Monday, June 8, 2009

Prayer, Part 1 (cont.)

Yesterday I opened my message by talking about Nebuchadnezzar II, also called King Nebuchadnezzar the Second. According to an online source, "he lived (630-562 BC), was a ruler of Babylon in the Chaldean Dynasty, who reigned c. 605 BC-562 BC. He conquered Judah and Jerusalem, and sent the Jews into exile. He was traditionally called "Nebuchadnezzar the Great" (Daniel 1:1; Jeremiah 25:11). In contemporary Iraq and some other parts of the Middle East, he is glorified as a historic leader." He is mentioned in the Book of Daniel & we specifically spoke of His pride in claiming to be like God in Daniel 4. I shared that King Nebby was a high chair person that thought the world revolved around him. Much like children do early on in their lives during those high chair days. He was sitting in the "I" chair & claiming to be his own ruler & provider. God stripped him of everything & ultimately brought him to the realization that he was utterly dependent upon Him. Prayer is what you do when you depend on God. We can approach God in prayer & depend on Him as our Father.

“This is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Matt. 6:9 (NIV)

1. HE IS A COMPASSIONATE & CARING FATHER
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who honor Him…” Ps. 103:13 (NIV) (see also 1 Peter 5:7 & Matthew 6:31-32)

2. HE IS A CONSISTENT FATHER
“Every good and perfect gift … is from the Father … who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (NIV) (see also 2 Tim. 2:13 & Psalm 59:10)

3. HE IS A FATHER THAT IS NEAR.
“God did this so people would … reach out for Him and find Him, since He is not far from each of us.” Acts 17:27 (NIV)

• He is never too busy for me.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him…” Ps. 145:18 (NIV)
• He loves to meet my needs.
“If you…know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matt. 7:11 (NIV)
• He is sympathetic to my hurts.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Ps. 34:18 (NIV)

4. HE IS A FATHER THAT IS ABLE.
“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 (NIV)
“(God) is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes!” Eph. 3:20 (LB)


When we realize our need for God & decide to get out of the "I" chair, we can learn to depend on God as OUR FATHER!

PRAYER REMINDS US TO DEPEND ON GOD AS OUR FATHER!
“We are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.” Gal. 3:26 (LB)