God’s Eighteen Wheelers

November 4, 2016

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”    (Matthew 6:13)

An attractive young lady was returning from a church meeting at a late hour. When she stopped at a traffic light, a large “eighteen-wheeler” truck was in the next lane. As the light changed and she pulled away, the large truck began tailgating her car while blinking its lights and blowing its loud air horn.

Frightened, she increased her speed as she drove out of the city limits toward the farmhouse where she lived with her parents. The huge truck followed her all the way, lights blinking and horn blowing.  She turned into the long dirt road that led to her home. The truck followed her as she drove right up to the porch of the house. When she frantically popped open her door to run for the house, the back door of her car suddenly opened and a man with a large knife bolted for the woods.

When she stopped for that traffic light, the truck driver saw the man crouched behind her front seat with a knife in his hand.  Realizing that she was going to be attacked as soon as she drove into the country, the truck driver wanted to save her from that tragedy.

Sometimes, our suffering and limitations seem like that eighteen-wheeler bearing down on us.  Actually, however, that suffering can be a vehicle of our loving God, purging out of our lives the evil one who is determined to ruin us. This is what our Lord was profiling when He instructed us in the disciple’s prayer to pray that we might be delivered from the evil one.

Can you meet yourself in this story?

Dick Woodward, 22 May 2012


Providential Benedictions

April 21, 2015

…For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”  (Matthew 6:13)

[In the “Our Father” Disciples Prayer]  Our Lord teaches us to begin our prayers with a God first mindset and conclude our prayers with that same focus.  We begin our prayers looking through the grid: “Your name be reverenced, Your Kingdom come,” and “Your will be done (in earth and) on earth, just as it is willed and done in heaven.”  We are to conclude our prayers the same way.

Jesus wants us to conclude our prayers by making this commitment to our Heavenly Father: “Yours is the Kingdom.”  By this confession, He means for us to pledge to God that the results of our Heavenly Father’s continuously answering our prayers will always belong to Him.

As we face challenges of life every day, we should be poor in spirit enough to confess that we need the power of God: “Yours is the power.”  When I have entered into a challenging day, I have confessed this thousands of times in my journey of faith and ministry by saying, “I can’t, but He can.”

Finally, we are to conclude our prayers by confessing: “Yours is the glory.”  When we apply this third providential benediction, we are simply confessing, “Because I didn’t but He did, all the glory goes to Him.” Jesus prescribes that we conclude our prayers every time we pray by making this solemn commitment to God:  The glory for everything that happens in my life because You have answered my prayer(s), will always go to You.”

The essence of this benediction is:  “Because the power always comes from You, the result will always belong to You, and the glory will always go to You.”

“Amen” simply means, “So be it.”

Dick Woodward, from A Prescription for Prayer


A Kingdom Benediction

January 15, 2013

“Yours is the Kingdom, the Power and the glory forever, Amen.”   (Matthew 6: 13)

Jesus taught us to begin our prayers with a providential or God-first perspective.  He also taught us to end our prayers with the same kind of Kingdom benediction.  In this prayer/prescription after we get our priorities straight we are to close our prayers in a way that is consistent with the way we begin our prayers.

In essence, we are to end our prayers by telling God that since the power to answer our prayers will always come from Him the glory will always go to Him and the result will always belong to Him.  That is what “Your’s is the Kingdom” is really all about.

When you pray are you taking God into your plans or are you asking Him to take you into His plans?  I have had the privilege of being involved in the founding of two churches.  After many years serving those churches I then had to drop out and let others pastor them.  That was when I learned what it means to pray: “Your’s is the Kingdom.”

Jesus taught me to pray that since the power to answer my prayers over many years as the pastor of those churches had come from Him the glory should now go to Him and the result (the churches) should belong to Him.

James tells us we ask and do not receive because we ask amiss (James 4:3).  A teenager asked me if James was telling us we can pray a hit as well as a miss.  If you want to pray a hit every time allow Jesus to show you how to begin and end your prayers.