Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A.C.T.S. - Supplication

Imagine a young child sitting on her parent's lap, the two of them sharing a tender moment. The child lifts up her face to Mommy or Daddy and says "I'm thirsty. Can you give me something to drink?" There is no hesitation on her part, no fear of rejection. She has asked for something she needs, even if she cannot yet tell the difference between 'need' and 'want.' She trusts that Mommy and Daddy will take care of her, because she knows they are good. In such an innocence and trusting spirit, God the Father wants us to approach Him with our requests. Like a child, we need to fully realize our dependence on Him and ask without ulterior motives. Imagine yourself as that child, asking the Father for your needs as the Lord's Prayer delineates.

Give us this day our daily bread...

this day...- I've heard it said that if we were to ask God for an annual supply of bread that He likely would not hear from us except once a year. A child rarely knows what he needs tomorrow, and only asks for what he needs today. Similarly, we are to have priority consciousness of what this day's needs are and not shortchange God's provisions for today for want of tomorrow's. God calls a fool the one who arrogantly relies on wealth and/or human planning to give fullness in life but doesn't seek God's will for even daily living (Luke 12:16-18). Let us not make this mistake ourselves.

...our daily bread - the staff of life is used literally, but also metaphorically of Jesus Christ Himself. Bread feeds our bodies. Jesus, the Bread of Life, feeds our spirits. Without either we die, and so we must ask God to grant us both to live for Him. "Jesus declared 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry. He who believes on me will never be thirsty.'" (John 6:35) "Man does not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." (Deut. 8:3)

And lead us not into temptation,

Walking with God is a walk of dependency. The path that belongs to Him is straight, but we are small and severely myopic to the spiritual reality we live in, that the path He is leading us on is the inward journey toward holiness. So we must ask God to steer us ever away from the temptations that our minds conjure up for our hearts to lust after. Of His faithfulness to us, Jesus says, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so that you are able to bear it." (1 Cor. 10:13)

but deliver us from evil.

God doesn't simply save us from His wrath toward our sin. He saves us from the defiling reach of evil that we should feel in every heartbeat. "Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. A good man produces good things from his storeroom of good, and an evil man produces evil things from his storeroom of evil." (Matt. 12:34-35) Jesus directs us to pray for our deliverance from the grasp of sin in our lives. We are to run to Him, cling to Him, and seek refuge in His righteousness, for He alone is powerful enough to overcome our own evil tendencies. He alone is powerful enough to overcome...us.

1 comment:

Mr. Ed. said...

I enjoyed your posts on the ACTS model of prayer. Thanks for sharing!