Friday, April 23, 2021

3 Prayer Requests from Jesus

This, then, is how you should pray.” – Matthew 6:9

The Sermon on the Mount is the greatest sermon of all time, delivered by the greatest preacher of all time—Jesus Christ. And right in the middle of this ground-breaking message, Jesus gives us a model prayer to follow when we’re speaking with our heavenly Father. It includes six prayer requests in all, and today, I’d like to take a look at His first three prayer requests with you.

Jesus’ 1st Prayer Request (v. 9): “Hallowed be Your name.” Now, “hallowed” isn’t a word that we use every day. The closest word to it in everyday English is Halloween, which has absolutely nothing to do with what Jesus has in mind here. The word hallowed comes from the same Greek word as holy, which means “to be set apart.” So, to be hallowed means to be regarded as holy or to be set apart from everything else. But if we draw the conclusion that hallowing God’s name is just a matter of regarding God as holy in our minds, we have missed Jesus’ point. God is not interested in hearing us say with our mouths, “Hallowed be Your name” unless we really mean it in our hearts. If our hearts don’t mean it, then God’s ears don’t want to hear it.

Here are a few synonyms for “hallow” as Jesus uses the word in The Lord’s Prayer: revere, honor; esteem, value, treasure and love. With that in mind, what is Jesus’ first petition in this great prayer model? It’s this: “Our Father in heaven, we want Your name be revered here on earth. We want Your name to be honored among us. We desire to esteem and value Your name more than any other name. We want to treasure You as the highest priority in our lives and love You will all our hearts.”

If we’re just praying with our mouths and not with our hearts, our prayers will always be shallow and weak. But our prayers come alive when they are prayed from a heart that truly desires for God to be honored, valued, treasured and loved here on earth just as He is in heaven. Once you understand what it means to truly pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,” Jesus’ next two prayer requests make perfect sense.

Jesus’ 2nd Prayer Request (v. 10a): “Your Kingdom come.” This second petition touches on two key things. First, it focuses on Jesus’ present Kingdom expanding now. As Jesus walked this earth, wherever He went, He took some of the best parts of heaven with Him—mercy, grace, kindness, truth, compassion, and unconditional love. And if you and I are followers of Jesus Christ with the His Holy Spirit living inside us, we also take some those parts of heaven with us wherever we go.

So, when we pray, “Your Kingdom Come” what we should mean is this: “Father in heaven, because our hearts long for You to be revered, valued, treasured and loved, we ask that You expand Your kingdom wherever we go. This world we live in has pushed You away long enough! So, Father, won’t You expand Your kingdom in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, and in our church. Everywhere we go, loving Father, grow Your kingdom through us.”

This second petition also touches on Jesus’ future kingdom covering the earth. Jesus is urging us to be forward thinking, to say as John says at the end of the Book of Revelation: “Come, Lord Jesus.” As Christ’s disciples, we are determined to expand Jesus’ kingdom today in our corner of the world. But at the same time, we long for the day when Jesus Christ will come down once again and restore complete order, peace and righteousness to this old earth—as it is in heaven.

Jesus’ 3rd Prayer Request (v. 10b): “Your will be done.” This petition goes hand-in-hand with the prior one. As God’s kingdom is established, His will must be done. As with the first two petitions, when we pray this prayer, we must be ready and willing to live it out. Yes, we want God’s will to be done in the White House, but first God’s will must be done right here in our house. Yes, we want God’s will to be done in our neighbor’s backyard, but first God’s will must be done in our own backyard.

With each of these petitions, we are asking God to partner with us to hallow His name, to usher in His kingdom and carry out His will. If you’re like many Christians, you’ve probably wondered at times why God doesn’t seem to answer your prayers. Why is that? Well, if you and I aren’t willing to roll up our sleeves and make it so in our own lives, the words of our prayers are empty. But when we’re willing to surrender our treasuring of ourselves to our treasuring of God; when we’re ready to scap our own kingdom in order to expand God’s kingdom; and when we’re prepared to push aside our will in order to carry out God’s will—you’d better believe that God will answer our prayers.

Try this in the coming week: Pray every day. And when you do, pray for God’s name to be treasured and loved  by you and by those around you. Pray for God’s Kingdom to come. And pray for His will to be done in your little corner of the world.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our in-person worship service tomorrow at 9 a.m. at 17746 George Blvd. in Victorville. Or, join us online at 10 a.m. on the Impact Christian Church YouTube channel or Facebook page. For more information, visit

Monday, April 19, 2021

Pray Like Jesus

“When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.Matthew 6:6 

When you were a child, you may have been taught a short prayer.  It might have been this one: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” That’s a pretty scary prayer, for kids, don’t you think? It made kids want to sleep with one eye open: “Oh, no! If I fall asleep I’m gonna die!” Here’s another familiar one: “God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. Amen.” But that 10-second prayer was evidently too long for some kids, so they shortened it to: “Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub. Yay, God!”

For a 3-year-old, memorizing a simple prayer is a good way to learn to pray. But if you’re 15, 25 or 65 years old, and you’re still praying canned prayers that sound like a broken record, then you haven’t really started to pray. This is nothing new; it was going on in Jesus’ time as well. That’s why, in His great Sermon on the Mount, He set out to teach us the RIGHT way and the WRONG way to pray.

In Matthew 6:5, Jesus begins telling us the wrong way to pray: “Do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.” In those days, when Jewish men prayed in the synagogue, they would often pray standing with their arms lifted in the air. That was a common prayer position in a worship service and in private prayer as well. But on a public street corner, it stood out like a sore thumb. It was a position that screamed out, “Look at me! If you want to hear a prayer that will knock your socks off, listen to me pray!” And Jesus says plainly, “I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

In other words, the “attaboys” that flashy pray-ers get from other people are all the reward they’ll ever get. They won’t receive any reward from God. The wrong way to pray is to pray in a way that makes YOU the center of attention.

In verse 6, Jesus explains the RIGHT way to pray. As the New Living Translation puts it: “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Simply put, the right way to pray is to pray discreetly and privately—motivated by a heartfelt desire to spend quality time with your Father in heaven. In other words … pray like Jesus. 

In Matthew 7, Jesus continues: “When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” In those days, pagan worshipers would string together long, unintelligible phrases and repeat them over and over as a mantra. Jesus says, “Many hypocrites’ prayers are like that! Their prayers are full of words, and some of those words sound really impressive. But their prayers are meaningless. They claim to be talking to God, but they’re actually just putting on a dog and pony show for people. They’re just … babbling.”

Now, you and I can babble almost as badly as the pagans. Before lunch on Sunday: “Dear God, bless this food that we are about to receive to the nourishment of our bodies. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” And the same thing before lunch on Monday. Then, before bed on Sunday: “Dear God, thank You for this day. Help us to get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed in the morning. Forgive us for our sins. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”  And the same thing before bed on Monday. It becomes meaningless babbling!

Why on earth do we pray the same tired old prayers? We could never get away with saying the same tired old lines to people we're in a deep relationship with. If you spoke to your spouse every day with the same tired old language that you speak to God every day, would they think your words had any meaning whatsoever? Parents, if you spoke to your kids every day with the same tired old language that you speak to God, do you think your kids would feel loved?  

At times in our lives, we’ve all heard Christians stand up in church and pray beautiful, eloquent prayers. And we’ve thought to ourselves, “Wow! I wish I could pray like that!” But Jesus turns to us and says, “No! I don’t want you to pray like that. You are a unique child of mine, and our relationship is special. So, your prayers to Your Father in Heaven should be special. They shouldn’t sound like anyone else’s. Don’t worry about using the right words. Just talk with God like you’re talking to your Daddy who loves you more than anything in the world.”

Your Father knows what you need, and He is waiting for you to bring that need to Him. He wants to listen to your needs and meet them. He wants to hear you praise Him for who He is to you, and He wants you to thank Him for the unique blessings that He’s sent your way. And He wants to share His heart and thoughts with you as well.

You need to spend quality time with God—every day—just the two of you. He is waiting for you to come to Him. He is waiting for you to pray like Jesus.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our in-person worship service tomorrow at 9 a.m. at 17746 George Blvd. in Victorville. Or, join us online at 10 a.m. on the Impact Christian Church YouTube channel or Facebook page. For more information, visit

Monday, April 12, 2021

Easter Isn’t Over!

We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.1 Thessalonians 4:14

If your household is anything like mine, by now all the chocolate bunnies have been eaten and all the Peeps have given their last Peep. Maybe your kids’ Easter baskets have a few stray green jelly beans lurking down there in the fake grass, but that’s about it. After all, Easter was over a week ago. Right?

Right. But there’s something about Easter that ISN’T over—not today, not next week, not six months or six thousand years from now. You see, that first Easter changed the world … forever. So today, I’d like to share with you five reasons why Jesus’ death and resurrection changes your world:

#1: Jesus’ death and resurrection confirm that the Bible is true. There are dozens of Old Testament verses that prophesied that the Jesus Christ would suffer, be killed, be buried and rise from the dead. Concerning Jesus’ crucifixion, King David wrote in Psalm 22:16-17: “A band of evil men has encircled Me, they have pierced My hands and My feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over Me.” Concerning Jesus’ burial and resurrection, we read in Isaiah 53:9 and 11: “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death…. After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life, and be satisfied.” And Psalm 16:10 says: “You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.”

Every one of these prophecies was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection prove to you that even the seemingly-impossible Bible prophesies are all fulfilled in Christ.

#2: Jesus’ death and resurrection prove that Jesus is God. In John 10:18 Jesus told his followers, “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” What a remarkable thing for Jesus to say! Any martyr could claim to have the authority to lay down his or her life for someone else. But none of us has the authority or power to raise ourselves from the dead. No one can do that. Not even an angel can do that. Only GOD can do that. Therefore, Jesus’ resurrection proves that He is—in fact—God in the flesh.

#3: Jesus’ death and resurrection pave the way for your own future resurrection, giving you great hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 says, “We do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him…. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven … with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” 1 Cor. 15:14-22 reads: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

Bottom line: Jesus’ resurrection from the dead blazed a trail for YOUR resurrection from the dead. Jesus has paved the way for you to live forever. So, whenever you’re sitting next to a loved one’s bed in ICU or attending a family member’s funeral, you can have hope. Because Christ conquered death, you and I have this unshakable hope: This life is not all there is. The best is yet to come.

#4: Jesus’ death and resurrection prove that your Judgment Day is coming. The Apostle Paul says in Acts 17:30-31, “In the past God overlooked ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Jesus’ resurrection isn’t great news for everyone. Because Jesus is alive, He will hold us accountable for our sin. That’s the purpose of Judgment Day—to declare our innocence or guilt before our holy God. And for those of us who are found guilty of rejecting Jesus Christ during our lifetimes and breaking God’s laws, there WILL be Hell to pay. Because Jesus is alive, Judgment Day is coming. So, you had better make sure you’re ready.

#5: Jesus’ death and resurrection empower you to live a life that pleases God. What do you think the chances are of you—on your own—living a life that pleases God? Slim to none? No! Just plain—NONE. The Bible reveals that on our own, our good deeds are like filthy rags compared to God’s holiness. So, on your own, you CANNOT live a life that pleases God. It’s impossible. But with Christ…all things are possible. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

Easter changed your world forever. So, I’ve got to ask you: What are you going to do about it? Jesus Christ suffered and died … for you. Jesus Christ had his broken and bloody body placed in a tomb … for you. Jesus Christ busted out of that tomb on the third day … for you. So…what are you going to do about it? I hope that if you haven’t done it already, you’ll do it today: admit that like all of us, you’re a sinner who needs the Savior; believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins; and choose to follow Jesus as your Savior and Lord.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our in-person worship service tomorrow at 9 a.m. at 17746 George Blvd. in Victorville. Or, join us online at 10 a.m. on the Impact Christian Church YouTube channel or Facebook page. For more information, visit