Forget Jabez! Learn "The Prayer of Jesus"
I recently read a little book called The Prayer of Jesus, by Hank
Hanegraaf. Styled like recent cult success The Prayer of Jabez, by
Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jesus takes a no-nonsense look at an
often overlooked section of scripture. Many liturgical churches simply
repeat the words of Jesus' prayer like a mantra. But brother Hanegraaf
tells us something we need to hear: that the prayer is not intended to
be a mantra. Rather, there are real words with real meaning. Do we
really think about what it means to pray those words? What does it mean
to pray saying, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name"?
Do we really know what it means to call God our Father? Do we really
know what it means to hallow His name (Jesus)? And that's just the
introduction to the prayer. It's like going up to someone and
addressing that person by name to get his attention so that we can bring
to him our request.
What does it mean to say to the Lord, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be
done, on Earth as it is in heaven"? Do we know what we're saying when
we tell the Lord we want His kingdom to come to Earth? What about the
rest of the prayer? What are we asking when we ask the Lord to "give us
this day our daily bread"? We're not asking the Lord to give us what we
want but, rather, to give us what we need -- according to what the Lord
says we need. What are we asking when we ask the Lord to "forgive us
our debts as we forgive our debtors"? Do we really want the Lord to
forgive us according to the way we forgive others? And what about, "And
lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"? That one seems
easy enough: that we don't want to be tempted and that we want to be
delivered from the evil that assaults us. But are we really ready for
the Lord to do that? Do we know what He is going to do when we ask Him
to do that? Now, here's one for you to chew on. What does it mean to
acknowledge that His "is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
forever"? What are we saying? Does His kingdom extend to every area of
our lives? Does He really have the power to do with us whatever He
wants to do? And, finally, do our lives reflect His glory?
The Prayer of Jesus will NOT become a cult success because it doesn't
promise what The Prayer of Jabez promises: that the Lord will reward us
materially. Rather, The Prayer of Jesus calls us to sacrifice because
the focus is on the Lord and allowing Him to do what He wants to do in
our lives. Such surrender, such putting someone else (Jesus) ahead of
ourselves, is counter to all that we have been taught to value in
American society. I urge you to read The Prayer of Jesus. If for no
other reason than to take a fresh look at these words of Jesus that we
so often take for granted. It's a book about prayer and about intimacy
with the God we claim to serve. THAT is something we in the Church
really need more than we need anything else.
We are in the end-time
revival and had better be ready to be completely surrendered and
sold-out to Jesus or risk being set aside and left behind in favor of
those who will entirely give themselves over to Him.
You want to know
the secret to Jesus' human success? You want to know how Jesus was able
to be tempted as we are tempted and yet never sin? You want to know how
He was able to heal and deliver and raise the dead? Then read The
Prayer of Jesus because the secret is really no secret at all: it's
right there in the word of God -- communication and intimacy with God.
What do you think Jesus was trying to teach us when He said to go into
your closet and pray in secret? What example do you think He was
setting when He spent all those hours off by Himself in a secret place
alone with the Father? (No, I'm not promoting trinitarianism here.
Jesus, the man, was the visible form of the invisible God, but He prayed
to that invisible God).
I urge you to invest the $10.00 that this book costs and let it teach
you. Let the Lord speak to you through it as it directs you into God's
Copyright © 2001 by the author
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