Prayer for deliverance from evil - thoughts on the Lord's prayer (Matthew 6:13)

This weekend I'll be preaching on 2 Timothy 2:1-7. And as such I've been dwelling a lot on being a solider of the Lord, on competing according to the rules, and on entrusting ministry to faithful men who can teach others. Well, it's led me to thinking a lot about prayer. A soldier of the Lord prays to please his Commanding Officer. There is a lot of ministry people aren't capable of being entrusted with, but anyone can pray.

Anyhow. I was reading the Lord's prayer this morning.
Our Father 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 us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.  
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
And found it interesting that we're to ask for deliverance from evil. For avoidance of temptation. I think there is a myth that as we mature as believers we'll eventually be able to overcome sin by our own strength. But this simply isn't true. We still need deliverance from above. Help in temptation. We will not become sinless pastor-heroes. In this life we will be not become sinless, temptation-free anything. No matter how big our church is. How successful our ministry is.

Prayer. For deliverance. There is WAY more in this prayer. But his stuck out to me today.

Praying for Missionaries (Andrew Murray)

Some excerpts from Andrew Murray's "The Secret of Intercession."
It is when Christians cease from looking for help in external union, and aim at all being bound together to the throne of God by an unceasing devotion to Jesus Christ, and an unceasing continuance in supplication for the power of God's Spirit, that the Church will put on her beautiful garments, and put on her strength too, and overcome the world.
And then later in talking about intercession for missionaries,
Pray for the missionaries, that the Christ-life may be clear and strong, that they may be men of prayer and filled with Love, in whom the power of the spiritual life is made manifest.
Pray for the native Christians, that they may know the glory of the mystery among the heathen, Christ in them the hope of glory.
Pray for the baptism classes, and all the pupils in schools, that the teaching of God's Word may be in power. Pray specifically for the native pastors and evangelists, that the Holy Spirit may fill them to be witnesses for Christ among their fellow-countrymen.
Pray, above all, for the Church of Christ, that it may be lifted out of its indifference, and that every believer may be brought to understand the one object of his life is to help to make Christ King on the earth.
Bold emphasis mine.

Please be joining me in prayer. The biggest, baddest, strongest, meanest, most significant tool in our belt is prayer. Because our own strength is painfully weak, but in calling on the power of the Almighty, well.... anything can happen.

Our riches - wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked (Rev 3:17-18)

"For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.  I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see." - Revelation 3:17-18

Dwelling on pride this morning this verse is on how our values are not the Lords. What we think is wealth is great poverty and only God's refined gold is true wealth. The wealth that comes from God is true wealth. Not the wealth of this world.

More interesting are the verses that follow: "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." (19&20).

Often we hear this verse quoted in reference to evangelism. This is however, not a verse to the unbeliever, but to the believer. And when He comes in He brings something greater than the wealth of this world. Greater than the things we can find pride in in this life.

God we need God.

Why is the meaning of life?

Frequently when sharing my faith I begin by asking people if the have any idea what the meaning of life is. It never occurred to me (until today) that the question of why is equally as important. Why does it matter at all what the meaning of life is? Why does it matter that there even BE a meaning of life.

In fact in a non-Christian worldview there is little reason to have a meaning of life. If there is no eternity. If there is no creator worth knowing then it doesn't matter what you do. No legacy you leave behind is worth anything more than dust. No children that you love will be affected any differently in the long term than children you beat or hate. In the end everything is utter meaningless. Even horrific pain in this life is merely temporal. Something to return to the dust. So it matters not your reason for living.

The 'what' becomes utterly meaningless without the 'why' and the only reason to pursue the why is having something bigger to live for. Because we are beloved creations of a magnificent creator who is glorified in our satisfaction, therefore it is significant that we understand the 'what' of the meaning of life. Because life is eternal (either in damnation or The Kingdom of God) it matters what we do in this life. It matters that we know. That we seek to find the answer to the meaning of life.

So next time you're sharing. Or someone asks you "What is the meaning of life?" Unless they believe in something your answering the question is pointless. And showing them this well help them to understand that there simply MUST be something greater out there. Otherwise death is a much more swift solution. Drugs are much more comfortable solution. And meaningless, unsatisfying sex is a much more wise solution.

The meaning of life is absolutely insignificant if you don't have a reason to pursue finding it. Only with something greater than this life, greater than this earth, is there meaning to this life. And only via that understanding should anyone care to attempt to answer the question of 'what'.

On the fragility of the human mind

I'm dwelling a bit this week on the frailty of the human mind. It seems we're all a little too close to going over the deep end. In fact a friend of mine just yesterday wrote me to threaten 'bloodshed' on the church where he's been for the past fews to repay what he sees as "hypocrisy."

We're all hypocrites at least in some way shape or form. We all deserve death. But I'm nonetheless confused by a good friend passing over from 'humble servant of the Lord' to 'judge.' And it began for him with depression. Something I've certainly known. Why did the Lord make us so mentally incompetent?

I feel like I'm willing to give up my sin to the Lord. But my mental well being? Well, I'd prefer to keep that in shape by running a lot. I'd rather avoid pills but I'd probably give those a shot before trusting the Lord to help me. Now I'm not bashing on depression meds. Just thinking about how common they are. How in need of the Lord we are in our mental health. Fascinating to me just how fragile we are.

I fear losing it altogether less right now than I do sometimes. But certainly having a focus and direction which I believe to be for the Kingdom of God helps. When I'm directionless I'm most fragile.

Do you feel you have it all together? Do you feel you're teetering on the edge of sanity? Is the Lord holding you together, but often seemingly just barely? Just curious if I'm alone.