God Knows…When I Need Help – Part 1
When you were a baby, you asked for food or attention by crying. Later, your communication skills improved. You learned to say “cookie,” “water,” “help” and much more to communicate your needs. Everybody has needs: babies, teenagers, grandparents. Nobody is able to take care of all their needs entirely on their own. Sometimes we need to ask for help. When we talk to God about our needs, this conversation is called prayer.
Jesus gave His friends a sample prayer, known as the Lord’s Prayer. It is short and doesn’t have long, fancy words. But it can have lots of meaning for us if we take time to think about it carefully.
God Comes First
When we give God His supreme place, then everything else falls into its proper place.
OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. We are God’s children. He loves us. Because we are all God’s children, we all belong to one huge family. You are a prince or a princess, a child of the King of kings. If we are His children, we are willing to be guided by His wisdom.
The first three petitions in the Lord’s Prayer have to do with God.
HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME. The name of God is holy. That means it is different from all other names. It is special because it refers to God and His character. We will not want to use God’s name carelessly. As His child, I will not want to disgrace the family name.
YOUR KINGDOM COME. God is the great King of the universe. On this earth are pockets of rebellion against Him. By letting God rule our hearts, our lives, we are building up His kingdom. God plans a delightful future for His children. Sin will be destroyed someday. The rebellion will be ended. God will then be King of all.
YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. In heaven, God’s will is done perfectly. It is a joy for the angels to serve God, because they know what He is like and they love Him. As citizens of God’s kingdom, we long for God’s will to be done perfectly on Earth as well.
The second part of the Lord’s Prayer deals with our needs past, present, and future. First, it asks for bread, for what we need today to stay alive. Then it asks for forgiveness, what we need to cope with the past. Third, it asks for help in temptation. This puts our future into God’s hands.
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD. God is able to supply us with the things we need. We do not to worry about the future. Our food is the direct gift of God, for nobody else has ever created a seed that can grow. As we get to know Jesus better, as we study His word every day—just as we eat every day, He will give us inner strength.
FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS. We have debts, and God is big enough to forgive them. Sometimes we feel we’re pretty decent. We think sin has nothing to do with us. Sin is not a popular word. But what is sin? It is a debt of selfishness. Everyone runs up this kind of debt—even millionaires!
At other times, we are tempted to feel that our mistakes are so ugly that God won’t even look at us. We feel it’s no use to pray. But when we feel this way, it is the very time to pray. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).
God’s love draws us to Him. When we invite Christ to fill our hearts with His love, we will love others. We will try to understand. We will learn to forget hurts instead of brooding or becoming bitter.
DO NOT LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE. We surrender ourselves to God’s guidance, asking Him to lead us. When you walk with God, He “will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:130. Temptation can mean any testing situation. Meeting temptation with God’s help makes us stronger and better. God will never turn His back on us, and with God on our side we will be save from the Evil One, Satan.
FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER. Like the first sentence of the Lord’s Prayer, this one points to God. Who is in charge? God is. He doesn’t sleep. God has not given up on our world or on you. God is King over all. God has power greater than anyone else. God is deserving of all our praise and everything we can give Him.
AMEN at the end of a prayer means “May it be so.”
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