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


Lord, Save Me!

September 19, 2014

“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” (Matthew 14:30)

The Apostle Peter is the only man besides Jesus Christ who ever walked on water.  Yet millions of us only remember that he took his eyes off the Lord and would have drowned if the Lord had not saved him.

We read that his magnificent faith was flawed.  He saw the wind.  Since we cannot see wind this actually means when he saw what the wind was doing, he lost sight of what Jesus was doing and he was afraid.  The remarkable thing here is that when he kept his eyes on Jesus he walked on water!

It was not until he was beginning to sink that he prayed the prayer that is a model for us all.  Jesus taught that our prayers should not be long and we should never think we will generate grace with God by our ‘much speaking.’  If Peter had prayed a longer prayer, the words beyond the third would have been glub, glub glub! When Jesus caught Peter by the hand He gave him the nickname “Little faith” and I believe our Lord was smiling when He did. He literally asked Peter “Why did you think twice?”

Rick Warren took his entire congregation of twenty thousand people through the eight steps of what is called “Celebrate Recovery.”  When asked why, he responded: “Because we are all in recovery.  What do you think the word ‘salvation’ means?” When we truly understand the meaning of “salvation” we will frequently pray this model prayer.

Pray this three word prayer of Peter often and don’t think twice:   Lord, save me!

Dick Woodward, 25 March 2012