Monday, June 18, 2018

The Daniel Prayer - Session 1 - It's Time To Pray The Daniel Prayer

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash


The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group studying the book The Daniel Prayer:  Prayer That Moves Heaven And Changes Nations By Anne Graham-Lotz.  

James 5:16 (NLT2) 16  Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 

The Daniel Prayer is born deep within your soul, erupts through your heart, and pours out on your lips, words created by and infused with the Spirit of God quivering with spiritual electricity. It’s really not an everyday type of prayer. It’s a prayer birthed under pressure. Heartache. Grief. Desperation. It can be triggered by a sudden revelation of hope. An answer to prayer, a promise freshly received, a miracle that lies just over the horizon.

Study along with us by getting a copy of the book by clicking this LINK or the image of the book in the study notes. 

Why do our prayers often lack power, passion, and persuasion?  Anne Graham-Holtz thinks that perhaps that we don't have  an all-out, no-holds-barred, go-for-broke, nothing-held-back, old-fashioned commitment to pray.    The kind of commitment that’s born out of desperation. Intense aspiration. Soulful longing. The kind of commitment athletes make to win the race for the game or the trophy or the medal. The kind of commitment that makes sacrifices, accepts responsibility, keeps obligations, and overcomes obstacles. That's what she wants to urge us to do in this book.  She says that The Daniel Prayer is a commitment to persevere no matter what is going on.

Daniel prayed the prayer that was the inspiration for this book while his people,, the nation of Israel, was devastated and displaced from its country that includes both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah.  They were forced into exile in the face of being warned that turning from God and worshipping idols would result in punishment and exile.  God warned them through messages, dream, and visions given through the prophets whose writings make up a lot of the Old Testament. Daniel was a member of the nobility of the southern Kingdom, Judah.  He was in the first group of exiles taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. 

Daniel 1:1-4 NKJV In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god. Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there  was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.

We studied Daniel’s story a couple of years ago.  We learned that Daniel was a prophet and God used Him to reveal His plans for Babylon, the future of the Jews and the world. 

From the book;

“ Daniel was to serve the emperor with all his heart, mind, soul, body, and strength. He was to so immerse himself in Babylon that he would be severed from his past in order to embrace the present as the only reality. Everything was designed to force Daniel to conform to the Babylonian mold to serve at Nebuchadnezzar's pleasure.
      
Daniel 1:8 NKJV But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

And thus he began his remarkable career that spanned two world empires and the entire time of his nation’s captivity. At great risk to himself, again and again, he maintained his undivided devotion to God. In turn, God gave him knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.5 He rose to be the equivalent of prime minister under four emperors: Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus.”

Even with all his success he longed for Jerusalem every day of his life, evidenced by the fact that three times daily, when he prayed, he turned his face in the direction of his beloved city that once had been.  He was thrown in the lion’s den for this. 

Anne writes that because of  the prayer Daniel prayed, and that  we are going to be studying,  God moved Cyrus to issue the decree that after seventy years of captivity, every Jew living in Babylon could go home.  It was a prayer that moved heaven and Earth, and caused a nation to change.  By the way when the Jews went back they did a lot of things outside the will of God but worshipping idols was not one of them. Her question is is it possible that the prayer of one person could bring renewal, restoration, and revival to America?

Ann says, and I agree, that God allows things to happen to get our attention and to alert us to His coming judgment on the world because of disobedience resulting in evil. She gives several examples of why, in her opinion, God’s patience is wearing thin.

When faced with God’s righteous judgment, there is nothing . . . nothing . . . no politics or president, no government or agreement, no institution or organization,
 no media or ministry, no economy or military, no alliance or treaty . . . nothing will turn our nation around except prayer. Heartfelt, desperate prayer. Prayer where the pray-ers rend their hearts, return to the Cross, and repent of personal and national sin. Only prayer that moves Heaven can change a nation.
      
We are going to end our first session by reading the prayer.


 Daniel 9:1-4, 4-23 MSG “Darius, son of Ahasuerus, born a Mede, became king over the land of Babylon. In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, was meditating on the Scriptures that gave, according to the Word of God to the prophet Jeremiah, the number of years that Jerusalem had to lie in ruins, namely, seventy. I turned to the Master God, asking for an answer—praying earnestly, fasting from meals, wearing rough penitential burlap, and kneeling in the ashes. I poured out my heart, baring my soul to God , my God: “‘O Master, great and august God. You never waver in your covenant commitment, never give up on those who love you and do what you say. Yet we have sinned in every way imaginable. We’ve done evil things, rebelled, dodged and taken detours around your clearly marked paths. We’ve turned a deaf ear to your servants the prophets, who preached your Word to our kings and leaders, our parents, and all the people in the land. You have done everything right, Master, but all we have to show for our lives is guilt and shame, the whole lot of us—people of Judah, citizens of Jerusalem, Israel at home and Israel in exile in all the places we’ve been banished to because of our betrayal of you. Oh yes, God , we’ve been exposed in our shame, all of us—our kings, leaders, parents—before the whole world. And deservedly so, because of our sin. “‘Compassion is our only hope, the compassion of you, the Master, our God, since in our rebellion we’ve forfeited our rights. We paid no attention to you when you told us how to live, the clear teaching that came through your servants the prophets. All of us in Israel ignored what you said. We defied your instructions and did what we pleased. And now we’re paying for it: The solemn curse written out plainly in the revelation to God’s servant Moses is now doing its work among us, the wages of our sin against you. You did to us and our rulers what you said you would do: You brought this catastrophic disaster on us, the worst disaster on record—and in Jerusalem! “‘Just as written in God’s revelation to Moses, the catastrophe was total. Nothing was held back. We kept at our sinning, never giving you a second thought, oblivious to your clear warning, and so you had no choice but to let the disaster loose on us in full force. You, our God , had a perfect right to do this since we persistently and defiantly ignored you. “‘Master, you are our God, for you delivered your people from the land of Egypt in a show of power—people are still talking about it! We confess that we have sinned, that we have lived bad lives. Following the lines of what you have always done in setting things right, setting people right, please stop being so angry with Jerusalem, your very own city, your holy mountain. We know it’s our fault that this has happened, all because of our sins and our parents’ sins, and now we’re an embarrassment to everyone around us. We’re a blot on the neighborhood. So listen, God, to this determined prayer of your servant. Have mercy on your ruined Sanctuary. Act out of who you are, not out of what we are. “‘Turn your ears our way, God, and listen. Open your eyes and take a long look at our ruined city, this city named after you. We know that we don’t deserve a hearing from you. Our appeal is to your compassion. This prayer is our last and only hope: “‘Master, listen to us! Master, forgive us! Master, look at us and do something! Master, don’t put us off! Your city and your people are named after you: You have a stake in us!’ “While I was pouring out my heart, baring my sins and the sins of my people Israel, praying my life out before my God , interceding for the holy mountain of my God—while I was absorbed in this praying, the humanlike Gabriel, the one I had seen in an earlier vision, approached me, flying in like a bird about the time of evening worship. “He stood before me and said, ‘Daniel, I have come to make things plain to you. You had no sooner started your prayer when the answer was given. And now I’m here to deliver the answer to you. You are much loved! So listen carefully to the answer, the plain meaning of what is revealed:


Bible Study Audio





Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Prayer That Turned The World Upside Down - Session 8 - For Thine Is The Kingdom



The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group studying the book Prayer That Turned The World Upside Down: The Lord's Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution by R. Albert Mohler, The President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Lord’s Prayer is the most powerful prayer in the Bible, taught by Jesus to those closest to him. We desperately need to relearn its power and practice.

The opening words of the Lord’s Prayer have become so familiar that we often speak them without a thought, sometimes without any awareness that we are speaking at all. But to the disciples who first heard these words from Jesus, the prayer was a thunderbolt, a radical new way to pray that changed them and the course of history.


Far from a safe series of comforting words, the Lord’s Prayer makes extraordinary claims, topples every earthly power, and announces God’s reign over all things in heaven and on earth. Study along with us by getting a copy of the book by clicking this LINK or the image of the book in the study notes. 

More on Thy Kingdom Come


The Kingdom Isn’t What You Think from What If Christianity Isn't What You Think? Reading Plan by  Jefferson Bethke from his book It's Not What You Think: Why Christianity Is About So Much More Than Going to Heaven When You Die

“Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

A lot of times when we hear the word “kingdom” or “heaven” we think of a place really far away and we go there when we die. But according to Jewish thought, the world Jesus lived in, heaven was actually more like God’s control room. God’s space. A place not very far away, but a place that is near.

And so Jesus steps on the scene and tells people to turn around, change their mind, and change the direction of their life. Why? Because the place where God is fully reigning and ruling is near. It has crash landed in Jesus. It is right in front of them. It’s less about a destination, and more about bringing our lives under His reign and rule right now. In this moment. In our finances, in our schools, in our relationships, and every facet of our being.




Our Final Session




The author of the book from which we are studying ,“The Lord’s Prayer”, R. Albert Mohler, Jr,  uses the “Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:9-13 from the New International Version;

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

Many Christians who regularly say the Lord’s Prayer in church services each week or remember a version they memorized as a child recite concluding words that do not appear in many modern translations—“for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.”

Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

The reason these words are not found in modern translations such as the NIV or the ESV is that they probably did not appear in the original copy of Matthew. As a result of studying ancient manuscripts, scholars now believe with some certainty that these words were probably a later addition to the Lord's Prayer. Since the Lord’s Prayer seems to end rather abruptly, Christians in the early church added a doxology to the end of the prayer so as to give God the final word of praise in corporate worship settings.

Doxology  a liturgical formula of praise to God.

The dictionary defines doxology as “an expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service.” The word doxology comes from the Greek doxa, (“glory, splendor, grandeur”) and logos, (“word” or “speaking”). Most doxologies are short hymns of praise to God in various Christian worship services, often added to the end of canticles, psalms, and hymns.

Another commonly heard doxology is “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow,” which was written in 1674 by Thomas Ken, a priest in the Church of England. The familiar words are “Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.”

Although the word doxology is not found in the Bible, the themes expressed in doxologies are certainly scriptural, and have always been integral parts of true Christian worship.

In fact, one of the doxology found in the Old Testament looks almost exactly like the doxology traditionally appended to the Lord’s Prayer:

“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all” (1 Chron. 29:11).

Praising God for His blessings


Ephesians 1:3 NIV Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Giving Him all glory


Romans 11:33-36 NIV Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”  “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”  For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

 Affirming the Trinity


Matthew 28:19-20 NIV Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Is it right or wrong to append these words to the Lord’s Prayer? It would certainly be wrong to ignore the textual evidence and assert that these words are scriptural and part of Matthew’s Gospel. We should never say something is part of Scripture that the author never intended. At the same time, it is not wrong to recite the Lord's Prayer with the concluding doxology or to benefit from this tradition—so long as we understand the words are not themselves Scripture. The reasons for this are numerous.
        
Additionally, the psalms provide example after example of prayers beginning in supplicationand ending in doxology. And this tradition of concluding prayers with doxologies continued into the early church. One of the earliest Christian documents outside the New Testament,
          
The Didache (Teaching)—a treatise dating from the first century—has a version of the Lord’s Prayer that includes this very doxology.

The Didache is also called the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles."  It was possibly written around 65 - 80 A.D. and is supposed to be what the twelve apostles taught to the Gentiles concerning life and death, church order, fasting, baptism, prayer, etc.  There is debate as to its authenticity.

Simply put, doxologies are a regular part of the worship of the people of God and have a unique role in developing their piety. As J. I. Packer Noted,
        
Doxologies (that is, acts of praise to God for his glory) pop up all through the Bible. . . .Personal devotion praise and prayer grow out of, lead into, and stir up each other.  Need felt and need met are their respective mainsprings, and praise for what God is and does, is the strong support of hope in what he can, and will, do. . . . So the more you pray, the more matter you will have for praise.

Second, doxologies are an appropriate response to the saving purposes of God and his glory. As I hope this book has shown, the Lord’s Prayer clearly expresses the glory of God and the gospel of grace. It reveals the coming of the kingdom of Christ, the forgiveness provided by the King, his daily provision and care for his people, and his deliverance of his people from the powers of this age. In light of these truths, Christians should respond with effusive praise. Prayer that truly reflects the heart of God is inseparable from a response of praise. Again, as Packer explained, “Prayer and praise are like a bird’s two wings: with both working, you soar; with one out of action, you are earthbound.  But birds should not be earthbound, nor Christians priceless.”

Third, the theology of the traditional doxology is particularly fitting with the content of the Lord’s Prayer. The elements of “kingdom,” “power,” and “glory” are found throughout the Lord’s Prayer. At the prayer’s beginning, Jesus taught us to pray that God’s kingdom come. The prayer also reveals God’s power by showing us he is the King, the Provider, the Savior, and the Deliverer. And finally, it shows us his glory by revealing himas the Father in heaven whose very name is to be hallowed in all the earth. The traditional doxology reminds us at the prayer’s end that the kingdom will indeed come, for it belongs to the God of all glory and power. Indeed,  the doxology perfectly and succinctly sums up the character of God as revealed in the Lord’s Prayer and does so in the posture of praise.
        
        

A FINAL ADMONITION


Every generation of Christians must learn to make the request, like the disciples before them, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Every generation of Christians must also remember that Jesus’ response to that question now is the same as it was two thousand years ago. If we would have the Lord himself teach us how to pray, then we must turn to the Lord’s Prayer for instruction.
        
 As this book has shown, each petition is a theology lesson in itself. None of Jesus’ words were careless, and this is particularly true of the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer turned the world upside down. This prayer is dangerous, overturning the kingdom of the principalities and powers of this world. This prayer is hopeful, expecting the kingdom of God to come in fullness with Christ on the throne. This prayer is compassionate, teaching us to call God our Father and depend on him for our every meal. This prayer is reverent, showing that nothing is more sacred than the name of God. This prayer is good news, reminding each of us that God forgives sin and delivers us from the powers of darkness.
        
In an age of superstition and superficiality, the Lord’s Prayer is a beacon of true biblical piety and theologically informed worship. As Christians await the arrival of God’s kingdom in its fullness, let us continually return to these words, asking with humble hearts, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
        
 Finally, I want to return to Martin Luther’s advice to his barber.

“So, as a diligent and good barber, you must keep your thoughts, senses, and eyes precisely on the hair and scissors or razor and not forget where you trimmed or shaved, for,  if you want to talk a lot or become distracted thinking about something else, you might well cut someone’s nose or mouth or even his throat.”

Going all the way back to the Old Testament, God’s people have ended their prayers with “Amen.” Why?
           
The word signals agreement and affirmation, but it actually means much more. As Luther Said to Master Peter the Barber:
        
Notice, at last, that you have made the “Amen” strong every time and not doubt. God Is surely listening to you with every grace and is saying yes to your prayer. Do not think to yourself that you are kneeling or standing , for all Christendom, all upright Christians, are with you and you among them in a unanimous, harmonious prayer, which God cannot disdain. And do not leave the prayer unless you have thought, “All right, God has heard my prayer, and I truly knowthis for certain, for that is what Amen means.”
        
 We never pray this prayer alone, but with all Christendom, and we never have to wonder if this prayer is pleasing to God. Christ gave it to us! And yes, we know that God has heard our prayer when we pray like this.
        
That is really what Amen means. And there is no more perfect way to end our study of the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that turns the world upside down, than with Amen.

Bible Study Audio


Next Week 


The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations by Anne Graham Lotz.

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham, is the president and CEO of AnGeL Ministries (www.annegrahamlotz.com), a nonprofit organization that undergirds her efforts to draw people into a life-changing relationship with God through His Word.

Many people today find that their prayers don’t “work.” And like a broken cell phone, DVD player, or TV remote, they throw prayer out as unnecessary “clutter” in their busy lives. Anne Graham Lotz has found that while prayer does work, sometimes the “pray-ers” don’t. So she has turned to the prophet Daniel for help.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Prayer That Turned The World Upside Down - Session 7 - Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Fighting The Enemy Through Prayer



The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group studying the book Prayer That Turned The World Upside Down: The Lord's Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution by R. Albert Mohler, The President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Lord’s Prayer is the most powerful prayer in the Bible, taught by Jesus to those closest to him. We desperately need to relearn its power and practice.

The opening words of the Lord’s Prayer have become so familiar that we often speak them without a thought, sometimes without any awareness that we are speaking at all. But to the disciples who first heard these words from Jesus, the prayer was a thunderbolt, a radical new way to pray that changed them and the course of history.


Far from a safe series of comforting words, the Lord’s Prayer makes extraordinary claims, topples every earthly power, and announces God’s reign over all things in heaven and on earth. Study along with us by getting a copy of the book by clicking this LINK or the image of the book in the study notes. 


And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from the evil one.  
Matthew 6:13 NIV

The Illusion Of Enemy Less Christian Discipleship


Because of sin and mankind's fall the world is a very dangerous place. Jesus told us as much in His description of the last days.

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.   “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.  For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.   “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
Matthew 24:4, 6-14, 21-22 NIV, 

He continues for the rest of chapter 24.

He said in John

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NIV

The Bible clearly teaches that the Devil and his demons are real and that these invisible enemies are bent on destroying our spiritual lives.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8 NIV

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV

When talking about our enemies we can go one of two ways. We can obsess over them blaming them for everything that goes bad or we can refuse to discuss to talk about them at all. Both extremes are harmful. We must acknowledge and be aware of the fact the Bible clearly teaches that the Devil and his demons are real and that these invisible enemies are bent on destroying our spiritual lives.

I like the quote from the Screwtape Letter which I'm going to read.

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils.  One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors...

WHY WE NEED THIS PETITION


Temptation, is I believe, a weapon that the enemy uses in spiritual warfare even though much temptation comes from within.  We will talk about that later.  

When we did our study Prayer Warrior Praying Your Way To Victory we discussed the fact that prayer is a powerful weapon against our enemy in spiritual warfare. 
Prayer Is Always a Powerful Weapon Against the Enemy

In prayer ask God to do a lot of things for  us.  It’s not that He is unaware of the problem or doesn’t know what's going on. He knows what is going to happen before it happens. Before we see the need, He already knows the answer.

 “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
           
God has set it up that we pray and He answers. He doesn’t make us robots. He doesn’t impose His will on us. He waits for us to choose His will over our own. The reason He does this is so we will walk with Him in an ever-deepening relationship.

When you bring your concerns and needs to the Lord and ask Him to meet those needs, that is called petitionary praying. When you petition God for something, don’t stop praying. Bring it to Him again and again if you need to until you have peace in your heart that you have truly left it in His hands. After each prayer, thank Him that He has heard your prayers and that He will answer in His way and in His time.
           
God is very specific about what He wants from us. You must be specific too. As you pray, tell God that above all you want His will to be done. Because if you are praying for something that is not His will, you want to know it and be led by His Spirit to pray the right thing. Do not sit in judgment on how well you think you prayed. That is not your job. Your work is to pray. It is God’s work to answer the way He wants to. And definitely do not sit in judgment on how God has answered. You simply pray and leave the outcome in God’s hands to answer in His way and time. Then every time you pray, your prayers will become a weapon against the enemy and his plans for your life.

Jesus’ reminder to pray regularly against temptation reminds us just how prevalent and dangerous the appeal of sin can be in the Christian life.  He instructed His disciples to pray asking that God provide daily, and that includes this petition, to lead us not to temptation.   He also provides an example of consistent prayer.

Jesus prayed first thing in the morning.

“In the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).
           
Jesus prayed at night.

“He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12).
           
Jesus prayed alone.

“When He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there” (Matthew 14:23).
           
 Jesus prayed without ceasing.

“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass,man to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).
           
We need to pray as Jesus did—day and night, without ceasing, in private communion with God.

Jesus’ reminder to pray regularly against temptation reminds us just how prevalent and dangerous the appeal of sin can be in the Christian life.  

This petition also reminds us that we are not able to resist temptation by our own power. Most people know by experience that your willpower is not quite as strong as we would like to think.

Jesus does not teach us to pray, “Lord, give me more willpower in the fight against sin.” He teaches us to ask for shepherding and deliverance—“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” These words express a heart of dependence, not self-sufficiency. 

We’ve talked about our dependence on God the past couple of sessions. In Session 5

Give us today our daily bread.
Matthew 6:11 NIV
 
Reminds us of our dependence on God for even the most fundamental needs of life.

The petition “forgive us our debts” emphasizes our most urgent spiritual need which is forgiveness. Saying we owe a debt to God means that we have failed to give him the obedience he is rightly due. We owe God our obedience, and we have failed to pay up. Thus, as sinners, we stand before God condemned, rightly deserving his just wrath. Only God’s forgiveness can clear our guilt and establish a meaningful relationship between God and us.  Now Jesus is instructing them to pray for endurance in the fight against temptation. 

DOES GOD LEAD PEOPLE INTO TEMPTATION?


When we ask this we are not implying that God tempts anybody.  We are not asking Him to not do something that He normally does.  The Bible is very clear that God does not tempt anybody. 

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
James 1:13-18 NIV

Mohler says that while God doesn’t tempt He does test us.  The only disagreement that I have is that I say that the tests don’t originate with God but He allows the trials, temptations, and testing that comes from our enemy to “test us”.  We won’t talk about that today but if you’re interested in my point of view read my blog post Does God Test Christians?.  It’s on my website.  It doesn’t matter if you agree with Mohler or me me because the petition is the same, and that is that God gives us the endurance to pass the test. 

THE ANATOMY OF TEMPTATION

Temptation can be both internal and external. We've talked a couple of times about internal temptations. We have some control over them but if we don't deal with them they can get out of control.

Pride leads to arrogance.

Lust leads to sexual immorality.

Ultimately, we are at war with our own desires. Our greatest enemy, indwelling sin, is with us at all times.  Satan can use these weaknesses against us.

The adversary will exploit those weaknesses at every opportunity. This is why we need the Lord’s gracious hand to guide us away from temptation at every turn.

Scripture, however, demands a clear and drastic response to temptation.

Jesus told his disciples,
        
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. (Matt. 5:29–30)

Jesus didn't really mean for you to dismember your body but the point was to take drastic measures not to sin. It may mean leaving a relationship, a job, a church, whatever just do something to keep from or stop sinning. Get away from the temptation.

THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT . . . REALLY?

        
While the final petition of the Lord’s Prayer is typically rendered “deliver us from evil,” most modern scholars and translations note that the most appropriate translation is probably “deliver us from the evil one.”


We must ask for protection from Satan. The fact that Jesus tells us to do it tells us that we can’t do it on our own. We are told to resist not engage. He has been defeated by Jesus but he is still dangerous.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 NIV

Temptation comes to individuals, churches, and institutions. We know the power of temptation by looking in both history books and the mirror. If we are honest with ourselves, we are not up to the task. But Jesus teaches us that we have access to deliverance from sin and temptation by the grace and mercy of God, which is why we must repeatedly pray this prayer of deliverance. We are frail in our flesh and must pray for God’s protection from evil. As the familiar hymn “O Worship the King” reminds us: “Frail children of dust and feeble as frail, in thee do we trust, nor find thee to fail; thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end, our maker, defender, redeemer, and friend.”

Bible Study Audio




Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Greatness And Glory Of God's Word


Tuesday Night Bible Study at Church Of Divine Guidance.


Mikey asked me to teach this Tuesday and I immediately thought of teaching from Psalm 150. It's all about praise.

Psalm 150:1-6 NIV Praise the Lord . Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord . Praise the Lord .


Pastor taught from Psalm 119 on the Prayerline last week and I thought his asking for and getting feedback was great and that I would do 150 the same way. However the Holy Spirit said consider continuing with 119. I thought about it and said no my first thought was 150. The Holy Spirit said consider 119 so I said okay. Pastor's sermon Sunday was from 119 so I got the message.


Pastor highlighted;


Psalm 119:97-104 NIV Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.


The thing that makes the writer wise, gives insight, and understanding is the word of God. The writer was talking about the Torah or the Law, God’s revealed Word.

The English word “Torah” comes from the Hebrew word toh·rahʹ, which can be translated as “instruction,” “teaching,” or “law.” Toh·rahʹ often refers to the first five books of the Bible—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, as God revealed them to Moses. So it is called “the book of the Law of Moses.” or the Pentateuch, from a Greek word meaning “fivefold volume.” Evidently, it was originally written as one book and divided later. This psalm refers to the Torah as

Psalm 119 is an expansion of Psalm 19:7–9: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.”

Psalm 119 refers to the revealed Word of God over and over again, and is mentioned in at least 171 of its 176 verses using different synonyms.

There are 8 basic words used to describe the Word are;

● Law (torah, used 25 times in Psalm 119)

● Word (dabar, used 24 times): The idea is of the spoken word, God’s revealed word to man.

● Judgments (mispatim, used 23 times): “From shaphat, to judge, determine, regulate, order, and discern, because they judge concerning our words and works; show the rules by which they should be regulated; and cause us to discern what is right and wrong, and decide accordingly.”

● Testimonies (edut/edot, used 23 times): This word is related to the word for witness. To obey His testimonies“signifies loyalty to the terms of the covenant made between the Lord and Israel.”

● Commandments (miswah/miswot, used 22 times): “This word emphasizes the straight authority of what is said . . . the right to give orders.”

● Statutes (huqqim, used 21 times): The noun is derived from the root verb “engrave” or “inscribe”; the idea is of the written word of God and the authority of His written word. “Declaring his authority and power of giving us laws.”

● Precepts (piqqudim, used 21 times): “This is a word drawn from the sphere of an officer or overseer, and man who is responsible to look closely into a situation and take action. . . . So the word points to the particular instructions of the Lord, as of one who cares about detail.”

● Word (imrah, used 19 times): Similar in meaning to dabar, yet a different term. “The ‘word’ may denote anything God has spoken, commanded, or promised.”

- From Enduring Word Bible Commentary

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. The author of Psalm 119 is unknown, but most scholars believe that it was written by David, Ezra, or Daniel. 

Psalm 119 affirms that God’s Word reflects the very character of God Himself.


1. Righteousness (verses 7, 62, 75, 106, 123, 138, 144, 160, 164, 172)

2. Trustworthiness (verse 42)

3. Truthfulness (verses 43, 142, 151, 160)

4. Faithfulness (verse 86)

5. Unchangeableness (verse 89)

6. Eternality (verses 90,152)

7. Light (verse 105)

8. Purity (verse 140)

The psalm is arranged in an acrostic pattern. Meaning that it is written so that each section is given a letter of the Hebrew alphabet and and each line in that section begins with that letter. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this Psalm contains 22 sections of 8 verses each.

 1-8. The Blessing of Obedience.

Blessed... who walk in the law of the Lord. The theme of the psalm is here set forth clearly. Note that most of the ten synonyms for the law are used in this first strophe.

9-16. The Way of Cleansing.

Psalm 119:9 NIV
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.

The answer to the problems of youth in any period of history is to heed God's Word by meditating on it and committing it to memory and by testifying concerning it to others.

Psalm 119:11, 13-13, 15 NIV I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

17-24. The Delight of Experience.

Psalm 119:24 NIV
Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.

This delight is based upon his past experience with God in times of persecution. A note of sorrow and desire runs through this strophe, but the section ends in delight.

25-32. The Strength in Understanding.

Psalm 119:27 NIV
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.

The peril confronting the psalmist makes him call for strength and comfort. He realizes that the quickening he desires comes from an understanding of God's teachings.

33-40. The Need for Guidance.

Psalm 119:33 NIV
Teach me, Lord , the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.

In phrase after phrase, the speaker pleads for God's guidance in ordering his life and in refraining from folly.

41-48. The Courage for Witnessing.

Psalm 119:41-42 NIV
May your unfailing love come to me, Lord , your salvation, according to your promise; then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word.


This appeal for help is not selfish; it is inspired by a desire to have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me. The speaker further declares that he will witness to kings without being ashamed.

49-56. The Source of Comfort.

Psalm 119:49-50 NIV
Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

In the time of affliction, God's teachings have been his stay and the songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

57-64. The Resolution of Faithfulness.

Psalm 119:57 NIV
You are my portion, Lord ; I have promised to obey your words.

Thinking upon his ways brought him to the point where he could turn his feet unto God's testimonies. His gratitude is evident in his promise to arise at midnight to thank God.

65-72. The Discipline of Affliction.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted. Having gone astray before his affliction, the psalmist now sees a beneficent purpose in his suffering.

73-80. The Justice of Retribution.

Psalm 119:78 NIV
May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts.

He pleads for God's blessings upon himself and shame upon his enemies. His end desire is that he may strengthen the faith of others.

81-88. The Hope in Darkness.

Psalm 119:81 NIV
My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.

In a succession of sobs, he expresses his hope and determination in his darkest hour. With each plea for comfort he reiterates his desire to be faithful.

89-96. The Triumph of Faith.

Psalm 119:92 NIV
If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

The hope of the preceding strophe becomes an assured victory here. He affirms that he will never forget God's precepts

Psalm 119:93 NIV I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.

Now the part that Pastor talked about on Sunday.

97-104. The Joy of Enlightenment.


Psalm 119:98-100 NIV
Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.

The psalmist describes how his study of the divine law has made him wiser and more understanding than his enemies, his teachers, and the aged. The emphasis is here upon the law itself, the source of knowledge rather than on native intelligence.

105-112. The Light of Life.

Psalm 119:105 NIV
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

His pilgrimage through life is under the guidance of God's teachings. He thus vows to follow the light wherever it may lead and whatever dangers may be involved.

113-120. The Inspiration of Loyalty.

Psalm 119:113-114 NIV
I hate double-minded people, but I love your law. You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

This loyalty gives him a sense of safety and the inspiration to face the future.

121-128. The Time of Intervention.

Psalm 119:121-122, 126 NIV
I have done what is righteous and just; do not leave me to my oppressors. Ensure your servant’s well-being; do not let the arrogant oppress me. It is time for you to act, Lord ; your law is being broken.

After declaring that he has diligently followed the right, the psalmist appeals for action on God's part. So completely have his oppressors disregarded God's law that only divine judgment is left for them.

129-136. The Wonder of Illumination.

Psalm 119:129-130 NIV
Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

The greatest wonder is the inner light that gives understanding even to the unlearned man. The psalmist is brokenhearted over those who do not keep God's law.

137-144. The Challenge of Righteousness.

Psalm 119:137-138, 142, 144 NIV
You are righteous, Lord , and your laws are right. The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy. Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true. Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live.

Because the Lord is righteous, his judgments and testimonies, also, are everlastingly righteous.

145-152. The Assurance from Prayer.

Psalm 119:145-146 NIV
I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord , and I will obey your decrees. I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes.

Recalling the many times he has prayed unceasingly for divine help, he cries again for God's quickening power. Then he reaffirms his faith in the Lord's nearness and the verity of His teaching.

153-160. The Consciousness of Need.

Psalm 119:154, 156-156, 159 NIV Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. Your compassion, Lord , is great; preserve my life according to your laws. See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, Lord , in accordance with your love.

The severity of the speaker's affliction and his understanding of his personal need are clearly shown in the repetition of quicken me in verses 154, 156, and 159. The enduring nature of God's righteous judgments is his hope and assurance.

161-168. The Peace in Love.

Psalm 119:165 NIV Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

Even in the presence of potent enemies, the psalmist has an inner peace that grows out of his love for God's way.

169-176. The Determination of Steadfastness.

Psalm 119:176 NIV I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

The psalmist sums up his message by pleading for further spiritual help, while declaring his intention to stand fast upon the foundation of God's teachings.

Throughout his affliction, the author clings to the truths he learns from the Scriptures

Psalm 119:89-91 (NKJV)89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides.91 They continue this day according to Your ordinances, For all are Your servants.

His love for the Word of God and his dedication to remember it and live by it is a theme that is repeated over and over.

Psalm 119:11 (NKJV)11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!

Psalm 119:15-16 (NKJV)15 I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

Psalm 119:24 (NKJV)24 Your testimonies also are my delight And my counselors.

Psalm 119:34 (NKJV)34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Psalm 119:44 (NKJV)44 So shall I keep Your law continually, Forever and ever.

Psalm 119:47 (NKJV)
47 And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love.

Psalm 119:55 (NKJV)55 I remember Your name in the night, O LORD, And I keep Your law.

Psalm 119:60 (NKJV)60 I made haste, and did not delay To keep Your commandments.

These are the lessons for us in this great psalm. The Word of God is sufficient to make us wise, train us in righteousness, and equip us for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 (NKJV)15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 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.

The Scriptures are a reflection of God’s nature, and from them we learn that we can trust His character and His plan and purposes for mankind, even when those plans include affliction and persecution. Blessed indeed are we if our delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law we meditate day and night

Psalm 1:1-2 (NKJV)1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

Bible Study Audio




Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Prayer That Turned The World Upside Down - Session 6 - Forgive Us Our Debts





The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group studying the book Prayer That Turned The World Upside Down: The Lord's Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution by R. Albert Mohler, The President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Lord’s Prayer is the most powerful prayer in the Bible, taught by Jesus to those closest to him. We desperately need to relearn its power and practice.

The opening words of the Lord’s Prayer have become so familiar that we often speak them without a thought, sometimes without any awareness that we are speaking at all. But to the disciples who first heard these words from Jesus, the prayer was a thunderbolt, a radical new way to pray that changed them and the course of history.


Far from a safe series of comforting words, the Lord’s Prayer makes extraordinary claims, topples every earthly power, and announces God’s reign over all things in heaven and on earth. Study along with us by getting a copy of the book by clicking this LINK or the image of the book in the study notes. 

Last week we talked about Jesus telling His disciples that they should recognize their total dependence on God and ask that He provide their most basic physical needs.

The petition “give us this day our daily bread” reminds us of our dependence on God for even the most fundamental needs of life. Jesus in this model of prayer points out the difference in the Creator ant the creature. God’s name is to be hallowed in heaven.  We, on the other hand, are incapable of even getting basic sustenance without his help. Jesus teaches us to exalt God while humbling ourselves.
 

FORGIVENESS: THE GOSPEL FOUNDATION OF THE LORD’S PRAYER


 Matthew 6:12 NIV And forgive us our debts,  as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Let's first talk about the significance of Jesus using forgiveness of debt. 

Debt for us today can be very stressful.  Too much debt can put serious strain on our lives restricting our ability to live stress free lives. The Bible says that debt makes us slaves.

 Proverbs 22:7 NIV The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Today debt can cause strain in relationships.  It is the number one cause for divorces.  However in Jesus’ day it meant literal slavery and or prison.  We even had debtors prisons in the early history of the United States.

This is the context in which Jesus teaches us to pray “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Jesus’ use of the word debts is meant to evoke in our mind both a serious offense and a corresponding serious punishment. To be forgiven a debt was no mere trifle, but an act of extravagant mercy.
        
 The petition “give us this day our daily bread” emphasizes our most urgent physical needs, the petition “forgive us our debts” emphasizes our most urgent spiritual need. Saying we owe a debt to God means that we have failed to give him the obedience he is rightly due. We owe God our obedience, and we have failed to pay up. Thus, as sinners, we stand before God condemned, rightly deserving his just wrath. Only God’s forgiveness can clear our guilt and establish a meaningful relationship between God and us.

We can only say these words and ask these things of God when we stand on the finished, atoning work of Jesus Christ. Indeed, this petition demonstrates that the theological bedrock of the Lord's Prayer is nothing less than the gospel. We can only rightly pray the Lord's Prayer when we recognize that we are deeply sinful and only God’s grace in Christian remedy our souls.

God’s forgiveness of sin is the basis of the gospel.  The gospel, or the Good News, is the news of the coming of the Kingdom of God, and of Jesus's death on the cross and resurrection to restore people's relationship with God.

This kingdom arrived with the coming of Christ, who urged his hearers to repent because the “kingdom of God is at hand.” Christians are now part of that kingdom. As Paulstated, “[God] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). Thus, even though we await the full expression of God’s kingdom that will come in glory and power at the return of Christ, we are at this time living under the reign of God as his people—we are citizens of that kingdom.

First, this prayer establishes that we are sinners in need of forgiveness. Jesus okidentifies that our deepest, most urgent spiritual problem is nothing less than personal rebellion against a holy God. Our fundamental spiritual problem is
not a lack of education, lack of opportunity, and inability to express ourselves, or unmet social needs. Our problem is sin. We have transgressed God’s law and spurned his commandments. As a result, we need his forgiveness.
        
 Second, Jesus teaches us not only that we have sinned but also that we have the hope of forgiveness. It is easy to miss just how audacious the words of Jesus actually are. Jesus is teaching sinners, rebels against God, to have the audacity to approach God's throne—a throne established in justice and holiness—and ask for forgiveness. The only thing that can account for this boldness is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only the work of Christ on behalf of sinners could possibly enable a sinner to go before God's holy throne to petition that God forgive his debts. Only those with hearts fixedon the Lord Jesus Christ and his atoning work on the cross can appeal to God’s mercy and redemption.
        
Third, we see in this passage that God is willing to forgive sin. By teaching us to pray in this way, Jesus implies that God desires to forgive our sin. Scripture repeatedly makes this point:
        
[God] desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1Tim. 2:4)
        
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
        
Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? (Ezek. 18:23)

Richard Sibbes famously said, “There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.”

By agreeing with God that we are sinners and repenting of that sin by asking for forgiveness, God clears our debts on account of Christ’s work for us.

The only way we can be forgiven is through the sacrifice of Jesus.  Jesus Christ the Son, whose perfect obedience and perfectly accomplished atonement on the cross purchased all that is necessary for our salvation.
 Jesus Christ met the full demands of the righteousness and justice of God against our sin.
        
Paul summarized the work of Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

We do not earn the righteousness of God in Christ; instead it is given to us freely when we believe the gospel: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:23–24). Indeed, nothing in us or achieved by us is the grounds of our acceptance with God. Instead, as Paul made clear, “To the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).

When God saves us he starts the sanctification process which means that he is working through the Holy Spirit to confirm us to the image of Jesus.

Romans 8:28-29 NIV  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.


FROM FORGIVEN TO FORGIVING: THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF GOD’S FORGIVENESS



It's because we have been forgiven that we forgive.  Not only does Jesus teach us to petition God for forgiveness, he also teaches us to pray that God forgive us in the same way that we forgive our debtors. Now we must be very careful with this clause so that we don’t take it to mean something that Jesus would not affirm. Jesus is decidedly not saying that we are forgiven by God because we have forgiven other people. That would make the grounds of our acceptance with God our own works and not God’s grace. Scripture is very clear that we are justified before God by faith alone, not by works of the law.
        
What Jesus is affirming in these words is that when we experience God’s forgiveness,  we are fundamentally transformed into forgiving people. We become new creatures.

 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

When Jesus said that we should ask God to forgive us because we have forgiven others we’ve misinterpreted what He said. God’s forgiving us has nothing to do with our forgiving others. That would make our forgiveness based on works and that contradicts

Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.


Those who truly know the forgiveness of sins, forgive others. Jesus emphasized this point a number of times throughout his ministry:
        
 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matt. 18:21–22)
        
 Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)
        
 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents,
 forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, “I repent,” you must forgive him. (Luke 17:3–4)

Jesus’ words on forgiveness are clear. Without forgiving others we will not be forgiven.
           
Again, the grounds of our forgiveness is never our own works. But forgiveness is necessary evidence that we have received forgiveness. If we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven. Hard hearts have no place in the kingdom of God. The reason, of course, is that the King himself is a forgiving king. Just as he forgives us when we rebel against him, so the citizens of God’s kingdom forgive one another.