TEACH US TO PRAY – What Did Jesus Teach???

Spiritual Blog - Pray

Luke 11:1 – “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” NKJV


I have found, as I study prayer, there as some key elements in this endeavor and activity worthy of consideration.  Jesus said, “After this manner pray…”  (Matthew 6).  He did not say, “When you pray repeat this prayer or these phrases but AFTER THIS MANNER pray…”  What we call the Lord’s Prayer is a model not a recitation or incantation.  One of the things you should notice about this prayer is its brevity.  It is also incredibly specific focusing on the needs of body, soul and spirit.  There is no vain repetition.  It is definitive and to the point.  My cry is, “LORD, teach me to pray like this.”

I want to suggest three elements of prayer that I believe are vital.  Someone said, the Lord’s, prayer as taught by Jesus, divides itself into three looks.  The upward look, the inward look and the outward look.  I would offer that we can identify them as:  Communion, Petition and Intercession.

  • COMMUNION.That portion of the prayer in which we turn our attention to God or the upward look.  If there is no communion established in prayer little will be accomplished other than the exercise of our vocal cords.  Communion removes every hindrance between us and God.  Communion involves and includes worship and adoration of the object of our communion, God!  Communion establishes contact so that our petitions can enter the Throne Room.

    In the first five books of the Bible we find a line of progression, something that should be incorporated in prayer.  In Genesis we see man’s sin and ruin.  In Exodus we see God’s redemption by the blood.  In Leviticus we see the ritual of worship.   In Numbers we find Israel’s walk from Egypt to Canaan.  In Deuteronomy we find the Book of the Law or the Book of Works.

    After man is redeemed he must learn to worship before he is able to walk as he should and no amount of work will amount to anything until he has learned to worship and walk before God.  Communion does something to us whereas in petition something is done for us.


  • PETITION.Communion looks to God, petition focuses on the needs of self.  If we have established communion we can rightly move to petition for we will make our requests more rightly in harmony with the heart and will of God.  Petition should be a very simple matter.  There are some things that we need to remember before we make petition to God.  “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”  (Psalm 66:18).  In Matthew 18 and Luke 17, Jesus tells us that an unforgiving spirit against a brother will hinder our prayers being answered.  Therefore for petition to be effective communion must be established.

    In Luke 11:9-10 we find an incredible promise regarding prayer from our Lord.  There is unlimited power in prayer and we should allow our confidence in God to release that power in our lives and in the matter for which we pray.  Remember the Bible says, “He that comes to God must believe that He is and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  (Hebrews 11:6).

    I personally believe that God always answers believing prayer.  I did not say, He always gives you what you ask but always answers.  As a parent I found that there were times when the request of my children was not in their best interest and counterproductive to health and life benefit.  In those cases I answered their request with “No.”  There were times I could see the benefit and acceptability of the request but the timing was bad so the answer was, “Not right now.”  There were times when what they asked was reasonable, right and good and the answer was, “Yes.” 

    Prayer brings the Omnipotence of God into our human realm and can touch hearts anywhere in the world and is released in an instant.  There are no geographical restrictions or limitations to prayer.  Therefore, I believe that the greatest need of a believer is for the Lord to “teach us to pray.” 

    God bless you as you go through this day!




Spiritual Blog - Pray

Luke 11:1 – “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”  NKJV


I have made it somewhat a study to consider what the followers of Jesus asked of Him.  This particular request is interesting, especially in contrast to much of today’s mentality even in the Church.  They did not ask, “LORD, teach us to preach”.  They did not ask, “LORD, teach us to sing.”  They did not ask, “LORD, teach us to gain wealth.”   They did not ask, “LORD, teach us marketing strategy so we can grow the local church.”  They asked, “LORD, teach us to PRAY.” 

I am fully persuaded that it would be far more beneficial to the Kingdom of God and the Body of Christ to be great prayers than great preachers or singers.  I love both but if we have the power of prayer to move the powers of heaven we will see the hearts of men moved.  Men can train other men to preach, sing, market and strategize but to become a truly great prayer is only learned at the feet of Jesus though the Holy Spirit.  I am not talking about learning some man-made method of eloquence but that activity that wages spiritual warfare and breaks through the barriers bringing heaven to earth.

Prayer is the privilege and responsibility of all believers.  We often need preparation and training to become efficient and effective preachers and personal workers but prayer is a gift that God offers to everyone.  Not everyone is called to be a pastor, preacher, teacher, evangelist, exhorter or many other things but there are no such restrictions on prayer.  EVERYONE can pray!  In fact, our LORD said, “…men always ought to pray and not lose heart…”  (Luke 18:1).  I know people who lament they are unable to do great exploits for God and when challenged to pray, they are somewhat put off because that garners no public notice or acclaim.  Powerful prayer is often done in secret and behind the closed door of the prayer closet.  It is not an exercise designed to gain notice but results.

Jesus gave the disciples a pattern of prayer not a formula.  In Matthew 6:5-8 we find some specific instructions from our Lord regarding pattern.  In this passage Jesus gives us the DO NOT’s of prayer and in the Lord’s Prayer He gives us the DO’s.  I am convinced that prayer is a science and by that I mean it is a study.  How often have you just listened to the prayers of others and examined your own prayer life?  How do our public prayers compare to our private prayers?  How much vain repetition is in our prayers?  How often do we pray for things which God’s wisdom forbids Him to answer?

Let me give you some things to consider through the LORD’s instructions.

  • Don’t Pray Like a Hypocrite.

          How does a hypocrite pray?  The prayer of the hypocrite is “public” designed to gain notice, sympathy or status.  Remember the Pharisee who stood in the Temple and lauded his own virtue comparing himself to the Publican nearby.  The Publican simply prayed, “LORD, be merciful to me a sinner.”  Which do you supposed moved the heart of God?  Someone once said, “It is a pretty safe rule, the longer a person prays in public, the shorter they pray in private.”

Jesus was known as a man of prayer.  He spent entire nights praying while others slept.  How many long prayers do you find him praying in public?  He said, “When you pray, enter your closet and when you have shut the door, PRAY…”  (Matthew 6).

  • Don’t Use Vain Repetition.

The specific command of Matthew 6:7.  I have heard and offered public prayers that were so laced with “vain repetitions” I am ashamed.  We used hackneyed phrases over and over again.  Repetition rather than substance will not move the heart or hand of God.  I wonder if one of the reasons so much prayer is filled with repetition is because we have failed to study scriptural prayer.

If God knows the need before we pray He does not need us to be overly repetitive.  He desires us to be specific, focused and determined.  I hope I have challenged you a little and want to say more on the matter in the next devotional.

God bless you as you commune with Him in prayer and go through this day in His strength.  Blessings!



spiritual blog - complicated

Acts 16:25-34 – “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” 

29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.”  NKJV


I have heard so many presentations on what is required for salvation and I often come away frustrated for what I hear, at times, is “Jesus Plus…”  In this particular account we find Paul and Silas in prison and these two stalwarts for God were leading a Praise Service and ministering to others who were incarcerated.  As they were singing and praying an earthquake shook the place so hard the doors of the prison fell open and their chains fell off.  Obviously, this was no normal earthquake but the work of God.  The guards had been napping and under Roman law if the prisoners escaped they would pay a serve penalty so rather than face the horrific possibilities the keeper of the prison prepared to commit suicide.  He would have carried out the act had it not been for Paul.

The man was so moved by what had happened he ran to them asking one of if not life’s greatest question, “What must I do to be saved?”  Their response was simple, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ…”  The promise was not only would the jailer be saved but his house would come under the umbrella of God’s protection and salvation.  THEN… So many times we miss the “then” of Scripture.  Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and all who were in his house.  Simply they presented the Gospel which is the Good News.  The Bible teaches that we are to repent, believe, confess, turn from sin and be baptized.  I heard an evangelist one time tell people that because they were not crying as he deemed they should they were not saved and had not repented.  Some incredible soldiers in the kingdom of God have testified that they had little emotion when they encountered the Lord, realized their guilt, confessed and repented.  Most of them have declared that emotions came later but the guilt lifted at that time.

In my own experience had I followed the directive of this evangelist I would have concluded that I did not receive the Lord that faithful night.  I felt as if I were walking on air.  I had a sense that a heavy load was lifted from my shoulders and a peace that I could not describe or explain settled over me.  I was not in tears but was truly sorry for my sin and desirous to be free from the clutches of sin.  My focus was not heaven or hell but the fact that my sinful condition was breaking God’s heart and it broke mine.  I was guilty and wanted to go in the opposite direction in life.  I confessed my sin, repented and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and GOD SAVED ME.  I was baptized later!  The plan is simple and the work on the Cross finished.  It is Jesus not Jesus plus.  Salvation is a gift not an earned reward.  You will never be good enough but you can be free through His grace!

            God bless you as you go through this day!


Spiritual Blog - Bible

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  NKJV

             The Bible is timeless!  We know that hieroglyphics, as deciphered by scientist, date back to Moses’ day and in the Bible there is frequent mention of the Hittites, Amorites and Canaanites all whom the Bible declare lived in the day of Moses.  There have been some scientist who scoffed at the names of those nations and called them fictitious but then archaeology shattered their resistance.  In fact, some of the tablets referred to the “Habiri” and it is known that the word means “Hebrews”.  The tablets referred to southern Palestine and made mention of the Hittites and other nations.  These historic tablets are called the “Tel El Amarna”.

The Bible is the infallibly inspired revelation of God concerning Himself and His creation.  If you recall the record of Moses’ life you will remember that he was schooled 40 years in Egyptian philosophy.  How is it that the sciences he wrote of never incorporated any of the now discredited Egyptian superstitions?  In Moses’ day people taught that a great man carried the Earth on his shoulders and when he sneezed an earthquake was produced.  Yet, the Bible declared over 3500 years ago that God “hung the Earth on nothing”.  That was scientific.  In Moses’ day the practice of medicine was little more than a gathering of superstitions including the boiling of toads and demon incantations.  How is it that Moses, schooled in these superstitions never included them in his writings?  His directives concerning handling of infectious disease was centuries ahead of its time.  Today, we know through the study of bacteriology, that many diseases are caused by minute organisms called “bacteria” or “germs”.  Prevention of these diseases is through isolation or quarantine.  The Bible taught this 3500 years ago!

When surgeons prepare for an operation they carefully wash their hands with “running water”.  If he used a basin or sink, the very moment he touched the water his hands would be contaminated.  Moses knew that over 3500 years ago!  Read Leviticus 15 for more detail on this truth.  Some attempt to defend the Bible but I always say, “It needs no defense.”  The Bible historically, morally and scientifically can and does stand on its own record.

No wonder our founding fathers wanted the Bible taught in public schools.  The Bible provides incredibly pertinent and accurate information not just about sin and salvation but every dimension and aspect of life.  Thus back to my assertion that “true science” always agrees with Scripture.  The Ten Commandments are still the standard of justice today.  Our laws can be traced to them and it was Moses who first laid down the right of a fair trial for the individual.  No accusation was received except upon the testimony of two or three witnesses.  Not only did Moses give us the foundation for civil law, science, medicine and morality he gave us incredible information regarding horticulture.  He taught “selective breeding” and the “careful pollination” of plants.  (Deuteronomy 2:9 and Leviticus 19:19).  Moses also gave guidance for controlling pests.  Some of the pests farmers contend have a life cycle of one year.  There are some that have a life cycle of seven years and one at least seventeen years.  Moses, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God instructed Israel to set aside the fields ONE YEAR IN SEVEN.  No crops were to be raised on the land in that year.  Today we have a weak copy of that system in crop rotation.

The Bible addressed industry and morals and the ramifications of flaws in human behavior.  The Israelites were forbidden to mix linen and wool.  Why?  The scientific answer is linen and wool have different degrees of shrinkage.  The reason for the prohibition of women wearing men’s clothing was God’s desire to have a visible distinction between the sexes.  You can argue, that a woman is noticeable even in men’s clothing and I do not totally disagree.  God designed man to be the toiler and the woman the home builder.  I know today we have moved far from that and some will take offense but I still believe that greatest asset any home, church, community or nation can have is mothers in the home.   Modesty has always been a part of the Bible and that goes for both men and women.

The Bible covers every facet of life and is profitable.  The benefit from its truths is only realized by those who believe it and obey it.   God bless you as you go through this day!

I DO NOT WONDER – I Believe…

Spiritual Blog - God

Gen 1:1-2 – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”  NKJV


The Bible begins with, “In the beginning God…”  That is the foundation for everything else seen in Scripture and witnessed on planet Earth.  Without that assertion, declaration, revelation and truth nothing else has any significance or intrinsic value.  It would become nothing more than theory.  Some believe that is all it is but I believe the Universe, Science, human experience and the Bible verify it is more than theory.  If you doubt the opening sentence in the Bible you have no basis for believing the message contained therein.  Fidelity begins in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis.  In fact, I will declare that it is probably the most important verse in the Bible.

It is IN THE BEGINNING GOD – – not “in the beginning a nebular mass” or “in the beginning a pool of warm slime” or “in the beginning some hairy monkeys swinging by their tails.”  NO!  It is IN THE BEGINNING GOD!  The Bible declares in Psalm 14:1, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God…”  Until you believe that IN THE BEGINNING GOD you have no basis for accepting His Son and His sacrifice on the Cross.  Once we believe this then all else becomes incredibly simple.

Imagine back when there was no time, no creation, no earth and no man.  God only had Himself and we read in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness…”  God had nothing to begin with but Himself and He reached down His Omnipotent hand into the great abyss of nothingness and made nothing something.  Some find that impossible to believe but I find that believing it was all by chance even more difficult to accept.

If I can believe the first few words of Genesis 1 I can believe Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, raised the dead, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, turned water into wine, walked on water and rose from the dead.  It all begins in Genesis 1:1.  We either depend on the speculations of man or we depend on the declaration of the Bible.  Man tells us that it all began with a super-heated nebula and it cooled to form a solid mass.  Then that mass via rapid revolution cast off other masses and those formed suns, worlds and other planets.  The one called Earth was covered with slime and the slime began to crawl, developed fins and became fish.  The fish changed its fins for legs and became reptiles.  The reptile grew hair and became a monkey and that monkey was climbing in a tree, caught his tail in a tree crotch fell to the earth and became a man.  But, the Bible says GOD CREATED MAN in His own image.  Which are you prepared to believe?

The Bible offers no proof of the existence of God you have to believe.  In fact, you are expected to believe.  I suggest that even those in the darkest clutches of heathenism and among the most primitive cultures on the planet believe in the existence of a Supreme Being.  It was civilized man that invented the theory of atheism and evolution.  The Bible declares that, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”  (Psalm 19:1)  The Bible tells us that the hills skip like lamps at His approach and the trees clap their hands in glee at the mention of His Name!  Of all God’s creation the one that rebels or has rebelled is MAN.

I suggest that “true science” and the Bible have no conflict.  Whenever the Bible and science seem to conflict it is because our scientific deductions are incorrect or our interpretation of Scripture is flawed.  Science comes from the word “scio” meaning “to know”.  True science deals with proved facts, and whereas today many things called scientific are nothing of the kind for they are based on theory not proved facts.  Both science and theology suffer at the hands of incapable amateur exponents.  There are times science is correct and our interpretation incorrect and vice versa.

I read an illustration that I have found valuable.  Up until the latter part of the 19th century, the skeptic and higher critic took incredible pains to tell us that Moses could not have written the first five books of the Bible because Moses supposedly lived in a time when there was no civilization.  Man, according to this theory, was still in the Alley Oop stage and just emerging from the nebula of his slimy primal ancestors.  Their assertion, “In the day when Moses was supposed to have written these books there was no culture, no extensive social intercourse, no literature and no organized government or community.”  In 1877 something happened to silence those critics.  An old woman living in Egypt was digging in the ruins of an ancient city to obtain fertilizer for her garden and she dug up what appeared to be bricks of clay which she ground up and spread in her garden.  One day a missionary saw the bricks and as a result the archaeologist dug up what was left of an ancient library containing extensive correspondence between the Egyptians and Babylonians in the days BEFORE MOSES.   Only 350 tablets remained after the old lady’s fertilizer experiment.

I do not wonder – I BELIEVE!   God bless you as you go through this wonderful day in Him!


Spiritual Blog - Love

John 17:20-23 – “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”  NKJV


In 1 Corinthians 13, commonly identified as the Love Chapter of the Bible, we find some powerful characteristics of love.  This chapter provides an insightful look into our own hearts and offer a pattern by which we should strive to live.  The expressed desire and prayer of our LORD Jesus as revealed in the text above was for love to prevail in the Body of Christ and that we ALL BE ONE.

The Body of Christ is not divided, yet we see division, dissension and discord among professing followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.  God’s Plan is Unity of the Faith.  Jesus came to give us life and that life was to be Abundant and He is our common ground.  I believe that the greatest hindrance to the work of the Kingdom and personal spiritual development today is DISUNITY.  Likewise, there is nothing the devil would like better than to destroy the local church, especially those who seek the Unity of the Spirit.

I ask that you consider a few specifics that I believe will prove to be beneficial in our Christian walk and warfare.

  • Born-again People Constitute the Body of Christ.

Every truly born-again person is a member of the Body of Christ.  I am speaking specifically about the biblical experience of the “new birth” in Jesus Christ.  It begins with repentance – “Confess and Forsake”.

2 Corinthians 5:17“Therefore, if any man (person) is in Christ, he is a new creature (creation); the old things have passed away, behold, new things have come.”

We read in John 3:16 about God’s love and plan.  In Romans 10:9-10 we find confession of sin and in verse 13 the revelation that “if” we call upon His name we will be saved.  In 1 John 1:9 we read, “For if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Repentance is the full realization of one’s sin and a change of attitude, heart and direction.  Biblical repentance involves conviction of sin, with a sense of condemnation, godly sorrow and the forsaking of sin.  It is a 180 degree turn.

  • God Extends Fellowship To All Believers.

Not just those who practice our particular brand of doctrine or preference.  Clearly God extends His fellowship to people of varying opinions about various doctrines.  He accepts them but too often we exclude them because they are not like us.  We too often major on minors straining at gnats and swallowing camels.  The hand is not the ear and the ear is not the eye.  We are different and in life we have different preferences but require the same air to breathe.

  • The Basis of Fellowship Is Life Not Opinion.

It would serve us well to acknowledge and remember that all truly born-again believers have the same Spiritual Father.  That truth is the only hope we have of achieving that for which Jesus prayed, “That they all be one…”

Biblical Unity is not possible aside from AGAPE LOVE which is our source of Hope and Unity.  That means our love for the Family of God will have to exceed our devotion to person opinions and non-essentials to salvation.  Remember Love Covers!  Love Covers!

I am going to tread on thin ice with some by saying, “Fellowship” is more important than believing you have the absolutely correct theology.  Do not understand that to be a call to compromise your convictions but a call to realize that you might not be 100% correct in all things.  Also, it is my conviction, the greatest sin and hindrance in the Church is DISUNITY.  The problem of building walls and barriers and infighting among various elements of Christianity does far more harm and alienates more than virtually anything else.  God hates the sowing of discord among brothers.  Having a right spirit is as important, if not more important than making accurate decisions.

In fact the Bible is so strong on DISUNITY and DISCORD that it says, “MARK THEM which cause divisions.” (Romans 16:17)  The devil will never defeat the local church from the outside.  I conclude with this:  Romans 16:17 says mark one group of people and Philippians 3:17 says mark another group.  The first group are those who cause division and the second group are those who set the right example.  Mark them both but avoid the first and flock to the second.   You can choose your attitude.

Spiritual Blog - Attitude

            God bless you as you go through this day!


Spiritual Blog - Christmas

Today many are celebrating with family in the warmth of their homes opening presents and preparing to partake of the holiday feast prepared or being prepared.  Sadly, there are others alone, cold, penniless and destitute.  Some of them have lost all hope.  I ask that you remember them in your thoughts and prayers and if you have not already, plan to help someone in need, if not today soon.  Christmas is about Love, Caring and Giving and how better to manifest the Spirit of Christmas than reaching out to someone in need?

I share the poem below which I wrote 10 years ago during a time I was encountering parathyroid cancer and when I experienced a work of God the surgeon called a miracle.  As I sat in my truck at lunch praying and reading scripture I felt a warmth cover my body and knew in my heart that God had totally removed the remnant of the cancer.  I had gone through surgery but the reports indicated that it had not been fully removed.  A second surgery was planned and about 2 weeks before the surgery this experience took place and when the PTH and calcium levels were checked they had gone from well above normal to the low side of the normal.  The doctor said, “This does not happen medically.”  He then said, “I think we know who did this.”  We proceeded with the second surgery to repair some things and check everything and from that day to this all has been normal.  Each Christmas I remember the rich blessing of life that God has given me and I give Him all the praise.

I offer this poem as my gift and pray that God grant you a most joyous Christmas.  As I bid you adieu for the day I depart shouting – –  M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S ! ! !



Twilight and Midnight Christmas


When we are young and life is like a flowering tree

We think only of the moment, what’s in it for me?

Christmas is a time of anticipation

Youthful joy and full of expectation.

What will we get? What can we do?

It’s all about me and little about you.


Then in our teens, those rebellious years

We bring to our parents exquisite joy and rivers of tears.

Christmas is a time of anticipation

Youthful joy and full of expectation.

Why can’t I go off with my friends and see

What this world can offer me?


Then as young adults with children of our own

We are now parents and the worry to us belongs.

Christmas is a time of our children’s anticipation

Waiting to see if we fulfilled their every expectation.

If you fail, this will you hear, “But I wanted the latest and hottest fad

I didn’t get it now I am mad.”


Then come the twilight years

You are alone to face all your fears.

Children and grandchildren grown with families of their own.

It’s Christmas and you are alone,

Forgotten it seems with no one to share

Life’s little joys for no one does care.


Remember this in your Christmas of twilight

As you near your journey’s end which some call darkness and night.

It’s not the specific day that make is so dear

It’s not even the time of the year.

It’s that you have set one day aside

To celebrate Christmas and in Him abide.

© Roy Beaird – 2005


May your celebration be joyous!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!