The Phil Files

Musings & messages on everyday worship, Jesus, and the stuff of life.

Archive for the ‘Lord’s Prayer Everyday’ Category

National Day of Prayer

with 20 comments

Thursday, May 6, in the U.S. we celebrate The National Day of Prayer. (See the companion thoughts on Heartlight.org). I am committing myself to pray for our nation, for other nations in the world where we have Compassion International Children we sponsor, for places I’m going on mission trips this summer, and places where we have mission efforts going on as a church family. I am also committed to praying for those believers who are persecuted and those groups who are under oppression from their government or the anarchy in their streets or their lack of water, food, and proper medicines. I will also pray for those impacted by the flooding in the U.S..

For whom and for what will you pray today? Why not add to the list below and share your prayers. And please remember, this is not a time to bash anyone or any group politically, but a time to offer to God our deepest concerns and greatest hopes that His Kingdom will come to our world, through us, in our time, in ways that unite the world, break down the barriers, and bring Jesus glory.

Thanks to the folks at worshiphousemedia.com for the clip. If you use it, please purchase from them!

And I’d love to see what you are praying for in the comments section below.

Written by phil

May 4th, 2010 at 7:31 am

Lead Us

without comments

Looking at the Lord’s Prayer today, one of the phrases that catches my attention is lead us. Of course for me to honestly pray this, I must be willing to be led, and yes, there is the back side bite on the request. But in an era looking for leaders with integrity, the request to be led is an urgent one and important. And the Lord leads in a myriad of ways — through Scripture, through the Holy Spirit, through the preaching and teaching of the church, through the timely advice of a friend and on and on we could go.

On my mind today, however, is the development of shepherding style leaders (this will be the focus of my next four Thursday heartlight.org pieces). How do we develop folks at all levels of leadership — family, small groups, house churches, preaching ministries, para-church organizations, church elders … — that have the heart of  The Good Shepherd (Psalm 23 and John 10)?

Tim Woodruff is a friend and writer I respect and he has a piece on Lynn Anderson’s Mentor Network website today on the Holy Spirit and leadership. His last paragraph is well worth the price of admission and much more:

Oh, I can build better preachers (“You need more illustrations”) or better managers (“Read this book”) or better pastors (“Visit the visitors!”). But I’ll never take a Simon and create a Peter. Someone bigger than I is required to accomplish that great and needed task. As mentors, our first and ultimate goal must be to unleash that “someone bigger” into the lives of those we touch. If I fail to do that, the best I can hope from my mentoring work is the creation of ministers who never grow larger than me.

Today, as we pray the Lord’s Prayer and ask God to “lead us” let’s keep in mind some specific people that we intentionally pray for by name and ask God to release the power of His Holy Spirit into their lives to develop their leading and shepherding skills, attitudes, and passions, remembering that “as mentors, our first and ultimate goal must be to unleash that ‘someone bigger’ into the lives of those we touch”:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

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.

For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.

Written by phil

October 21st, 2009 at 8:44 am

Kingdom above Claims

with one comment

Today in my Heartlight.org article, Drop the Rope!, I talk about the way we end up playing tug-of-war over a lot of issues that we need to simply agree on — or at least agree to see things a little differently from each other. One key, the focus of the article, is on whether we take mission trips or service trips. Somewhere along the way, the Kingdom of God has got to become more important than our claims to being right about an issue. Of course this applies across the board to a number of issues beside this one.

Pray the Lord’s prayer with me today, focusing on crying out for the Kingdom to come and then let’s ask ourselves some questions about our passion for the Kingdom!

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven
.

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.

For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.

What is an area of spiritual life where you have caught yourself wanting to be right — win an argument — and have lost sight of your passion for God’s rule to break into our world and for God’s reign in your own heart to control your actions and words?

Why do you think it is so easy for us to get into these religious tug-of-wars instead of caring and sharing with those outside our spiritual family?

What is missing on a service trip in Jesus’ name when folks don’t look for opportunities to share the story of Jesus?

What is missing in a mission trip if folks preach and teach in Jesus’ name, but don’t serve others as Jesus did or treat others along the way as Jesus did?

* Which is harder for you, sharing the story of Jesus or caring for those in need?

* Why is one harder than the other?

* What can you do to grow in both areas, but especially in the area of weakness?

* What can we all do to ensure that our efforts in mission trips and in daily life include both caring and sharing?

Written by phil

October 15th, 2009 at 6:39 am

Deliver Us!

with 8 comments

A simple reading of Romans 8 or Genesis chapters 3-11 make clear that we live on a fractured planet. Life as God intended it to be for us is more than a little off center and we are the ones who made it crack and turn askew. But we had help in messing up what God so carefully and graciously crafted for us. We still have that same hellish help to ensure that our world is more than a tad warped and broken.

When we face times of trial, when the fractures of our world break our own hearts and crush our own hopes, is often when we can see Jesus come to us in our storm if we will only look for Him and ask Him to join us in the storm (see Matthew 14:22-33). Jesus taught His closest follower — and us as well — to pray, “deliver us from the evil one.” And in Jesus, we believe that this victory was ultimately secured, but the ultimate moment of realized deliverance hasn’t fully arrived for us so we keep praying the Lord’s Prayer and ask for that deliverance again and again. You see, “the evil one” of whom Jesus’ speaks, is a bit like an awful jack-in-the-box. After a few turns of our broken world, “the evil one” pops back out and leaves his hellish mark. So we pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

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.

For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.

But in addition to praying for deliverance, we also extend Jesus an invitation to join again in our storm and bring us to Himself. I talk about this in my heartlight.org article this week, Riders in the Storm. I encourage you to read that article and also look at the questions which follow.

At some time in each of our lives, we are all going to find ourselves as riders in the storm. How are we going to handle them?

  • What are some of the storms you have faced in your life?
  • So when you were in your storm, to whom did you turn for help?
  • Did you trust Jesus to come and meet you in your storm even though you weren’t aware of his presence at first?
  • Will you look to Jesus in your future storms instead of focusing on the winds and the waves?
  • Will you take risks to find Jesus in your storms, even if those around do not?
  • And if you fall in your storms, will you cry out to Jesus to save you?
  • Do you think it is sometimes necessary to go through storms to discover that the presence of Jesus in your life is real?

Written by phil

October 8th, 2009 at 1:08 am

Dangerous

with one comment

Nothing is more dangerous than this prayer. Nothing is more powerful than this prayer. Nothing invites God into our world more completely than this prayer.

God is sovereign. He can choose to act or intervene or change or shake up or transform our worlds in any way He so chooses. Yet God frequently chooses to wait for us to ask … to pray this dangerous prayer!

“Your will be done!”

Don’t believe this is dangerous? Then go spend time with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 13:32-42). Don’t believe this is both dangerous and glorious? Then go read the words of one of the earliest hymns sung in the early church (Philippians 2:5-11)!

So today, as we say the Lord’s Prayer, let’s pay special attention to the words, “Your will be done!”

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

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.

For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.

Now for some questions related to this theme taken from my Heartlight.org article, Beyond Slogans:

Why do we feel like we have to say something more than “I love you and will stand with you!” when someone faces tragedy, grief, and loss?

  • What are other more meaningful things that we can do besides offer folks slogans?

Do you think some of our slogans are intended to defend God when folks are hurt, angry, or feel abandoned by God in a crisis?

  • What should we do when folks feel this way toward God?
  • How can we help them in ways more important that talk?

What do you consider to be the most meaningful promise found in Romans chapter 8?

  • Does it help you understand our disasters to be reminded that we live in a broken world crying out for deliverance from its bondage to decay?
  • Why is it important that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us regarding matters that are too deep for words?
  • How are the promises of Romans 8:22-29 given power and meaning by the Christ hymn in Philippians 2:5-11 and the example of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 13:32-42)?

Written by phil

September 30th, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Please Deliver

with 3 comments

The Lord’s Prayer reminds us of our dependence and need for something, or really the great Someone, to step in change our situations when we cannot. Resting just beneath the surface of the prayer is the recognition that we face immovable situations more often than we like. Our prayer, in essence if not in substance, is a cry to God that he please deliver us from situations — whether large or small, frequent or infrequent, physical or spiritual — that we have no power to change. At the same time, we are asking God to align our hearts and actions with His work in the world through His reign of grace and glory, character and compassion.

As we pray today, let the act of prayer, the words of this prayer, and the essence of this prayer lead you back to dependence upon the Father and an humble recognition of the areas of your life where only God’s power can move you out of your stuck places and deliver you from your intractable ones.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

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.

For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.

My Heartlight.org article this week, Ain’t Nothin’ New, deals with these ideas and some spiritual practices that can help us align ourselves with God.

Bottom line: Life comes at us “fast” — yes, I know the adverb should be quickly — and we often feel as if we can’t keep up and yet can’t change the circumstances. For me, this old clip from the I Love Lucy show is a humorous reminder of this reality:

A much heavier but relevant way to emphasize this can be found in the Igniter Media video, This Weight I Carry, which you can preview online. Both remind us of the many overwhelming things in our lives that put us in bondage, stick us in a rut, and leave us powerless without God’s intervention.

As we think about these kinds of things, several thought questions seemed relevant:

What is your favorite “God story” — a story about God being at work in the lives of everyday people in Scripture.

  • How did God “showing up” in their life change the situation?
  • What is your favorite “God story” in your life?
  • How did God “showing up” in your life change you even if the situation didn’t immediately change?

Think through the prayers you’ve prayed recently:

  • Were you honest with God about your current situation in life, your struggles, your sins, and your frustration?
  • Did you praise God for Who He is and what He has done in the past?
  • Did you thank Him for the good things and the blessings in your life?
  • Why do you think it is so important to be honest about our emotions in prayer with God?

Why do you think the Bible emphasizes that praise and thanksgiving are so important in prayer?

Who is a friend with whom you could share the deepest struggles of your heart?

  • If you don’t have that kind of friend, who would be blessed by having you be this kind of friend to them?

What group would benefit from you being a part of their team — what volunteer group at church, in the community, at the hospital?

Written by phil

September 23rd, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Lord's Prayer Everyday

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