We all want to live adventurous purpose filled lives. Prayer is very important in our attempt to lead a purpose filled life. Jesus gave us an example of how to live this kind of life through prayer. If anyone knew how to pray it was Christ. In His life, Christ prayed constant and effective prayer. This is a concept that made me think. Christ prayed and He was God, so we need to pray even more.
In Matthew 6: 9-13, Christ says to pray and gives an example. We call this prayer the Lord’s Prayer, because our Lord is the one who was praying. We need to take Christ’s example and pray effective prayers, which will change not only our lives but also those around us. Our family’s lives will change, our careers will change, and our churches will change. Prayer can change the world, but most of us settle for praying mediocre prayers that lead to mediocre lives.
9 “In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven
Hallowed be Your name.
When we pray, we always need to start with praise and worship. David had the greatest prayer life, because he praised and worshiped God constantly. Paul and Silas prayed for deliverance and received it through singing songs of praise. This story shows that praise and worship can unlock our chains and open prison doors. The battle of Jericho was won by the children of Israel marching around and shouting praise to God. As they shouted praises, the walls tumbled down.
When we praise and worship God, we are preparing our hearts for God to enter our situation. It is also a way for us to get our minds off ourselves and focus entirely on Him. He is delighted in our praise and worship. God created us for praise and worship, which is how we show our love for Him. Just as we are to honor our parents here on earth, we are to honor our Father, Who is in heaven.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
God wants us to pray for prosperity in our lives. He wants us to pray that our purpose will be fulfilled. Sometimes, we go without, because we don’t ask for what we want or need. This is what I call a poor man’s mind-set. We don’t think we deserve anything, but God died so we could have what we needed and wanted.
Our heavenly Father wants good things to happen in our lives, but there are some things we pray for that are not necessarily good for us. When we pray, we need to make sure that it is God’s will we seek and not just our own.
When I was younger, I wanted to attend a certain private school. I prayed and prayed, but the request was denied. It made me angry! Why couldn’t my prayed be answered? Did God forsake me? No, He was looking out for me. The whole situation wasn’t good for me, and I needed to complete my education at the high school where I started. God knew the other school would have held me back, and then I may have never fulfilled my purpose.
If God has not answered a certain prayer, maybe you need to take a step back and re-evaluate what you are asking God to do. First, you may not be ready for God’s answer. Second, the request may harm you or someone else. Look at your life and see if there is something you need to do, first. Sometimes, God is talking to us and asking us for action on our part. Also, I have asked for a lot of things that were selfish, and they could have hurt others.
11 Give us this day our daily bread
God says to pray for our needs. There are times when we get so wrapped up in asking for our wants, that we forget to request just our basic needs. In this scripture, we are to pray for daily bread.
This may sound funny, because it seems so simple. Yet, many times we are so busy trying to provide for ourselves that we forget to depend on God. We go to work, so we think we are supplying for our own needs, but God is in control of all our needs.
Many of us complain and holler about not having enough. We seek promotions and other income opportunities. There is nothing wrong with working and providing for our families. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10NIV) What I’m talking about is relying on God to give you the desires of your heart and not worrying.
God once revealed to me that I spent too much time worrying about the type of clothes I wore. He wanted me to put my style and need for clothing in His hand. If I gave it to him and was obedient, He would provide the type of clothes He wanted me to wear. Since I started praying this way, people have given me really nice clothes. This concept is true for food and shelter as well. Give it all to God and He will provide for all your needs.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
We must pray that God and others forgive us. It is vital to our Christian walk that when we do make a mistake, that we go directly to God and ask Him to forgive us, first. Next, we must go to anyone we have wronged and ask for forgiveness. This is so hard for us, but a necessary step to living in peace.
We need to remember that God forgives us, so He requires us to forgive others. It is very hard to forgive when we are wronged. When we are wronged, our flesh wants to get revenge. Our first reaction is to tell people off, whether it is out loud or in our minds. Sometimes, we don’t think we’ve done anything wrong if no one hears us. This is very far from the truth, because God always hears us.
Forgiveness is very difficult, but extremely necessary. There are people that we must forgive on a daily basis. When we don’t forgive them, it eats away at us and makes life miserable. From time to time, take a good look at yourself and see if you’re holding on to unforgiveness. Let it go immediately!
13 And do not lead us into
But deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the
power and the glory forever.
Prayer for protection should be a big part of our prayer. The Bible says Satan is roaming around like a lion waiting to devour us. This also includes our family, friends, and possessions. It is our job to pray that we are delivered and kept from temptation. Temptation is all around us and ready to trip us up.
The next two lines that come after asking for protection and deliverance is praise and worship. Praise and worship will not only get our minds on God, but it is also used to fight off the enemy and his attacks. In the church, we call this spiritual warfare, and, when we are negligent in spiritual warfare, we can stumble and fall. Once we stumble and fall, it is very easy to get off God’s path and lose our way.
The last line of the Lord’s Prayer is simply “Amen.” Yet, this line is probably one of the most important. Amen means “so be it.” At this point, we are telling God that we are putting everything into His hands. What we pray for can be a big burden, so, once we give it to God, we need to leave it with God and rest.
The challenge this week is to follow Christ’s example of prayer. It is also important to set up a regular time for prayer. Some may want to pray in the morning. There are others that do better when they pray in the afternoon or evening. Whenever we set up a devotion time, we just need to consistently pray at that time. Of course, things will come up and try to steal that time from us, but we need to work as hard as we can to protect our prayer time. This is the most important time of our day.