ministry was being jailed in every city and suffering. Holy Spirit told him that. Instead of being scared and discouraged, Paul claims "My life is worth nothing unless..."

Our lives are worth nothing. Unless we use it to tell others that Jesus died for them and rose again. 

I pray that God will pour out His Spirit to wake us up inside to feel that truth in our hearts. Do you feel empty? Do you feel like your life is not worth anything? You're partially right. It is worthless! UNLESS we live for Jesus who died and rose for us.

Tell this truth to yourself. Your family. Not only tell others the Good News but serve them. Serve your father. Your sister. Unbelievers at church. Struggling Christian brothers and sister.

That's the purpose of our praise and worship team. And being the church. To proclaim AND live like our lives are worth nothing unless we tell others about Jesus, not just with words but also with actions by serving them

Keep moving forward. Becoming men of God.

 - Jason Kim
NBCC Worship Leader
By PASTOR JOSEPH CHOI 16 Mar, 2017

A Christian friend of mine started to advocate for gay rights and their belief in same sex marriage. He became a spokes person for a new organization to promote an awareness and dialogue with conservative Christian organizations and with a goal to change their perspective on biblical views about marriage. This is their mission statement:

Our mission is straightforward: Evangelicals for Marriage Equality exists to cultivate a new conversation on the issue of civil marriage equality, so that evangelicals understand that it’s possible to be a faithful Christian and a supporter of same-sex marriage.

Below was my response back to my Christian friend supporting same sex marriage.  After he read what I wrote on my facebook page, he deleted me out of his friendship page. Ouch! That hurts! I listened to his, but I guess he didn’t want to listen to me. It seems the word “tolerance” only has one direction.

 

Part I

SAME SEX MARRIAGE AND BEING A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN

In your organization’s mission statement, it is stated, “so that evangelicals understand that it’s possible to be a  faithful Christian and a supporter of same-sex marriage.” What does it really mean to be a “faithful Christian?” Who are we being faithful to and what values do we hold onto as true followers of Jesus Christ? As a “faithful Christian” do we neglect the “Great Commission” and put on a new “Cause” with a NEW “SOCIAL GOSPEL”?  Do we follow the whole counsel of God or pick and choose the Jesus we only want and make Him our vessel? The Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Muslims have created their own Jesus. Are we moving towards that direction? Even the 2011 New International Version Bibles have started to change the gender from its original meaning to fit the culture.  WAS THE BIBLE WRITTEN TO SUPPORT THE CULTURE?

Did Jesus come to make everyone happy and have people live the life style they want? Was God’s freely given “grace” be taken advantage to benefit the agendas of man?  So, then what did Jesus mean when he said, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” (Luke 12:51)? In your blogs, articles, and interviews, you talk about God’s “grace” and “love” and how we as Christians should follow Jesus teachings on it. Then, how do we follow what Jesus clearly taught with His action in Matthew 21:12-13? Should we ignore Jesus driving out with His anger on the people who were simply doing what they been doing for years. I’m sure some of them have families and the work they were doing was the only thing bringing food to their starving children.

WHERE WAS JESUS’ “GRACE” AND “LOVE”? Why did he physically and with a whip (John 2:15), had to throw them out?  Why didn’t Jesus be a peace-maker and have a nice dialogue between grown adults? By throwing them out, Jesus clearly made a judgment. Jesus is teaching us NOT to negotiate or make trade with evil: “Take these things away: do not make my Father’s house a house of trade” (John 2:16). Romans 12:9 reminds us to “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” These are very strong words to “hate evil” and “cling to good.” The word hate in its original meaning is to “intensively dislike it” and cling means to “glue together” or to “cement.” Jesus is clearly teaching us to intensively hate evil and cement ourselves to the one who can only be good. If we are to be “faithful Christian” then we must be “imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1). Are you willing to imitate Jesus?

Does the meaning of a “faithful Christian” is to support and accept the new “social gospel”? Whatever happened to preaching the whole counsel of God?

Acts 20:25-27 (ESV)  
25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all,  27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

Should we think like the world and give religious consumers what they want, not necessarily what the Bible says is needed? If we do what the religious consumers want, then can we like Paul say, “I am innocent of the blood of all”? [The word "Blood" stands for being lost eternally. In another other way of saying, "I am innocent if any of you loses eternal life."] When you are in front of Jesus, will you accept the blood of innocent men, women, and children that was led astray by the “social gospel”? In Acts 18:6 the Jews reject Paul in the city of Corinth: “And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Paul is telling us that he is innocent of the blood not because he didn’t speak of the “whole counsel of God” but because they wouldn’t let him speak it. They didn’t want to hear it. Thus, it was to go on their own blood.

I do not want the blood on my head for not speaking the whole counsel of God. I desire and want to be a “faithful Christian” and speak the “whole” truth. I will make it clear as a pastor: I do not think it is wrong for people of same sex to get married if they are NOT believers in Jesus Christ. Homosexuality was rampant in the Old and New Testament times. All throughout biblical history, the Greek and Roman empires existed alongside temples and shrines with female and male prostitutes. Homosexuality was common and normal practice and for some cultures it was part of their nobility right. Because of this life style and the nature of man’s heart, the New Testament was written to teach believers in Christ to live in the whole counsel of God; holy (1 Peter 1:16) and separate as His chosen people. But, if we call ourselves true believers in Jesus, then we should not be supporting Satan’s strategies of tarrying down what God himself instituted.

I’ve stood silent long enough and stayed quiet, trying not to bring any division, but the push to change young and old Christian minds to Satan’s agendas by misinforming the public with partial biblical knowledge has brought more danger and harm to those who are seeking God’s truth. I have many cousins, nephews, nieces, church members, youth group kids, and many children who on my social media network. I do not want them to be biblically confused and be influenced by the devil’s lies. My silence was too long and I have seen enough Christians hurt by the lies of devil. I’ve decided to fight back with the truth and tell the world what it means to be a true faithful follower of Jesus Christ and I hope that you will join me in fighting this spiritual warfare.

Ephesians 6:10-13 (ESV)  
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

The bottom line:
At the day of Judgment, what will you say in front of Jesus?

Continue to Part II >>>
 

Also, listen to Minister James McCullum speak on the topic of 
“What is an Ideal Marriage?”

Minister James has been teaching Bible study at his law firm
for many years and has counseled numerous men on their marriages. 
His wife has been a marriage therapist for many years 
and both have impacted married couples towards Christ.

By PASTOR JOSEPH CHOI 16 Mar, 2017

From the Book

New Beginning
I’ve Accepted Christ – Now What?
A Discipleship Guide for New Believers
(Chapter 12, pp. 129-140)

By Joseph Choi & W. Jae Lee

Once you have familiarized yourself with the Lord’s Prayer and have become comfortable applying it on a daily basis, learning about other ways of praying will break the routine. Believe it or not; it is easy to get into a rut praying if you let it. Consistently seeking God through prayer is a spiritual battle, one that can easily be lost if every effort isn’t made to win it. Prayer is so powerful; we dare not miss out on the medium God has provided for drawing us closer to Himself. The fact that He has included us in His plans is amazing, and His plan is to accomplish His will through our prayers.

James 5:13-16 (NIV)  

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them  pray . Is anyone happy? 
Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? 
Let them call the elders of the church to  pray  over them 
and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 
15 And the  prayer  offered in faith will make the sick person well; 
the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other 
and  pray  for each other so that you may be healed. 
The  prayer  of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

 

Apostle Paul told the Colossians that he is constantly praying for their spiritual growth.

Colossians 1:9-11 (NIV)  

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, 
we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God 
to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom 
and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life 
worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: 
bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 
11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,

 

Here is an example of the ministry of intercession. Paul is praying for people he never met to grow in their relationship with God. The apostle Paul is petitioning God to fill the Colossians with “the knowledge of his will,” so they will bear “fruit in every good work,” “being strengthened with all power,” and “have great endurance and patience.” God wants this for every believer so if you would like to know how to pray for any believer, follow the way that Paul prayed for the Colossians. Three more of Paul’s intercessory prayers are recorded in the books Philippians and Ephesians:

Phillipians 1:9-11 (NIV)  
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more 
in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able 
to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 
11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—
to the glory and praise of God.

 

Ephesians 1:15-19 (NIV)  
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith 
in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 
16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened 
in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, 
the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. 
That power is the same as the mighty strength

 

Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV)  
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. 
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 
18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, 
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 

As you can see Paul doesn’t pray lightly. He prays that every believer reach his full potential, the fullness of God. If God answers this prayer, and He will, we will all become just like Jesus, in whom “the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form” ( Colossians 2:9 ). Don’t pray light prayers like, “Lord bless him” because how are we to know if He did it. Be specific as possible so there is no doubt that God did it. This way the glory will go to Him. If I pray that God fill you with the knowledge of His will, I will know He has answered when you grow to be more like Jesus. The reason why Paul asks God to fill the Colossians “with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,” is so that they “may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” The proof of being filled with the will of God is a righteous life. When we pray, we’re not trying to cover all the bases so if something happens, we can credit God with the result. Instead, we reason according to our knowledge of who God is so that our prayers are related to what He wants us to do. In this way the more we know God and pray according to His will, the more of our prayers get answered. The reason why Jesus got all of His prayers answered is because He knew the Father’s will perfectly.

We don’t just pray to get God to do something. Is a favor or a task the only reason you talk to your friends or family members? Paul told the Ephesian believers, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” ( Ephesians 6:18 ). What do you talk about with your family and friends? Everything. What should you talk about with the Lord? Everything, especially strength for God’s people. A very popular and practical way to communicate with the Lord is by praying through the acronym “A.C.T.S.” As explained next the procedure will help you keep in mind the areas to address during prayer. You won’t miss anything if you follow the guideline of A.C.T.S.

 

A.C.T.S.

The acronym A.C.T.S. is a simple method to help new believers to pray:  Adoration,  Confession,  Thanksgiving and  Supplication. This model comes from Philippians 4:6.

Phillipians 4:6 (ESV)  
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Whether we use A.C.T.S. or others such as P.R.A.Y. (Praise, Repentance, Appreciation, & Yearnings), all help to direct us to God. As you mature in prayer, you may decide not to use them because your relationship with the Lord will become more fluid and spontaneous. It will be more like real life. Until you get to that comfortable point, use these guidelines to keep you focused on Him.

Adoration: I (Joseph) remember when my daughter said to me her first word “daddy.” I was thrilled that she would recognize me and honor me by saying “daddy.” God is no different in that regard. God is deserving of our praise, and it pleases our Lord to hear us offer words of adoration. I encourage you to be very specific. Once you get familiar with the Bible, you can read aloud passages that honor and glorify Him or use specific phrases such as “Lord, you deserve all the praise, honor, and glory,” “For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods ( Psalm 95:3 ).”

Confession: Acknowledgment or the declaration of guilt directly to God through prayer clears the way for deeper fellowship with Him. If we knowingly withhold our confession, God is not going to respond. Why should He? God will not be manipulated. We can’t fool Him. Simply say, “Lord, I have sinned against you, I have done _____________________,” “God, this person has hurt me and I have held a grudge toward him for ______. Please help me to let it go, and enable me to forgive him.” The objective is to be honest about our heart condition to an almighty God who knows us and desires to forgive us.

Thanksgiving: People experiencing times of difficulty, hardship, and trials find it difficult to be grateful. However, as a new believer in Christ you understand that your life is now completely different. You have everything to be thankful for. Your eternal destiny has been changed. You have an enduring relationship with the heavenly Father. You have His sovereign protection. When you die, no matter how difficult life may be now, you will spend eternity with Him. You’ll have a brand new body that doesn’t age, never tires, enjoys everything, and lives forever. Comparatively speaking, even if we lived a thousand years full of pain and suffering, next to eternity, that would still be nothing. Any finite number divided by infinity is still zero. Tell God, “Thank you for forgiving me and loving me in spite of my sinfulness,” “Though, I cannot walk, I thank you for this wheelchair that you provided.” It was so encouraging to hear a man born blind say, “The first thing I will ever see is the Lord when I get to heaven.” Not many people can say that. That believer was rejoicing over his blindness, and thankful for the reality of his future with the Lord. With that kind of attitude, I’m sure his present relationship with the Lord is filled with joy and contentment.

Supplication: This part of the prayer model is to make requests to the almighty God. But it doesn’t begin until after you have given God adoration, confession of your sins, and expression of gratitude. Make a request such as “God, please help with ____________.” But be willing to give the request to God so He can bring about the outcome He desires. This is an important principle to follow. Jesus Himself said, “May Your will be done,” knowing that He would die the next day (Matthew 26:42). Jesus entrusted the outcome of His life to His sovereign Father. Even though Jesus experienced an excruciating death, He redeemed you and me. Jesus had in mind His own comfort but submitted to the Father’s will. The result was infinitely better. Had Jesus not gone to the cross, we wouldn’t be writing this book right now and you and I would still be living in sin. Praise Jesus for submitting to the Father’s will.
To close go back to “Adoration.” Praise Him once again before saying, “Amen.” He is deserving.

 

When and How Long to Pray

I am convinced prayer is the determining factor between mild stirrings and deep breakthroughs in life. The difference between mediocrity and greatness is measured by your prayer life. The more we pray the more God works. Jesus demonstrated that prayer was His secret source of spiritual strength and the reservoir of real refreshment. Even when he was very busy, he was never too busy to pray. Prayer was the first of Jesus’ daily activities and appointments and the first item on his calendar ( Mark 1:35 ).
Though you can pray anywhere at any time on any day, it is best to set a consistent time each day. Begin by setting a time either at night or early morning Monday through Sunday. Start with fifteen to thirty minutes of prayer time, including Scripture reading.
I (Joseph) operated my own business for many years and used this opportunity to go into my office early to pray and read my Bible. After a solid time of prayer and the Word, I would turn the sign to “open” for business. Those vital moments with the Lord gave me discernment and wisdom in business matters, helping me to successfully grow the business as I applied Christian principles.

 

Consistent Place to Pray

Going to my office early and on a daily basis prepared my mind to meet with the Lord. I could communicate with the Lord without any distractions. If Jesus had a favorite place to pray during His earthly life, the Mount of Olives was certainly one of them. Inside the Mount of Olives was a garden called Gethsemane which means “the garden of the oil press.” Jesus often went there to pray, and it was there He was found praying when they arrested Him before His crucifixion.
For Moses the place to commune with the Lord was the Tent of Meeting. This particular tent was made sacred because of the divine dialogue that went on inside between Moses and God. When Moses went inside, distractions were minimized, and it made the meeting time with the Lord a very special occasion. Moses would come out refreshed and renewed, ready to handle the stresses of the day. His time with the Lord prepared him to deal with complicated situations and difficult relational issues.

Exodus 33:7-11  
7 Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp 
some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” 
Anyone inquiring of the LORD 
would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. 
8 And whenever Moses went out to the tent, 
all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, 
watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses went into the tent, 
the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, 
while the LORD spoke with Moses. 
10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud 
standing at the entrance to the tent, 
they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. 
11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.

 

Journaling

During prayer, I would make petitions and ask questions, often receiving answers directly from reading His Word. As I received answers from the Scriptures, I would write them down and reflect on them. The more I meditated upon the answers, the clearer it became. The clarity helped me make the right decision in what I was contemplating. Spending time with the Lord was amazing every time. God would bring a thought to mind or reveal an insight through His Word, which I would write down. When the messages were not clear, I would pray daily until the Lord gave me clarity. At every crucial decision point of my life, I noticed in my journal that God had not only answered my prayers, but showed me better paths to choose.
We’re all busy, so why add another activity to my schedule you ask? Plain and simple, journaling helps you remember the goodness of God. If we don’t journal, we might forget what God brought to our minds. If He gives direction, speaks to our hearts, or convicts us of something important, shouldn’t we remember them? When God gives us a special dream or a unique vision, journaling will help us not to forget it. Years later, when it gets fulfilled, you can actually trace it back to its origins and remind yourself of the goodness of our great God. During my time of trials and difficulties, I have often looked back on my journal to remind myself of how God had always shown up and prevailed in my situations. He has never let go of His love for me and my family. Let me encourage you to try journaling for 30 days, and if you see the benefits, continue it for one year. After a year, re-evaluate. I predict you won’t be able to stop, but it’s strictly up to you.

 
 

Make sure to check out other posts regarding the series on Prayer!
Importance of Prayer
Understanding the Lord’s Prayer

 

Would you like to read more?
You can order this book from www.amazon.com

By PASTOR JOSEPH CHOI 16 Mar, 2017

From the Book

New Beginning
I’ve Accepted Christ – Now What?
A Discipleship Guide for New Believers
(Chapter 10, pp. 112-117)

By Joseph Choi & W. Jae Lee

For close to a year, I prayed through Matthew 6:9-13 and learned amazing things which I used to take for granted. Eventually, learning the basics of prayer helped me through college; it helped me find a career and my wife; it helped me understand what it meant to be a husband, a father, a leader, and most importantly prayer helped strengthen me in times of trials and tribulations. Why would such a holy God answer your prayers? It is because you have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. You are a child of God, and He loves you.

Romans 8:16 (NIV)
16   The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit
that we are God’s children.

How important is prayer? Prayer was so important that it was the last thing Jesus taught his disciples before he died. If you knew you were going to die the next day, what would you teach your disciples? Jesus chose prayer as His legacy, and it continues to this very day, even to you.

Matthew 26:36 (NIV)
36   Then Jesus went with his disciples
to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them,
“Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

Jesus knew that he would die the next day, so he took his disciples to a place called Gethsemane to pray ( Matt. 26:36 ), but when he returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked ( Matt. 26:40 ). Jesus told the disciples to “watch and pray” and again in verse 41. Later, Jesus returned to find them sleeping again, “So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing” ( Matt. 26:44 ).

If prayer was paramount to Jesus’ life and ministry, then it must be a priority for us too. Prayers are recorded throughout the Old Testament, John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray, and the disciples of Jesus realized that they needed to be taught how to pray so they asked:

Luke 11:1 (NIV)  
1   One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.
When he finished, one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

What Jesus taught them was not a prayer to be memorized and recited as a ritual. It was a prayer guideline, format or structure for the disciples to build on. God wants meaningful dialogue with us and isn’t interested in routine or vain repetition. In fact, God seeks those who worship Him in sincerity and truth. Our relationship with Him must be totally genuine and intimately personal. You don’t want someone to talk to you like a robot. Neither does the Lord.

Matthew 6:7 (NIV)  
7   And when you pray,
do not keep on babbling like pagans,
for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

God wants a close, personal relationship with each of us. Knowing how to pray will not come naturally for most new believers; it will take time, consistency, and patience but most importantly a driving passion to seek God’s face. The “Lord’s Prayer” is a framework for every kind of praying. In the beginning of your prayer journey, it will be helpful to memorize key words until you feel comfortable enough to move to the next level. So rather than repeating the Lord’s Prayer verbatim, you can address your concerns by topics. Remember, Jesus tells us not to ramble on during prayer. He knows what’s on our hearts. Our words should be few. The effective prayer is not measured by how loud you pray, or how long you pray, but how submissive and sincere you are.   Proverbs 16:2   tell us, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.”

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)  

9   “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.’

Is that it? It seems so short and simple. Don’t be fooled. Jesus was introducing to his disciples the basics, but there’s a lot of meat on those bones. As the disciples matured and grew to better understand these primary concepts, they learned to pray more effectively. But most importantly they learned how to relate with their heavenly Father in the most intimate and appropriate way. They saw the Lord move in ways that even went beyond some of the things the Lord did on earth ( John 14:12 ,   Acts 2:41 ).

Short Answers:   Relationships in
The Lord’s Prayer ( Matthew 6:9-13 )

“Our Father”:   Father and Child

“Hallowed be your name”:   God and Worshiper

“Your Kingdom come”:   King and Subject

“Your will be done”:   Master and Servant

“Give us … bread”:   Provider and Recipient

“Forgive us our debts(sins)”:   Savior and Sinner

“Lead us not into temptation”:   Leader and Follower

“Deliver us from evil”:   Protector and Deliverer

As you can see Christ was teaching the disciples the different aspects of our relationship with the Father. In every line of the prayer there is a relationship emphasized. It begins with a familial connection and ends with a deliverer tie. We relate to God in all these ways. We have a role in the dialogue. Through prayer there is an appropriate interaction taking place between God and us. You may not see it in the prayer, but God is responding back to the believer. You would be surprised how often He speaks to us when we pray. We’ll see how that happens in the next chapter.

“Short Answers”:   Primary Points in Prayer

“Point 1″:   The supreme purpose of prayer is to honor and glorify God.

“Point 2″:   Prayer is an opportunity for God to manifest His goodness and glory to the believers.

“Point 3″:   If you do not know how to pray then ask the Holy Spirit to help you.

Romans 8:26 (NIV)  
26   In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,  
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

 
 

Make sure to check out other posts regarding the series on Prayer!
Understanding the Lord’s Prayer
Growing in Prayer

 

Would you like to read more?
You can order this book from www.amazon.com

By PASTOR JOSEPH CHOI 16 Mar, 2017

From the Book

New Beginning
I’ve Accepted Christ – Now What?
A Discipleship Guide for New Believers
(Chapter 11, pp. 118-128)

By Joseph Choi & W. Jae Lee

Jesus said, “When you pray, say Our Father…” What an incredible privilege it is to dialogue with our Great God! King David, when still a shepherd boy looking up at the stars, thought it was remarkable that the Almighty Creator God would even take the time to think of man. He wrote in Psalms 8:3-4, “3   When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,   4   what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”

John 14:13 (NIV)  

And I will do whatever you ask in my name,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Now, Jesus was inviting the disciples to have a father-son relationship with God instead of just a master-slave kind. This was more than they could comprehend. Because the Old Testament rarely referred to God as Father, the disciples found it difficult to address God in this way. However, Jesus brought to us a new way of connecting with God as a loving Father. He gave the disciples the relationship He had with the Father. For over three years, Jesus modeled for them the kind of personal relationship they should pursue with the Father.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)  

9   “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.’

Brief Summary:  The Lord’s Prayer contains two sections. The first section deals with God’s glory (vv. 9-10) and the second with man’s need (vv. 11-13). Furthermore, each section is composed of three petitions (appeals or requests). The first three are petitions on behalf of God’s name, His Kingdom, and His will. The second three are petitions for daily bread, forgiveness, and protection from temptation. Jesus didn’t tell the disciples, “This is   what   you should pray.” Instead He told them   “This, then, is how you should pray.”   The disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them a prayer but to teach them “how” to pray. To paraphrase Jesus was saying, “Pray then, in this way,” or “Pray along these lines.”

Our Father in heaven:  The Almighty God is “Our Father,” who is worthy of our adoration, praise, and honor. There is no earthly father like He. Therefore, as believers, we are to pray to our Father with a childlike respect, love, and confidence. “In Heaven,” are all the resources that are available to us when we trust God as our heavenly supplier, but we must seek the giver of gifts and not just the gifts. It would be inappropriate and dishonoring to approach our heavenly Father for all the things He could provide and not want to have anything to do with Him.

Hallowed be Your name:  Another word for “hallowed” is “holy.” So, when saying, “hallowed be your name” in essence you are saying, “Let Your name be holy on earth as it is holy in heaven.” Even the angel’s cried out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). Therefore, when you pray “Hallowed be your name,” you are treating God with the adoration, respect, and honor that He deserves. We are saying to the Creator that He deserves the utmost worship, and we do this by honoring His name because His name is who He is.

Your kingdom come:   God is the King over His dominion, and the King is inseparable from His kingdom. When we pray “Your kingdom come,” we are recognizing that God is the ruler of our lives, and we want to see Him, ruling over the entire world. And if He is the King, we are His subjects, privileged to serve Him in any way He commands. We ought to be constantly concerned with applying His “kingdom” principles in our daily lives. All that is good and right about heaven is what we want on earth. His rule, His presence, His joy, and His fellowship are all included in the plea.

Your will be done, on earth as it is heaven:   This aspect of prayer is affirming your submission to God’s plan for your life. When you say “Your will be done,” you are praying first that God’s will become your will and not only that but that His will be the only will on “earth as it is in heaven.” What is the point of declaring supremacy of His will? Our will and His will are in conflict in an on-going battle. If we don’t remind ourselves that we are serving Him instead of the other way around, we will live like He exists for us. We can never forget that we exist for Him. We have joined His cause so we follow His plan. We must have no will of our own. We must do everything that pleases Him (John 8:29).[For further understanding of God’s Will for your life, go to Part 5: “Knowing God’s Will”]

Give us today our daily bread: The word “bread” is a symbol that stands for all our physical needs. It is breathtaking to understand that a Holy and Mighty God that created the universe and who is completely self-sufficient, would even consider caring and supplying our physical needs. How wonderful it is that we should know a God that truly provides. Just think how much you would care about your children’s needs. Now multiply that by a million. That doesn’t even come close to how much He cares about your needs. Do you think He will provide those needs?

Matthew 6:32-33 (NIV)  

32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.   33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors:   The principle behind this process is that as a child of God, you are simply saying “I am sorry Lord for the wrong (sin) I have done. Please forgive me.” Repentance from the heart restores the fellowship we have with the Father. (A distinction needs to be made here between a relationship and fellowship. We make this distinction for this section only because sometimes the word relationship is used synonymously with the word fellowship, as in a good relationship or a bad relationship with another person.) Fellowship occurs in the context of a relationship. Once we become believers we have a relationship with God that never changes. We are His children forever. But our fellowship with our heavenly Father can have its ups and downs like our human relationships.

When I (Jae) offend my wife, I may end up on the couch because our fellowship is broken, but our relationship or marriage doesn’t change unless we get a divorce. A more permanent illustration is with my son. If we have broken our fellowship in one way or another, we can restore that fellowship by apologizing and forgiving, but our relationship will never change in a zillion years. We will be father-son forever.

All of our sins have been wiped clean, past, present, and future, because of the cross. We suffer no eternal consequences because of our sins. We only suffer fellowship-wise if we don’t repent. Therefore, we seek forgiveness in order to be renewed in our fellowship with the Father. Sin that is not confessed is not forgiven (1 John 1:9). We may get away with it when relating to people, but not with God. And, since sin separates us from God, forgiveness restores the fellowship in the case of the believer and in the case of the unbeliever forgiveness begins his relationship with the Father. Get used to repenting because you never want anything to hinder your fellowship with the Father.

The condition attached to asking for forgiveness attests to the seriousness of God’s concern for our fellowship with other people. If we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us which means our unwillingness to forgive others keeps our fellowship with the Father from being restored. Then, we can never have fellowship with God without restoring our fellowship with others. It cannot get any clearer than that.

Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)  

14For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.   15But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

This stands to reason. If Jesus came to earth for the purpose of providing forgiveness for mankind, then it is the most important agenda God has. What would it say about us if we say we want Your forgiveness God, but other people can’t have ours? We’re not saying “Your will be done.” But that’s what we consented to in the beginning of our prayer. When it comes to forgiveness, be as generous as your heavenly Father is, and He will bless you with sweet fellowship with Him.

And lead us not into temptation:   First and foremost, we must understand that God does not lead anyone into a situation to be induced to commit sin, nor would a Holy God tempt anyone. “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me. ’For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” (James 1:13). After rebirth the heart desire of the believer is to avoid sin and the consequences that follow. It happens naturally as the result of the Spirit’s indwelling presence, which means that temptation is now greater and the fight more intense. We feel threatened by sin. Our awareness of what displeases God increases so we have to be more diligent about being pure. This is why we pray, “Steer us away from temptation.” We don’t want to be in its proximity. We don’t even want a whiff. We never want to sin against God by falling into temptation. We only want to honor and glorify Him.

But deliver us from the evil one:   When you accepted Jesus Christ as Lord over your life and you surrendered your heart to the Father, Satan lost another one. I don’t know about you, but I hate losing. Imagine a greedy, selfish, egotistical, hedonist, of the worst kind losing a prized possession to somebody else. Do you think he’s going to sit around and accept defeat maturely? Consequently, expect a tenacious fight to get you back or at least expect Satan to try to destroy the fellowship you have with the Father. Before you came under the headship of Christ, your conscience and heart had a shallow understanding of wrongdoing; however, after accepting Christ your mind and heart were touched by the Spirit of God’s holiness. Satan is going to fight against that desire for holiness tooth and nail so you’re going to need God’s help to withstand him. Nobody on earth and in heaven has the capacity to defeat Satan except the Lord. Only He can deliver us. But in order for God to “deliver us from the evil one,” we must be under His protection and submit to His Word. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). We are confessing our need for protection and deliverance to our protective Father and we don’t fear the evil one because we have one greater than He who holds us in His hand (Deut. 31:12, 1John 4:4). We are sober about Satan’s power, but we don’t fear him. God holds our destiny in His hands and not the evil one. He will subdue Satan and deliver us from him.

1 Peter 5:9 (NIV)  

9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Sample of How You Can Put the Lord’s Prayer together:

“Our Father in heaven”   you are the Almighty God, who deserves all honor, all praise, and all glory. You created heaven and earth and you created me because you loved me. So,   “Hallowed be your name”   by which I was saved from sin and came into your presence. May your name be lifted up by the way I conduct myself. Father may,   “Your kingdom come.”   Rest in my heart and rule over it as your dominion.

Lord, may I be obedient to what you will show me. Today, I am meeting with _________ so grant me encouraging words; I need to make a decision on _________ so grant me wisdom to know what to do; I need help in __________ so enable me to work diligently; and give me peace about _________.

Lord,   “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,”   and I fully submit to your plans instead of mine. May I do the best that I can but leave the outcome to you and not demand my own way. Daddy,   “Give us today our daily bread,”   for we are financially lacking to pay for our _________.

Lord, thank you for caring for my needs. Father, please   “forgive us (me) our (my) debts (sins).”   I have sinned today, please forgive me for __________. Please help me live free from sin! I can’t do this by myself! I desperately need your help. And, Lord, please help me to   “forgive our (my) debtors”   who hurt me. Help me to forgive them, and let my anger and bitterness toward _________ be removed.

Dear God, “lead me away from temptation” in ________ and help me to overcome _________. Moreover,   “deliver us (me) from the evil one,”   for I fear you and no other, not even the devil, for he is under your dominion. May you rule supremely over my life, for you are my Savior and the Master of my heart. May your Words be my shield and sword, and may your holy name give me strength for today. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Remember, this is just a sample. Don’t make this a ritual you read every day. Change it up. Break the routine. Speak honestly from your heart and enjoy His presence.

Make sure to check out other posts regarding the series on Prayer!
Importance of Prayer
Growing in Prayer

 

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