As you try praying, you can find freedom for failures in life, because Jesus paid the ultimate price to set you free.
What’s So Special About Jesus’ Death?
People make a lot about Jesus dying on the cross. So a good man dies a horrible death. That’s happened to many others. What’s so special about him?
The reason it was special is because Jesus died for a purpose. Most people know they will die, but hardly any say they are dying for the sake of others. Yet Jesus said this many times. He would lay down his life because of his love for people. In an unusual way his death was like paying a ransom
to get people out of a fix.
The “fix” is serious. People are loved by God but are not living the way he intended. As a result we have run out of credit and are in significant moral debt – with eternal consequences.
How does it work? It is something of a mystery. But as Jesus was a perfect human – the God/man – he entered death on behalf of the human race and emerged from it alive again. Like a football team or an athlete representing a nation, Jesus represented the human race. He endured and defeated the worst thing imaginable, the judgement hanging over us, so we can be free.
It was so impressive that those who witnessed him dying said this man really was the Son of God. A writer at the time explained it saying “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”
The result of it all is astounding. Instead of being condemned and in debt we are freed, forgiven and in credit. People have been in awe of this demonstration of God’s love ever since.
From an ancient prayer here’s a rich statement of what God is like:
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me …
And here is what Jesus taught us to pray:
Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
Something you can do today…
God, there’s a mystery here. But if you really did die for me then the least I can say is thank you. I’m sorry for my failure to do what’s right. Thank you for your love for me and for forgiving me.
Take a piece of paper and write on it anything you feel ashamed about. Then draw a cross over all you have written and thank Jesus for paying your debt. (When you have finished shred the paper!).
Keep Praying For
- Your big issue – the area in your life where you most want God to work.
- Others – your friend or family member who needs help.
Why is There So Much Suffering?
War. Oppression. Earthquakes. HIV. Malaria. Cancer. Poverty Death. Where is the good news in the midst of all this suffering?
There is a prayer which has come to us from the first century. It was taught by Jesus to his followers and became known as the Lord’s Prayer. A phrase in it is, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
It’s a potent request which Jesus included so that we ask for something better on earth.
It’s fascinating because it completely turns on its head a common misunderstanding: when things go wrong people blame God. When suffering occurs people often think it is God’s will. But what Jesus said kicks that into touch. It says God’s will is often NOT being done! It’s a mess and God is not happy with it. Bad stuff happens – really bad stuff.
This kind of language makes us realise things are not right. We live on a beautiful planet, but there are serious problems. It is occupied by a flawed human race. At times we do appalling things that bring suffering to others. In addition Jesus mentions circumstances and influences that test us and he says there is an “evil one”. So instead of laying the blame for bad stuff at God’s door we should put blame where it really belongs.
“Your kingdom come!“
We are invited to pray for God’s kingdom to come; something which will make life on earth better. We can ask that things here would change and for God’s will to be done instead. God’s ultimate purposes will be fulfilled and he will right all wrongs. Not only that, but he is not uncaring as we face suffering but compassionate. His purposes for us are not frustrated nor is his love diminished.
“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. ’”
© There is Hope 2015.
Read the Other Posts in the Trypraying Series
You can read the other posts in our trypraying series as they are published here:
Find out more
You can find out more about trypraying basingstoke 2019 by reading this post.
You can also follow us on social media, where we will be posting about trypraying every day between 1-18 June 2019:
You can visit the website trypraying.co.uk which also gives access to the trypraying app and other useful articles.
You could attend the trypraying basingstoke prayer event being held at London Street URC on Sunday 9 June 2019 from 6:30-8:30pm. You’d be most welcome.
Or you can contact OneChurch Basingstoke direct, using the form on our Contact page.
What have you got to lose?
Pick up your free booklet from the train station or a church near you. God wants to hear from you!