The Lord's Prayer, Part 3Making the Lord's Prayer Part of Your Life
Leslie Basham: At what age does a child understand the Lord’s Prayer?
Little Girl: "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive trespasses against us. Do not lead us into temptation, deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen."
Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, November 27.
Nancy’s study on the Lord’s Prayer has covered a lot of very practical topics, everything from contentment and money to avoiding temptation and media choices.
Some women have been listening along to this in-depth look at the Lord’s Prayer over the last several weeks. We’re going to hear some of the ways the Lord’s Prayer has affected them. The first question from our audience Nancy is addressing: Can I reword the Lord’s Prayer so a child can understand it better?
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I don’t have any problem with that as long as when the child grows, you make a clear distinction between what is the Word of God and what would be putting the Word of God in your own words. I think adults and children need to distinguish between that.
I would say children who are very, very little can memorize more than you think and can memorize something like the Lord’s Prayer. It’s amazing what they do memorize that they’re just exposed to over and over again. So I think it’s a great point to have the children memorize it.
My suggestion would be that you have them memorize it as it is in the Scripture, but then as they memorize it, you help them talk through and think through what the different phrases and words mean. It’s a great teaching tool. Even if they’re not fully comprehending it at age. I think there are two-year-olds who could quote the Lord’s Prayer. I’m sure three-year-olds can.
Even if they’re not fully comprehending all that those words mean, that’s laying a foundation in their lives. Chances are they’re not even Christians at that age, most likely haven’t come to faith in Christ. But it’s putting the seed of the Word into their hearts.
I am so thankful for all the Scripture that was put into my life when I was a young girl. It has taken root. It is producing fruit in my life, so I’m glad you brought that up because I do think making this a part of your children’s lives is a great thing, not just the Lord’s Prayer but lots of other Scripture as well.
It’s a great prayer to use in your family prayer time, to make a part of your family devotions. You could spend probably months or a year, maybe a lifetime, I don’t know, in your family prayer time just praying through aspects of the Lord’s Prayer, focusing on different aspects of the Lord’s Prayer.
It probably seems to some of you that we have spent a year doing that here at Revive Our Hearts. I think you’ve been able to see if you’ve been with us in this study how rich it is. We have not plumbed the depths of what’s in there. That’s the wonderful thing about God’s Word. You never do plumb the depths.
There are some aspects of God’s Word that your children will get faster and better than you do because we have things in our minds, preconceived notions about what things mean and those children see things from such a fresh perspective. I think that’s part of what Jesus meant when He said you need to become like little children—certainly in the aspect of humility, but also just seeing things with wonder. When they haven’t heard it 2,000 times, sometimes it can have even deeper impact on them.
Woman 1: I’ve known for a long time how easy it is for me to minimize my sin. The Lord used the messages to reveal to me just how shallow my faith is and how much I minimize the power and the grace of God.
I can even remember, going back to my point of salvation, having that be an issue of saying just like we have to acknowledge to God, “Yes, I’ve sinned. I agree with You. I’ve sinned. Please forgive me.” I have given Satan way, way more power than he deserves.
That word deserve to me . . . I can remember for years I was held in bondage saying, “You don’t deserve to be forgiven. There are too many things that you’ve done. There’s no way that you can be forgiven.” That’s discounting that power and that grace of God.
Yesterday I had kind of a revelation. I said, “Yes, Satan, you’re right. I don’t deserve this. I don’t deserve the grace; but you know what? It’s there, and it’s powerful, and it’s free, and it’s a gift, and it’s mine because of Jesus and because of His blood.” I feel like the man in Mark, the father who took his son to Jesus and he says, “If you can, but I need, Lord, for you to help my unbelief.”
Oftentimes my biggest challenge is believing in His faithfulness, in His sovereignty, in His goodness when I know it in my head. There are times where I can feel it in my heart, but somehow I still even block that acceptance.
I just would like to say that if there’s anybody who is allowing Satan to convince them that they cannot come into the kingdom because they don’t deserve it to just say, “Yes, we don’t deserve the forgiveness that is there for us, but it’s there anyway. Take it. Receive it. And just embrace it.”
Pam: What you said yesterday about how temptation doesn’t come from the situation, the source is the desires in our heart and the test just exposes them. That really spoke to me because I just tend to react to situations so much and blame it on the situation. That really made me think, “Well, why am I doing that? Where’s this coming from?” It took me a lot longer to think it through.
Nancy: Let me put you on the spot, Pam. Can you think of an illustration? What you just said is something we all relate to.
Pam: The one that jumps to my mind right away is when I get mad at my kids because they’re making me look bad in some way, or they’re not bringing me glory in some way. I think it’s just the pride and the desire for approval.
I think right after that you said something about demanding to be loved. Temptation hits us in the place our desires aren’t under God’s control and the evil desire becomes an idol. I think that desire for people’s approval is a lot of why I get mad at my kids.
Nancy: Anybody else here who can relate to that?
Kim Wagner: Well, one thing I thought about yesterday when you were sharing is one thing that has helped me is to start recognizing what kind of things I am prone to react to in that way and to be on guard and vigilant and even ask the Holy Spirit, “Prepare me before I react. Convict me.” Because as a mother I think we do have a tendency—whether it’s disobedience or whether it’s just childishness or failure—to react emotionally before we allow the Holy Spirit to guard our hearts and our reactions.
So just to be watchful about the type of situations where we are prone to react. Sometimes if we procrastinated and we’re under pressure, we’re going to react emotionally. Or if we have lack of rest or if we had a bad schedule. Just all of these different things, these guards that you can put in your life to help you to be prepared for those times of emotional squeezing that happen so that we don’t just react emotionally.
Nancy: So that’s why we pray, “Deliver us from evil and from the evil one,” before we get into temptation. We pray it when we’re in the jaws of temptation—or should pray it. And then at times when we have fallen into the temptation, that’s also the time to pray.
It’s always the right time to be praying, “Deliver us from evil and from the evil one.” That’s being watchful. Watchful and prayerful. Jesus said, “Watch and pray so you don’t enter into temptation,” so you don’t fall into temptation.
Woman 2: First I just wanted to say that I’m blessed to be married to a husband that does pray with me. I confess that I don’t always pray the Lord’s Prayer. I’ve thought about it and grown up hearing it. But in our prayer time last night after a lot of conversation, I actually used the Lord’s Prayer in our prayer time, which is very intimate and scary to kind of change up how you pray with your spouse.
I found it to be more intimate with the Lord, and I found that as I prayed the Lord’s Prayer and applied it to the areas of my life and expounded on some of the things that we talked about yesterday, the Lord just continued to broaden my heart and bring things to mind that I could confess and bring things to mind that I could pray for and specific areas of temptation and just kind of share with my husband a little bit what I learned yesterday.
So I would encourage you to pray that way. I would encourage you to pray with your spouse if he’s open to that. I encourage you to pray the Lord’s Prayer because it really revived my heart. It really encouraged my spirit and helped me to think, “Wow, there’s so much more that I can be doing in my prayer life.”
Nancy: That is exactly how the Lord intended that we should use this prayer. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying it just as it is. In fact, I think that probably we ought to do that more often just as a reminder of what those requests are.
The fact that we have spent weeks—how many is it now? Several. We have been taking this prayer apart verse-by-verse, phrase-by-phrase, word-by-word at points and expanding on it, bringing it into the light, meditating on it, dwelling on it. We’ve seen that within each part of the Lord’s Prayer there is an explanation or a description of how we should pray, how we should think, how we should live.
It becomes a pattern for our praying. I think that’s exactly what Jesus intended. When His disciples said to Him, "Teach us to pray." Jesus said, "This is how you should pray." Not just that these are the exact only words you should use when you pray. But this is a pattern to guide you in your praying. You’ll find if you really get acquainted with the Lord’s Prayer, as I’ve been trying to do over recent months myself, that everything you could possibly need or want to pray about somehow finds it way under one or more of these points in the Lord’s Prayer.
I think by keeping this pattern in mind, we make sure that our prayer life is balanced. We’re not just focusing too much on petitions. Or for some who would be more into praise and worship, that we’re not neglecting to bring our petitions before the Lord.
There’s the balance of these things in our prayer life, and I think that’s exactly what Jesus intended. That’s why He said this is how you need to pray. Really in just these few words, we have a great, massive way of praying that would be enough for us to pray for all of our lives.
It’s a great idea to pray it with your husband, by the way. I do hope that you pray with your mate. If your husband is not into that, if he is a believer and has a heart for the Lord, it can’t hurt to ask him, “Is this something you’d be open for us to do together?” Don’t push him. Don’t make him feel like he’s unspiritual or guilty if he’s not there, if he’s not comfortable with that. But for sure let him know that that would be your desire and that it would be a blessing for you.
Even if you’re not in a position where you can pray with your husband, you definitely can pray for him. I think he would have no objection to that in most cases. The Lord’s Prayer gives you some real great understanding as to how to pray, not only for yourself, but for your mate, for your children, for your co-workers, for your pastor, for Christian leaders. Pray it for me. Those are petitions and aspects of prayer that we all need to be covered by.
Woman 3: As I was just sharing with Nancy at the break how beautiful this prayer has been to me as I was so focused in my prayer life on myself. As Nancy was teaching through the Lord’s Prayer, it’s just really taught me to use it as a pattern to be more balanced in my prayer life and to focus more on God. It just changed my life. I was asking the Lord to teach me how to pray.
Nancy: Have you found that as you have focused not just on your needs—and He tells us we should ask Him about those—but as you’ve also focused on worship and praise, has it affected your perspective on the rest of your life?
Woman 3: Well, it’s just taught me that the real focus in my prayer life should be on the Lord. It does change your perspective on your circumstances. I know it has for me. To focus on how good God is, on His power and His majesty. It just has been a real blessing.
Woman 4: I pray for my husband often, but today I was so convicted of how adversely I’m praying for him in that I’m praying for me. I often will say, “God, it’s for Your glory.” My words will say that but my heart doesn’t. How I need to change those prayers!
I wrote on my tablet here, I said, “I love your conviction, Lord. It brings me hope. It brings me victory and release. I know this today, and I pray that, Lord, You will convict me tomorrow and the next day and the next day because I have a short memory and I forget.”
My husband deserves that, but more importantly God deserves that. I keep saying I want my husband to be the leader. I want my husband to do this. I want my husband to do that. I have to start saying, “God, what is for me to do and for me to pray?” It has to begin with changing my heart, my attitude, my ways.
Nancy: And what will bring You the greatest glory, Lord? Because it’s all about You.
Woman 4: Amen. Amen.
Kim: When you were talking earlier about eternity, as we reach the age that I am or like my son says, “I’m halfway to the end,” you start thinking more and more about the temporary nature of our lives and how I so desire to glorify God in the remaining years I have. The Lord knows that’s my desire.
So it’s interesting, in the last couple of weeks, something that He has done. I have a wall clock that some dear friends gave me from Germany. A clock is just a device to measure time, to remind you of how many hours have passed already today, how much is left for the rest of the day.
This wall clock chimes every fifteen minutes during the waking hours. I had neglected to wind it for a long time. You have to wind it every week. So I started it back up for the first time in quite a while and wound it.
As I was going about my day’s activities and the clock chimed for the first time, it was like Ephesians 5:16 came to mind so clearly, “Redeem[ing] the time, for the days are evil” (NKJV). My time is short here. The Lord has been near nearly every time I hear that clock chime. He has been bringing that to mind. Don’t waste any more time. Time is short. Redeem the time.
For you young women that are here, and I know so many of you have such a heart and a passion for God, fuel that passion and take in the Word of Truth. Don’t let it just be an emotional passion. Apply that truth to your life, to be guided by that truth, to make hard choices sometimes, tough choices. Strive to live your life now without regret.
Woman 5: I wonder, Nancy, how many times this morning we’ve heard you use the word hope. I just keep hearing it. It seems like it’s a little louder every time I hear it. You mentioned a little while ago that Satan’s purpose is to make us lose hope.
I’m going back to what Wanda said earlier about the way to keep that hope alive is to focus on God, not focus on our problems. No matter how long they’ve been going on. No matter how hopeless the situation looks. When we focus on God, then we keep hope alive in our hearts.
Nancy: Good word. The woman who has, as have all of us in this room, we’ve had some time in the laboratory of life. Sometimes I wonder, after you see God come through and He delivers and He shows His glory, and then ten minutes or ten days or ten months later we’re in the slough of despond and in despair and how can He do it? How are we going to handle this one? Sometimes I wonder, when He does come through, how could I ever have doubted and how could I ever doubt again? Yet we do.
That’s when I have a sister who reminds me, “Remember, Nancy, worry is sin.” It is because it doesn’t take into account the greatness of God. He has demonstrated and proved it so many times.
Laurie: God spoke to me in a lot of these areas, but one thing that really sticks out is His power. That Yours is the power, God. I know in my own life He’s teaching me that and in my family’s life.
Sometimes right now in my life whenever I hear the word “Father,” my mind reflects on where my relationship with my father right now is. It’s a very difficult situation because he has left our home and a marriage of thirty-one years from my mom who’s faithfully seen God in this.
God has shown us that He is able to give us what we need. He is able to give me what my father gave me as a little girl but can’t now. God is able to give me sufficiency beyond what I can even comprehend. God just really convicted me of the area of that He is the first one I should look to because I know that.
I know that truth and deep in His Word are all the answers for all that I need. So often I go in despair and I think I need an answer right now. I need someone to tell me that I have hope. I need something, and God just faithfully takes me back to His Word.
I am just so thankful, Nancy, for you sharing that truth that the power belongs to Him, and no matter what the situation, His power will be revealed for His glory. That of course goes into His glory and how to pray for His glory and to pray for what is beyond my own desire and my own want for God’s glory. I’m just thankful for God revealing these truths in our hearts.
Nancy: Your belief about prayer will affect your day-to-day choices. We’ve heard about some of those daily choices from Revive Our Hearts listeners. They’ve been listening to this final series on The Lord’s Prayer.
A woman wrote Revive Our Hearts not too long ago. She had been challenged about what she believed about the Lord and about prayer. She wrote,
I am a forty-four-year-old woman, single, never married. I’ve been praying for years that God would bless me with a husband and children. I’ve walked closely with Him and waited, but He has not chosen to bless me that way.
I started to get discouraged and felt as though God wasn’t paying attention to my prayer. So I schemed in my heart to begin a physical relationship with a man who likes me. He is an atheist.
And this woman really was dealing with an issue we’ve talked about in this series on the Lord’s Prayer. Would she pray for God’s will to be done? Or would she pray for her own will to be done?
While she was being tempted to take the situation into her own hands, she attended True Woman '12, the conference Revive Our Hearts hosted just a few months ago.
At that conference she was challenged to seek the Lord over everything else. God spoke to this woman's heart, convicted her of wrong attitudes, and showed her how to take a new path. After True Woman '12, she wrote, “As a result of this conference, I’m choosing purity over sin.”
Just think of turn this woman’s story could have taken if the Lord hadn’t gotten her attention at the True Woman conference. And just think of what God may choose to do with and in and through this woman's life in the years ahead as a result of bringing her to a place of repentance and full surrender.
So many stories just like that one came out of the True Woman '12 conference. Woman after woman said, “I’m going home to make some big changes and seek the Lord in every area of my life.”
I’m so grateful for all the stories that came out of True Woman '12, and are still coming to us. But I have to be honest and say that hosting a conference of this size did put a financial squeeze on the rest of the ministry.
So as we head into December, I’m reminding you of something important. Typically, around forty percent of all the donations we receive in an entire year arrive during the month of December. So we’re asking the Lord to provide in a strong way between now and the end of the year.
Some special friends of the ministry understand how important this is. So they have said, “I want to be part of the story of what God is doing through Revive Our Hearts.”
They want you to be part of the story too, so they are offering to match the gift of every listener between now and the end of the year up to a matching challenge amount of $450,000. Fulfilling this matching challenge will take us a long way in meeting our year-end need. Would you ask the Lord what part He would want you to have in helping to meet that need?
As you give, you'll be joining the story of what God’s doing in women’s lives. In order to make a gift and be a part of that story, give us a call 1-800-569-5959, or visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com.
When we say the word,"Amen," we often use it to mean,"I’m done praying." But did you know that word is rich with far greater meaning? We'll talk about it tomorrow. Be sure to be back for Revive Our Hearts.
Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.
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