PRAYER – PART 5
YIELDING IN PRAYER
“YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN…” (MATTHEW 6: 10)
“FOR THE KINGDOM, THE POWER AND THE GLORY ARE YOURS, NOW AND FOREVER”
JUST A LITTLE RECAP
No matter HOW long we have been a follower of Christ – a disciple, a Christian – we STILL cry out “LORD, teach us to pray!” Along with Nicky Gumbel we acknowledge that
“Prayer is the most important activity of our lives. It is the way in which we develop a relationship with our Father in Heaven”
We long to “do it better”!
And we have seen that the clear advice of Jesus is to:
Keep it simple
Keep it real
Keep it up
Our loving, heavenly Father, delights in our just coming to Him in deep and sincere relationship, spending time with Him, getting to know Him, talking with Him, asking Him for our needs and our wants.
And so we have also seen that, in the “Lord’s Prayer” Jesus teaches us how to pray in a way that might be summarised in the acrostic “PRAY”:
P = Pause and recognise how wonderful a Father He is to us
R = Rejoice in all He has done for us and stand in awe of how majestic and marvellous He is
A = Ask for ourselves (petition) and for others (intercession)
Y = Yield to His perfect will for our lives and for the world as a whole
It is this last letter of the acrostic – the Y – that we now focus on as we bring our study to an end.
THE END OF THE “LORD’S PRAYER”…IS NOT SOMETHING THAT HE SAID!
The words that the Lord’s Prayer are traditionally ended with…are NOT actually spoken by Jesus Himself when He taught the disciples to pray. Yet, they have become very much a part of the prayer that we utter today.
And they DO have a strong Biblical basis – reflecting the words that David used in 1 Chronicles 29: 11
Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendour,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Here, in these carefully chosen words, King David is relinquishing his kingdom (of Israel), his power (as king) and his glory (in his majesty) to the King of kings – giving back every blessing to God that he has received. In this prayer King David is YIELDING to his King – his LORD, his God.
And so, when we pray the Lord’s Prayer we are, in this last sentence, yielding ourselves to our Father in Heaven. These last words speak of “surrender”. We (all mankind in fact) find it hard to let go of what we control – our lives, our thoughts, our wishes, our desires, our passions, our riches, our achievements, our abilities.
In the words of Pete Greig (“How to Pray” p 196):
“…to pray these closing lines of the Lord’ Prayer is to give the kingdom, the power and the glory back to God. It’s to give Him our little empires (family, ministry, career) and say ‘yours Lord, is the kingdom’. It’s to give Him the power bases we’ve built and say ’yours Lord, is the power’. It’s to give Him our credibility, our trophies of success and say ‘your Lord, is the glory forever and right now”.
It is yielding our all to Him. It is surrendering ourselves – and our wills – to His will.
It is truly saying
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matthew 6: 10)
It is saying: “whatever I want I choose to surrender to Your will – to what You want. And I do this not only because of what You have done for me; not only because I owe You everything. But, I surrender my all to You because I know that You know best and I want to yield in all things to Your perfect will. And I want to not only see Your will done on this messed-up world, but I want to work out your will in my life and in the lives of all those around me. Your way is the best way. So, I give to You now, yield to You now, surrender to You now, everything that I am and everything that I have”.
THE TWO TYPES OF SURRENDER
The word “surrender” has two meanings: it can mean to “give up” or it can mean to “give over”.
When a soldier surrenders to their enemy, they raise their arms and give up the fight to them.
But, in a relationship surrender is different. When a man marries a woman he “surrenders” his old life. He knows that he is no longer his own person – no longer the bachelor life for him of football and beer and late nights out with his mates. He willingly gives over his life to his wife – to a new relationship where they are one flesh. He surrenders his old ways to live in a new and better way with a new and better person. His hopes and thoughts and actions are now to benefit and to live for his wife to whom he is now committed.
This second meaning of “surrender” is the one that best explains our promise to yield our wills to His (Father God’s) perfect will. We no longer live for ourselves – we have given over our lives to Him. We choose to live for Him and with Him and seek to live out His will in our lives.
And so we finish off our prayer with a resounding “AMEN!”
This is the final word of yielding – it is saying:”Yes Lord. Let it be so! Hear my prayer and let it be – I submit myself to Your will and trust that You will answer my prayers in the best way”.
So, let us, in a long-ish conclusion, see how the concept of “yielding” is implicit throughout this most wonderful of prayers.
THE POSTURE OF YEILDING IN THE LORD’S PRAYER
“Our Father in Heaven” (Matthew 6:9)
We yield from the start of our time of prayer with God. We let go of all the busyness of our lives. We surrender all our selfish thoughts and focus solely on Him and His Fatherhood and love towards us. We see that it is not about us but it is all about Him.
“…hallowed by Your Name” (Matthew 6:9)
We yield to His power and His glory and His authority – over all of creation – over us and over the whole of the Universe. We choose to sit in awe at His feet. We surrender ourselves totally and worship and adore Him and thank Him for all He has done and all He have given us and recognise that it is not by our strength and not by our power but by His word that all is done
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread. (Matthew 6: 10-11)
We yield to His – not us – being in control of our lives and our world. We surrender to His knowing what is best for us – and so give Him our whole lives – including our thoughts, our jobs, our wealth and our hopes – because we want Him to be King of our lives.
We yield to His will be done in our lives, and through our lives for the good of others (remember Diana’s daughter attacked by the dog). We surrender our wills to Him because we know that He knows best.
We yield to His being our Provider. We acknowledge that we need to come humbly, yet boldly, to Him to meet our needs and wants and our requests for others. We surrender to His perfect will – in the sure and certain knowledge that He knows best. We bow down to His perfect answers to our prayers and know that these will be – like the traffic lights – either “yes” (green), “no – for I have a better way for you” (red), or “wait – not yet” (amber).
“And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6: 12)
We yield to Him as the only perfectly good One. We recognise that we sin, we make mistakes, we do wrong, we mess up. We do not make excuses. We simply ask Him to forgive us. We surrender to the fact that we cannot bring righteousness to our own lives but that He wonderfully can and does. So we ask Him for pardon.
And we yield our wills to His will through obedience. When others have hurt us; when our wills cry out for revenge; we choose to surrender to Him and obey Him in forgiving others just as He has forgiven us.
“And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6: 13)
We yield to Him as we recognise that we need Him, by His Holy Spirit, to protect us in the daily spiritual warfare that we are facing. We surrender to our need to trust Him to protect us against our enemy, the devil – for we do not have the natural strength and ability to resist him or defeat him. We gratefully yield to His protection over us.
What a freeing privilege it is for us to be able to yield our all to Him in prayer.
Like a little child who completely trusts in the love and power of their father, we can lay down our head in rest.
Oh! There is power and there is privilege in prayer!
LORD! TEACH US HOW TO PRAY!