Day 14 – Cardio Training

We are going to start talking about a new section in our primer, Getting Connected.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

Before we dig in…

A man with a nagging secret couldn’t keep it any longer. In the confessional he admitted that for years he had been stealing building supplies from the lumberyard where he worked.“What did you take?” his parish priest asked.“Enough to build my own home and enough for my son’s house. And houses for our two daughters. And our cottage at the lake.”“This is very serious,” the priest said. “I shall have to think of a far-reaching penance. Have you ever done a retreat?”“No, I haven’t,” the man replied. “But if you can get the plans, I can get the lumber.”

We are going to be talking about prayer over the next few weeks as we look at the Lord’s prayer together. I think that most of you would think that prayer is a good thing and should be a regular part of the life of a disciple. But, we can get so busy that prayer is often pushed out of our lives or used as some sort of last resort. We need to pray? oh my, has it come to that.

So I thought that before got into the practicalities of getting connected, we should spend a message talking about clearing up some time to pray in our busy lives. I read this verse in my Bible reading time this week.

Isaiah 30:15-18 (NIV)
15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. 16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! 17 A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” 18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

It jumped out at me that this is the way that most of us live. Fleeing on horses. Busy, busy, go, go.

Once again we need to look at Jesus as our model for life and ministry. He was never in a hurry. He is never recorded running in the scriptures. When He came into Jerusalem for His final week, He wasn’t riding a horse, He was riding a donkey. Jesus took breaks. Made time in his life for friends. Went to sleep at night even with an entire world that needed something. Made time for prayer. Got away by Himself.

And Jesus had more of an impact in the world in three years than anyone has ever had before or since.

I have a couple of quick questions for you. When you get stopped by a red light, what is your reaction? When you go to a store and there is a line at the checkout, how do you react? If you are working on something that doesn’t work out right away, what do you do? If having to wait for these things pushes your buttons, this message is for you.

1. Think about your motivation

Our motivation is really important. Why are we doing what we are doing? None of us has completely pure motives, so we need to be thinking about our motives all the time. Are you motivated by fear? Guilt? Greed? Ego?

Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Our motivation for life needs to be LOVE.

John 13:34-35 (NIV)
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

It is the only motivation that will help us in trying to do the next right thing. Loving God, loving others, loving ourselves.

2. What are some of the things you are doing with wrong motives?

You need to think about this. What are you doing that is motivated by fear? What are you doing that is motivated by guilt? What are you doing that is motivated by greed? What are you doing that is motivated by ego?

James 4:1-3 (NIV)
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Anything that is in your life that is not motivated by love needs to looked at and then you need to ….

3. Do some pruning

Colossians 3:1-5 (NIV)
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

Hack away some of the busyness, craziness, and chaos in your life and schedule. Just take a good look at your motivations and start making some changes. Getting on a swifter horse won’t work. You have to get off the horse all together and…

4. Wait for Him

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Get Focused, Get Thankful, Get Connected..

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he responds with what we know as the Lord’s prayer. It was given not as something to repeat over and over, but as a model to get connected to God in prayer. Each verse helping us to focus on God, who He is, and who we are in Him.

Scripture Reading

Luke 11:1-4 (NIV)
1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”

Most of us are more familiar with Matthew’s version of the Lord’s Prayer.

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

This prayer model gives us five phases for prayer.
1) Recognizing and relating to God as our Father
2) A focus on the Kingdom of God
3) A time to present our needs and requests
4) An opportunity to ask for and extend forgiveness
5) A time to consider and ask for help in the spiritual battle we are all in

Let’s get started with the first phase of the prayer.

Recognizing and relating to God as our Father

Matthew 6:9 (NIV)
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Too often, people try and relate to God as a force. But we need to see Him as a father, as someone we are in relationship with.

1. We are His children

John 1:12-13 (NIV)
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

In Christ, God has brought us into His family, and we call Him Father. What an amazing privilege. The creator of the universe and we relate to Him as our Father. In Christ, we are in direct relationship with God.

Galatians 3:26 (MSG)
26 By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God.

2. We approach Him with freedom and confidence

Ephesians 3:12 (NIV)
12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

We can come to Him and talk to Him about everything that is going on in our lives. This confidence and intimacy that we have with God as our father should never lead us to take our relationship with God for granted or to treat it without respect. We are always to come in awe and humility. This amazing relationship with God we have should cause us to…

3. Hallow His name

What does hallow mean? It means literally sanctify. It means that we are praying that who He is and His name be set apart in our lives and in the lives of others for the awesome and beautiful reality that He is.

But hallowing God’s name is even more than what we do in prayer and worship. Essentially, we are to hallow God’s name in our daily living, as our Father’s character and purpose are expressed in our lives. By faith in Christ we bear the family name.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
With some of the time that you free up, hang out more with Him. Spend more time and energy on the things in your life that are motivated by love for Him and others and yourself, and less time and energy on things motivated by fear, guilt, greed and ego. When you do, you reactions to traffic lights, and checkout lines should improve.

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