Friday, March 29, 2019

DAY 17 - New Praying: For God's Eyes Only (Please click here for English podcast)


1.   Put on your “brakes” and stop for a moment of silence
2.   Wait for God. Breathe deep for God's peace. Exhale your worries.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1.   Think through your day, all the times that made you smile
2.   Thank God for all those moments, and for all those people
3.   Open your heart to praise the Lord

        I love you, O Lord, my strength.         Psalm 18:1
Confession and repentance

1.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in you:

     “Dear Holy Spirit, shine your light into the places of darkness in my life. Show me my sins, everything that blocks me from encountering God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

2.  Through the Holy Spirit, examine yourself for a short silence and then pray:

     "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and being victorious over death and sin. I confess my sin to you(pause, to tell Jesus what the Holy Spirit has shown you). Forgive my sins by your blood and help me follow you. Holy Spirit, fill me that I may be able to receive your gift to love God and His people. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."

The Word

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
“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 this day 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 evil.
                                                        Matthew 6:5-13

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"

My Listening
     How important to us are the three standard obligations for Jews, namely giving , praying and fasting? Are they also the basic standard obligations for Christians? I think so. But be careful, because Jesus says that even if you fulfill those standard obligations, it is useless if your motive is not pure.      

      Bishop N.T. Wright says :     

Jesus wants us to be so eager to love and please God that we will do everything we should do for his eyes alone.              

N.T. Wright. Matthew for Everyone, Part 1. Louisville,KY:Westminster  John Knox Press, 2004, p.55.          

       If you give, pray and fast for catching other people's attention so that they praise how good you are, or to prove how faithful you are, it would be useless.     Offering money to God (your tithing), giving money to the poor, praying, and fasting are all deeply rooted in a true and faithful relationship with Jesus. If you have that intimate relationship with Jesus, then you will have a new way of giving to Jesus and being with Jesus. For His eyes only.     

       Jesus' prayer (The Lord's Prayer) is to point us to this intimate relationship. It is not about getting what you want but giving your heart to God and trusting that He is going to provide you with what you need, and not what you want.      The Lord's prayer is our plea for the Kingdom of God to become a reality.  It is to have heaven break out on earth so that we can experience the real presence of God and the glory of heaven. It is prayer that reflects our intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father; it is not prayer for showing off our eloquent words to others. It is being with God and for God's eyes only.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Lead us to be able to establish a true intimate  relationship with you so that we can have a better relationship with our family members and friends that they can see you in us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. 

Reflect on these questions:
1. Do you ever think that Christians are hypocrites because their lives do not look like Jesus but like they are performing a show for other people's eyes? Do you have family and friends who are like that?

2. As you follow Jesus in your life right now, do you think that your life looks like Jesus? Why or why not?

3. How do you usually pray? Is it like a routine, or does it feel fresh every day? Or is it a bit of both?

Family Corner:
1. In your family, how do you pray together? If you have this practice, how can you continue to go deeper in prayer? If you don't have this practice, how can you begin praying together?

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