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Monday, September 16, 2013
Do you have the audacity to pray for your marriage in the way the Bible tells us to?
But how do you pray? Do you pray with confidence? With boldness? With audacity?
Or do you sheepishly approach God with wishful, timid prayers, hoping he might be in a good enough mood to hear and maybe even to answer. Do you pray from a place of faith or of fear? Do you pray as a much-loved, favored child of God, or do you approach God as a sin-drenched beggar?
Our pastor, Greg Haswell, preached an inspiring and powerful sermon on prayer this week, as part of this month's focus on fundamentals of the faith (for more about his excellent series or to hear his sermon go to the Northlands Church God Essentials page).
When I heard it, I knew it would be the basis for my next post.
Pray With Authority
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he prayed the famous prayer we call "The Lord's Prayer." I learned a little Greek from our pastor concerning how Jesus prayed. Bear with the nerd in me, because it really matters!
Here's an excerpt from the sermon notes:
There are four basic moods in the Greek language – subjective, optative, indicative and imperative. The mood itself refers to the attitude of the speaker toward the verb he is using.(If you want to rev up your prayer life, I suggest you download the full sermon notes!)
He didn’t pray that the kingdom of God “might” come. Nor did Jesus pray that the kingdom of God would “hopefully” come. Nor did Jesus pray based on factual appearances that the kingdom of God “needs” to come. (See John 7:24).
- The subjective mood basically has the speaker believing what he says (or prays) “might” happen if certain other conditions occur.
- The optative mood has the speaker “hope” that what he says (or prays) may happen.
- The indicative mood has the speaker say (or pray) what the current situation “appears” to be to him. Jesus didn’t pray in these three moods.
Here is the shock! Jesus prayed the Lord’s Prayer in the Greek imperative mood. Kingdom come! This is the mood of command and authority. Not wishing, wanting, or begging, but COMMANDING the prayer to happen!
I love the way Jesus teaches us to pray with power and authority!
When you pray for your marriage, because you know God is FOR the passion, intimacy and endurance of your marriage, you too can pray imperatively.
- "God, I release intimacy into my marriage!"
- "Father, I call forth passion and a fantastic sex life, because that is how You made it to be!"
- "Lord, You are a restorer and redeemer by nature, and I know You have the power to restore all things. I call on Your nature and Your power to do this in my marriage, starting right now!"
Do you approach God with the boldness with which we are entitled?
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NKJV)
Because Jesus our High Priest has gone before us (that's what the therefore is there for), we have the right to barge right into the throne room of heaven and approach our Daddy God (our Abba Father) with our requests.
We can do this because we know His love is unchanging, unmovable, everlasting and unconditional.
You are God's favorite! Nothing you can do will make Him love you more or make Him love you less. Nothing. It doesn't depend on you having a long enough quiet time (thought that might help you hear from God). It doesn't depend on you reading your Bible enough (though that might help you understand God's nature and how to pray in agreement with it). None of that matters to how much he loves you and wants to bless you.
You can be confident in prayer when you are confident in love.
So pray boldly from a position of favor. Ask knowing that it is God's good pleasure to give you abundantly above all you could ask or seek.
Do these ideas change the way you've approached prayer in the past? I know they are pretty radical. But then, we serve a pretty radical God!
photo credit: andrekr / 123rf.com
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